Sunday, November 13, 2011

Waerenga HT 12.11.11

For once he was relatively settled warming up for dressage, although the ground was so incredibly rough that it was difficult to really get any of them working. Unfortunately, the arena itself was of similar condition.
However, he did a relatively good test in the conditions, apart from a few moments where he got distracted by something in the distance, but all in all I was very pleased with his behaviour.
He got predominantly 6's and 7's for a score of 61.5, and 9th place after dressage. I was a little disappointed with the score given how well he went, but I guess the judge can only judge what she sees, regardless of ground conditions. But she did say in passing to me later that she thought he was a really nice horse :-)

Onto show jumping, and after popping over each practice jump once, it was into the ring. I'm afraid we were both a little lackadaisicle to start and didnt get a great jump over number one...however, we both then picked ourselves up a little and he jumped round really nicely, just taking the rail at the planks. I came off the corner and couldnt decide to go short or long...should have just sat and waited for whatever came up.

Cross country...all on one day at this event.
Warmed up happily, and off we went.
He just chugged around happily jumping everything very well, including straight through the water without backing off at all.
One slightly concerning moment when I could feel him eyeing up the bounce as a rather large oxer, and ignoring my signals to shorten....he did listen a little, but we were still a little strong into it...thankfully he is relatively athletic!
And interestingly, he came in ten seconds under time, only one of four in his ring to do so, and the fastest!

This meant despite going into XC in about 14th place he pulled up to fourth.


Monday, November 7, 2011

RIverdale HT - 5/6 November 2011

Well, he was rather interesting warming up for dressage - but then had also been awful riding there the previous afternoon. Completely lacking in focus apart from wanting to get back to Willie and the truck - despite having Saarin's mare there with him.

Quite a few leaps and bounds etc while trying to prepare for dressage, only worsened by someone falling off when their horse reared and bucked, and then proceeded to gallop directly past us. The result of which was not pretty and culminated in me being tanked off with having lost my stirrups. But all salvaged, well, all barring the chance of a reasonable test!

However, we got to the arena, went around it once, and in we went. Once again, he did hold it together for the test and basically did everything he was asked - albeit leaning on my hands doing his rolkur impression, going nowhere.

All 5's and 6's for a score of 54% and second last in the class

Just popped over each practice jump once, and stood quietly waiting for our turn. He just toddled around popping over the jumps to finish with a clear round.

Hmmm; interesting warming up!
Yes, had another moment of being carted around somewhat out of control when someone hitting the practice fence was just the excuse to be a pratt he'd been waiting for.
However, into the start box and off we went.
He was great at the beginning of the course, but when we had to start turning through gateways etc, (and I hung on I guess) he started to curl up and really lean on me and get very strong. Needless to say, I was completely worn out before even the half way marker, and I'm sure spectators could hear me coming I was puffing so loudly.
But, apart from lacking focus and getting completely distracted by everything bar the jumps, he jumped around happily.
Last few jumps I simply didnt have the energy to hang on any longer, and to be honest, I think he was much happier.

Although Saarin told me I looked to be going painfully slow, he only clocked up 7.2 time faults to finish the weekend in 5th place.

He had initially been in fourth, but having waited for an hour for a protest in my ring to be resolved, we found that we had been pushed back to fifth....only to find that placings only went to fourth!

So once again he missed out on a rosette by a very slim margin.

Project for next weekend is to try to leave his mouth completely alone XC.....eeeeek

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Woodhill Sands HT 29/30 October 2011

I had been really looking forward to another run on the wee pony, and was trying hard to overcome any negative comments I had coming my way, but I don't think I succeeded very well.

Not really sure how to maintain my positive outlook, and remain mentally strong enough to ward off anything contrary to that - yet another thing to work on :-)

However, we got there and proceeded to warm up for dressage. Apart from a few skedaddles, he managed to hold it together, and didnt do too bad a test scoring 67.5%
I was also pleased in that when he did his wee act in warming up I just rode him through it.

He did come behind the vertical a few times, but on the whole I was quite pleased with him, and some of his work was lovely.

Predominantly 7's, 4 x 8's, and a few 6's (and a 4 for his 'non halt' at the end).

"3 nice paces showing potential. Needs to be more active in his paces esp walk. Dropping behind vertical quite a bit during trot. Push him forward into bridle. Nice test. Watch your shapes to improve test marks."

