The Student's Horse: A horse-themed dissertation

Georgie's finally finished her exams, but the fun doesn't end there! Here she explains how she's spending her summer off with Sheamus, as well as looking ahead to her dissertation.

Hi, it’s me again!

Another month has gone by. I'm not-so-broken, exam free and looking forward to enjoying the summer I have left!

Truth be told it has gone very quickly - in between revision and finalising plans for my dissertation (more on that later) I've spent some weekends volunteering for British Eventing doing a bit of dressage writing.

I'm lucky enough to live 15 minutes from Keysoe Equestrian Centre, so I've kept my head in the game by writing for their BE event and their BYRDS regional competition.

I also took a trip to Buckminster Park to write there - dare I say it I would love a run here, if and when we get back out eventing next season. The rolling hills would certainly take the wind out of Sheamus and his excitable ways!

Buckminster Park looking beautiful ready for the BE

Buckminster Park looking beautiful ready for the BE

How is Sheamus?

Speaking of His Royal Highness, as I'm now a little more mobile I've been able to do a little more round the yard, but I'm sadly, not yet fixed enough to ride. 

Saying this, I can confirm that mucking out is rather enjoyable (it's still a novelty at the moment).

Much to his dismay, he hasn't got out of work that easily and lungeing and long reining has been on the cards recently. 

With the help of a few varied pole exercises, Sheamus was definitely worked hard. A tell-tale sign was when he actually ‘woah-ed’ on command.

More novelties, this time for Sheamus, as a treat for working hard he had a short-hand graze, without his muzzle on - did he take a breath between mouthfuls? Of course, he didn’t.

Rooting for a friend

Last weekend I went to Chilham Horse Trials to support a friend and her horse who were competing in the BE80(T).

It was good fun, I'd never been to Chilham before as it's just a little too far when Sheamus is at home.

During my season of doing nothing competition-wise, I've made sure I walk plenty of courses and really swot up on what to practice when I finally ride again - especially if I want to give a couple of BE90s a go next summer (big bubblewrap-padded brave pants will be required).

Soaked at Chilham Horse Trials! Note the raincoat AND sunglasses (I was hopeful)

Soaked at Chilham Horse Trials! Note the raincoat AND sunglasses (I was hopeful)

Juggling horses in the name of research

So… the dissertation.

After already completing my undergraduate dissertation, which was a systematic review of previous research (it's as exciting as it sounds) I was rather looking forward to planning a study where I would collect my own data first-hand.

Once planned and confirmed, I quickly realised that for my study to be viable and stand a chance of being taken seriously I would have to be measuring a lot of horses.

By horses, I mean their feet. By a lot of horses, I mean getting on for 100.

I will be looking at a lot of different angles and measurements and then hopefully confirm or disprove some current theories to do with balance and how forelimb angles may affect the horse throughout their lives.

So here's to an August full of measuring horse feet and hopefully collecting some interesting data.

Place your bets on if I'll ever want to look at a foot again after this month. 

Getting Recovaberry out on the circuit

In the meantime, I'm busy helping to do some voluntary social media and PR work for the team at Horseheath Horse Trials, which I'm loving and it's also giving me a bit of work experience at the same time. That weekend will be very busy but great fun!

Recovaberry sporting his red cape! 

Recovaberry sporting his red cape! 

Poor Recovaberry (aptly named under circumstances) hasn’t had a cross country run this season due to us being out of action (and him arriving exactly 10 days post-pelvis-breaking-fiasco).

If any of my eventing friends or anyone who'll be riding at Horseheath fancies giving Recovaberry a spin, let me know and we'll strap him on for the ride. He even sports a very fetching red and gold cape!

Until next time when my term at university is close to starting and I'm whole heartedly determined to be writing about my first ride back, I hope you all have a lovely August!

As always love and good health, Georgie x