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This blog and news section contains personal updates from me, Michael David Rogers. I will be providing regular updates on my own riding progress, the latest goings on with my camera and of course what is happening with my two supported riders.
Event Report - BE100 at Smiths Lawn, 6th August 2013
08th August 2013 - 1 comment
After only eight days break for Trad and I we were off to Smiths Lawn, one of the more local events as its only an hours drive and also one of my favourites having previously come third in the Novice there back in 2001 with Dime.
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Event Report - BE100 at Carlton, 28th July 2013
30th July 2013 - 0 comments
Carlton, another lovely setting for Trad and I to try and get back on track after the big E at Purston.
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Event Report - BE100 at Purston, 29th June 2013
30th June 2013 - 0 comments
Second event for Trad and I and we were off to Purston Manor for the BE100, after Mattingley and a double clear hopes were high.
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Event Report - BE100 at Mattingley, 8th June 2013
09th June 2013 - 3 comments
After a a bit of a hold up due to Trad having a hoof injury and having a couple of months off I finally got to compete at my first British Eventing horse trials with Trad on Saturday at Mattingley.
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GUEST BLOG - Trials and tribulations of an event organiser...
26th April 2013 - 1 comment
This weeks guest blog is written by Sarah Skillin (@princess_skills). Sarah is heavily involved in all aspects of eventing from riding, grooming, volunteering and helping to organise Little Downham.
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GUEST BLOG - The Basics of Veterinary/Medical Negligence Claims
17th April 2013 - 0 comments
This weeks guest blog is written by Hanna Campbell of @HorseSolicitor. Hanna has been riding since the age of 6 and owns two horses. Hanna was a finalist in the 2012 Law Society Excellence Awards.
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GUEST BLOG - Tackling nerves
12th March 2013 - 2 comments
This weeks guest blog is from Pamela Mildner (@PamMildner) writing about her battle to overcome nerves and return to jumping. It truly is an emotional and inspirational story!
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GUEST BLOG - Who is Charlotte West?
01st March 2013 - 0 comments
This weeks guest blog is from Charlotte West (@NHHorse) writing all about her and her two horses! Its a great story which I am sure you'll all enjoy!
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Event Report - Hunter Trial at Swalcliffe Park, 24th February 2013
27th February 2013 - 0 comments
Sunday was another day for firsts. First cross country round on Trad, first time at Swalcliffe Park and first time driving the Shogun & Trailer now I’ve passed my test.
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Event Report - Dressage at Bury Farm, 10th February 2013
10th February 2013 - 0 comments
Today I took Trad for some dressage practice (once again at Bury Farm - home from home). Again this is another first for me with the come back to eventing and although I'm not a big fan of dressage it has to be done.
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Event Report - JAS at Bury Farm, 3rd February 2013
06th February 2013 - 0 comments
Sunday saw me compete at my first British Eventing competition for nine years. The competition was the Baileys Horse Feeds Jumping and Style competition held at Bury Farm.
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Product Review - MacWet Gloves
05th February 2013 - 0 comments
I’ve been lucky enough to have two pairs of MacWet gloves to try out since December and here is my review…
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GUEST BLOG - Getting back on the horse by Lottie Clay
30th January 2013 - 0 comments
This weeks guest blog is from Charlotte Clay (@lottieclay) writing about her battle to get back in the saddle after a serious injury in 2012.
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GUEST BLOG - The Inside Track on JAS
15th January 2013 - 0 comments
Today is the first of the British Eventing organised Jumping and Style (JAS) series sponsored by Baileys Horse Feeds. So to kick off the MDR Photo Guest Blog I have asked my supported rider Clare Stringer aka @BSFEventing to give us a bit of background on what JAS is about and how to approach it.
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Our competitive debut
06th January 2013 - 0 comments
Today was my competitive debut with Trad and I’m pleased to say it was a good one. We decided to go to Bury Farm Equestrian Centre for a couple of rounds of unaffiliated show jumping. This is the first indoor show jumping I have done in about 15 years and first proper course of jumps in around nine years and it felt a bit weird!

My biggest pet hate with SJ is the lack of times but we knew that the class before wouldn’t be starting before 11:30. However I played it a bit too casual and after a bit of rushing around we ended up arriving at about 13:00 and they were already halfway through my first planned class (85cm). So I jumped out of the car, did the entries and was told we had about 20 minutes to get ready, check the course and warm up!! Not exactly ideal preparation…

Luckily Dad was super groom as usual and by the time I had got back from watching one and a half riders go around Trad was ready to go. So it was a quick nip around to the indoor warm up, trot, canter two jumps and we were in!