And onto the show jumping.
He got a bit wound up warming up, so I waited quietly at the ring entrance for my turn.

He jumped very well, and I enjoyed his round although I was really annoyed at myself for taking a bit of a pull too many on the first turn to number two, to pull the rail.


Next day XC....changes to the track were very welcome and I thought it was a great course, nothing I was worried about (except mucking up in general), although I didnt like the sleeper box off set out of the water - although he jumped it fine.

Once again, he was a little distracted at Woodhill, and thinking about getting back to the truck. Where as last time I dug my spurs in and insisted he focus, I was a little weaker this time.

He did jump the double brush nicely and jumped the wee ramp onto the sand lovely. Bit wiggly woggly and spooky heading across sand to water, although jumped ok. He proceeded to be really spooky, curling under a little, and in hindsight was simply behind my leg....hardly surprising given I wasnt really riding him as positively as I could.

He hit number 11 having got very deep to it, and I called it a day and retired. Again hindsight (wonderful thing that it is), I should have just clouted him, told him to get on with it and carried on....especially as the rest of the course was the easier half. Unfortunately, my mind was filled with the wrong kind of self talk .
Essentially, I let my horse down, and I am determined not to do that again~

Next weekend, I will maintain my positive focus, and any negative comments in my presence will be tossed aside.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Te Rapa Horse Trial 1/2 October 2011

First time for me for a very long time, riding two horses at one trial.
Completely unsure as to my fitness given my lay off following injury....but here goes!

Terrible terrible terrible....not the best warming up, although manageable....dust did start him snorting and such however.
On my first trot around the (spooky) arena, XC walkers meant a bit of a skeddaddle just as they rang the bell. I could have done with another trot around but it was not to be.
He did hold it together, but did his whole overbending routine and was quite tense. Also fluffed the canter leads, and had a few coughs and grunts (dust) through the test. But we survived for a GRAND SCORE of..... 50% and all but last! Oh well

Show jumping
Training Show jumped on the sunday morning, whilst the big boys did their cross country which involved galloping past the warm up and show jump ring which proved interesting. He didnt quite manage to hold it together, but in all honesty there were others having a worse time of it.
We got into the ring and he actually jumped very well, just lost him on a right hand corner (to head back away from truck - and willie direction) and he got a little distracted. I failed to sit up and ride him and then wait for him to go. I saw a long one, and he didnt and down came the rail
4 faults

Cross Country
Gave me a fantastic ride!
There were no moments of hesitation whatsoever, apart from a very slight moment before jumping the ditch at the coffin.
He bowled along quite happily, although did tend to hang to the truck park a little along some areas, but kept going in the right direction and was easy enough to get back on the job.
finished 5 seconds under time for our first clear together under time.
0 XC faults

Pulling up to 5th place overall - not so bad after such a dreadful start!

Very pleased with the wee boy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Woodhill Sands HT 24 Sept 2011

I was unsure if I would be ok to ride at Woodhill - or indeed if I should.

But when Frank became unavailable to jump on, I thought I would take the pony anyway, and just play it by ear. However, as I could not get off onto the ground without a lot of pain, I thought it was time for me to take back the reins. Yippee

Dressage; not too bad and he was actually ok warming up. Unfortunately however, I managed to forget to drop my whip so that incurred penalties. However; he did score 62% and was sitting 12th in a very large class.

Show jumping; he jumped very well, just losing his concentration at one point ('Hey mum, Willie is over in THAT direction") to take a rail. So completed his round with 4 faults.

Cross country.
Very wet...raining and the ground was a bit of a bog. One jump later on in the course had had several classes of pre novice jump it already, and I reckon it would have added about another foot onto the size of it... and it was already one of the better sized jumps on the course. The going probably added about a foot onto all the jumps in actual fact.

However, Sampson jumped very well, just taking each jump as it came, with no real problem anywhere on the course. Definitely not the going to make a stand and go for time though! Regardless, and with 16.8 time faults, Sampson pulled up to 7th place.

So not too bad for a first outing for the partnership.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Taupo Training Trial 11.09.2011

Well, having fallen off twice in two days Mid August (and managing to knock myself out, and damage my ribs and butt muscle) I was not ready to jump yet - let alone compete.

