Sunday, October 31, 2010

SJ Leamington 31.10.2010

Yay! I actually did a competition on the big pony.

Joined in with an adult riding club day yesterday on him, and he was very well behaved. Didnt even skedaddle when we were all trotting around in a circle, even though one or two others did the whole bucky, bouncy thing. And a couple of people commented on how quiet and relaxed he was (people who didnt know him). So very proud of him. He then went awesome and jumped everything asked of him - we had a XC play.

Today, I took the two boys to Leamington for the SJ.

I even got straight on him at the truck without leading him around first!

Yes, he did some pretty big skedaddles while warming up, but for some reason I was fine with it (maybe because some others were having far more 'interesting' rides than I was, so my boy seemed easy in comparison?).

I started with the 80 class, and just took one rail. Set out really well, then lost the canter between 2 & 3 so got an odd spot with no impulsion. Then I got it together, and he felt great.

For the 90 class I got my timing a bit wrong, so had to run over, throw on his gear, trot to the warm up, a quick warm up and in.

Again, started off great, then AGAIN! didnt maintain enough canter (to the point of even allowing him to trot), and he took a couple of rails. But I sorted it out, and he (and I) finished great. Really pleased.

And it was great to be able to see it on video cos I could see so clearly the lack of canter in places. Ha ha, and he looked so quiet and sensible :)

Rushed off and got on Willie, another quick warm up and in. Again started great, then YET AGAIN, allowed the canter to fail (interestingly in the same places), but unlike Sampson, Willie stopped. grrrr. He stopped twice.

The judges then kindly allowed me to go back in. I rode far more determinedly, and he went great....apparently I did several lines and cut in front of jumps for the jump off that nobody else had even tried, but then Willie loves doing jump offs and I also get my adrenalin up. It was great fun! So finished there on a good note.

Also nice to get feedback that I see to be beating the tilting habit, and I am sitting in behind them better. Likewise wasn't anxious, and when I cocked it up, I simply fixed up what I was doing wrong rather then letting it get to me. Now just need to maintain the right canter (on both of them), and react quicker and right RIGHT to the jump on Wilson.

Yay; I'm on my way.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Taupo HT 16.10.2010

Having ridden Sampson before leaving (and spent 40 minutes looking for a pulled shoe), we arrived to find Taupo Equestrian Centre basked in sunshine.

After setting up camp, I tacked up Sampson and rode him over to the sand arena to do some schooling. He was a little tense to start, but when he realised that there were water sprinklers going, that was it! He just wanted out of there, and I'm afraid I got a bit defensive.

I got off and spent some time leading him near the sprinklers until he could cope - first time in a long time he has done the passagey skedaddle thing when being led, but he soon calmed down.

I got back on, but I'm afraid I didnt really ride him forward, and we had a couple of skedaddles - probably him taking the mickey. But I did persevere, so that's still progress.

Next morning I tried to lunge him, only to find that was a dead loss. He was quite wound up, and there were plenty of pretty passage movements with his tail stuck up like a flagpole, and going round in circles quite simply, was not high on his agenda.

Eventually I did manage to get him to lunge at trot in both directions, but we must have been at it for about an hour.

It had been mentioned to me that if I was feeling at all tentative about riding him, I was better not to, for the horse's sake. I therefore offered the ride to Frank, who was kind enough to ride him at his first training event.

Funnily enough, the horse walked calmly over to the warm up area and warmed up sweetly - definitely makes a difference when the rider is not anxious or tense. He did a pretty good test, just coming a little behind the vertical at times, which is simply due to the fact that he was a little tired at that stage and couldnt maintain his carriage. All in all very pleasing finishing on 68% and 8th place after dressage.

It was not only the first time Sampson was attempting training, but the first time Frank had jumped him. Over the practice jumps a few times, and into the arena.

He went very quietly and jumped confidently, just being unlucky to have a couple of rails - interestingly enough though, with the two rails, he was still in 10th place going into XC.

It was probably not the smallest of cross country's for a first start, with a skinny, large trakener, and a bounce. Frank gave him a lovely ride, taking him quietly and confidently including going the direct option at the bounce (the majority going the long route, and those attempting the bounce looking somewhat less than pretty).

Sampson looked lovely, and jumped well, only having a wee look at the skinny, and being surprised upon landing after the drop - simply green issues. He did the bounce beautifully, and at the end of the day finished in 9th place. Not bad for a first training start, and having had two SJ rails!
Many thanks to Frank for stepping in at the last minute....hopefully I will maintain my nerve enough to have a go myself next outing!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Te Rapa HT 2-3.10.2010

Sammie's second outing.
He was excellent warming up for dressage, much more relaxed, although got a wee bit tired in his test which results in him coming a little behind the vertical. But overall a lovely test, again ridden beautifully by Wendy.

He scored highly being pipped for the lead by a very good dressage horse, but both of them were quite a way ahead of the rest of the field.

On to the show jumping.
He was a little concerned initially when we led him over, but soon settled, and warmed up well.
Very calm into the ring; indeed not quite focussed on the first jump which cost him a rail, but did a beautiful round. Wendy rode him calmly and in a lovely rhythm and the two of them looked really lovely.
Cross country time.
Again quite settled warming up.
He looked really nice going, and looked to enjoy himself.
Wendy described his round as "gorgeous"...she said he was much softer than at Taupo and came back as soon as she sat up, and just got on with the job. Looked at a couple, but it was simply to suss out the job.

Although he had taken a rail SJ the top two were ahead enough that Sammie had retained second place.

Word came through that the leader had missed a jump, although this was not recorded by the jump judge. The honesty of that competitor meant that Sammie had won his class.

Proud Mummy moment!

Photos thanks to Jan at www.takethemoment