News & Views Diary - 2003
28 Dec 2003 - Sunday. We competed at Yorkley today at an indoor event.  We won our class, which was combined with the open pony, and overall but what pleased us most of all was getting the best score of the event in the P&P.  See the Results page for more detail.

26 Dec 2003
- Went down to see Janet and picked up a load of bedding this morning.  We took the ponies with us and spent some time longreigning in Janets sand school under her instruction.

25 Dec 2003
- Happy Christmas to everyone.  We spent today visiting family, drinking to excess and clipping the ponies because they are getting very hot in the currently mild weather.

23 Dec 2003
- Tuesday. Shared an hour at Roland F's indoor school this afternoon with a friend.  The intention was to sharpen up the ponies with cones practice for the competition next Sunday, Boz and Tom enjoyed the trip out and had a great time.

21 Dec 2003
- Sunday.  We are on our Christmas holidays now and have spent practically the whole day attempting to bleed the diesel heater. We did manage it finally and all is working, almost perfectly but not quite,  seems we need to get a new ignition glow plug because it shows up as a fault on the diognostics and sometimes the heater won't fire up first time, but that can wait until January. 

15 Dec 2003
- Monday.  It passed, but at a price.  We had to change the handbrake actuator and a trackrod end so it was not cheap,  but then nothing about heavy commercials ever is.

13 Dec 2003
- Saturday.  The lorry goes in for its HGV test on Monday so lots of tidying and checking this weekend.  The stinking weather is making it difficult to do much with the ponies but we have got a bit of  time before the next show which is on Dec 28th at Yorkley Equestrian Centre in the Forest of Dean.

30 Nov 2003 - We spent the day fitting the heater to the lorry and have got it installed. Then we took it all out to give the new woodwork a coat of paint, we hope to put it back tomorrow, then its just connect up to the diesel and electricity.(If only it were that easy)!

29 Nov 2003 - After too much of being cold and damp at the winter shows we have at last purchased a heater for the lorry.  It is an Erberpacher five kilowatt diesel powered hot air blower which runs off the lorry fuel tank and is generally used in buses.  We got it secondhand and will be fitting it as soon as possible.

24 Nov 2003 - Competed at The Hand EQ yesterday.  The rules are being bent or ignored again,  not in our class but by people who should know better and who's credibility could be questioned by their actions. Bit of a mixed day, got hungry, wet and the filthyest we have ever been but we did win the multiples.  See the results page for more.

20 Nov 2003 - Thursday.  We hired Roland F's indoor school at Haresfield for an hour tonight to try and get the ponies responding a bit quicker.  It seems to have worked, and we were very glad to be indoors as the rain absolutely poured down.

16 Nov 2003 - Sunday. Today was our first visit since last season to one of our favourite venues, Adlington near Macclesfield.  We won the multiples class.  Read all about it on the results page.

14 Nov 2003 - Got the new look site up and running tonight.  Mostly it's a new front end and more subtle colours and different font sizes.  The new navigation bar on the left should be easier to use and some of the layers have been simplified. At the moment most of the content is the same as before, however this could change with time.

02 Nov 2003 - This was our first visit to The Hand Stadium this season and we won the multiples class although it would have been difficult to lose it as there were no other competitors!  However we were very pleased with our score of 158.  This event was noteable for the fact that vehicles had their rear track measured, the first time ever for us, even though we have been doing the indoor trials for some years and have competed at several national finals.   See the Results page for more on this event.

12 Oct 2003 - We all went to the Warwickshire College at Morton Morrell today to do an Indoor event.  When we got there we found that a new, deep, coarse sand and plastic granule surface had been put in the indoor arena.  We decided to have a go and scored 29 on the P&P, the cones were driven clear of knockdowns but with 7 time faults so we went into the obstacles on 36 penalties and in the lead of the multiples class.  In the first two obstacles it was all we could do to keep the ponies going and it was pretty well impossible to shift the cart around from the backstep because of the deep surface, and the fact that as we were driving last the material had been made very loose by the other competitors. So we called it a day and went home to save the ponies from any possible damage,  what a bind!