Overall it went fine and Trad was good with a nice clear round. Unfortunately and maybe not surprisingly I got a tad lost at one point and couldn’t find fence 11 but after a little trot I spotted it and finished off nicely. It was an A4 class which I now know (thanks to Twitter) means that the second half of the course, fences 6-12 is timed and therefore not surprisingly trotting between 10 and 11 meant I finished well down in 14th place. But a clear was a clear!

Picture from the second class

For the second class the fences had gone up a bit to 95cm and with a bit more time I thought I would be able to prepare a bit better. However for some reason Trad was a bit dead in the warm up and didn’t jump very smoothly but before I knew it we were in again! Again a nice and smooth clear round (apart from fence one – a bit sticky) and I didn’t get lost this time as it was the same course! I decided against going for a time and just stuck to jumping clear, which still worked well and we came 5th!!!

Below you can see a video of both rounds, wonderfully videoed by my lovely wife Lisa who is being really supportive of my return to riding.

Overall I was really pleased with the afternoon and even got the good old pink rosette (which I gave to Dad as a thanks for driving / grooming). I’ve still lots more to work on as I start to approach the eventing season but so far so good. Trad is really helping me out and making me look better than I am, so I am very lucky to have him.

Finally a quick mention for the lovely John and Sophie from Horses in Sport who sorted me out with two new hats this week, a Pegasus and a HS1 both of which are made by Gatehouse. So far so good with the Pegasus which I wore today and found extremely confortable. I am also currently trying out a couple of pairs of MacWet gloves and will be posting a review about them soon.

The next blog will hopefully be from one of my 2013 guest bloggers, more details of which will be following very soon!
XC Techniques Clinic
29th December 2012 - 0 comments
I had a really enjoyable session with Jonathan Chapman today, practicing some simulated cross country fences in his arena. This was the first time I had jumped Trad over more than two fences at one time and he was really good and foot perfect. He did stop first time at the barrels but only because he wasn't sure what they were and why I was asking him to jump them but second time it was fine.

Jonathan used to teach me on a regular basis when I rode before so it felt very comfortable to be under his direction and as ever we enjoyed a bit of friendly banter. He was impressed with Trad and made no negative comments about us as a pair which was good. His overall comment was he looked like another Dime (my previous horse) which in my eyes is the ultimate compliment as you couldn't ask for anything more than the qualities that Dime had in his prime.

Here's a short video so you can see how we got on:

The difficult second lesson…
04th December 2012 - 0 comments
Three weeks after my first lesson with Kylie Roddy I had my second lesson on Sunday and I am pleased to report it was pretty good, again with lots of things learnt and to work on going forward.

Since the first lesson Trad and I have got to know each other and I am definitely feeling more comfortable. He seems to be responding pretty well and everyone at the yard has commented on how well he’s going.

Dad’s taken him out hunting and 1st time when there were no jumps he was very easy going, which took a few by surprise. 2nd time with loads of jumps he was back to being a bit strong and pushy, but I’m not too worried about this, as I want him to be keen when jumping.

Anyway back to this week’s lesson. Kylie had me working three things:
- Variation of tempo in the trot
- Leg yielding
- Cantering on the three quarter line

Rather than telling you all about it, feel free to watch the below video which features all of the above and takes about 7 to 8 minutes to watch. Suffice to say some bits were better than others but its all good and looking forward to practicing this week.

In this lesson Kylie picked up on another of my bad habits, which is not sitting into the canter properly, so that’s another thing to work on! I’ll add this to the looking down and the wondering lower right leg!

Next up I have a SJ clinic with 4* eventer and Kylie’s Young Rider team mate Georgie Davies on the 15th December so I hope to bring you an update after that.

Just a quick thank you to Mrs MDR Photo, Lisa for standing around in the cold to video me, she really supportive and the videos are really helping me to understand what’s going on!

If you enjoy this blog, I hope you will keep coming back and in 2013 watch out for my guest blogs, which will be written by a number of my equestrian friends.

Want to know more about Kylie Roddy? Check out her website
My first lesson report
13th November 2012 - 0 comments
On Sunday lunchtime I had my first lesson on Trad with Kylie Roddy who I have known for a few years as she used to teach Debs, Trad’s former rider.

