Monday, December 6, 2010

Waerenga HT 5th Dec 2010

Very hard, and somewhat rough ground for all phases.

He was a little silly warming up for dressage, but settled relatively quickly and was quite focussed when our turn came - although the coffee expresso machine at the entry end of the arena did unsettle him somewhat, but he kept it together.

All in all a good test, with just a few glitches, which in all honesty were more rider errors than anything.

5 x 8's, 5 x 7's, and some 5's and 6's, so very pleasing. He scored 8's at all paces, so not like I have a specific thing to work on, just accuracy and preparation.

64.5% to finish in 12th after dressage, just 5% off 2nd place.

He was DREADFUL warming up for SJ, just wouldnt focus, skedaddles, napping and lots of taking off with head in the air. I gave up in the end and just stood quietly near the ring entrance.

However, once in, and through the flags he did focus and gave me a lovely round. Just one rail which to be honest seemed a small moment where he lost concentration.


Onto the cross country, and although he was still spooking all the way to the start, he warmed up quite happily. Popped over #1 and on to #2....umm unfortunately it took a lot of time and encouragement (the old reins in one hand whip in the other) to get him through the small river crossing - he was genuinely scared, despite my having spent some time the evening before getting him into the river.

However, in terms of the course as a whole, he was absolutely wonderful. I went WAY faster, and I am sure would have gotten the time if not for the problems getting through the river crossing (he jumped the second one!).

Did all the quick routes, including the bounce where he was incredibly athletic and quick, straight over the corner, and just jumped everything I pointed him at. He didn't pull or get strong at all, just stayed in the same rhythm right the way round. I simply had to sit up a few strides before a fence and he just kind of brought his hocks under was a lovely feeling.

He did have a wee look at the water jump, but never stopped going forwards, so with time he will gain confidence with water jumps.

The only jump that wasnt quite so nice was the palisade. He jumped the preceding jump beautifully and I probably rode him too forward to the palisade (in case he backed off the ditch)...however, he did not back off it AT ALL, and consequently did a silly little hop over it.

Good to know he doesnt seem concerned about palisades!

He finished the course happily, not even puffing, and indeed continued to spook at everything on the way back to the truck like he'd been for a trot around the paddock.

Without the time flts XC, and in spite of the rail, he would have been placed.

All in all however, thrilled with how he went in all three phases, and especially happy with how he (and I) felt going XC.

Just seems too long till our next start now!