Monday, March 26, 2012

Waitemata at Taupo HT 24/25 March 2012

The dilemma was whether or not to drop him back to training after our show jumping fall at Puhinui.

What affect had it had on his confidence? - it had certainly rattled mine!

Warmed him up for dressage and was absolutely wrapt with how he was going...he felt brilliant....was this the day for us to pull it together for the dressage phase?

NO it wasnt...when I went over to the arena he became very distracted by the goings on in front of Charisma hall etc...the horse in the arena next to us during his test, was also being very naughty, and several times hit the rails...just the excuse he needed.
He was AWFUL...(although he did get marked much more harshly than he should - for instance, one canter movement he skeddadled, lost the plot and I had to halt and start the movement again he was so awful....the other rein he cantered beautifully and didnt put a hoof wrong....we scored 5 for the first skedaddle canter, and scored a 5 also for the lovely canter!)

Anyhow, I was SO upset I bawled and then went on about how I hated him and was never going to ride him again....led him back to the truck during which time he was a complete and utter pratt (with me still bawling!).

Thankfully Carolien talked me into putting on his jump gear and doing the show jumping. He was a star. He took a couple of rails, but only because it was very slippery and I was a bit too cautious on the corners giving him insufficient oomph to get over the jump. But he tried his heart out..... completely redeeming himself.

However, I'm afraid I allowed the dressage score, which was not a qualifying one, sway me...I was so disappointed that I didnt even walk the XC, let alone ride it. Silly decision really as every outing is an opportunity for him (us) to gather experience.

Oh well....better luck next time!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rotorua HT 25-26 Feb 2012

Talk about things coming in threes.

All loaded up and ready to go with the two ponies, off we go....reverse back into the turn around.. BANG...truck suddenly on one heck of a lean. Seems we had driven into an old offal hole, and the truck was stuck solid. Unload ponies....two helpful neighbours arrive with tractors and an hour or so later, off we go.

Unloaded, only for one horse to leave a front shoe on the truck ramp.
Then went off to ride the skedaddly pony, only for my reins to break in the middle of the ride.
I really began to wonder if I really wanted to be here doing this eventing lark!

However, pulled myself together and decided that I really did want to!

Sampson hadnt had a start since the Spring...was I being foolish making our first start a step up to pre novice.
It didnt help that the first XC jump was pretty ugly!
He just about held it together for the dressage, but I still havent worked out how to keep his focus in this phase. So we ended up near the bottom, but I wasnt too distraught (he did manage a couple of 8's).

Onto the show jumping!
Having jumped one round of 90cm since Spring, and jumped all of 30-40cm in my lesson that week!However, he was a star and tried really hard...going clear (although he had a jolly good look at that scary wall).
Cross country...although they had finally agreed to lower the first jump, it was still not pretty, and I pretty much decided that I would have to ride my butt off at the beginning of the course.
However, having done that, I found that I could just about sit and steer for the rest of the course...he was fantastic...just jumped everything I pointed him at, no questions. I had no idea how he would be with the coffin, but a moment's hesitation to look at the ditch, and we were over....then for the big concrete drop...eeeek....he didnt bat an eyelid...absolutely beautiful through the bounce....straight through the sunken road, and coped with the water brilliantly - I had been a bit hesitant as to how he would deal with the off set jump on the out, but he eyed it up in the middle of the water and just worked it out and took me to it. An offset log combination towards the end which I had walked several times and just could not find my line ...coming in I could just "see" the line and he jumped it beautifully.
And...just to top it all off, despite having a 'rest' half way round, he only had 2 time faults to finish in 12th place despite being at the bottom after dressage.
So, absolutely thrilled with him.

Puhinui HT 3-4 March 2012

Well, talk about the highs and lows of eventing.

Having had a great outing at Rotorua, I was feeling full of confidence that with a little tweaking in our dressage marks, we had a realistic chance of being placed.

Hmmmm; not to happen.

Arrived Friday , and Sammie was his usual ignorant self riding around and trying to do some flatwork.

However, it was overnight that was the big problem. The place was riddled with Penny Royal, which was the initial instigator of his allergy problem, and he was very very unhappy....couldnt keep still in his yard, wouldnt eat at all (not even his dinner which I had dosed with Aller-G stuff). He was throwing his head around and just not a happy camper. Probably didnt help that his yard was separated from others by a few empty yards.

We moved him to a yard next to another horse and he settled a little, but didnt eat all night and continued to box walk all night (consequence his yard was a mud puddle). I did syringe him with some Aller-G which also helped relieve the symptoms a little also.

When I got on him mid day to warm up for dressage however, he was definitely off behind, so not sure if his nocturnal antics had tweaked something....however I pressed on. Unfortunately he didn't score too well, although apart from one skedaddle and a couple of course errors, he was 'irregular'. The canters were ok though, and the last few movements were spoiled by a squally rain cloud, which he took exception to.

However, not last.

Off to show jump.

Was not at all focused warming up....would then site the jump, hoon at it, boing up over it and run away with me. But, as he was jumping ok, I thought he would settle in the ring and get on with the job as he has tended to do in the past.


Bell went....skedaddle with head in air, didnt even seem to notice the first jump till the last minute and basically jumped from a stand still. Round to number two, still not with it, and clambered over that one. Number three was an oxer on a slight curvy line up hill. I rode him forward to it, but getting nearer to it really felt like 'nobody was home'...not a pleasant feeling. Again he basically 'noticed' the jump at the last minute, kind of tried to stop (and I fell off over it, managing to twist to avoid landing on the back rail), but while I looked up I could see he was coming with me. Ended up with us both lying on the ground.

Not the best way to finish our day!