Theresa Smyth's Blog

Happy Christmas

Wishing all my clients, friends and my sponsor Gemma at Ocean Blue Equine a very happy Christmas and a successful 2019! Thank you all for your continuing support over the year.

A busy year!

Well it’s been an incredibly busy year – highs and lows as always in the horsey world. Karen Goulding’s mare Jessie (Infinity and Beyond) had been posting some good results in her first competitions, as I had been having some really useful lessons on her with Kate Cowell. However, she injured herself in the field in the summer so has had to have time off and will be brought back into work slowly.
However, Karen, her owner has been doing really well in competition with her horse Roly after a difficult few years. I am so pleased for her, she is a brilliant owner and I owe her so much for her faith in me.
In August I put on a day’s Demo & Clinic at Whispering Trees. The day consisted of a 2 and a half hour demo on a variety of horses from Cob to Warmblood from Intro to PSG – so something for everyone!Lunch was provided followed by a 45 min lesson with me on the client’s own horse. It was very successful, well attended and excellent feedback. I really enjoy doing clinics like this and am planning on doing others in the future. Watch my Facebook page for upcoming dates!

My clients have been doing very well over the summer season. Congratulations to Katherine Allington for posting her best ever dressage score in the 20’s at Sapey ODE in September!
The Pony Club I teach did really well in the Area Championships in August – well done everybody for their hard work over the season! I trained them at 2 Pony Club camps this summer which were as always very enjoyable.
Louise Danton, who owns the yard where I am based has had great success this year on Blue River Cocktail (Winston) and Colour Trento M (Tonto). She came in the top 10 at Wellington Riding Winter Regional Championships with 68.56% and competed him at the Area Festival Winter Championships in April. The tense atmosphere disrupted him a little but he still came within the top 15. Both Tonto and Winston did well at the Area Festivals in September and October too. But the star of the show for Louise has been her foal Francis Morpheus who was Reserve Champion at the Newton Stud Elite Foal Tout Regionals in August – an amazing and very proud day for her! He did well too at the Finals at Moreton Morrell recently although an extremely long day and a lot of travelling wasn’t ideal.

But a special mention for my youngest client at just 8 years old – Josie and her lovely pony Solo. At Burwarton Show in August she won the Junior Intro A section on a massive score of 69.7% I was incredibly proud of her – she is so dedicated. Not only did she get up at 4am on the day of the show to get ready she spent the evening before cleaning her own tack, polishing her boots and washing her pony. Such determination deserves its rewards and I’m sure she will continue to do well with that attitude.

In September I was thrilled to become the proud owner of a foal myself thanks again to Karen Goulding. Mr Kipling aka Kip Santo Domingo x Bellissimo M. Anyone who knows my love of cake will understand why it was meant to be with a name like Mr Kipling!! A huge thank you to Jon Revell for entrusting me with his baby!! It’s going to be so exciting seeing him develop.

I now have an exciting competition ride for the next few months. Melissa Gerrard has given me her lovely horse Seco (aka Bambi) to ride and compete whilst she is pregnant.
Our first outing was to Stourport RC only 10 days after he arrived at the yard to do 2 Medium classes – what was I thinking??? Added to that it was gale force winds and rain that day – what was I thinking??? However, Bambi behaved brilliantly and won both classes with over 70%. An absolute joy to ride and great credit to Melissa’s training. As a last minute replacement for Louise as Tonto had thrown a shoe the day before I rode Winston in his first ever Advanced Medium and he won that class on 70% too!

I am so thrilled to be back competing and a huge thank you as always to Louise and my owner Karen and to my amazing sponsors Ocean Blue Equine – check out their website – they have a huge range of horse and rider clothing and ensured myself and the horses are dressed for success!!

Back to competition!

