We have a new blog..

..and I should have posted this years (literally) ago.  If any readers havent realised and found our new blog then you are going to have a lot of catching up to do.

The new blog is https://ontheyard.wordpress.com

Enjoy!

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So the polocrosse season..

..is almost over and after the nationals last weekend there is only one more tournament to do.  The Northern Lions Polocrosse Club have had a great year finishing with a brilliant win at lower c grade in a thrilling final against Celyn. And this was them all at prize giving..

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..but that’s enough about polocrosse. What’s actually been happening back on the yard. Schools are back and so lessons are pretty much back on track. Mollie and Robyn are still helping with the teaching before Robyn goes back to uni and Mollie goes who knows where.

Last night we had mounted games o with a whole heap of seniors (19)..

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..and 10 juniors..

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..and then today has been quite a busy day with lessons all day and polocrosse in the evening.

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What a busy time..

..we have had.  We have hardly been at home.  We owe Mollie Robyn and Beki a big thank you for keeping the horses and yard running whilst we have been away in England.

The last blog post celebrated Hamish’s birthday at the pony club polocrosse home International at the Celyn grounds.  Well things got very exciting there.

Our minis came fourth and got very valuable experience playing against other teams.  Something they have lacked.  They had a great time and were a credit to their team mates.

Our juniors lost their first game to England and then went on to beat Ireland and Wales.  We were sitting biting our nails whilst England played Wales because we could have won on goal difference if Wales beat England.  Sadly for us, but get news for the English supporters, England beat Wales to take the junior trophy and we were runners up.

Our seniors played their hearts out against England to win and then had a tough match against Wales leaving them Ireland to beat for the open trophy.  Again the game was not to go our way and the open team lost to Ireland and took the runners up slot in the open competition.

This was however a huge success for us as five years ago, no one played polocrosse in Scotland a D now we have a national pony club team that can hold its head high.

So after that we rushed back home to arrive in the very early hours of monday morning and senior camp kicked off at 10am that day.  Senior camp was residential as usual and had 18 riders.

The week flew by and camp finished on the Friday with the usual dressage competition and show jumping competition. This year we had three classes but still only two trophies which were handed our on the Friday. The open trophy was once again won by Boysey and his rider!

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Living handing the trophy she won last year over to Jen

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The whole camp

So we had a normal teaching day on Saturday and then we were up early is on sunday and driving back down south again whilst Mollie and Beki and Robyn stayed behind to teach junior camp.

Ruaridh had his team gb debut playing for the under 16s against Zambia.and before that a week long camp. At the same time I was teaching for three days at the camp and hamish was a member of the camp. The weather in England was glorious but a little less so back at home.

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Look at that cracking tan.

The Zambians beat the UK but the experience was great and ru even came away with a new stock saddle. The Zambians riders sold off their saddles before they went home.

So after midland camp we headed home but with a little detour as we had kindly been offere a field for our horses to stay in. Hamish stayed with them and it saved them a 750 mile round trip. After driving home for a week of teaching lessons but no activities we once again got in our new lorry and headed back to England for the Welsh Dragons tournament.

Mollie was entered into the tournament with garry and I so we had special shirts made up with Beauties and the Beast on the back but unfortunately the organisers had to split us up and Mollie played with Ledbury. She didn’t mind as she got best number 2! As did Benjie jockey, Rob.

So back home for school to begin and everything to get back to normalish. Normally we have Pony Club Champs to look forward to but this year it had been pushed back into term time and that meant we couldn’t really get the teams out that we wanted to and sadly we had to miss it this year. It sounded like it was a huge success though with the irish team winning the Malden trophy.

So now we are just getting ready to head out down to rugby for the ukpa nationals, the second las tournament o the season….

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Apologies to the rest of the camp..

..at the Pony Club Polocrosse Home International.  Today is Hamish’s 18th birthday and this would traditionally be celebrated with a bottle of champagne tonight.  However as he and the rest of the Scottish polocrosse team are playing England tomorrow at 10am there is going to be an early night tonight.  So instead we started singing happy birthday at midnight and celebrated his 18th before he went to bed.  And that was why the camp was probably kept awake until 3 in the morning with the sound of singing and partying.  Sorry but rest assured it won’t be happening tonight but for any of you who missed it, here is a quick photo of the celebrations…

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Because tomorrow is the start of what is expected to be a fantastic tournament.  Scotland play England at 10am and Wales play Northern Ireland at 11am and then Scotland play Northern Ireland at 4pm.  I will hopefully post chukka by chukka updates tomorrow of the score on Scottish Polocrosse facebook page signal and battery life permitting.

Anyway today has been a play day.  Scotland mini took on the English minis at Lazer Tag.  And then the juniors and open did the same but we were against the English and Welsh.  I am not going to publish who won but I will just say that in both cases we are hoping it’s a good omen for tomorrow.

So tonight we have got our playing shirts, we have walked our horses and we are about to clean our tack. Here we go…..

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Gravity 1..Olivia nil..

