Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Spring Eventing Update

Avenel @ Greenvale in the extreme wind! Photo credit: Geoff McLean
I have managed to get out to three EA horse trials since August. The first of which was Friends of Werribee at the end of July. I had entered both Snip and Henry, but I became so ill with a flu-like virus on the Thursday night beforehand, that I decided I couldn't possibly survive the logistics of an event (on my own) with 2 horses. Henry's dressage was on the Friday afternoon too, so I decided to scrap the plan of going down Friday and give myself an extra day to recover, get packed and just ride Snip. His dressage wasn't until Saturday afternoon, which made for a much more relaxed weekend.

Even with one horse though, it was a battle! I had a cotton wool head and could barely remember my dressage test, so it wasn't all that flash. Because it was our first comp back since May, I put no pressure on myself whatsoever and that approach worked. We finished on our dressage score to move from 21st to 8th overall in our section! Out of 95 Pre Novice starters, Snip was one of 14 clear SJ rounds (just four in my section), so our work in improving our showjumping skills has been paying off. :)  Here is some footage of our Werribee XC round. Not too bad, although we did have a bit of a 'miss' at a fence in the middle.

After FOW HT, we spent three days at an enjoyable showjumping clinic at Pyramid Hill with Guy Creighton. The first day was spent doing grids, the second day exercises on turns and the final day, on riding courses. The constant theme throughout was getting our lower leg position rock solid. After three days riding two horses, it helped me consolidate that (even if I did need a good soak in the bath after!). I was fortunate also to win a 'lucky rider prize' of a bag of feed, thanks to Granny Reilly's feeds.

Henry being a star! Photo: Andrea Otto

Avenel HT at its new home of Greenvale was next. Unfortunately, it turned into a 2 phase competition due to extreme winds on the Sunday. Henry got to do dressage and SJ...wasn't a great test, but he was clear SJ. He didn't get to start XC because they cancelled the rest of the event due to the extreme (and dangerous) weather conditions. Snip didn't get to showjump as they couldn't keep the jumps up! I was happy with his test (was 12th I think, after a lovely flowing and relaxed test) and we were clear under time XC in the most crazy weather, moving up to 7th. Once again, I have footage of our cross country round in insane conditions!

Last weekend we did Candlebark HT and it was a similar theme. Not great dressage (but not "bad" - just not as soft through the back as I would have liked) but clear in the jumping phases to finish 7th overall again. We have been consistent! The flatwork has been a bit rubbish as I haven't had the time to put the hard work in - Snip's been lucky to get 4 rides a week. Even with reduced work, he still holds fitness and goes out and performs so well. I am very lucky! Henry didn't get to start at Candlebark as he was on a waitlist. I reckon he has perfected the art of getting out of events, as he's just about missed everything thus far!

Snip with his rosette at Candlebark

I have Bulla ARC HT and HRCAV Top Teams dressage in November, then that's it for me comp wise in 2014. I wanted to do Lakes and Craters 3DE, but family commitments mean that this year I will have to give it a  miss. Time to work a bit more on the dressage side of things (it will be no stirrup November for me!).

In other news, Ted (Koyuna Enchanted) is soon to be broken in and I have another horse...but that's a story for another time. ;)

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