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Troon Show

Posted: 12 May 2019 - Comments (0)
On Saturday we went to a local show (Troon) which is held at Pendarves Equestrian to do some BS with Fliss. Looking back at our record this is the first time we have jumped locally since August last year! As we are due to event this week I just jumped the one class the Newcomers / 1.10 open. It turned out to be a very competitive class as there was £120 to the winner and hence a lot of experienced horses out for the money. There was also plenty of atmosphere with plenty of competitors and spectators.

The class was jumped over 2 rounds and with the money on offer was up to height and relatively technical. It also had a treble and a triple bar neither of which Fliss has seen much so was great experience. (The picture is the first part of the triple bar). I was delighted when she jumped a very nice clear round making it feel quite easy.

First round
Jump off

Despite a few sharpish turns and a clear round we were 7th in a very competitive 13 horse jump off and out of the placings. Nevertheless I was delighted with how she jumped some difficult tracks and most of the horses were experienced open horses.

So now thoughts turn to Howick and I may not have mentioned that we have entered the Novice!!! I had a run through of the test today and think dressage may be the most difficult phase as she was struggling with what is a more difficult novice test.

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A non equine update - Rosie

Posted: 9 May 2019 - Comments (0)
I thought I would share a picture of Rosie at dog training which she started this week. She is coming on nicely and has mastered the sit, whatever the command she now sits!! We are neurotic about not losing her or letting her off a lead when out. She is still quite nervous and shy but at times is really starting to show her jolly side. Smartie adores her and they play endlessly however I am sure that Smartie would like an off button as she is your typical Duracell Bunny who is full of energy. She really needs a good free run but at the moment we can't find anywhere secure enough to ensure she remains with us.

She now has a tracker so if she ever did go missing at least we could track where she was and make capturing her a little easier but I would point out this is an insurance only as we are doing everything in our power not to lose her. I think in time she will be very loyal and loving but probably a year or two project to that stage!

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XC schooling - Rosamund Green

Posted: 7 May 2019 - Comments (0)
So Sunday as we were in the area we diverted to the fabulous facility that is Rosamund Green. A course designed for the higher levels with fences from BE100 up in every form you can imagine.

It was a greta chance to school over some Novice combinations and questions and I have to say she ate them all up skinnies, lines and steps she was superb. There were two waters and again she showed how much she had grown up cantering straight through and jumping fences before and after.

Big thanks to Nick Perry for the super pictures.

Really feel despite not a huge number of BE runs she is ready for a Novice BE run.

A video of the schooling

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Dorset Show jumping - Moving upward

Posted: 6 May 2019 - Comments (0)
I enjoy the 3 day shows and it is a great chance to consolidate our show jumping. As it happened we only jumped for 2 days at Dorset but I was over the moon with what we achieved in those 2 days. The great thing about Dorset is not only do they have a super all weather surface but a fabulous well tended enormous grass arena. It meant that we could get some practice on grass as well.

On day 1 I actually wimped out of jumping on grass as Fliss was very fresh and I wanted to start on the surface (what sort of eventer am I?) I was keen to try and be a bit more competitive at this show as I felt she had progressed enough to ask a little more in the jump off. In the Newcomers I did have a go in the jump off but rather flattened her round a corner meaning we had a pole down. Looking back I just needed to ride her more forward into the bridle rather than let her get long.
I was a little disappointed with the pole but then made a very brave decision and entered the Foxhunter. This would be the biggest class I have jumped for 5 years since I had Pip. I was attracted by the fact it was A7 and therefore had a separate jump off meaning that the first round wouldn't be too huge (I hoped). I walked it and it was a proper Foxhunter track, definitely one that it was better not to get too close to some of the fences. Fliss was amazing (a bit too good) and made it feel easy jumping a super easy clear round. I had quietly hoped for an unlucky 4 faults and not have to go into an increased height jump off!
The best thing for me was not to watch the jump off being put up but by this time the course would be a good 1.25 / 1.30. I wasn't getting any ideas of going for a fast jump off and was delighted despite Fliss tiring slightly to jump another clear round.
A big bonus was second place (in a small class) and the Foxhunter frilly for the best Foxhunter horse in the class.

On the second day I was determined to do at least one class on the grass. I couldn't decide whether to be bold and jump the 1.15 on the grass first or take an easier option and jump the 1.05 later in the day. I walked the 1.15 which was single phase meaning some of the second half was 1.20 / 1.25. I have to say it looked big and the ring although large was fairly undulating adding to difficulty. In normal circumstances I may have had better sense however considering just how well she had jumped the day before I entered

A good warm up and with instructions ringing in my ear to keep the canter going forward and up I went in. I needn't have worried she made the course feel very easy. I remember approaching the first fence thinking it was a big track and then trying to change my thought to how lucky I was to ride her.
With the double clear we finished 4th in the class only 0.5 second off the prize money.

I didn't want to keep pushing my luck and finished the day jumping the Newcomers on the arena. The track seemed relatively small after the previous 2 classes. I did decide that it would be a good opportunity to have another go at a quick jump off and this time it came off!
In a class of open horses and Newcomers horses we were 2nd overall and won the best Newcomers frilly!

The following day instead of jumping again we made the decision to take advantage of nearby cross country schooling facilities and divert to Rosamond Green, See my next blog.

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Ticking over

Posted: 1 May 2019 - Comments (0)
Been a relatively quiet week. After a few weeks off Ellie is back in work and doing some hacking and Fliss has been ticking over. Can be so tempting to take them out every weekend but equally they need some down time to mentally relax and chill. We are away this weekend though to Dorset Showground for a few days of jumping. Just taking Fliss and be a great opportunity to jump on grass as well as a surface training for our eventing show jumping.

I was musing as schooling Fliss today that it is often the simple things that can be the hardest. I was schooling Fliss in the field tonight and she was going really sweetly but what was the thing I was most struggling with? The transition between free walk and medium walk! She was losing her rhythm as I picked the reins up or if I took too much of a contact almost stopping. After about 15 tries at this it was getting better but clearly something to be thought about. Probably stems from when we are jumping pick up the reins and canter off!

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Amazing progress

Posted: 25 Apr 2019 - Comments (0)
Sometimes it is good to look back and see how far we have come. Less than 18 months ago I had a confidence crisis and didn't want to ride. A year ago Fliss and I did our first show jumping round (75cm) and a year later she is jumping Newcomers.

This video was Fliss a year ago
This is a year later (to the day)

In the last 12 months Fliss has gained qualification for the second round British Show Jumping by jumping 4 double clears in British Novice, Discovery and Newcomers. She has won 235 points and £285 in the season.

Eventing wise she was allowed to mature last year and only did one 80 and one 90, this year we have done two 100s and to date she has no jumping faults eventing.

Exciting to plan some Foxhunter BS and hopefully Novice BE. Lovely to have one that is not only talented but a lovely person too.

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