Sunday, August 15, 2010

Silver Hills ODE

A good weekend with the horses. I have to thank my best friend for being my groom, made my life less stressful – that’s for sure. This was my first eventing competition for the year, considering that we did fairly well. The dressage left much to be desired, I need to get the musculo-skeletal vet out again and get Rion on the mend. Time to get the dressage saddle out more often I think. Pippy was in the intro class (80cm) and Rion was in the Pre-Novice (1.05m)

I was appointed yesterday as Pippy’s trainer; she will be staying at my place for a month. She tends to get nervous in her dressage, particularly in the warm up area. I have a month ahead of me to fill with work for both the horses. Time to go back to my sources and get some good dressage exercises. I love 101 Dressage Exercises, amongst the other 101 books, they are all great. She is such a great little jumper though, so much spring, very quick. We had a clear showjumping round though we did have two time fault which I’m not happy about. Something to keep in mind. We had a great cross-country round. Straight through the water, didn’t even look at a single jump and we were exactly on time, take a second or two. All good on the jumping front but my job is to improve the dressage. Bring it on I say!

Rion jumped well in showjumping though I made some rather stupid pilot errors, giving us three down, another thing I’m not happy about, being a showjumper I don’t like knocking fences when I’m out eventing. The x-c footing was good, not hard, just the right amount of give. At least it was before the freezing rain and hail bucketed down in the 10 mins before I had to start. In my min countdown to start he started to get more tense, he had been rearing in warm up, which is customary for him, though it is rather annoying, he started rearing 10 secs before start time. Mum couldn’t get near him to walk him in; by the time she did we were already 20 secs behind, once I got him out of the box I didn’t even bother starting my watch, we were behind time and the footing after the rain wasn’t worth killing myself over. I just took everything easy, kept forward and galloped only in the long stretches between jumps. I had to stop on course as my gaiters unzipped and was annoying the heck out of me. So on the time front I don’t even want to know how many penalties I got! He jumped absolutely perfectly however which I am pleased about.

Me and Rion :)

So overall I would say we had a good weekend, despite our flaws. Waiting on the musculo-skeletal vet to get back to us, then I could sort Rion out faster but until she does I will just have to keep doing the muscle exercises she gave me and massaging him my self. Well that’s all for now, over and out.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Miss the Early Mornings..

Early mornings, late nights; ah how I have missed this. Last year I would get up and ride before school nearly every morning, come home of an afternoon and ride another horse, come in late. It was great. Still is. Yesterday was the first day I rode before school this year, its such a wake up call in the crisp air, I love it.

Rion has been a fairly good boy this past week. I have done mostly flat work exercises I learnt from my George Morris clinic this year. The exercises work on moving the horse off the leg to come onto a true contact. The importance of the leg was engrained into my mind from that clinic I will never forget their importance again. The main exercise I love and use with any horse I ride is to use shoulder fore/in then change to haunches in and then straight and repeat. It really gets the horses working, accepting the contact and moving laterally which is always good. I always use it in my warm-ups at a walk then move onto a trot.

Pippy (my friend’s horse I’m competing this weekend) has been doing well. There is little I can change in the week I have her before this weekend but I have been doing the above exercise to get her forward and in front of my leg and off the forehand. Yesterday afternoon I set up three jumps on the arena for her; a cross, vertical and oxer. The vertical was a turn back then 6 stride dog leg to the oxer. She was jumping so well. She has a tendency to run and get quick, as ponies do sometimes, but I just sat quiet, holding with my stomach and such a light contact. The waiting distances definitely do her a world of good. She has such a spring in her jump she doesn’t need to be fast or even overly forward as she has a tendency to be.

That’s all until I post from day one of competing :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

For the Love of Horse

School has consumed me, eaten me up and swallowed me whole. I hate it. I have been to 5 competitions this year whereas, last year I would be competing nearly every weekend or two. I have lost muscle and gotten so unfit. I'm over it. I am fighting back, getting fit, cutting back on the books a little and riding to the maximum to get the old me back on top. I have thought about this and it is doing me no favors sitting at my desk getting fat.

I have been riding Rion a lot the past few weeks (which I am so grateful for) getting himself and myself fit again for Silver Hills eventing next weekend. He is doing well. I have been taking him for nice gallops and trots out on the gallop track and on the trails, it is doing his brain a world of good; and anything that can do that is worth sticking to. Hopefully I can get the musculo-skeletal vet out to the big man and get his muscles working better and get him back on track completely.

We went out cross-country training today on the grounds I was supposed to compete on today before the competition was postponed. Luckily we could access the grounds and I schooled Rion over water, which he was great at, and popped some fences. We haven't gone eventing once this year so I thought it would be a good training comp before next weekend. I've also been given a friend's horse to ride at Silver Hills next week, so I shall have my plate full for the next week.

Training two days ago:

We had winter championships at Jump club a few weeks ago and Rion jumped amazingly. We only had one down in a fairly tough 1.20m class. If only he picked that foot up a cm more we would have been in the jump off. I would like to thank our gallops and trails for his good behavior, I think having him in the arena, even though I mix up what we do each day, bores him and he needs to run more. Its a win win I think.

From Winter Champs:

That is all :)