05 Oct 2003 - We competed at Yorkley today, the weather was great and we won our class.  More detailed report on the Results page.

01 Oct 2003 - Just put some new rear shock absorbers on the lorry and went for a run to try them out, much better ride now.  When we got back and parked up we noticed a large puddle of water under the engine and found a core plug had failed, now repaired.

26 Sep 2003 - We decided the site is looking rather dated and getting a bit parochial, perhaps this is inevitable as it has been going for four years now, so we have started preparing a new style but with same sort of content.  Don't hold your breath though, things move very slowly during the winter as there are other much more important things to do!

17 Sep 2003 - Wednesday - Took Boz and Tom to Richard Maxwell today for their pre-season MOT, just as well we did too as both needed some treatment, especially Boz.  While we were out we found a source of small bale haylege and arranged to purchase some, we want to change because our hay is very dusty and poor quality and has been causing the ponies to cough.

11 Sep 2003 - Had the farrier to Tom today, good news, he has fitted some steel shoes on the front.  There was just enough hoof to get them on and we are well pleased. 
We owe a large debt of gratitude to Nick, our farrier, for sorting Tom's feet out  properly and now it's up to us in the coming season.
 

05 Sep 2003 - We have just come back from a few days at the Unicorn Trust where we attended a clinic with Barry Capstick.  We always get a lot from these events and this time was no exception.   

30 Aug 2003 - Schedule of events for the 2003/4 season has now been published and can be found here on the Indoor Driving site.  Tom is still wearing his plastic shoes and it is getting a bit close to the start of the season now, hopefully we will be able to get him on steel next shoeing and then we can really start to work the ponies properly and get them a lot fitter than they are now.

21 Aug 2003 - The latest  version of the rules for Indoor competitions have been published see them here.  Also the 2003/4 Dressage test is available see it here.  Both links are to the Indoor Driving site. Interesting it's back to Dressage again on the downloadable document, but it's still P&P in the rules.

11 Aug 2003 - We won the multiples class at Yorkley yesterday.  It was a very enjoyable event and followed a quite different format to our nomal competitions.  The most important difference was that there was prize money available and we won 30.00 for winning our class and 20.00 for fastest pairs cones.  This is the first time in all our driving life that we have won money, and we like it.

09 Aug 2003 - We are going to the BHDC event at Yorkley in the Forest of Dean today, it is being run tomorrow on Sunday and has an odd format but should be good fun.  There is no dressage and there are two indoor type obstacles in an indoor school, two outdoor type obstacles out in the fields and a cones course in the outdoor school.  All the elements will be driven twice during the event and the fastest wins.  There is a load of money to win for fastest through each obstacle, best cones, best overall, class winners and more.

05 Aug 2003 - Our farrier has attended to Tom's fronts and fitted another pair of plastic shoes, these will deal with with his problems and then its back to steel for the winter season. We have just started to school the ponies through cones and hazards again, and hope they will behave themselves in their first competitive event since last April.

01 Aug 2003 - Tom's plastic front shoes are just showing some wear now.  It's much quicker than the last pair because we have been doing a lot more work lately to get him fit for a competition we have entered on Sunday 10th August.  Team Pink has entered a team comprising Linda Wiggins, Maggie Saunders and Jacqui Pillinger, the event is at Yorkley in the Forest of Dean and is a qualifier for the South West Area Championship.  We have got the farrier coming on Monday and will find out then if we have another set of plastic or go back to steel.

05 Jul  2003 - We were privileged to be invited to take part in the annual Badminton Drive today.  This year it was 10 miles, nearly all off metalled road, on tracks and field headlands and some bits through the woods of the Badminton Park.  We had a really super time, and the ponies who were a bit unfit, especially Tom after his enforced holiday, performed very well.  There was a picnic tea and a raffle afterwards and we came home with a cake and some eggs.  It was lovely to meet up with old friends who came from North Worcestershire, Hampshire & Bristol as well as local Gloucestershire drivers.  Mary and Tim Davies organised the event and as usual it ran just like a well oiled machine,  the route was clearly and unambiguously marked and there were stewards at road crossings, also there was the option of a long or a shorter route, we took the long one.  We were very pleased that Toms plastic shoes held up so well and exceptionally happy that he did not exhibit any signs of lameness at all either during the drive or afterwards.   See a few photos of the day by clicking here.

