Sunday, December 30, 2012

Puhinui Horse Trial 8/9 Dec 2012

Having had a SJ lesson on the Tuesday leading up to the event, I knew that my back was still too dodgy to ride, so again, Frank gave the wee boy a good outing.

Quite relaxed, as he had been essentially since he arrived on the Friday, so did a nice enough test;  a little overbent at times, but not too bad.
64.5%  (16th place)

Lovely track, nicely built jumps on a flowing course.
Frank gave Sampson a lovely ride to again finish clear under time.

This was the next day, the dressage and cross country having been on the Saturday.
Sampson warmed up well, and it was lovely to see his ears flicking forwards on the approach when Sharon put the practice jump up a bit.

They jumped a lovely round, and looked quite the partnership.
Unfortunately Sammie came a little deep to the last jump (double) and just took the front rail, but looked like he was really trying all the way round.

4 faults

Sampson finished the competition in 8th place - another top ten placing for him and Frank.

Taupo One Day Champs 24/25 Nov 2012

I had thought my back would be ok, but despite plenty of pill popping, I decided it wouldnt be fair to start Sampson and only partially complete if my back gave out again.  I asked Frank if he would ride him, and he kindly agreed to (no doubt much to Sammie's delight)

Not too bad at all given that there was show jumping going on just the other side of the fence.  He managed to hold it together, just losing focus (and a whoopsy) on the trot to walk trans (which was shaping up to be a great one till an inconsiderate horse dropped a show jumping rail at that inopportune moment).

However, scored 63% to be in 25th place (very large field with 45 horses)

Looked to me to be quite a nice course, although Sampson did fall asleep between two of the jumps and took the whole jump out, then had an unlucky rail at the end of the course.  But in general tried really hard.

8 faults (remaining in 25th place)

Completely different type of course to Rotorua's.
Big and bold, but with some technical questions - a skinny boxy rampy thing covered in lemons, immediately after a double landing on a down hill slope.
A double of corners off a turn in the bushes;  the corners essentially lining up only if you jumped the first one on the 'wrong' angle (and risking an easy run out).  There was also a combination, first one on the apex of hill and second half way down slope - looked to have a bit of an upright face (and Sampson DID collect it!), and there was also a somewhat large brush palisade.

However, thanks to Frank's bold riding, Sampson went clear and under time.

He finished the event in 10th place missing out on a prize by 1 mark (Prizes went to 9th due to the size of the class)

Woodhill Sands - 3/4 November 2012

On this occasion Sampson travelled alone, and I have to say that without his girlfriend to distract him, he seemed a lot more relaxed when away from the yarding area.

Gave him a short warm up, and he didnt seem too bad.
Did a good test, just becoming a little unsettled in the middle of the test (people walking cross country!), but overall I was pleased with him, and he did try.
9th place

Was very relaxed standing waiting, but as soon as I tried to warm him up he became very difficult....I was getting in everyone's way and he was getting more and more of a pratt.
Someone wisely advised me to just let him stand and chill out a bit then go straight in and jump.  That he was only getting more and more wound up the longer I tried to warm up.

So that's what I did.
He did one sideways just before the start and off we went.
He was quite forward and keen, and definitely giving everything plenty of air.
Clear to go into 6th place

Gave him a relatively short warm up, and he gave me a super ride.
I basically just sat and steered - didnt need to kick him along at all;  just steer in the general direction of the jumps.
Finished clear under time for 4th place.

Taupo Training Trial - 8/9 Sept 2012

Thanks to 'clicking' my back show jumping the day before when Sammie made an extra effort through a triple, Frank once again climbed on board.


Did a good test to finish in 4th place


Very cool and casual round, leaving all the rails up, and gaining a further place to be 3rd going into Cross country.


Went clear adding no further penalties to finish the day in FIRST place!

