News - 2009
28 Dec 2009 - Clipped Tom and Ollie out today, the weather was good so we went for a full clip. They both seem happy with loosing their coats but it's going to get cold again at the end of the week so we shall have to rug them up well.
24 Dec 2009 - The Minicrown is all together now and useable although a new set of shafts will have to be made up because the existing ones are a bit bent but they will do for the time being.
15 Dec 2009 - The track extender piece which will increase the track width on our Minicrown from 104cm to 125 cm has been made, all it needs is painting and bolting on. Photo here
01 Dec 2009 - We were offered the opportunity to purchase a slightly damaged Bellcrown Minicrown 2-wheeler and we were lucky enought to get it. The reason we were keen to purchase is that under the indoor rules we can drive our small ponies in a 2 wheel vehicle without needing a groom and we would like to do this. The track of the minicrown is 104cm standard and it needs to be 125 for competition so we need to extend this by 10.5cm each side but it is not difficult to do. Watch this space.
16 Nov 2009 - The weather at the Stretcholt event was very kind. After gales and a lot of heavy rain on the previous day we enjoyed blue sky, sun and a gentle breeze. We hired a stable in case the weather turned nasty but did not really need it. Tom, our tandem leader, used his new bit for the first time and he got his tongue over in the P&P and then in the cones which followed straight away, so we tied it up with a bootlace for the rest of the show. The obstacles were OK but we had generated a lot of faults in the P&P and the cones because of Toms steering being a bit shakey. We really enjoyed the day though because the venue was very nice and it was very clean. We look forward to going there again. Click here for Photos
08 Nov 2009 - The ponies have just come back from a nine day holiday at a friends place. They were right out in the country and consequently did not have to endure the fireworks week that seems to be the fashion in the relatively urban area we live in. Next Sunday we have entered the first IHDT event to be held at a new venue Stretcholt Farm near Bridgwater in Somerset.
18 Oct 2009 - We went to help with a longreining demo for the RDA in Bristol today and it was a bit of a trial because Olly got upset about the volume of the music and took a few minutes to settle down, he was OK though and did some ridden tandem with Tom later in the program.
11 Oct 2009 - Today was our first event of the 09/10 Indoor season. It was at the Hand in Clevedon. We were the only Tandem. Photo click here.
27 Sep 2009 - We clipped the ponies today ready for the indoor season. They look very smart although it does show Tom's stomach up in all its glory. We had to get some new clippers to replace our old mains ones, we have gone cordless now and its much more convenient.
06 Sep 2009 - Sunday. We had a lovely drive with Ollie this afternoon, hardly any traffic, the sun was out and it was pleasantly warm. Ollie was perfectly behaved and relaxed and so were we.
25 Aug 2009 - Its incredible how things go in threes. First the PAS pump broke on the van, then we realised the MOT had expired (it passed with no problems thank goodness) and now the air conditioning has stopped blowing cold so it goes to the specialist next week. A curse on all motor vehicles, they are nothing but a neverending expense.
16 Aug 2009 - The van was completed in time to get us to the Tanhouse event, the weather was just right and the format of Dressage, Cones and then three obstacles done twice was good for our ponies and we had an early finish too. Click here for photo
12 Aug 2009 - (Thursday) The power steering pump on the van went wrong today. A new one is on order and we hope it will arrive tomorrow because we need the vehicle to get us all to the Tanhouse ODE on Sunday.
23 Jul 2009 - We have been asked what Tandem Bars are. Click here to see the real thing and the Tandem club badge.
19 Jul 2009 - The Tandem Club meet at Badminton today was very wet and windy. The ponies did really well in the conditions which were quite heavy and muddy in the woods. Jacqui managed to handle the reins coachman style properly for the entire drive and as a result was awarded her Tandem Bars in the afternoon. So in all it was a very successful day and one we hope to repeat. The 2010 meet is in Staffs and this is straight up the M5 for us and not too far away, we will certainly try to attend. A few photos here
16 Jul 2009 - (Thursday) It's the Tandem Club meet next Sunday and Jac has made some new harness for the ponies so that they will look a bit more presentable. The old stuff is safe and solid but not cosmetically pristine. We hope they will look very smart in their new set.
