Bonnie Fishburn shares her 2017 plans and winter wardrobe essentials

So here we are in 2017, getting ready for the coming event season which will soon be upon us. I’ve had a little bit of quiet time over November and December whilst the horses have also had a little down time. Percy has had a good 2 months off in the field, having had a long and busy season through 2016. Meanwhile Elfie and Frankie have been ticking along just doing two or three days work a week. This is for two different reasons but both age related. Frankie turns 18 this year so I didn’t want to let him down completely because I sort of feel he needs to be kept working to a degree so he doesn’t start to feel his age. And then with Elfie because he only truly turned 4 in August, I just felt that if he had a holiday and lost fitness at this stage it could take a lot longer to pick him back up ready to begin his eventing career in the spring. It has also meant that he can getimage3 (4)
out to some little competitions to gain experience and confidence over the winter, whilst I get to keep my eye in and don’t just sit at home munching sweets and getting unfit.
 The girls are both on a continuous holiday. Well Florence is on maternity leave and Arrow is just busy growing. Arrow turns 3 in March, so my aim with her this summer is to start with a bit of ground work like lunging and long reining, then I will slowly introduce the saddle and hope to be on board come Autumn.
She is turning into a real stunner and moves beautifully, she does just appear to have a bit about her mind, so I’m not expecting her to be quite as easy as Elfie has been.
My aims for the boys are pretty simple. Elfie will begin his eventing career in the spring at BE90’s and just see how he takes to it, all image6being well we would like to aim to move up to BE100’s by the late summer. Percy is back in work and getting fit ready to start eventing in March, he may have an Open BE100 run before going back to Novice and in an ideal world I would like to have a go at an International 1* this season. Then there’s Frankie, with him it’s all about fun. We don’t intend to take anything too seriously just have fun doing whatever it is we try. But my aim would be to hit the Working Hunter circuit again, which he enjoyed and was successful with in 2016.
I was asked what my essential items were for winter and for me it’s all about staying warm. When I was younger I don’t timage2 (3)hink I understood the importance of staying warm and used to suffer with chilblain’s which are horrible, so my essential items include layers, not necessarily thick layers but plenty of them. Waistcoats are great because they keep the body warm without restricting the arms. And layers on the legs because just one layer of breeches is never enough on chilly days, fleece lined full chaps are a great addition or even just jogging bottoms over the top of your breeches.
 Another must have for me is good reflective clothing, its needed all year round ideally but on winter day’s it can be so dull, it never really gets that light and the roads just keep getting busier. At the very least a vest but something extra on your hat and horse can make people spot you much sooner.
 A head torch is also a must have for any horsey person, the dark can soon catch you out whilst getting horses in etc…. I’d be lost without mine.
 My essential clothing item for clipping would have to be a waterproof coat and leggings so the hair just falls away from you rather then sticking to you, a head scarf can help keep the hair from your ears and hair but i am yet to find anything to protect my eyes from the annoying hair that makes them itch, but if anyone does come up with something please let me know…