Thankfully, Frank stepped into the Breech, and as usual did a sterling job with the wee pony.

Saturday was practice show jumping, and Sampson was lucky enough to have a rider that was happy to step up the height quite a bit. He jumped very well, although to be honest watching, it still didnt really look like he had to make a heck of an effort!

I did notice however, that in his yard Sampson was quite wound up, and far less relaxed than he would normally be in the safe sanctum of his yard. Not much hay was eaten and mucking out was nigh on impossible given the fact he had not stood still at all. Perhaps he knew this was a "real" outing ?? and was excited?

Anyhow, Poor Frank was swapping between horses with barely moment to catch breath. I led Sampson over to the warm up area, and (Murphy's Law) commented as to how relaxed he seemed and that for the first time ever at Taupo I had been able to lead him across on the buckle with no passage moments. I had also taken my "shit strap" off the saddle thinking no way would it be required.

Seems pony had a complete meltdown when he went to the warm up area for his ring (right in front of Charisma Hall)....apparently there were a lot of leaps and interesting movements, before he was put into a 15m canter circle and basically had to keep going till sanity returned. He JUST managed to hold it together for his test, and actually did some nice work...not so easy to ride when he has got to the curling under stage prior to his test. 10th in the dressage with ~65%

Show jumped clear, although had two attempts at napping, which Frank quickly put right, and went very well XC to finished 18 secs under time on his dressage score, placing 5th out of a very large class - not too bad for a horse that became a feral beast prior to his dressage.

I was also pleased with his fitness, as due to my injury he has not had the last few weeks proper build up - not that I wanted him too fit at this end of the season. However, the consistent work he has had, meant that he finished happily, and not blowing.

Now to get myself back in the saddle, and get my brain back into the right mode.
(Brave pills would still be on the menu if I could source some)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Winter Show Jumping WEC

Ok, time to hand over the reins again...hopefully just short term till I'm properly back on deck and feel I am healed enough to clamber back on the wee guy.

Been interesting for him this week since I fell off....Counting me on Sunday (when I went splat) he has been ridden by five different people - gotta be good for him (and I cant say he was unduly concerned by anybody who hopped on) . Even Saarin has had a couple of rides this week, and I think is keen to have a bit of a jump on him - interestingly she found him easier to ride than Willie.

HUGE thanks to Angela Magee who rode him today at the Winter Show jumping...she rode him beautifully and I could see that he enjoyed himself.

First in the first class, and unsure as yet as to his placing in the second.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Speed Bumps

Ok, so we didnt do too wonderfully at the last Kaurilands; he was a bit spooky and I basically failed to ask for enough forward. But we did everything in both tests.

So onto Andrew Scott for an indoor show jumping lesson next day. Not sure what my problem was but for the first half of the lesson I reverted to hanging on being a really nervous nanna, but we did get through it and towards the end of the lesson all was good again...he jumped VERY well though.

I do still have anxious days, and that is both riding, and driving (as well as in general), but they are considerably less frequent than previously when I could have panic attacks driving at least twice a week.

On to a wee jumping session at home.
Started with an upright with roll back to barrels set at about 95. Came round corner well, plenty of canter, then about two strides out it turned to custard and last stride instead of sitting up and keeping leg on, I badly tilted off came leg, but he decided to go anyway....slow motion with no impulsion....managed to tumble over on rail and down I came, catapaulting into metal jump stand. OUCH....and back very sore....soon forgot that when I thought he was going to stand on reins...up I jumped (double ouch) and grabbed him.

Saarin reconstructed both jumps and off we went again - this time of course remembering to sit up and keep legs on...he jumped fine, and went through the grid with oxer at about a meter which he jumped beautifully.

Saturday, headache all day, bit sore, and purchased a new helmet.

Sunday Cross country play.....BAD BAD idea. Head ache again, and although not fuzzy or giddy, just not entirely 'with it', also feeling a little vulnerable (which results in additional nerves). But carried on anyway. Rode extremely badly....had no reactions.... and coming into one small log he lost focus, I sat like a prune, got very deep and he clambered over from nothing, managing to deposit me on his neck.

If anyone has tried to ride a horse sitting on their neck, you will know it isnt particularly easy. Stupidly when he started trotting off, I turned him, ....should have just pulled up with both reins but brain not exactly in thinking mode since bump on Friday.