23 Jun 2009 - Because our land is a short distance up the road from the cottage we have been trying for some time to get grazing for Tom and Ollie in the field behind our garden . Persiverance has finally paid off and the farmer has agreed to let us use a sizeable piece which we can access from the back garden where the ponies yard is situated (Click for Photo). This will give us a chance to do a proper job of re-fencing our own paddock and is a great opportunity to try to kill the weeds which seem to have rather taken over.
18 May 2009 - We got the entry forms for the 2009 Tandem Club meet in the post this morning. This year it is at Badminton House which is good for us because it's only 20 minutes up the road. We are very much looking forward to this event which is being held on Sunday the 19th July.
10 May 2009 - The Gloucestershire BDS held a fun show at Innsworth today. We took the ponies and did cones and longreining classes, both classes were driven tandem. It was great fun and very relaxing compared to the competitions we generally attend. These are some photos
12 Apr 2009 - We went to Berkeley with the ponies today. The weather was lovely. This is a photo that Alan took, click here to view.
04 Apr 2009 - Did some spectating at the National Finals at Keysoe today and ended up buying a saddle for Ollie. The old racing pad which Jac uses to ride him at the moment is getting a bit ripe so it was time for something safer. The new pad arrives in two weeks.
01 Apr 2009 - April fools day and guess who it refers to because Alan goes back to work full time today after his part-time phased return. He's not all that pleased about it and has started counting down to his retirement date.
08 Mar 2009 - What a day, we had sleet, then snow, then torrential rain (photo) and the whole lot was accompanied by 60mph winds. The David Broom Event Centre is on the Severn estuary and the wind was blowing straight up the river so poor Ollie had a lot to contend with, but he did not put a foot wrong. The P&P was OK - about the same as the February event. The cones were a lot better and would have been better still if Tom, in the lead, had not taken a dislike to the bridge and wasted ten seconds. The obstacles were much improved and in the end we achieved a score 20% lower than last month. There was no competition in the tandem class, same as last time.
06 Mar 2009 - We have entered the IHDT event at The David Broom centre next weekend. We are going Tandem again and hope to improve our score quite a bit on last time.
01 Mar 2009 - The van is quite difficult to hitch up to the trailer without help because it has no windows in the back doors so Alan has fixed up a camera which is pointed at the towball and it's easy now. The little screen mounted on the dashboard has an AV2 input so we also fitted another camera in the trailer with a small transmitter attached, and hid a reciever in one of the van rearlights. Now, with just the press of a button, we can keep an eye on the ponies as well. We bought all our bits from Reversing Cameras UK online shop, this site is well worth a visit.
15 Feb 2009 - Todays event went well and we were very pleased with the ponies performance even with a score more like a cricket match than a driving trial. The main reason for the high score was a decision to not do any more than a gentle trot throughout the event so the time penalties really racked up. We had one cone down and the four obstacles were all driven clear. In the end we won the tandem class because there was no other competition, but it sounds good!. The important thing is that we now have a firm foundation to build on and the scores can only get better as we speed up a gear or two and get some more experience. To view some photos click here.
10 Feb 2009 - We have entered Tom and Ollie as a tandem next weekend at the David Broom Event Centre near Chepstow it's an IHDT event but held outside.
06 Feb 2009 - The weather has been horrid for a week and the ponies have been snowed in for a couple of days. They don't seem to mind at all and are enjoying pottering around the garden yard.
30 Jan 2009 - Arthur had his stitches out today and his wounds have mended well, they hardly notice at all.
21 Jan 2009 - The whippets were out in the field when some deer made a run for the woods, they both gave chase and Ianto gave up but Arthur did not and ran through a bramble patch in the hedge. He cut himself quite badly in several places. The vet had to treat him and put in 20 stitches at a cost which came to just over £9.00 each!!!
17 Jan 2009 - We helped with a Long Reining demonstration today. It was part of a presentation to a local riding club in a very nice indoor school and both ponies were involved. They perfomed without a problem and everybody enjoyed the experience.
07 Jan 2009 - Wenesday. That's the end of my first week back at work, thank goodness it was only three days because it was a shock to my system. two days at the coal face to look forward to next week, then three, then two and so on for the next three months. What fun!
05 Jan 2009 - Alan goes back to work today after being off for seven months so it will probably be a bit of a shock to his system!
01 Jan 2009 - Happy New Year. Last night was rather like a war zone where we live with all the fireworks. The ponies did not like it much but seem OK this morning, Ollie is just a bit jumpy.