Supported By:

SureGrow Jayne Townsend Equine Bowen Therapy Woof Wear Activate Your Seat by Maeve Sheridan Super X Country Cousin Jack

My Blog

Earlier Entries Later Entries

21st September

Posted: 21 Sep 2015 - Comments (0)
It was a bit of a roller coaster weekend! Friday we set off to Launceston to stay with friend and trainer Zoe, this serves several purposes mainly to avoid the A30 Saturday bottleneck and to get some crafty practice in under an expert eye. We had quite a laid back session aware that it was a busy weekend but just focused on transitions on the flat and then some straightforward jumping just to realign the radar after last weekends cross country. I have to say she jumped really superbly.

Saturday we planned to jump a class at the local show centre Tall Trees. Usually I wouldn’t compete the day before an event but we had qualified for a 95cm final with some lovely prizes and £75 first prize. We seem to have spent the season either missing show jumping second rounds or finals because she wasn’t quite ready or it didn’t fit in so we decided this was definitely worth a punt. On her usual form we would have to have had a chance of being competitive.

I was giving her a good groom that morning (it is usually just girth and ears then off riding) and I noticed her udder was very swollen, warm and hard. I couldn’t say it wasn’t like it the day before or even when it was last normal. On the positive side she wasn’t too unhappy having it poked and everything else seemed normal.

We went to Tall Trees (a lovely 10 minute drive) and popped Posy in a stable while I spent the morning pole picking and adjusting the courses. Unfortunately the sponsored class (thank you Annette Allen and Redbarn Custom Clothing) didn’t attract great numbers but turned out to be quite competitive. Sadly from our point of view Posy had an off day and had one of the few fences down she has had at this height and we were lucky not to have at least one more. Interestingly she caught them behind which is very unusual and made me wonder if she was a little uncomfortable from her swelling. At this point we were due to leave for Pontispool and thought very seriously about turning back for home. Posy’s welfare is always foremost and also at this stage in her eventing career it is important she enjoys herself. I rang my own vet for some advice and we decided to carry on but if at any point we were concerned then we would bring her straight home.

A good trip to Ponsipool and a nice stay overnight. Walked the course which was clearly a step up from West Wilts (see course pics) the main problem seemed to be some off set brushes at fence 4 which quite a few horses didn’t read very well. Popped the Arc Equine on Posy overnight and kept my fingers crossed for the next day.

Next day she was still swollen but I had the on site vet look at her and he was confident it was nothing to worry about. Temperature, heart and everything else was normal, best thing for it was exercise so we proceeded confidently. Plaiting was interesting (Mum’s job) as she spent the whole session insisting that she rested her head on my shoulder. She is a strange mare very human orientated and often whinnies at me even when I get off. Not decided if it is endearing or just strange!!

Dressage was a much improved test to last time, although watching it back as she was a little lazy I just slightly pushed her out of her rhythm. Very pleased though with a mark of 28.5 to leave us in a very pleasing 3rd after dressage.
Show jumping was quite a technical course although not big and Posy showed little respect for me or the course. She was clearly feeling absolutely fine and coped brilliant at no 5 when when we were totally wrong. It is nice that we can still be clear despite the mistakes!
Cross country was soon upon us and there were not many waiting when we arrived at cross country warm up. A couple of practice fences and we were ready to go. I set out positively as she is still quite green initially (video shows 1-4)
Fence 4 is sadly obstructed by a telegraph pole on the video and is 2 off set brush fences which was probably the most influential fence on the track. She jumped the first and slightly lost the line but was very honest to the second element. Then came a roll top to a corner which she jumped well and a brush under the trees which was very spooky. The trakanner she backed off so had a smack to keep her in front the leg, the indignity of this meant I then couldn’t get her back to me with a double of white boxes approaching. A slight veer at a thick hedge got her focus back on me and she jumped the boxes well. We came to the water which had a small log and then a stride and through the water she was great and only had a slight hesitation, we then proceeded to a hay cart, owl hole and offset double and we were home. A quicker round than West Wilts but we are still at the education stage rather than competitive above all else so picked up 2.4 time penalties. A great finish score of 30.9.

We finished 4th, much as I was over the moon with the performance and the progress I was rather gutted that we were only 0.6 off the winner. An extra 2 seconds faster and we would have won. I know I rode her correctly but I am sure I could have sensibly shaved the seconds somewhere!

We won a lovely Tredstep saddlecloth from Cheffings Equine and another frilly to the collection. A very good day.

Comments (0)

17th September

Posted: 17 Sep 2015 - Comments (0)
The multiple loads of washing have been done and we are getting ready to head off to Pontispool for Posy’s second BE90. She had a day off on Monday and a nice hack Tuesday before focusing on some flatwork, typically we have taken a step back again and the contact is a bit dead and she is behind my leg. I have this sneaky feeling that it is not helped by the fact I want her to be going very well in order to be competitive however I must put on my long term head and make sure she is educated for the future and I avoid the quick fixes.

Comments (0)

West Wilts BE

Posted: 13 Sep 2015 - Comments (0)
We finally made it with Posy to our first BE event. Albeit later in the year than I planned but delighted nonetheless that I waited as I felt she had the education and maturity to cope.