Anyway, went splat, knocked out, and now have worsened the back I hurt VERY sore, but in addition have probably broken ribs - now that is painful!

However, what I am now having to deal with is being told I should get rid of the horse, not ride him again, or just do dressage.

This is not helping me. The horse actually did nothing wrong...not like he repeatedly bucks me off, or rears or anything nasty.

We've just had a bit of a run.....I should not have jumped him until I was right again.

Although all these people now telling me to get rid of him is NOT helping my confidence, I know he is a very good horse, and we are both capable of doing very well. I had been really looking forward to the season starting, and had hopes and goals. On the one hand all their comments is making me determined to show them what we really are capable of, but their opinions likewise dont much help one to rally confidence and ambition.

So, just a bit of an upsetting time at the moment with my lovely horse.

Meantime, Saarin has been riding him to keep him ticking over.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Winter SJ 17.06.2011

First show jump outing for Winter.
Unfortunately Willie came up lame yesterday, so Sampson went on his own.

He was actually quite well behaved warming up, with just the odd quite small moment, so that was great (for me!).

Just entered 80 and 90, with the intention of working on my forward and ensuring he is going forward with enough power to jump easily. Worked on this yesterday with Wendy, and the new catch phrase is "power up", which sums it up perfectly....."power up" on the turn etc, then just let the jump come up.

He was good in the 80 and jumped a nice clear round.

In the 90 I think we had a good forward rhythm (felt fast to me, but everyone told me it was a good speed)....he jumped really well, until I stuffed up the last jump....came around corner, got line wrong, was crooked and leaned forward....if I had sat up and just waited he would have jumped it properly and we could have had a go at the jump off....there had however been very few clear rounds, and even fewer clear jump offs. Oh well, next time I'll make sure I get it right over EVERY jump.

Very pleased with his behaviour, and how he went.

Plan is to start at 90 next time, and also pop around the meter.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Kaurilands 03.07.011

Having received quite a difficult draw, I decided to do the best I could to adhere to it. In my first horse's second test, I had one horse drawn to follow him, then a break, then Sampson.

In order to attempt to achieve this, I had both horses up by the grass arenas (Sampson covered as it was rather cold), and Saarin held him while I did my two tests on Wilson. It was a bit of an ask for Saarin though, as Sampson become very upset every time he thought Wilson was going anyway and he would leap about and play a fool. Not very confidence inspiring for a wee slip of a lass trying to hold a demented 17.3 lad.

Having completed my test on Wilson, we rushed over to the picnic tables (so I had some means to clamber on the wee beastie), and got the saddle changed over (poor Saarin couldnt even reach to get it off Wilson, let alone being able to help saddle up Sampson).

And on I got.

Hmmmm - interesting....he kept skedaddling and trying to return to Wilson, but in the end I got him cantering (ok, so it was RIGHT in front of Willie) and just kept him on a circle...round and round and round.

Keeping an eye on the arena, but there didnt seem to be any break and the riders just kept going through, so we wandered over there, and I started to wander around the arena....only to be asked by the judge if I was even going to bother to ride, and basically being firmly told off for not being there sooner (it was the same judge that had judged me on Wilson). I advised that I had been drawn to ride after the break but it seemed that the riders just kept coming through....only to be told that there was no break, and was I going to ride or not!

Well, that rather got my dander up!

Probably to the good, because I was so annoyed that I didnt even think about getting nervous about what the wee beastie might do, and I actually rode him....and....he did the whole test without skedaddles. Ok, he was somewhat lacking in impulsion but it was a MUCH better effort than the previous Kaurilands outing!

52.17% in Test 1.5
with the sum up comment - needs to reach and cover ground freelyl carry rider forward with purpose and expression (which was fair comment)

Straight onto the second test

He actually went very well and I did start to RIDE was only at the last trot up the centre line though that he really felt loose and free - but hey, at least we got there - even if it was at the end.

He couldnt resist doing a skedaddle in one of the canters though (for a course error), but I was actually able to laugh at it, and just carried on ... YAY

Scored 63% (despite course error deduction without which he would have been 5th)

Test was all 6's and 7's with sum up being essentially that he needs to go much more forward throughout.

