UK-based Bomber Bits ambassador, eventer Lydia Heywood, shares her news and views…
We caught up with UK-based Bombers ambassador, eventer Lydia Heywood, as she shares her news and views…
Lydia’s eventing season began in early March. “I took Mink (pictured warming up, left), to Tweseldown, where we came 2nd in the BE100,” explains Lydia. “I like to gauge each horse at their first couple of events, and it certainly felt as if my current two horses totally remembered their job!
Mink has made a promising step up to novice level, and I strive to represent Jamaica at International level once again this year,” she continues.
Now the industry is returning to new-normal and more events are back in the calendar, we asked Lydia if there was there anything she missed about training and competing in the early days of the pandemic that she has regained now, in spring 2022.
“During lockdown number one, my horses went out to grass to chill whilst we assessed our next steps – so we did miss lots!” she recalls. “But I have no doubt that they benefitted from that down time. We have got to a great place in our training since then, and subsequently moved to a yard in Wiltshire, where we’re a livery with GB medallist, Phoebe Locke,” Lydia continues.
“The lessons with Phoebe have been really beneficial, and my dressage coach Lisa White regularly visits; I am very grateful to have this training system in place, and its increased my confidence at a difficult time, as I’ve lost my main team member, my Mum, due to her current ill-heath,” Lydia explains.
We love to ask our ambassadors for a favourite training exercise, and this is what Lydia shared:
“At the start of 2022, Mink was far too ‘keen’ away from a fence, landing 2-3 meters out and accelerating off,” Lydia explains. “Incorporating a halt on landing when we trained helped her to wait and think about my aids. It’s a journey, and I am not one to immediately turn to a stronger bit; I’m happy with where we are now with improvements in my upper body, and with the ongoing help I receive from Claire Lund at Bomber Bits,” Lydia adds.
When asked about a favourite Bomber Bit, Lydia says it is difficult to pick one favourite… “However my recent adoption of the Bombers Eggbutt Control Plate Cable has been really beneficial,” she tells us.
“Mink had a tendency to resist the contact between fences whilst show jumping, and I’ve found the reaction to a half halt to be so much more polite and effective with the Control Plate Cable. One happy horse & rider! So thank you Claire at Bombers for the brilliant suggestion of this bit,” Lydia concludes.
We wish Lydia well for the forthcoming season!
This bit, which is NOT dressage legal in any territory, utilises tongue pressure via a central plate set at a 45-degree angle to allow it to sit flat on the tongue.
It’s ideal for a horse that uses its tongue as a means of pushing against the bit, and therefore taking control, and the effect is that the horse will usually draw back and tuck its chin in, coming back to a better point of control. The cable offers a ‘spring-back’ action, together with the elimination of links joining the three pieces, which further reduces pressure in all areas, making this softer than the conventional Bombers Control Plate. The Eggbutt cheekpiece prevents pinching of the lips and give a slightly more solid feel against the side of the face; the release is slower and the eggbutt cheek also introduces some poll pressure.
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Visit Lydia’s Insta pg – instagram.com/lydiaheywood