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Best Rank  1  | Best Jump  105"  | Winnings  1,242,724,985
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Baby Horse Diaries Introduction
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Some of you might remember that about 8 years ago I created a series on Ponybox documenting my progress in retraining a young Thoroughbred racehorse, Moonfire, for his eventing career. Those of you who continued to follo ...
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National Junior Championships – Part Four
1st Apr 2011   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
It was the day after the cross country, and though the weather had improved slightly, the sky was still smothered with clouds – which looked about fit to burst with rain. As usual, we arrived at the show grounds early to feed the horses. Both Bronze and Finola looked perfectly ...
National Junior Championships – Part Three
22nd Mar 2011   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
In a pathetic lapse of concentration that I am still kicking myself for, I went ahead and ‘showjumped’ the fence – getting my weight off his back and leaning forwards, rather than keeping my seat in the saddle and leaning way back on landing like I should have, seeing as the drop ...
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National Junior Championships – Part Two
14th Mar 2011   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
This was our first day competing, and our third day at the championships. Finola, of course, was still not starting to compete, since she came only for the jumping. As such, this was Bronze’s moment, and all attention was focused on him. On this day, Bronze would perform for t ...
Retraining a Racehorse – Moonfire – First Show Of The Year
6th Mar 2011   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
With 2010 well behind us, the time soon arose for Moony to make his 2011 debut – heading off for his first show of the year on the morning of 5 February 2011. He loaded without a problem, and arrived at the show safe and sound and raring to go, which is just as well, since we ...
Retraining A Racehorse – Moonfire – Show Preparation
24th Feb 2011   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
On 3 February 2011, one of our show venues was having an open day – allowing riders to pay to use the arena for one-hour sessions. This was the perfect opportunity to prepare Moony for his first show of the new year! ...
Retraining a Racehorse – Moonfire – The Jumping Clinic
20th Feb 2011   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
On 28 January 2011, Moony and I attended a clinic by Andreas Hollmann – An international rider and course designer, and a professional coach. We were supposed to take part in a group lesson, but there was only one other rider in our 80cm group, and she never arrived – so by a ...
Five Very Good Reasons To Learn To Use English
7th Feb 2011   |   General   |   Polo the Weirdo
I hope all your brains are overflowing with this new knowledge, and that your enlightenment has brought you not only amusement, but motivation to improve your own language usage. Nobody can be perfect, of course. In fact, I daresay I made multiple errors in this article alone. Bu ...
Put A Sock In It!
27th Jan 2011   |   General   |   Polo the Weirdo
Have you ever had a sock go missing? Have you come across that little, lonely, lost sock in your drawer, and never been able to find its partner? Well, I don’t doubt that you have – since this has been a problem faced by all sock-wearers since the beginning of Sockstory. It is a ...
National Junior Championships – Part One
21st Jan 2011   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
We were up at the crack of dawn. Packed and ready by 5:30AM, we hit the road and drove off to pick up the Bronze horse. Finola was driving up to champs in a float with my jumping instructor – so we had only one horse to prep for the journey. Knowing that we were late and not c ...
Retraining a Racehorse – Moonfire – Back by popular demand
20th Jan 2011   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
As many of you might remember, I began publishing weekly training articles on my work with Moonfire as soon as I got him. However, I chose to discontinue these articles after about the 6th one – purely because I had written all I could about the methods I was using with Moony, an ...
Getsu - Chapter 2
2nd Jan 2011   |   Horse Fiction   |   Polo the Weirdo
"What’re we gonna do with ‘em?" One man asked, turning to the rider beside him with a sneer. "The mare’s a goner, just leave her there." Came his companion’s callous reply. "Take the colt, though. He’s sure to fetch something." "Right you are, Sir." The first man replied, tipp ...
16 October 2010 Provincial Junior Showjumping Championships - Part 2
12th Nov 2010   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
This day started with Polo and Bronze each doing their speed classes. Polo started brilliantly, went around at a great pace and took all the tight corners I mapped out for her. She clipped a pole down on the tightest turn, simply because she didn't quite tuck up her legs enough. ...
16 October 2010 Provincial Junior Showjumping Championships - Part 1
7th Nov 2010   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
The show began in a somewhat comical fashion. We arrived, uncharacteristically early. I was nervous, uncharacteristically nervous. And so it was that, during an attack of nerves, I decided that I should make a quick trip to the bathroom before getting the horses ready. Unfort ...
Getsu - Chapter One
5th Nov 2010   |   Horse Fiction   |   Polo the Weirdo
The stallion stalked silently through the night, his pale coat gleaming like an embodiment of the moonlight shining down on his back. Muscles rippled beneath his sleek coat as he strode confidently forward on flint-hard hooves. A twig cracked beneath his hoof on the next step, an ...