So, the next question is of course whether him having his buddy up there helped or hindered. Next time I will ask that Sampson be first on the draw so I can warm him up properly, and hopefully not have to have the two of them there together. That way I can really see how we get on, and learn to get through the demented flea stuff without the security blanket.
Will that mean he reverts to his fantastic scores of the last outing.....can we achieve a further zero?? I guess we will find out in due course.

Thanks to Debbie Stevens for the photos from the day.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My very first ZERO

Kaurilands 05.06.2011

Well, the wee boy was just a tad full of himself, skedaddling at every opportunity and at every excuse. Warmed him up on the grass arena and it was somewhat interesting. I rather think he was nappy because he had TWO friends back at the yards.

I got really frustrated, as I just couldnt work him through it...he just remained stuck behind my leg, overbent, and skedaddling.

Oh well, went in and gave the tests a go anyway - he was quite simply not going to get away with that behaviour without at least doing a test.
First test he was pretty awful, and I hadnt intended to try the canters he was so awful, but did anyway only to be rewarded with an interesting skedaddle, spin around (and nearly slipped over)...oh well, at least I tried. We consequently got a course error for that (? - he did actually do the correct movement - he cantered between the was after that he skedaddled), and a zero for the circle R 20m(were trotting again by that stage).

Not sure why I got marked with the second course error either...we were to walk at A, which we did??

Oh well, it was such a dreadful test, it's not like it made any difference anyway...AND...I at least completed the test on the naughty wee pony!

Ended up on 45% (there were a couple of 6's -GO me!)

Second test, was perhaps marginally better, and he did get some 7's, funny enough for his canter trans (the trans was great, it was the skedaddle that followed that wasnt so great), his walk, and a trans to trot.

And we scored ... a grand total of....52.8%

Rider comment "You did the right thing in taking him quietly to get him through it"

Not particularly looking forward to his next outing either, but at least I got more frustrated than scared....not that I enjoyed it!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Waihou Dressage - 15.05.2011 (First placings)

Having had a dreadful week riding Sampson, I almost chickened out of taking him.

Basically, as I was still feeling vulnerable, I was allowing him to bully me to some extent, which made me more tentative, enabling him to play around yet more.

My WONDERFUL instructor Wendy, came with us, and the difference having her there was amazing. She worked me through some disengaging first, then flexing him which softened him through the neck and shoulder, taking his power away, and putting me back in the driver's seat.

She then warmed me up for his first test, and we only had a couple of baby skedaddles, which I was onto pretty quick. The key was also I think being told to push myself (and him) out of our comfort zones - dare him a little.....basically start RIDING him!

Unfortunately I think we were about the only ones to get rain for our test, but all in all it wasnt too bad. I started to feel more confident as I went along, which then meant I rode less tentatively, and he went better.

Actually better than I had thought, for 69.58% and 4th place!!

Some good comments and 4 x 8's.
Only really lost marks on one movement getting a 5 for an early transition to walk.

7 for Paces, Impulsion, Submission and Rider.

Second Test
Again Wendy helped me warm up (and again I struck the rain).

He was far more relaxed to start, and I really felt like I was starting to ride him a little, and asking for more forward etc.

I was really pleased with how he went, and apart from a couple of parts where he slipped, and on one fell back to trot as a result, I felt he had done a reasonable test.

Yay: scored just over 68% for 3rd (less than 1% off 2nd and First was on 71%)

So I have had my first dressage placings on Sammie.

All thanks to Wendy!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Woodhill Sands May 2011 - Training

OK: This was supposed to be an easy run to finish off Sammie's first season on a good note, after his fall at Te Rapa.

However, going into a competition somewhat 'expecting' to do really well is probably not the best attitude. Because when it turns to custard (and it's a when, not an if with that kind of attitude), it leaves one feeling a little flat.

So, having thought I had this dressage malarky sussed, I was expecting to do a good test, and get a good mark. Unfortunately, nobody told my horse the plan. He just thought it would be a great day to display his sense of humour and take the mickey out of his rider. The fact that said rider was still sporting a damaged shoulder and was feeling rather vulnerable made his mission that much more fun.

At one stage I was spinning round in small circles at the canter, having lost my stirrup, sitting perched and panicking as I was SO scared I was going to fall off and do more damage to my shoulder. (When all the time I should have sat up, stopped flapping around and actually given him a kick in the guts and told him to behave)

A million thanks to Donna Smith who was kind enough to help me and warm me up - I think I was just about on the verge of calling it a day if it wasnt for her intervention. VERY much appreciated!!

