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!

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