We set off quite early on the Saturday and were rather smug to avoid the bottleneck of traffic in Cornwall however by the time we were on the M5 it was stop start to Bristol which was rather frustrating and meant we were on the road for nearly 5 hours.

Plenty of time on arrival to give Posy a mooch round in hand and see the sights before settling her in the lovely stable. 3 rolls later she decided the stable was acceptable. Walked the course which was ideal, a variety of questions but all well presented and a super first course for her. My only real concern was the water being early at fence 4 as this can be something that can worry her and I wanted to be sure we were well under way before we reached it.

I rode her for an hour on Saturday and although bright she was beautifully behaved. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to introduce her to a neighbouring friends horse, he had won his section on a criminal 13.5, she sadly didn't pick up any tips there!

The weather was kind on the Sunday staying dry and even the wind dropped. I took her out for 20 minutes first thing and then she was plaited (mum’s job!) And we had a nice dressage time of 10.50. Warm up was really busy and was more a question of avoiding crashes than beneficial warm up. Just in the last week her contact has gone a little dead and she sits on the hand so she wasn’t as light on the forehand as I wanted. She did a very accurate and obedient test and I was delighted to score 31.8 particularly as this is her first test on grass.
Show jumping was on West Wilts lovely all weather arena. It has been a while since Posy has jumped a 90 course and I have to say she didn’t take a lot of notice of the jockey and in patches just ignored me resulting in her being a little quick and long. Saying that there was never any chance of her touching a fence.
So a quick change and onto cross country. She warmed up confidently and we were soon in the start box. West Wilts hasn’t got the nicest start in that you head towards the dressage and then turn back 180 degrees for fence 1 but she coped with this fine slightly propped at the fence then with a swift pony club kick sailed over.

She was a bit wobbly to start but providing I was positive was happy to take it on and jump, I was gobsmacked that she made as little fuss as she did at the water and then jumped a trickly little brush on a hillock well. Video shows fences 3-6.
She really picked up confidence as she went around. The skinny upright to hedge she backed off not really understanding but was honest and trusting enough to go. I brought her back to trot for the little step up to the log drop off which she did very neatly. She was quite spooky about a brush in the hedgeline and gave it a foot and then we turned to a combination of barrels to rails which she jumped very nicely.

The final 3 fences were straightforward and she really flew home. We had 9 time penalties but we are at the stage her education is more important than the speed in which we can go around the course. Without them she would have been highly placed which was really positive.

Couldn’t have been more pleased we now roll on for another 3 events in 3 weekends finishing with a BE100 at Bovington. Then she may be allowed a holiday.

Comments (0)

10th September

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 - Comments (0)
A hectic week again amazing how doing a few extra hours at work impacts on horse time! Took Posy cross country schooling on Tuesday to a course she has not been on before and she was ace, very confident and agile jumping everything brilliantly. The only area we still have a issue is water she is nervous of being in water and where her feet are she gives me the impression that something may have happened in the past although once in and through she builds up her confidence. Nothing like a good wet winter to sort this out but in the meantime I need to ride her very positively into water although only at a trot to give her time to take it in. West Wilts water is quite inviting so fingers crossed.

Typically after a weekend of jumping last weekend on Monday she decided that going on the bit was no longer cool and she would just sit on my hand with her nose pocked out! Typical young horse and there was me quite confident that if she didn’t get distracted she could do a nice test.

The weather forecast for West Wilts currently isn’t great with wet and windy in the forecast, hoping that as we get nearer it will improve. You always imagine your first event in ideal conditions and undoubtedly matters will be complicated if the weather is bad. We are stabling on site so hopefully on Saturday she can get herself familiar with the place and what is going on.

So please keep your fingers crossed for nice weather on Sunday and I will report back early next week.

Comments (0)

5th September

Posted: 5 Sep 2015 - Comments (0)
Had a lovely weekend (if you ignore the Cornish tourist jams). Popped up to Zoe’s on Friday and had a jump Friday and Saturday with Posy. Not full on sessions but just spending time working in the field and refining my eye to a deeper spot show jumping. Really pleased with our progress and finding we are working as a partnership far better.

Today was putting it into practice at Colraine. Took Bobby and Posy for a class each. Really pleased with how Bobby jumped although a rusty mistake from both of us cost a fence.
Posy was in the discovery and it was a nice track. The aim was to get some better strides and not get quite so long. Sadly this failed at fence 3 when we were unbalanced on the corner and took off rather early to 3 meaning we went very high to get the distance!

After this the round improved and I felt it was a good round. In the jump off section I did take some tight turns and angled a few fences meaning we were placed 2nd in a reasonable sized class.

So the countdown is now on and only another 7 days to our fist BE event at West Wilts. We have a final cross country school planned this week and then it will be tidying up the flatwork and away we go.

Comments (0)

3rd September

Posted: 3 Sep 2015 - Comments (0)
10 days to go now until Posy’s first BE event at West Wilts. Very glad I am not too early in my section as dressage starts at 7.30am!

Had some good jump training with Zoe last weekend and I am back for another session this weekend. Working on getting a good canter to the fence and not trying to go off my long eventing strides. I have to say the star show jumper was not Posy but Smartie dog! Interestingly he could do the related distance in the same number of strides as Posy!
This week we took Posy XC schooling again at Chyverton. We were both more confident and although she was still green at times she is coming on in leaps and bounds.

Comments (0)

Page: 86 of 101