Having not competed since before having a baby last May, I was thrilled to get back out onto the competition circuit recently. I have really missed competing and having worked really hard over the winter schooling the horses on the yard, I thought it was about time I saw what the judges’ view was!
I have had Alice Ash’s 2 horses on the yard for several months, so took Snow Patrol out for his first Advanced Medium at Stourport Riding Club. It was a bitterly cold day but what a lovely venue this is – plenty of parking and a great cafe with a view of the tests going on in the indoor arena. I was very pleased with his score of 68.8% and 1st place. Louise did extremely well also in the Medium on Blue River Cocktail (stable name Winston).
A few days later we were at Rodbaston College with Alice’s other horse Viper – his first outing at Advanced Medium and a score of 70.29% so another excellent result. Louise did well again here on Winston winning the Medium class overall.
Just before the “Beast from the East” arrived with the snow storms I went with Louise down to Wellington Riding so she could do her Medium Dressage to Music class on Winston as she has qualified him for the Winter Championships Area Festival and wanted a practice run. Despite a few technical hitches with her music CD she scored over 65% which is very encouraging for the Championships in April.
I am planning to take my youngster Jessie (show name Infinity) owned by Karen Goulding out soon just to ride around at a venue and see how she reacts (I may need a parachute!) I have been doing lots of strengthening work with her over the winter so it’s time to take her out and about.
The snowy weather badly affected my teaching so I’ve had to try and make up for lost time this week and hopefully that is the last of the snow and ice. It would be lovely to see some spring sunshine!

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year …. I can’t believe my last Blog post was October 2017! Time definitely speeds by when you are busy. At the moment I have 6 horses a day to ride and am getting back into full teaching mode after the birth of our second baby last May.
Talking of babies, many congratulations to Gemma (my sponsor from Ocean Blue Equine) and husband Blake on the birth of their twins just after Christmas!! So pleased everything went well for you both.

My aim is to get out there competing as soon as possible. But in the meantime I’m trying to improve my fitness by enrolling on a 6-week Boot Camp course – desperate measures needed after pregnancy and Christmas! So far, so good it’s actually quite enjoyable because although the instructors obviously want everyone to do their best they won’t push you beyond your capabilities. It’s just keeping to the diet at home which is the hard part ….

It will be nice to get rid of this wintry weather and look forward to spring and some fine days for hacking out. In the meantime wishing all my clients a good start to 2018.

October 2017

I have been very busy as usual recently, with 6 horses to ride every day and my teaching but I did enjoy a great Saturday at the National Championships at the end of September. Purely as a spectator which was nice – I caught up with a few friends I hadn’t seen for a while – an excuse for a good old chat. Also a long look around the fabulous trade stands on offer. I came away wondering how much more bling can be fit onto horse and rider in the dressage arena! I did manage to watch some dressage too – some amazing partnerships on the circuit at the moment. Very inspiring to watch.

After my son’s birth in May, I am planning to get back to competition over the next couple of weeks. Two horses belonging to my friend Alice Ash have been on the yard for a few weeks, Snow Patrol and Viper, so I am taking them out at Advanced Medium soon. Congratulations to Alice & Tarquin on the recent birth of their beautiful daughter Penelope by the way!

I also have a new young horse to train and hopefully compete in 2018. Owned by Karen Goulding, Infinity (stable name Jessie) is a 4 year old Oldenburg mare by Tuschinski. She is still very green so lots of hacking and road work to get her fit but I am looking forward to taking her out next year.
Louise Danton has decided to take the ride back on Brownscombe Francisco and is busy getting to know him as a rider. She has been doing very well on Blue River Cocktail and has recently qualified him for the Winter Championships in 2018 by winning at Novice Area Festival level. She also came in the top 5 at Elementary and Medium level Area Festival qualifiers so is really thrilled with those results and will be training hard for the Championships over the winter.

Congratulations also to my amazing sponsor Gemma Hobbs on her marriage recently. My best wishes to you and husband Blake for your future together and thanks as always for your sponsorship. Check out her website Ocean Blue Equine she has some lovely clothing ranges and general horsey stuff!

Ever heard of Equipilates? I took Snow Patrol to a session last week at Stourport E.C. with Ali Lane. I really enjoyed it and it was good to be made aware of any imbalance/weaknesses both on and off the horse. Improving posture is so influential in riding so these sessions could be very useful to any level of rider.

