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Hoofbeats - The Blog 

Welcome to our blog page, HOOFBEATS, where we talk about the countryside with a main emphasis on training and caring for horses and ponies. If you would like to contribute ideas and information about your own experiences, we would be delighted to hear them. Please email to editor@horseandponyinfo.com or post to our Facebook Page, Horse and Pony Info. If you're into Twitter, you can contact us @horse_ponyinfo.

IMPORTANT - The opinions expressed here are from personal experience and we strongly advise you to contact your veterinary surgeon or your riding instructor if you are seriously worried about your horse. Prompt action is important.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Olympics - highs and lows
What a great experience the Olympics was! A friend who lends me her bombproof mare for my students and I headed off this month for the final of the Individual Dressage in Greenwich Park. I was lucky to get tickets for this as I recently met a family who live in London and they applied for four sports and didn't get tickets for any of them.

The highs
We got the last double bedroom in the Clarendon hotel overlooking the green in Blackheath with the Equestrian entrance to Greenwich Park just a quick stroll away across the grass. On the left of the green was a big screen where we watched other competitions including Cian O'Connor's unexpected bronze in the individual showjumping. We also saw Katie Taylor's gallant gold for Ireland in boxing. The Clarendon staff were friendly and our room was large considering it was the last one available. The guests were given a poem written by a permanent resident about the Equestrian Olympics which was a nice touch.

We were both impressed with the organisation, the quick but efficient security check by the army and the friendliness of the many volunteers both at the event and throughout London. We got lost several times on our visits to the city centre and were helped and given free maps by the ever cheerful volunteers wearing pink.

The dressage itself was wonderful and the top eighteen qualifiers for the individual final were all interesting to watch. When Adelinde's (from The Netherlands) score came up on the screen, I couldn't see how it would be beaten. I hadn't realised just how relaxed and easy Charlotte Dujardin makes dressage to music seem. 90%! I had never seen a score like that before. Well done also to Laura B and Alf and we could all share in the emotional pat she gave her horse as, at the age of 17, he did his very best to win bronze in his last Olympics.

And the lows?
Well, only one low. We had all been warned about professional pick pockets at the Olympics. On the tube back to Heathrow, somewhere along the way, my handbag went missing. In it was my passport, my driver's licence and all my bank cards. Even my car keys. What a panic when I discovered this at Heathrow! It took one and a quarter hours to persuade Aer Lingus to let me on the plane with only a boarding card and a letter from the Olympics about tickets to prove who I was.

By the time I got to Dublin and cancelled my bank cards, no one had managed to use them but the one big loss was my new iPhone. The police in Heathrow asked if I had downloaded the app 'Find My Phone'. Alas no. It'll be the first download if I can ever afford another iPhone!

Another app which disappeared with my iPhone but which I will be putting on the next one is Horselog. It helps to keep your horses, competitions and budget organised. Click here for review of Horselog app.
5:11 pm gmt 

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Horses racing on a frozen lake in Switzerland
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