Thursday, February 24, 2011

Andrew Scott SJ clinic 23/24 Feb 2011

First Day

Sampson a little keen perhaps, but was advised that he could still have more go, although he was definitely getting off the ground quicker and getting snappier in front.

Thrilled with how he went, and how I felt about it. NO anxiety or nerves AT ALL!! And he really felt great.

Did some grids, interspersed with single jumps, and essentially the main area I was cocking up repeatedly, is on the darn turns. Every jump off a turn, I would shut him down on the turn, rather than riding the corner.

That led to me being asked to do what I would term the circle of death. Four jumps on a circle....basically meaning you have to be thinking about turning as you are jumping.

However, all in all a great lesson.
Sampson also thoroughly enjoying his jumping, and definitely now taking me to the jumps rather than being a bit lackadaisical about it all.


Really looking forward to today's lesson.

OK....some advice....DO NOT buy a new helmet the day before a lesson, with the intention that your previously 'good' helmet could become the 'everyday' helmet.

Second tip.....DO NOT , upon donning an ancient T shirt, comment to yourself about how you have had the shirt over thirty years, remember buying it, and being impressed how it has worn, considering it has no holes or anything.

Tip three.... DO NOT wonder to yourself if you should arrange an x-ray on your still sore shoulder after a fall several months ago, just to check nothing is going on in there.

Started warm up, and Sampson felt great....if a little "I know it all"....which led to us on approach to a relatively high X oxer, taking a flyer (there was easily another stride)...unfortunately it was that one time out of a hundred, where it turns to custard, and rather than being an uncomfortable jump, it was a somewhat painful one.

He caught the top rail between his legs which then brought him down on landing, catapaulted me headfirst into the arena, and apparently also led to him rolling over my hip.


Helmet split eyebrow (which after about 6 hours at A & E required 6 stitches), and extremely sore neck and shoulder. (Shoulder had almost healed after my last fall off the big guy). A little uncomfortable and nerve wracking however, to have a neck collar in case of spinal injury....I'm afraid I had my fingers tightly crossed awaiting the outcome, and then onto that shoulder x-ray that I had considered getting the week before. Doctors and nurses seemed surprised to find they were clear, given the weird knobs and sticky outy bits of my shoulder - they had thought a dislocation at least.
I was just thankful.

So, having had my xray, my thirty year old t shirt cut off, and getting a new helmet....I have now had to fork out for a second helmet in less than a week.

Poor pony also has skin off his knees, shoulder and above his eye. :(

Hopefully, he is none the worse for wear, and the wee tip over wont affect his confidence (except perhaps to make him a little more careful)....also hoping my own confidence isnt too badly affected.

Plan is to jump both horses some time this week, and then decide what to do about Puhinui - even if I just ride one, and perhaps get another rider on Sampson?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hunua HT 20 February 2011

Yay, another HT on the wee pony.

Didn't have a particularly good start with a pretty poor dressage.
He actually warmed up really nicely, being soft and round almost straight away. Unfortunately however, the ring was running somewhat late and I overcooked him. By the time we got to do our test, he was feeling very heavy and I simply couldn't get his front end up.

He was very obedient and well behaved through out his test, but afterwards I did have a bit of a joke to everyone about exactly how many times the judge would give comments on either his being overbent, or behind the vertical.

However, even I didnt expect it to be mentioned for almost every movement (including the free walk which does somewhat astound me, as it was one of the movements where he wasnt)...and the grand total is......ta dahhh....TEN...the word overbent is mentioned TEN times in my test sheet.

Needless to say, the overall score was one rather forgotten.

Next time I plan to allow very little warm up, probably better with skedaddles than overbent?

Onto the show jumping.
Looked to be a nice course, with I have to say, nothing that made me feel in the least bit anxious. Again making me wonder if it was up to height (as I have done at all of the Training HT's I have done on him).

However, he did indeed react to the martingale. Approaching the first jump he went to tootle off, threw his head up, and was rather annoyed to find that avenue closed off to him. Resulted in taking the rail at the first jump. After a couple more jumps he settled again and resigned himself to listening: he gave me a lovely ride around the rest of the course, making it all feel rather easy.

Next day was XC day, and having walked the course, again there was nothing of even the slightest concern, apart from getting him to cross the river (not flagged).

He knew what was coming, and although I attempted to warm up I gave up having almost catapaulted into others trying to warm up. I did trot him over one practice jump, but he was fine, focussed on it immediately so I knew I didnt have to worry about the jumping side of it.

Left the start box rather (VERY) slowly and cruised around the course. It did take a wee while to convince him to cross the river, but he obliged. Basically he just popped over everything I pointed him at and again gave me a lovely ride with no concerns whatsoever.

Although I did find it amusing that having completed our XC, I actually had to get off and lead him as every time something happened he did huge skeddadles....ummm obviously a little fitter than required.

So the wee pony has now completed two pre trainings, and five trainings with no stops on either show jumping or XC phases.

VERY excited at stepping him up to pre novice at Rotorua. can be seen by my splatter at a show jumping clinic just days before Rotorua, that wasnt to be. He was also WD from Puhinui as although I had a rider for him, he was still a little sore after the fall.

next outing, then: Woodhill.....he is entered PN, but with my own confidence flagging after the fall, I may well drop him to training to get ME back on track, and aim at starting him at Kihikihi.

SOOO frustrated.....just when I really felt it was all coming together....oh well, onwards and upwards.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lucinda Green Clinic 5/6 Feb 2011


Today we worked on little exercises using show jumps....skinnies, points, walking over barrels etc.

Sampson was amazing: he did everything he was asked without question - even popping straight over the point of the apex from the difficult side.

I hadn't been sure how he would take being asked to jump a barrel from a walk, but he just popped over without even thinking twice. However on second attempt, he obviously decided that it didnt even warrant a wee 'pop' over, and proceeded to literally WALK over it, one step at a time. Considering his size, I would say he was displaying intelligence - however, it was not what was desired.

So I had to 'squeeze' him up over it to prompt him to actually jump it and land in canter....which of course he was happy to do.

The only thing I REALLY badly stuffed up, was the supposedly easiest exercise which we did to finish. Simply jump two spreads out of their stride. First time it came up nicely, and he jumped them nicely. Then I got this thing in my head that I had to go fast, and then tried to dictate where he was to jump from...he wanted to pop in a short one .....CRASH!!! down came the jump.

However, I then got it....and just sat up and allowed him to choose his own take off and he did it very nicely.


Out onto XC proper. .. starting with walk ditch exercises, before adding skinnies on take off and landing....and then a sharp turn from ditch to skinny.

Unfortunately, Sammie had other ideas, and upon being asked to turn, shot his head in the air. It wasnt too long before, despite my protestations, he was wearing a martingale. WHAT a soon as he went to argue he was put in his place and calmly did just what he was told.

We went on to do some coffins and stringing a small course of jumps together including a small palisade and corner. He jumped beautifully, and I was really thrilled with him.

I had also taken him for a wander into the river the preceding day, and he walked straight down the bank and in without concern, and likewise, when we got to playing in the water jump, I felt that he definitely felt more confident than he had previously. I am sure with mileage his confidence in water will grow.

All in all very happy with him, and I'm afraid I will be arranging to get a martingale for his next outing - better that I have it on and not need it than the other way round.