I am pleased that I did actually do my test, and it FELT dreadful....he felt on edge the whole time and did do the odd skeddadle, but I did do all the movements kind of at the right time and in the right place. Some movements he actually did do well, and got some good marks. Of course he came last but the mark wasnt nearly as low as I had expected.

Funny enough when I watched the video, I was surprised that the test didnt look anything like as bad as it felt, and there were indeed some good bits. What really hit home to me is that I could see that I simply needed to start RIDING him, and not allow him to play on my insecurities and feeling of vulnerability.

I had walked the show jumping and cross country, and thought it was very small. The SJ would probably have been a good chance to practice riding it well - lines, the right canter, etc etc, but I do wonder if there would have been anything to gain from doing the XC - except give him a run.

And also interestingly enough, looking at the results, had he finished on his dressage score he would have placed....ha ha...just goes to show.

Lesson learned - have the RIGHT attitude to start with (and don't allow your horse to dictate how you ride - just keep RIDING!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Te Rapa Horse Trial 23/24 April 2011

Warmed up really well (after a few of the obligatory skedaddles), and was moving forward nicely in a lovely frame and really swinging from behind. He got a little tense when I moved up to the arena, but soon settled again, and although not quite a good, was going quite nicely.

The test itself wasnt a world beater, but he was listening and obedient, although I lost marks for inaccuracy, and losing the canter (followed by incorrect lead). A little disappointed with his mark, but he was still mid field, so nothing too much to complain about. And no mention ANYWHERE on his test sheet about lacking impulsion, so we are definitely getting there. Although he only got in the mid 50's he still scored 7 for paces.

Show Jumping
Bit like dodgem cars in the warm up, and he reacted to the foray, but soon settled once we started over the practice jump. He felt great over the practice jump.
Went into the ring, and he gave me a really lovely ride over most of the course. Got a bit deep to number 2 and jumped it a bit green but got over it.
I got my line wrong to a pink striped upright off a turn, and he took that one out, but was GREAT through the one stride double and everything else....jumped the triple spread liverpool great, then turned onto the final "easy" two stride with upright in and oxer out. My thoughts on the corner were..."yay, just one rail" took it as a signal he had finished his job and switched off. Cantering into double, horse 'not home' was a weird feeling. It was only right at the foot of the jump that he suddenly realised there was a jump...needless to say he crashed through both elements of the double....but what a superstar to even have tried.
12 jump faults

Cross Country
Bit of an ask, but I was looking forward to seeing how we both coped with the different questions, and in all honesty, I wasnt expecting him to actually stop at anything.
I also wanted to ensure that at this outing I had him 'on the job' when he came out of the start box - and he was. Was more forward, and I was asking him to go forward...jumped number 1 really well, a bit looky on approach to number 2, a somewhat stark looking mobile spread, but he jumped it happily. Kicked him on up the hill and got a lovely bold jump over the curved log. Onto the Wedge to BIIIGGGG ditch combo. I had been warned that horses were backing off the bright yellow wedge, so rode him quite strongly into it, to be rewarded with a big bold jump over it......however, that then meant that the ditch came up very quickly. I really dont think he understood the question, having never encountered a ditch of that depth or width, and with the two logs on the face of the landing side I wonder if he for a moment thought it was an in and out or something? However, he tried, but got a bit tangled up, feet this side of the landing logs, and down he went (with me catapaulting in the process).
So we got the big E for a horse fall....
frustrated we didn't get to do all those other jumps, also feel a bit silly that I haven't taken the opportunity to school him over that ditch (or indeed the other jumps up there) given it is all of ten minutes away. But I had been concentrating more on my dressage and show jumping.
Also wonder if I had simply popped him over the spooky wedge jump, if the extra time would have enabled him to work out the question better?

However, will drop back to training for Woodhill, so that he can have a very easy run and finish the season on a good note. Am also planning on running him in the snaffle, so that will be a good testing ground. I really don't feel he needs anything stronger XC, but would rather find out for sure on smaller jumps.

He started this Season as a green pre trainer, so he has done very well to progress to Pre Novice, and complete the season with no stops either SJ or XC.

