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My Plan – January 2018

Written by Andrea Parker

The 11th day of January may seem like an odd and late time to be sharing with you all what my plan for the month, however there is a reason. Towards the end of last year I took Nonie’s shoes off. This has been another learning curve for me. I have a lot left to learn about horse management.

My farrier left town and I was unsure who to turn to. There were no clear recommendations at this time and what’s more there was no-one who lived and worked in Mackay 100% of the time. With these factors in mind I decided that I would try to transition Nonie to be barefoot. She initially handled this really well. I was working her about five days per week and she was sound. Of course she was tip toeing around rocks and gravel, but that was to be expected.

Upon my return from holidays at the end of 2017 I was excited to get back into it and start working towards my 2018 goals. Unfortunately, Nonie was foot sore at anything more than a walk. Looking back she was probably getting a bit tender in the lead up to my holidays, but as we all know horses are incredibly stoic and she soldiered on for me. I wasn’t able to get shoes put on her until this week. She is now back to her fabulous self and I am now more pumped than ever to kick some goals! In reflection I should have noticed sooner that Nonie was not handling being barefoot. Lesson learned. This mare needs shoes.


I have three lessons lined up this weekend with coach Dani Keogh. I am excited for these although less excited about the 4am starts that will be needed to make my 6.20am lesson slots! Nothing like watching the sun rise to kick off your day though right?!?

Equimind Competitions

Between General Christmas craziness, holidays at the end of December last year and Nonie being foot sore when I returned I wasn’t able to compete in the December Equimind competition. I’m feeling excited to get back into it and improve upon my October scores. For the elementary tests this would mean cracking the 70% mark. To do this we’ll need to improve the lengthened trot and canter. In the medium tests my goal for this month is to score higher than 62%. The feedback from our last test was that we needed more displacement in the lateral work. This was also something that we worked on during our last lessons.

Equine Body Work

Nonie is over due for a session with Penny her favourite equine body worker, so I certainly plan to get her booked in. Penny uses a combination of massage, laser and red light on acupuncture points. She spends a good hour and a half working her way around Nonie’s body. I know that Nonie enjoys her sessions as she start yawning almost as soon as she see’s Penny drive in. She also feels incredibly loose and swingy after her session.

Nonie is also due to have her teeth done, we have an equine dentist visiting in the next month so it will be great to get all of these things sorted before the year starts proper.


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About the author


Hey, I'm Andrea Parker, an adult amateur dressage enthusiast on a remarkable journey with my 13-year-old mare, Mon Ami. Delving into the equestrian world, I recount the highs and the hurdles on my blog, The Sand Arena Ballerina. I'm also passionately working on crafting an equestrian podcast titled Equestrian Pulse.