Well, we are heading towards the dark nights and wintry weather again I expect, but just at the moment it is nice to enjoy this Indian summer we are having. Let’s hope it continues just for a bit longer!

Pony Club Area Championships

Lots of great results and some personal bests. Well done to everyone who represented our Pony Club yesterday at the Area 7 Dressage competition what a fabulous venue Dunstall Park racecourse in Wolverhampton was. A huge thank you must go to Theresa for all the advice support and training that she has helped us all with looking forward to continuing with this. Thank you to Bowers family for allowing us to train on grass. Finally thank you to you all for putting the time and effort in to your horses and ponies you are all a credit to the wheatland club.

As you can see from the above report from Sarah Jane, it was a very successful weekend, several riders having qualified for the PC National Championships in August. Good luck to you all!

Pony Club

Congratulations to all at the Wheatland Hunt Pony Club who did so well at last weekend’s Area Championships, held this year at Wolverhampton Racecourse.
There were some very good dressage scores and a few rosettes – well done everyone! I will post a write up on the event on my Blog very shortly.

Also thanks to the Warwickshire PC – I was very pleased to be invited to give dressage coaching at the PC camp this week held at Whitfield Farm Equestrian near Stratford-on-Avon (www.whitfieldfarmequestrian.co.uk) A long day for everyone – especially in the pouring rain! – but I enjoyed meeting the riders and getting positive feedback from those I taught.

Two new horses have arrived on the yard, owned by Alice Wilson-Gough, for training /competing until the autumn. As well as the other horses on the yard and my teaching commitments, I am getting back into the swing of things after having my baby in May.

Louise has had some very good results so far this season, qualifying on Colour Trento M at Novice Silver for the Area Festival and also on Blue River Cocktail at Elementary Silver and Medium Bronze, also for the Area Festival. The second round of which takes place in September.

June 2017

Well the weather has certainly been hot enough for us all I think! But then the horse flies are out with a vengeance – I have been bitten through my breeches this week. Really strange, whilst I was pregnant they didn’t bother me at all, but since having my baby I have become appetising again!

We have a beautiful baby boy in our family – born on May 16th – much to our daughter’s disgust at first as she wanted another girl she could dress up! She has gradually come round to the idea of a brother instead.

I was so thrilled to be able to ride again, having had to give up much earlier this time around. It feels great to be back on a horse. I have a horse in for training at the moment and am enjoying that and also hacking out on the horses at the yard.
I am getting back into teaching again, having had a couple of weeks off. Nice to see my Pony Club clients last weekend. I have been helping Louise Danton at competitions on her horse Blue River Cocktail, she has qualified him for the Regional Championships, so it’s been useful to take him out to different venues recently. So nice to see all my clients doing well with their training at the moment and hopefully everyone will have a good summer.

April/May 2017

Well I cannot believe how this year is running away from me – May already and so long since my last post.
Not a lot to report on the riding/competition front as I am expecting my second baby within the next few weeks so had to give up riding at Christmas. Much earlier than with my first pregnancy unfortunately. These lovely spring days (when we get them!) are making me long to get back into the saddle. I can’t wait!

Although there has been no riding or competing I have still been extremely busy. During January and February I made 2 trips with clients to Germany to attend horse sales. It was very interesting but you do need a lot of stamina going from sale to sale over a period of 3-4 days. Obviously having travelled over there you are keen to see as many horses as possible. It was certainly worthwhile as my client bought a very nice 10 year-old who will take her through to the higher dressage levels. I have been giving her weekly training and they have gelled very well as a combination and I am sure they will do well.

Added to that all my usual teaching and looking after the horses and suddenly here we are in May already! I hope all my clients are looking forward to a good summer of riding and competing. Pony Club training will soon be in full swing again and I look forward to seeing you all again.
In the meantime enjoy this reasonable weather we are having and I promise it won’t be as long until my next post ..

Happy Christmas!!

Apologies for the lack of posts recently – I can only blame lack of time – as always! I will update everything in January – I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone – but for the moment I just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year. See you in 2017!