And to think I was too scared to even ride him at home this time last year, and wanted to sell him!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Waihou Dressage 17.04.2011

Naughty pony!

Decided to play on my injury, in terms of the fact that I was still quite sore, but more so feeling very vulnerable about falling and re-injuring it.

Didnt help that Saarin's pony kept calling out to him from the truck, but it was simply an excuse.

We had a multitude of skedaddles, napping to the point where I pulled the bit right through his mouth, a few leaps and bounds etc.....not good for nerves.

I scratched from his first test as he was soooo dreadful, and led him around for a while before remounting to warm up for his second test...ha ha

Yep; more of the same.

However this time I persevered, and despite him going very overbent and behind the leg in the test, I completed all the movements and survived. Ok, the score was abysmal, but I was astounded that he wasnt even last - not even 2nd to last!!

Sometimes having a pony with a sense of humour is not appreciated.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kihikihi Horse Trial - April 2011

YAY: first pre-novice, and really excited.
Surprising really given that after our wee crash, two weeks ago I was petrified even riding him!

Day 1

Got a little bit tense warming up, and a bit of skedaddle was the order of the day, but I kept myself together and in we went. Bit of spooking at the surroundings and flowers etc for him, but held it together. Was a little distracted but managed to keep his attention focussed on the job at hand, and was very pleased to see that he scored consistent 7's right through until the free walk; including for his lengthening...yay.

I then lost him after the free walk, and didnt really get his focus completely back. Canters were ok, I guess but he broke on one of them, and I got annoyed on the other rein and gave him a bit of a kick to which he objected with a big buck and change of lead...ha ha...I think that surprised the judge a little bit. However, overall he still scored ok with 62.6% for 13th place.

Day 2
Cross Country

Quite a big step up from training for him, and it was going to be interesting to see how he coped with the bigger fences.
Warm up was diabolical!
LOTS of leaping about and sideways and skedaddles (umm and set off a horse being held)...walking to sand warm up area was....interesting...lots of leaping about etc every time a horse went past...but we got there.
Had to quickly jump the practice fence despite his antics, which he absolutely flew. OK, he wasnt going to stop at fence one.
And off we went.
He was a little distracted for the first few fences. Looking around at everything, which was far spookier given how foggy it was. But he still jumped happily and popped over the big agapanthus oxer which was a relief for me.
Next fence was huge, with a rail stuck out in the middle of nowhere behind it. We got a really bad stride to it and he chipped in VERY short, and helicoptered over it. I was waiting for him to land on the back rail, but he didnt touch the jump at all. OK, if he could jump that from that kind of approach, we didnt have too much to worry about.
He flew the roll top out of his stride, then spooked on approach to next fence at jump judges. I saw a lovely stride to the next one, a slight drop off of football field and he then jumped the next three related fences off a lovely forward stride meeting each one perfectly.
Flew the next few fences including the brush to bank.
He did back off the white rails before the water, but was never going to stop, and basically just jumped the rest of the jumps quite happily.
Unfortunately, although I let him go his own speed, the spooking and distraction at the beginning cost quite a few time penalties.
So, his first pre novice and he jumped clear and happily.
Next time out, I will work on getting him on the aids and focussed from the start box.

Day 3
Show Jumping

I was expecting him to be somewhat tired and stiff, and mentally tired as he had been full of it even in his yard.
No, not at all....he was just as wired as the preceding day, if not worse. Leaping sideways, napping, etc....just managed to jump the upright practice jump once, then did the oxer just cos I thought I should....he was very keen, and did a HUGE jump over it....ok, once again, I was happy that he probably wasnt going to stop at anything, but given his antics, how was he going to cope with it in the ring...there were tents, spectators and all sorts of things going on....I was rather anxious.
Shouldnt have worried, despite being a giraffe in the ring, as soon as we turned to the first fence, he focussed and gave me a lovely round, apart from my muck ups.

I didnt really get the corner right to an oxer with a long four related distance to oxer in , one stride double, so he chipped in. I made the mistake of then trying to chase for the four, when I should have waited for five. As a consequence he chipped in again and made a balls up of the double. I then overcompensated on the next related line, and allowed him to get a bit long....he tried but did tip the planks. Jumped the next oxer fine, and flew the last; a triple bar over a liverpool.
So...3 rails.
Lots to work on, but it can only get better!