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Wonder ponies achieve a wonder result - RC Arena Eventing

Posted: 27 November 2018 - Comments (0)

On Sunday we went to Bicton Arena as part of the Threewaters Riding Club team to contest the Arena Eventing qualifier which was sponsored by Horsequest. It was a packed weekend of competition with 2 arenas running and competitors from two neighbouring areas competing. The courses proved the right balance of challenge and generally those with no penalties were placed.

Fliss was up first and I was a little nervous how she would cope as she is still a bit green with fixed fences particularly in an arena, but equally 90 should be well within her capability. We were last to go in our team which meant I was focusing on warming up rather than able to support the rest of our riders. All I can say was Fliss was awesome, she gave me a super confident forward yet careful clear round fast enough to be inside the time and clearing the influential joker fence at the end.

Final placings were decided on closest to the optimum time not the fastest so to be honest it was luck on the final placings. Well luck was on my side as there were only 4 clear rounds and we were closest to the optimum winning the class.

Ellie by this time had been on the lorry a couple of hours and felt she was missing out. By the time we were ready to get her out and tacked up she had morphed into a very hyped up supercharged pony. I sometimes think I should feed her less and then remember she only gets a little Alpha A anyway! She was anchored enough for me to get on and I even had some excited bucks in the warm up. The warm up fences were treated with distain and I could only hope that once in the ring she focused on her job. Luckily I needn't of worried and she was super, popping round the show jumping and then having a blast over the cross country fences. The joker I was a little worried about but she picked her toes up and popped it for a clear inside the time.

Amazingly there were only 6 clear inside the time and yet again we were closest to the optimum to complete a double win! The teams were 4th in the 90 and 3rd in the 100, I qualified both individually for the championships at Aston Le Walls in March which is very exciting.

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The impeccable timing of the horse!

Posted: 24 November 2018 - Comments (0)

This weekend we are representing the riding club at Arena Eventing at Bicton. Both girls are going with Fliss doing the 90 team and Ellie the 100 team. I worked slightly later than usual last night (Friday) and got to the yard to find Fliss in a bit of a paddy. The neighbouring farmer had put cattle in the field (the next but one field over from Fliss) and she was having a tantrum about the fact they were 'so close'. I rescued her to hear that depressing clip clop, thud of a missing shoe! I did try my farrier on the off chance he may be passing by but sadly at just before 5 I couldn't reach him.

On the plus side Fliss has very good strong feet and the shoe was removed cleanly. Sadly she had slightly buried it in the mud meaning it took an hour to locate. I have decided to take her anyway as the surfaces at Bicton are very good, I was slightly more worried that she may be a bit fresh not having been ridden since Wednesday but luckily I was able to give her 20 minutes in the field tonight so hopefully no explosions tomorrow! Ellie meanwhile is feeling very well so fingers crossed she doesn't copy Fliss's trick out tonight!

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BE SJ Training

Posted: 21 November 2018 - Comments (0)

I had that feeling last night I may have finally lost the plot! Having done a morning at work, finished late lunchtime so I could be pummelled back into alignment by the physio and then got to yard about 3.30. Yesterday was bitter so not the best night to pick for some BE training leave alone a hour and half drive away! It had seemed a good idea when I booked it.

The training was with Mandy Frost a BS trainer with a good reputation. We were back at The Grange (Okehampton) for a group session. I enjoyed the training although diverse needs of the group wasn't ideal. We did a range of exercises starting off by ensuring the horses were obedient in the transitions:-

We finished by jumping a course and have to say Ellie was jumping really well. Mandy liked her and was very positive about progressing to Newcomers BS and Novice BE. Main thing to focus on was moving forward more on the landing stride to ensure we make our distances more easily.

An enjoyable session but home to bed after 11 and knackered for work the next day!

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BS and jumping fun

Posted: 17 November 2018 - Comments (0)

A fun couple of days jumping the girls. We had planned to jump two days at the Grange indoor show but in the end we just jumped the first day. This was Fliss's first time competitively jumping indoors and Ellie hasn't been indoors properly for a couple of years. This was also a new venue to both of them.

Fliss as I suspected went slightly green on me although despite partly trotting through the second double she still managed a double clear.

Ellie was less green and managed a super double clear in a decent time to win the class. Even better we achieved the perfect Shoestring result with a 1-2 in the class.

In Devon and Cornwall none of the BS venues have particularly big schools and with the popularity of single phase 14 fences in smaller schools gets quite tight as well as a lot to look at. The Grange is actually the biggest school we have locally. It can make you ride a bit more backwards and defensively just to get the lines. Like anything else it is a skill that clearly needs practice. In the 1.05 both girls had fences you can see from Fliss's round we just misjudged the distance along the line and made a bad mistake.

Both girls and I have learnt loads from this. However I decided against a second day particularly as the warm up is quite tight and testing when busy.

As we had stayed away with friends it seemed silly not to make use of her lovely school and get some practice in for next weekends Arena Eventing competition. I used some free standing fillers to make some skinnies and then improvised a number of testing lines to get them really thinking. Ellie was her normal awesome self but I was impressed how quickly Fliss understood everything and she was jumping some quite good lines.



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Posted: 13 November 2018 - Comments (0)

I am not a fair weather rider but if there is a torrential downpour I will try and avoid it. I'm not sure how I missed the threatening black clouds yesterday that within 10 minutes of setting out with Fliss the heavens opened and it was like someone throwing a bucket over us. Poor Fliss was less than impressed and we were both drenched my shoes filled with water as it ran down my legs under the chaps. It has been a long time since I got totally soaked quite that quickly. Also I never find that fluorescent coats are the most waterproof and it certainly failed that test!

Had I taken a change of clothes? Of course not! This is where there is a distinct disadvantage not having the yard at or very close to home. I shivered and shook whilst ensuring Fliss had a warm drying fleece on and was dried off enough to change rugs and be left. I will certainly be looking for big black clouds a little harder next time!

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Team dressage

Posted: 11 November 2018 - Comments (0)

Today we headed off to the RC area dressage at Duchy College as part of Threewaters Riding Club team. We were entered in Novice 34.

Ellie warmed up beautifully and when going well I'm careful not to overdo her, I let her relax for 10 minutes and then with 2 to go restarted the warm up. Well not sure what happened but turned into hyper active pony! In the end just walked her quietly to settle before starting our test.

The arena was wet and stodgy in places which actually helped us, I think a good surface and she would have charged off. As it was she contained things and did a super test just with a mistake in the second medium canter. Her medium trots were the best yet so I was delighted with her. In a very tight and strong section we were 5th with 72.5% so pleased with the result but over the moon with her effort.

A nice day, great team spirit and fun and well organised. However I do think Ellie is more looking forward to representing the team Arena Eventing!

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