25 Jun 2003 - We had to have another set of plastic fronts for Tom.  Hopefully back to steel at the next shoeing.

22 Jun 2003 - The plastic shoes are just wearing out on the toe, not bad as they have been fitted for nearly six weeks!  We might need to have another set fitted before we go back to steel, the farrier will decide this next Thursday - more news when we know.

28 May 2003 - Fingers crossed the plastic shoes fitted to Tom's front feet seem to be doing the business, they are even wearing well too even though he goes on the road most days.  We are really pleased and can now look forward to next indoor season with some confidence.

14 May 2003 - We went up to Malmesbury to Andy Poyntons forge on the advice of our new farrier today.  Andy does theraputic farriery and he has fitted Tom with some plastic shoes that he has developed and is just starting to get onto the open market.  We are very happy with the result and are impressed with the product.  See a few pictures of our visit here.  And visit Andy Poyntons web-site to learn all about the shoes here.

05 May 2003 - Tom's foot is not good enough to do any competition so we have given up with the pair for a couple of months whilst he goes through a regime of specialised trimming and theraputic shoeing.  This should get everything OK for a few competitions with the pair in August and September as a warm-up for the next Indoor Season.  Boz is fine and will have to go it alone for a while although I expect Tom will come along for the ride if we go anywhere interesting.

26 Apr 2003 - Not much happening right now.  The ponies are having a bit of a holiday while Tom's hoof recovers and we are enjoying all the free time too.  Boz and Tom have both been to see Richard Maxwell and had their bones re-aligned after the stress of the winter season and they are quite obviously feeling better for it.  We went up to the Unicorn Trust last week to see some of our driving friends and while we were there we booked in for some more training with Barry Capstick during the summer. We might be doing an inside/out event near Birmingham at the end of next month but this depends on the ponies.  We have some work to do on our lorry and a load of fencing to repair or replace in our paddock so regular news may dry up for a time while we get on with the chores, but as soon as something interesting happens we will post it up.

11 Apr 2003 - Our new set of cones has arrived and we are going to pick them up from Barbara and Phils tomorrow.  This could be an interesting outing as they are hosting a driving clinic with Georgina Frith over the weekend.

09 Apr 2003 - We sold our Scurry Cart yesterday.  It's going to be used with a pair of Shetlands.  It will be good to see some more Shetlands on the scurry circuit and we hope they do well.

07 Apr 2003 - Monday.Got back from the National Indoor Finals at Keysoe, Bedfordshire, quite late last night.  We had a great time catching up with our friends from other parts of the country and really enjoyed our weekend.  Boz and Tom stayed sound and did their best, sadly we could not do them justice and had a major cock-up in the obstacles. There were two more turnovers in the obstacle phase, one in the Junior class and one in Open Horse.  Read all about what happened to us on the 'Results' page.

30 Mar 2003 - Sunday.  We competed at The Hand today and came second with Boz in the Open Pony.  We think all will be OK for the finals next weekend and will compete with the pair at Keysoe.  There was a nasty accident at today's show and it is something we are seeing all too regularly.  In the last couple of years we have seen four similar occurances and three of them resulted in hospital for the competitors and trauma for the horses involved,  something needs to be done - but we don't know what. 

25 Mar 2003 - Tuesday.  Ponies had their new shoes on today but Tom is still suffering with his pulled muscle so we will not compete with him at The Hand this Sunday.  We will probably take him along for a ride and just have Boz in the open pony but this depends on finding someone light enough to backstep.

22 Mar 2003 - Saturday.  Tom is still not completely right but he is much better.  We will do a little schooling this weekend, then the ponies get shod on Tuesday and we hope to be competing next weekend at The Hand, then it's off to the finals but only if all is OK.

17 Mar 2003 - Monday.  Back to the chiropractor for Tom today.  From now on its just an easy time for him which makes it difficult to maintain his fitness.  Fingers still crossed!