It was a lovely sunny morning with bright blue skies, basically a perfect autumnal day, which was a good sign and as ever my Dad (aka owner/groom) was over prepared and Trad was all shinny and clean and tacked up 15 minutes early, so again another good sign!

However I felt as nervous as I did when I was a 10 year old lining up for my first pony club lessons… In other words VERY NERVOUS! I think this is because I am putting pressure on myself to pick up where I left off 8 or 9 years ago and not wanting to be rubbish!

But I have read a couple of sports autobiographies recently which talk about letting the chimp (negative thoughts) out on a regular basis so that all the rubbish the chimp throws at you doesn’t get you down. So I told myself that at the end of the day I had booked the lesson and this is what I wanted and what I need if I am going to make a come back to eventing after such a long break.

Kylie arrived and firstly we chatted about Trad and how I thought he goes and what I thought he’s good at and what he needs more work on. I was pleased that Kylie confirmed what I had initially thought about Trad, which was he needs to bend more and listen more to the leg. Another good sign!

Kylie then got me trotting around the arena to see how I ride and I think she was pleasantly surprised. Yes I have a few issues but basically my position is ok and not as ropey as she was expecting. However after a few minutes she had me sussed out and picked up on my two worse habits; looking down and a wandering right leg, which tends to drag back. Funny how this hasn’t changed in the 8 years since I last rode!

So really that’s all there is to report from my first lesson. Overall opinion was that it was a pretty good start but with plenty to work on. For me I need to stop looking down, keep my right leg forward and keep my reins short and not give them away. For Trad I need to concentrate on getting him bending more to the left, not leaning on the right rein and to move off the leg more as he can be lazy.

Next lesson is in a few weeks time and I am hoping to get a bit of jump schooling in by the end of the month as well. Please take a look at the below video if you would like to see for yourself how I got on.

Thanks to Lisa for videoing and Mum for the above pictures.

Want to know more about Kylie Roddy? Check out her website:
Working up a sweat
06th October 2012 - 0 comments
Since my first video two weeks ago I have only been able to ride Trad twice, mainly due to being busy with work and photography, but luckily Dad has been riding and autumn hunting in between.

Both these rides have been on Saturday mornings and I must admit it has been a bit of a battle at times. Trad can be very dead to the leg and I have had to give him a few reminders with the schooling whip, particularly to get him back trotting after a halt or walk. On top of this I feel that he is leaning on my right rein a lot, he is certainly a lot stiffer on this rain.

Anyway after about 45 minutes of work on both occasions we at last started to get somewhere with a bit of submission and nice work, some of which you can see in the below video from this weekend.

I am going on holiday next week so the real hard work will start at the end of the month when I am back. The aim is for me to school at least two or three times a week and at least one of these sessions will be early mid week before work. Its going to be tough for sure but I am still luckier than most as Dad will also be riding two or three times a week.

Hoping to get a couple of lessons in the diary for when I am back from my break, which I hope will give me some new ideas to work on and improve. Again hopefully Lisa will be able to video some of the action, so I will post again soon.
New blog idea for 2013
05th October 2012 - 0 comments
Those of you who know me will know that I like to keep myself busy and I have always got something on the go and as the 2012 eventing season comes to a close I have come up with a new idea 2013.

The idea is to host a regular guest blog on this website, inviting some of my friends and acquaintances to write down some thoughts and I will then publish them on this website. In the main they will be from amateur riders but not exclusively.

I am looking for interesting articles, interviews or updates from a group of people, which will hopefully be funny, informative and maybe even a bit random. If possible they will be related to eventing in some way as this is what I am interested in and so are most of my website visitors (I think).

I think every two weeks would be a good time to publish a new blog, which equates to 26 articles over 12 months of the year. I have about 10 - 15 people interested at the moment so that would only be a maximum of 2 each over the year which I think would be manageable, but of course if people want to do more or people ask for more then I’ll see what we can sort out.

If it goes well I intend to do an end of year public vote or look at which article was the most viewed to decide who's was the 'public' favourite and the winner will get a prize such as a free photo shoot or MDR Photo hoodie/t shirt (still working on this idea) but hopefully it will be something that people would want.

So if you have any requests for subjects or if your reading this and think you’d like to contribute then you can leave a comment below or Tweet me at @MDR_Photo and I will do my best to sort something out!