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Treborough BE90

Posted: 27 Jun 2017 - Comments (0)
You may remember in my last short blog things had not been going smoothly with a few lorry problems. Well that wasn't the end of the dramas and left me wondering whether Treborough was meant to be.

Much as it is a lovely event, the drive in a lorry is not the best with twisty and hilly roads. Perhaps hilly doesn't do it justice and as we were rising up a 1 in 6 hill with the engine working hard there was a bang and terrible screeching noise. It wasn't a tyre and everything was still working but the noise when the engine was working harder was terrible. By this time we were only a few miles from the stabling so literally crept along as nowhere really to pull off road. Arrived at the stabling and wondered if despite being 3 miles from the event we wouldn't be going in the morning. Don't think Ellie fancied hacking there first!

Fortunately we have breakdown cover through NFU and they were very efficient, for once luck was on our side and the drastic problems we imagined did not materialise and it was a simple broken seal on the turbo pipe which was easily fixed. As usual the eventing community showed came up trumps as we had offers from those we were stabling with of lifts to the event.

Even on the day we were not drama free, I was just getting ready for dressage when the zip went on my riding boots and with consistency went on both boots! Some electrical tape was hastily wound round and we made it to the dressage.

The event after all the above seems an anti climax! The weather was drizzly and overcast but at least fog free. For the dressage we had a short warm up after the boot drama and this led to a slightly careful test rather than with a bit more work one I could really ride. Saying that with amazing consistency we finished with the same score of 31.8 as the previous outing at West Wilts.

Show jumping still needs work but she coped very well with quite a undulating ring. In the related distance from 3-4 I went to add a stride and ended up adding a couple so I pushed on at the double and flattened her having it down coming out. That pole was to prove costly.

Cross country was great and the ground considering the recent dry spell was spot on. The course was decent over undulating ground but not too technical. Ellie gave me the best round to date listening to me but equally moving forward to her fences. I purposely moved her up half a gear and for a small girl she really can lengthen and cover the ground. The picture was one of the trickier fences a corner near the start with some quite undulating ground in front of it but you can see she jumped it superbly. At this point the video picks us up for the last 1/3 of the course.

As you can see it was quite wet xc but she took this in her stride to finish 6 seconds inside the time. I was delighted, we finished 12th in a very tight section the pole costing us 2nd place.

So after having the feeling we were not meant to be there in the end it was a very good day. We even made it home safely.

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Not the best few days

Posted: 22 Jun 2017 - Comments (0)
Despite hibernating from the heat it seems to have been a week of things going wrong. Luckily all are fixable, the only permanent damage is to the Shoestring budget.

On Tuesday the brakes on my car suddenly started grinding, luckily my local garage fitted the car in quickly but there had already been damage to the discs and a calliper (no idea what that is) had stuck so unexpected expense, the same day the microwave also died and a strimming incident resulted in a smashed drivers side lorry window. Hopefully that is my three things.

We are now gearing up (provided the lorry window can be fixed in time) for Treborough Horse Trials on Sunday. Had the heatwave continued I may have wimped out but it is forecast to be quite cool and even the potential for a bit of rain. Hoping to cement our good run last time.

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Hot, hot, hot!!!

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 - Comments (0)
Well it has certainly been warm and as anyone that knows me can tell you I hate heat at the best of times! We headed to Chard on Wednesday for the South West Show Jumping club 4 day show jumping show. A nice venue, a good ring and great courses made it very worthwhile.

Thursday was great weather wise, warm but not hot and Ellie was a tad enthusiastic jumping. With little time between West Wilts and Chard the last jumping she had done was cross country and she certainly got enthused show jumping. She is still convinced that she can hurtle round at her speed and totally ignore the rider, when she does this I am glad she 14.2 not 16.2!! I am also not sure I have the bitting right I have her in a little Tom Thumb but sometimes she runs through it and others she backs off it and goes nowhere. On the first day we jumped the British Novice and then as that wasn't great we then jumped the 90cm open over the same course.

On Friday it was starting to get quite warm, we jumped another British Novice where she had a pole and we circled to get her listening. We were then very brave and jumped our first Discovery. In modern show jumping where most classes are single phase you jump half the course at the class height and then the jump off section is bigger in this case 1.05-1.10. I must admit on a 14.2 this seems quite big! I think the fact that I left my phone in my pocket that then flew out after fence 3 distracted me from worrying too much that I must get a perfect stride. I just remembered to keep the engine going and keep an eye out for the phone so it didn't get squashed.

Ellie was amazing and actually easier over the bigger fences as it made her slightly less cocky. She jumped a great double clear only spoilt by time faults as the jockey took a wrong turn.

Saturday's plan was a trip to Pontispool for some cross country schooling. The hot weather meant we were on board and out on the course just before 8.30am. I kept the session fairly light as the ground was firm enough, it was still pretty hot and we were mid show. I have very little variety of schooling facilities locally at home so didn't want to miss the opportunity of somewhere different. We played in the waters, jumped our first triple brush and put a few demons to bed by jumping the hay cart where we fell at the BE competition.