15 Mar 2003 - Saturday.  We took the pair to a friends sand school today, unfortunately Tom is not completely sound so we will not be competing tomorrow.  This is a shame as Adlington is our favourite venue in respect of the facilities and the way the events are run so we are sorry to miss out  on this one. 

14 Mar 2003 - Friday.  We have long reined Tom today and he seemed OK.  We are going to school the pair tomorrow and will find out if he is sound then.  Fingers crossed!!

12 Mar 2003 - Wednesday.   We noticed Tom was a bit strained with his bending and trotting  last week,  so we had the chiropractor to look at him this evening.  She found some problems and hopefully put them right.  We are giving him an easy time for the next few days in order to make him well enough for us to compete in the event at Adlington near Macclesfield next Sunday. We think the problems relate to the lack of warm up time at our last competition and the consequent stress of being asked to work hard with cold muscles.

02 Mar 2003 - It's happened, we were beaten at Hurstbourne today and scored a second place in a multiples class of four. Read all about the grizzly affair on the "Results" page.

23 Feb 2003 - Sunday.  Because of Tom's feet being a bit "iffy" and the fact that one rear brake on the lorry is locked on we decided to go to Gracelands as spectators but were soon given a job helping in the ring.  We enjoyed our day off without any pressure and now feel ready for our next event.  (Lorry goes in for the brake job on Wednesday).

15 Feb 2003 - Saturday.  Tom's feet gave more trouble today at the Hand, still we have a couple of weeks now to get it sorted before our next event.   Nine wins in nine events, how much longer can this go on?

14 Feb 2003 - We were very excited by a letter we have just recieved from the Royal Mail Sports Fountation awarding us 300.00 to buy equestrian equipment.  We are very grateful for this kind gesture and will use the money to buy a set of 20 driving cones.

09 Feb 2003 - Sunday.   Fortunately Tom's shoe held out long enough for us to win the multiples class at Moreton Morrell today, our eighth consecutive win. There was some contention though, read about it on the results page.

08 Feb 2003 - Saturday.  Tom has a bad foot, we had the farrier to shoe him a few days ago and it looks like a nail had just caught him.  The farrier came today and removed the nail so we hope he will be OK for the Indoor competition at Moreton Morrell on Sunday.  This could not have happened at a worse time.  We have given him half a sachet of bute and hope he gets over it by tomorrow, but to be on the safe side we have packed the shafts in the lorry and if Tom is not fit then Boz will have to go solo.

01 Feb 2003 - Went to a schooling session at Cheltenham RDA indoor school today.  They have recently put down a new surface of  Fibre,  Waxed Sand and Rubber Chips,  it is super for driving,  pehaps the best we have found yet!

26 Jan 2003 - We won the Multiples class at the Hand EC today, our seventh win in a row. No great shakes as there were only two competitors in it!  But for us the best thing was having the lowest overall score of the whole event, regardless of class, and beating some very experienced and well thought of drivers on merit.

24 Jan 2003 - Friday Boz threw a shoe today so it was all go to get it back on for the Indoor comp at Hand on Sunday.  All should be OK.

20 Jan 2003 - Got the lorry back with a new test, all we have to do now is pay for it!

16 Jan 2003 - Shock! panic!  the lorry failed on hand brake performance.  Not too bad though it's only the automatic adjuster on one side and it's being fixed tomorrow. The re-test is on Monday.

12 Jan 2003 - Took the lorry into the workshop this afternoon to have a check over prior to the HGV test next Thursday.  Hopefully it won't be too expensive.  It doesn't seem twelve months that we have had the new truck and we are quite happy with it now.

05 Jan 2003 - We won at Bridgend today but not in the multiples class which we had entered.  The various classes were amalgamated into just two, Open and Novice due to small numbers, but not until well into the competition.  We know that the rules state that the classes can be consolidated but feel that if this is required it should be done before the competition starts as this knowlege can influence the way an individual performs.  Certainly we have been known to put in only what is necessary, and some times this is less than a 100% effort, it's just what we need to do to achieve our objective, and it can be quite disapointing to suddenly find the goalposts moved