Improving The Seat
30th Oct 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
We can ride. Ask yourself now: Are you a passenger, or are you a rider? If your horse makes a mistake, can you help it out of trouble? If your horse takes a big jump, can you trust yourself not to be left behind, and if you are left behind, can you avoid catching your horse in th ...
9 - 10 October Showjumping Competition
28th Oct 2010   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
To start with, Moony was having a bit of a baby moment and was struggling to concentrate properly in the new show venue - especially considering it was quite a big show with lots going on. Crowds, flags, open spaces, cows on the hill - and a course of jumps that the poor baby is ...
2 - 3 October Equestrian Eventing Results
23rd Oct 2010   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
On 2 October 2010, Bronze, Badger and I embarked upon the short journey to a showground not-so-far-away where we were scheduled to compete in an event - more specifically, our last even before the upcoming eventing championships. The Saturday started with the dressage. Badger ...
The Elusive Nature of the Half Halt
19th Oct 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
The half halt - every rider's best friend - also happens to be an annoyingly elusive tactic that at first seems near impossible to grasp and is often near impossible to explain. If you are like me, you will have been told many a time to 'half halt'. When I was given this comma ...
Finola - The Legend Goes On
9th Oct 2010   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
You see, up until the end of 2008, my beloved Finola was, quite frankly, the most amazing competition horse anybody could ask for. She was brave, she was fast, she could jump and best of all: She loved every minute of it. She wasn't big, shiny and well bred. She wasn't an expensi ...
18 - 19 September Dam 'n Dyke Horse Show
30th Sep 2010   |   Shows and Events   |   Polo the Weirdo
Finding myself sick once again, it was with a distinct lack of energy and enthusiasm that I awoke (or should I say – I grudgingly woke up after much encouragement.) at 05:30 AM on Saturday 18 September 2010. In between coughs and sneezes, I managed to get ready for the show. It t ...
The Fall
26th Sep 2010   |   General   |   Polo the Weirdo
On 22 August 2010 I attended a small practice jumping show. After entering my young horse, Moonfire, in the 60cm and 70cm class I took him home to fetch my brilliant little pony, Tempest, for a friend of mine to ride. The theory behind this decision was that I planned to have her ...
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How to Comment on a Ponybox News Article
22nd Sep 2010   |   General   |   Polo the Weirdo
In this article, I shall be teaching you how to comment on a news article in accordance to Jeff’s new commenting policy. As you all know, independent thinking is no longer allowed on Ponybox, and is considered to be unacceptable behavior! Here are a few hints and guid ...
A Tribute to Fred
20th Sep 2010   |   General   |   Polo the Weirdo
On this day we bid farewell to Fred – who has been a loyal companion to me through the good times and the bad. Fred has brought so many of us such joy. He has helped us to remember and enjoy so many moments. Fred has played a very important part in my riding life, especially ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 6)
12th Sep 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
On Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed, sick as I was, to get ready for the little practice show I had planned to attend. To my absolute dismay, I found that my darling brother had used up all the hot water, so I was doomed to start my day with a rapid cold shower that l ...
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Sand Colic
11th Sep 2010   |   Care and Grooming   |   Polo the Weirdo
What is an impaction, you ask? Well, I suppose it could be compared to human constipation. The horse has a blockage in its intestine, so it cannot pass any droppings or gas from the other side of that blockage. A horse being allowed to consume foreign objects, such as baling twin ...
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Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 5)
4th Sep 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
The day of the show dawned not so bright and not so clear. In fact, there was a fair amount of wind and even a spot of rain. Still, I figured it was a good test for Moony, so I tacked him up and walked him down the road, since it was just a little local show, if a very well done ...
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Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 4)
29th Aug 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
I began by free jumping Moony, working him until he was jumping decent height fences in good form and with loads of spring. We introduced a few spreads as well, and Moony popped over everything comfortably. Once I was satisfied that he was doing this well enough, I tacked him up ...
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Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 3)
21st Aug 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
My instructor was around to help me with Moony, and we started by doing a bit of free jumping. She got him going extremely well, and he soon learned to jump on his own, without the help of a rider. As Moony is uncertain in our jumping ring, we simply jumped him in the round ring ...
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Choosing a Horse
16th Aug 2010   |   General   |   Polo the Weirdo
What would be the point of having that lovely skewbald if it is trained in barrel racing and you want to be dressage? Why get that first horse you see if you want to do showing and it has cow hocks and an ewe-neck? Would you thank yourself for getting that champion horse when you ...
Escape - Attacked While Riding Alone
12th Aug 2010   |   Horse Stories   |   Polo the Weirdo
The man started groping in my pocket than, and I soon found myself screaming hysterically at him that I didn’t have anything for him. He motioned for me to be quiet, and though I knew it was useless, I yelled at him to let go of my horse, to release us. Needless to say, he did no ...
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