We were all finished just after 9 and Ellie's highlight was the 15 minutes of grass she was allowed to eat. We returned to Chard and hibernated from the heat as best we could.

Sunday was horribly hot but luckily it didn't seem to affect Ellie too much. We jumped the British Novice and had 2 poles down where we were fighting each other for control (the cross country kicked in again). I then put her in the Discovery again and she jumped another super round just having a pole coming into the double. Over the moon how she has progressed and stepped up to Discovery, she certainly isn't short of scope to go higher.

With the hot weather continuing Ellie now has had a few days off to rest and recuperate.

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All go

Posted: 13 Jun 2017 - Comments (0)
It has been a quick turn around this week and about to head off to South West Show Jumping Club 4 day show jumping show at Chard. Really looking forward to establishing our show jumping and hopefully jumping some Discovery classes. Hopefully I will be able to do a few updates while I'm away.

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West Wilts BE90

Posted: 11 Jun 2017 - Comments (0)
West Wilts offered us the opportunity to put the Pontispool fall and demons behind us. The weather was exceedingly kind with a good dollop (technical term) of rain the week before giving excellent ground yet it was dry and cool on the day.

We travelled up the night before, not only is it quite a long journey (just under 5 hours) but also we had super early times on the Saturday with dressage just after 8 and we were all finished by 9.30. The course asked a few questions for the level, probably middle of the range in difficulty, with a few combinations and a few questions Ellie hadn't met before. (the course pics are here).

Dressage is right by the cross country start so can be exciting however being nice and early we completed this phase before it had started. I thought Ellie produced her best test to date at this level for a 31. She still needs to relax the neck and can look a bit tight at times but overall I was very pleased. We were probably just in the top quarter after dressage scoring 31.

Quick change for show jumping and I thought the track was quite testing for the level although the arena is lovely to jump on. We made one mistake which was mine, I tried to ride a 5 stride distance on 5 when with the way we had jumped in adding a stride would have been far better, leaving her unable to jump the rail into the double. The rest of the round was great, I was however v surprised to get a time fault, as with the exception of one change of leg the round had been flowing and I had cut inside to number 9. Saying that in the great scheme of things it made no difference to the outcome on the day. Very pleased with Ellie's improvement in this phase.

I must admit I was a bit nervous about cross country the after our previous fall but I shouldn't have worried too much as she was great, still green in places which is fine but honest and bold and where we were on some funny strides she coped and sorted things out. We went out of the start and over the first 4 plain fences before the water at 5, this just involved a run through and a log the other side, pleased she kept the canter going through the water and out over the log. 6 was a hanging log with a drop on landing she popped a short stride in assessed and went. At 8 was the first combination which was a 2 stride double and she really made it seem quite short. The next combination was a wooden rail in front of jumping through the hedge, she was unsure re this but gave her a bit of time, kept leg on firmly and she jumped through the hedge before turning back on ourselves and back through the hedge further along. The next was a step onto a bank a couple of strides off the bank to a roll top on two strides, although I had her back she jumped so boldly off it was sort of one and a bit strides to the roll top but she coped. We then had some really bright double of houses with the first being on the narrow side, again she went a bit green and the jump over the first was rather hollow but jumped out really well. We had rather a large jump over the rails and hedge under the tree before a few more plain ones and we came back into sight where we were picked up by the video. Over a log and then a double to finish which she jumped really well. I am still at the stage of not letting her run at her pace cross country so we picked up 6.8 time penalties.

Really pleased with her across the day, she has again shown how capable she will be in all phases. She was less than impressed with her reward as we stopped off on the way home to get her teeth done. I did try and tell her she can enjoy her grass and hay more but she wasn't best pleased. Realised how lucky we were with the weather when we arrived back to a wet and dank day in Cornwall.

Thank you as always to Nick Perry for the pictures and Nick and Jane for the support.

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Midweek Update

Posted: 7 Jun 2017 - Comments (0)
I have some good if not sad news in that Posy has been sold and has gone to a new home this week. So this means I can start some serious horse hunting for something to share Ellie's workload. So if anyone knows anything get in touch, I am open minded but my ideals are

x - 5-8 years x - 15.0-16.1 x - Narrow ish sit on x - Excellent in traffic and non quirky x - Can be green but ideally seen something of life x - Jump is far more important than an aptitude for dressage x - A Sarnie clone would be perfect

Meanwhile this weekend the focus is back on eventing as we head to West Wilts horse trials. I am hoping the weather has not gone from one extreme to the other, at least it won't be too muddy for us as we are one of the first on course and finished by 9.30am!!

Hoping the demons from our fall at Pontispool will be well and truely put behind us. We are actually heading out of Cornwall tomorrow evening as we are in silly season in Cornwall for traffic jams, then we will drive the remainder on Friday. I will try and add updates on social media and expect the full report on Sunday.

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