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!

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