Te Rapa Horse Trial - 29.09.2012

Very sensible warming up (NO skedaddles at all - not even a hint of one).
Lovely to ride in his test, soft and obliging...just one wee skedaddle up last centre line when horse behind him, but very pleased with him
7th place

Funny little course, and he seemed to go off the boil when we went in, and was ummm too quiet.  Didnt really have enough GO, and as a result the round felt shocking....we were lucky to only have the one rail.
This put him into 3rd place going into XC

A few twists and turns, so not really a galloping track for a big horse.
However, I was kicking him along all the way, so was very surprised to have accumulated 13.2 time faults, which cost him second place.
 However, in hindsight, I can accept that he wasnt really going forward (hence me having to kick him all the way), rather than just sitting and steering.  The course with its twists and turns also probably didnt really suit him.
However, he went clear, finishing in 7th place, so can't really complain.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rotorua Horse Trial 17/18 Nov 2012

Yet another wet weekend competing, although much more 'do-able' than Taupo was a few weeks ago.  This was just a little bit wet, not continuous downpour stuff.

Well he warmed up really well, and very sensible (until another horse lost it across the front of him)...then he got a bit silly, but did come somewhat better.  However when we went to our arena all he seemed concerned about was where his girlfriend was at the yards.

He didnt ACTUALLY do anything awful in his test, and held it together just getting a bit silly on the first canter (R lead), but then after the transition back to the Left canter he did some nice work, and then just a little tense in the final trot work.  His second lengthening in the early parts of his test was super - really pleased with it.

However, it would seem the judge either missed a lot of our nice left lead canter, or got lost, or something giving us initially 4 x 3's in a row...later crossing out the last two and changing them to  '6''s.  However, he still had his LOVELY left canter transition left as a 3, leaving us with the grand score of 46% - not even a qualifying score, and although it wasnt a great test, an undeserved mark.

Managed to jump the cross rail once before he started getting silly, tried to do upright but it was a mess, and he was getting worse, so I left it, and just stood waiting until we went in.

Although not an overly big course, it was tight for a big horse, and wet slippery ground.  He jumped superbly, really trying, and was really ride-able.  I didnt find him strong, yet he was nicely forward.
Yay - a nice clear round.

Definitely not a course that suited him.  Until the last few jumps there was not a single jump on the course that was not preceded and followed by a turn.  He did a huge jump at number 7 a white rampy table thing, and I had to slip right to the buckle of the reins.  He was great through the combination 8a and b, but turning back to the curved oxer, we overshot our line and he was nowhere near straight.  I thought about circling away and re-presenting, then just thought that I would keep going.  He momentarily thought about ducking out, but jumped, probably at the higher part of the jump, but he made a real effort, jolting my back in the process, at which I considered carrying on, but thought it probably wouldnt do my back any favours.  Sampson wasnt really enjoying the twisting and turning and just wanted to get into his stride and run and jump, so I retired him.  Only to find that he had also ripped his shoe off at that jump, so thankfully we also avoided doing any further damage to his foot.

Hopefully Taupo next weekend will be a course that suits him better (and not one that scares me senseless!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Woodhill Sands HT 6/7 Oct 2012

After our first team effort of the season last weekend at Te Rapa, it was time to see where we stood before moving up to PN at Taupo next weekend (hopefully)

DEMENTED....He was marginally better warming up than he has been at Woodhill in the past, but once in the arena he was absolutely dreadful;  by far the worst ever!
Not sure if he was just that way, or if he was concerned about getting back to his girlfriend, or even both his friends, but his focus was totally on the truck park end of the grounds, and we had several very big leapy skedaddly moments, where I wasnt sure if we were going to leave the arena, (taking it with us) or if I would even manage to stay on this leaping maniac.
Even the judge later told me I had done very well to stay on him, and that she also wondered if we would even manage to stay in the arena!
We also managed to gain our first 1 mark.
Test A2
51% = 49 score
"disobedient, uptight, needs to relax, disobedient"

Funny that the evening before I had commented to someone that although it was lovely how soft and easy he was to ride dressage at Te Rapa, I would have like a little more spark for the jumping....spark NOT dynamite!

He was quite strong, but did jump very well going clear.
Definitely forward enough!
I am however, very disappointed at how I rode...looking at the pictures I can see that I hung onto him, and kept bringing my hands up rather than softening.
Mind you, I have gone from no energy last weekend to a steam train this!

DEMENTED warming up....again I thought I was going to hit the deck.  He completely lost the plot when a horse galloped past on course.
Very keen out of start box and although distracted around the course was forward and jumped well.
I didnt push for speed at all, but was surprised to only collect 11 time faults compared to 13 last weekend when I was kicking all the way.
Oh well, guess its just one of those things.

Photos very kindly taken by 
Michelle Horan