Whilst we were training this afternoon on the full pitch.  It was the numbers game in pairs using the 30 yard line.  Four players went out at maximum speed chasing the ball and only three came back with whitty tanking it off around the field to the exit.  Fortunately both he was caught and livs managed to stand up and walk off the pitch.  Apparently she leant to far missed the pick up and checked up but when you check up with whits he bounces and he bounced her right out of the saddle.

The rest if the afternoon training session went well with us running through some pick up practice and scoring practice..

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..which Ru won with the sharpest angle shots imaginable.

And then we played training chukkas and our juniors played hard against the open section.  The open section practiced their secret tactics 50% of which worked.

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Between lessons yesterday..

..we were busy packing the horse lorry ready for our trip today. We are away for almost a week and have 5 horses to look after.

So today we headed off at 10am to Chester along with the riders and their parents. The whole team have arrived at the pony club home international by 8pm and the flags have been raised..

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So we are all sitting down under garry’s event tent practicing flower of scotland and working out which parents can go and secretly video the other teams training.

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Polocrosse boot camp..

..has got us geared up for the Polocrosse Home International.  The weather wasn’t as great as last year and there was no swimming in the river in the evenings.  The older riders got into the field on the Thursday and played chukkas.  The littlies played chukkas.in the outdoor arena on Thursday.  This was all done because Friday was forecast to be dreadful weather and it didn’t let us down.  It poured down all Thursday might and in the end even the outdoor arena was flooded.  So much so that we would have had to have played waterpolocrosse…

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..there was so much rain that the arena was still a bit soggy on Saturday.

The wind was awful on saturday too and so we had all the morning lessons in the indoor school and we didn’t ride outside until the 4pm lesson.

This was great timing though because it allowed me to drive the lorry into the indoor school and get the water tank refilled and the horse area scrubbed out and cleaned ready for its next trip on Tuesday. Whilst I fille the water tank I have to thank Megan, Olivia, Emma, Phoebe and Corenza for washing out the horse area. They did a fantastic job and it’s back to looking like new.

So this week we have a three day mini camp to look forward to with 11 riders coming and Mollie and Robyn teaching the two riding groups. That should be great fun with lots of children that have never been to a camp before coming for the first time.

And of course we are taking our teams down to the Pony Club Home International and have been busy getting everything ready. There is still plenty to do but at least Benjie has had his haircut…

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After a great weekend..

..In Doncaster at the Great Northern Tournament where the Northern Lions were playing out in force. Well as m7ch force as a smal club could be.

We had a great weekend with an impromptu change in strips for the old men. The young turks played a couple of great games and a couple of not so great ones. And we lived in our new lorry and it was fantastic. This photo says it all..

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So this week we have had our polocrosse boot camp on and Tom and Anna have been up coaching. The weather wasn’t a warm as last year and there has been no swimming in the river but we have got lots of polocrosse practicing and played chukkas on Thursday afternoon. Usually we have competitive chukkas on the last day but the forecast is for thunder and lightning tomorrow so we may not get out to the field.

And next week is the training camp for the Pony Club Polocrosse Home Internationals. We are heading down to Chester on Tuesday for a 3 day settling in camp and getting all the team together ready for next weekends internationals.

We are trying to get the home internationals broadcast live on the Internet. We will be letting eveyone know if it is going live so you can all cheer for Scotland from home.

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On Monday we drove..

..this home..

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..its our new horse lorry with a living. On Sunday night we got the train down to Peterborough and then picked the lorry up on Monday and drove it home last night. We are very excited about using it at the Great Northern Tournament this weekend.

So this week we have had a load of activities on during the day. Monday was a one day event that Mollie and Robyn ran. Freya won that and took home a red rosette. Isla fell off twice and apparently the ross country style jumps were scary. Tuesday was a showjumping clinic and today we are running a gymkhana with showjumping chocolate pairs and games and even more rosettes to give out.

Thursday was an own a pony day and then we headed off in the new lorry to Doncaster for a tournament. This will be the first run out with the new lorry so fingers crossed it successful.

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Special delivery..

..last week of arena surface..

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..and as it was team showjumping at pony club last night we built the course around the pile of surface.  The lovely dry weather has really helped with the arena surface and we were able to use the whole of the arena for the jumping course so it was a big galloping course.  Having the full arena though did bring it home to us that we are probably going to have to get some more jumps soon and definately some more jump cups.  I don’t know where they go but they definately dissappear.

So this morning Harry came down with his bucket on the front of his tractor and spread the surface. We targeted the dips and the dark spots where the surface retains the water.  After filling the dips he then drove over them and used the bucket to pack them down do the arena is completely flat at the bottom end.  It looks great and we have already had a lesson in it and the dips appear to have gone.  Fingers crossed.  There is another two loads of surface due to arrive this week and lucky for Harry but not for us he is on holiday so we will be spreading it by hand when it arrives.  That will keep us all busy next week.

So today I made rosettes for some of our activities next week.  Monday is a scratch one day event and hopefully we will have some photos of.it to.post on the blog.

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