Posted: 8 Oct 2020 - Comments (0)
So just a brief recap. With COVID we wanted to try something a bit different this year and decided to give dressage to Music a try with Ellie. We were all prepared for the Riding Club Qualifier when she delivered her sicknote. Fliss stepped in last minute using Ellie's music and qualified despite taking the freestyle element a bit to heart.
Once the decision was made to go to the Championship we adjusted the floorplan and music for Fliss, ideally if I had entered her originally it would have been at Novice level but by stepping into Ellie's class we ended up doing the Elementary. Huge thanks to Clare Deitrick for helping me with the music and floorplan and answering my novice questions, why did I want to do dressage to music when I am not a huge fan of dressage and I am certainly not musical? Certainly we focused a little more on the dressage and Fliss has made a huge improvement since the qualifier and with Owen's lesson the day before we had plenty of confidence that we wouldn't make a fool of ourselves. However the first competitive ride through of the music would be at the championships.
After our lesson with Owen we moved from Lyneham Heath to Attington home of Austin O'Connor and within an hours drive of the championship venue at Bury Farm. The day of Championships was miserable with persistent heavy rain. It was our first trip to Bury Farm and it was certainly a lovely facility with a huge indoor school which was surprisingly atmospheric despite the lack of any audience. I understand a few horses were slightly bright in their test. I had entered a warm up class but as this was outside the weather firmed up my decision to give it a miss. Warm up was in a couple of smaller indoor schools with careful COVID controls making sure the numbers were not exceeded.
Fliss warmed up well and soon it was our turn to enter the arena. Fliss was certainly surprised to see some judges at B as well as C but soon settled and the music started. The test wasn't perfect but she tried so hard and held it together I came out slightly tearful that we had pulled such a good test out for the stage she was at. We are still waiting for the pro video but I will share as soon as it is through. Scores were online and we scored a very respectable 67.3% leaving us 15th of 30 competitors. I would love to have been a bit higher up but in a championship test with a great standard we were far from embarrassed and I am delighted with what we produced. I hate to shout too loudly but I really enjoyed our dressage to music journey and will be bringing the music out again during the winter for some BD!
Posted: 6 Oct 2020 - Comments (0)
It seemed almost criminal to go to Lyneham Heath see the lovely XC course and then have a dressage lesson with Owen Moore. However quite sensibly with the Dressage to Music Championship the next day it was best to focus on the flatwork.
Well I have to say whilst Owen is a genius helping us with the jumping he was equally good with the flat work just making some little tweaks that really did help the way of going and give us confidence heading into the championships. Some of the main points we focused on :-
- A more forward hand to help her take her nose out and forward
- The very early stages of rein back and starting to think rein back into the simple changes, rather than make her abrupt it suddenly made her use her hind quarters into the transition
- Straightness on the right rein ensuring her quarters are under control in the canter
- Using a quarters leading leg yield to really engage the hind quarters when warming up
- Making sure my head and shoulders follows the horses
A clip of some of the work, if you put the sound on it will pick up what Owen is telling us.
Posted: 30 Sep 2020 - Comments (0)
Well sadly the insurance never came through for Ellie's treatment. I need to be clear they haven't refused to cover Ellie's treatment but they are yet to make a decision. It left us with a dilemma and also what would we do if they didn't pay up? In the end we decided to go ahead, I still v much hope that the insurance will cover it but we have gone ahead.
She was dropped off yesterday to B&W had a MRI scan yesterday and her Op today to place a screw in the foot which should hopefully the solve the problem related to the bone cyst by promoting bone to fill in the hole. I was phoned this afternoon by Ollie Crowe to confirm all had gone well and Ellie had recovered well. She was evidently less than impressed that she wasn't allowed breakfast this morning. Now starts the recovery which will be about 3 months until we start to get an idea if it has been successful. We pick her up on Saturday.
Meanwhile with Fliss on board we proceeded to Lyneham Heath for the first part of our trip. It was rather marred by a new weight limit on route at Burford which then caused us an hour detour round unsuitable roads as well as me having a nervous breakdown. We later found out that the weight limit didn't apply to private horseboxes!
Today we had a great session with Owen Moore albeit a tad wet he could see lots of improvement since January when he saw her last. She went really well with some minor tweaks mainly working on getting her head out a little more and me more upright in the air over the fence. A quick clip
Another lesson tomorrow before the music champs on Friday and then picking Ellie up on Friday.
Posted: 22 Sep 2020 - Comments (0)
Plans are fast accelerating for our first trip away next week. With increased COVID restrictions it is a bit up in the air but hopefully the activities we are planning are all low risk.
I am still hoping the insurance will come through and we can take Ellie to B&W on Tuesday for her to have her operation whilst Fliss is away competing. If we can we will then travel to Lyneham Heath where we have lessons booked with Owen Moore on Wednesday and Thursday. Although jumping may not be the best preparation for the dressage championships it is best to make use of our trip away. So Friday we compete at Bury Farm in the Elementary Dressage to Music championships, we already have out time 15.30. We then hope to travel back on the Saturday via jumping a Newcomers at Cherwell and pick Ellie up on the way back.
Huge thanks to Clare Deitrick our new music and floorplan is ready although not practiced that thoroughly! Tomorrow Fliss has her Flu jab as the Riding Clubs are requiring a 6 month flu jab so she will have to have a few quiet days to make sure she gets over that.
Posted: 13 Sep 2020 - Comments (0)
It has been a long time since we jumped a Foxhiunter, Fliss and I have only done 2 and yesterday I put on the brave pants and entered the Newcomers and Foxhunter. A fairly low key show at Pendarves seemed an ideal opportunity particularly with a couple of weeks jumping behind us and Fliss going so well.
First up was the Newcomers although Fliss is now in the open 1.10 section as her win last week has put her over the Newcomers limit. We have been working hard with Mel Hennah on riding forwards round the cornera and sitting up rather than tipping forward. I was really pleased with her Newcomers round and chuffed if was good enough for the win and enough prize money to cover our costs - always a big help!
The Foxhunter was a nice track but there were some very decent parallels in the jump off section probably a good 1.30, as well as the addition of a treble, it was a small class with just 3 of us. I was feeling confident after our good previous round and just focused on riding forwards, it is interesting watching the video as it felt more forward than it was although it was only really the last double we ended on a bit of a backward stride and rattled the a element but it stayed up giving us a confident double clear and 2nd place.
Very proud of how well she went.
Posted: 12 Sep 2020 - Comments (0)
We have decided to go to the music Championships at Addington (COVID19 allowing) so as the original music and floor[plan was for Ellie we have been tinkering with it to make it better for Fliss, she struggled with some of the canter elements particularly. So yesterday we had another session with Clare Deitrick and redesigned the floor plan, really pleased with what we (Clare) came up with. The video will show you the plan now leaving Clare to work her magic with the music then try and get some practice in. The Champs is just under 3 weeks away and the lorry needs some work and Fliss a flu jab so may not be the most prepared!