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!