Well the cross country schooling on Tuesday was great fun! I took Ozzie in the pony club group to get his rallies done so that I can do pony club teams. Ozzie was such a superstar, and my god I miss eventing that pony, he truly is incredible and jumped round everything so neatly, I love being able to just get on him and go and have a blast, as we know each other so well and trust each other with everything! It was so difficult being at South of England today just doing the Pre Novice when all my friends from the JRNs over the last 3 years were doing the U18 Novice, and I know I am too old for the U18s, but I miss all of it!
We then took Lily round for some confidence, and I followed my Trainer, Tracey Brown, round on her experienced horse to give Lily the idea. She very quickly regained her confidence and popped round the course beautifully, so that was an improvement on Littleton earlier in the week. I think also Simple System suggesting that we reduce her feed right down to Greengold and Lunar Eclipse has worked too, as she is much more settled and concentrating on me, where as before she was definitely feeling a little bit too well! We then took her to Littleton again on Friday to see where we were in terms of getting her confidence back on track and she felt like the horse I was riding at the beginning of the season. We started off with all the small fences but she flew them and I ended up jumping some of the bigger fences which was really good, so fingers crossed she will be fine. We are going to Coombelands Hunter Trial next weekend to do the pairs and give her a jolly round, to keep her confidence high!
So today we were at South of England with The Whole Punch (Punch.) I had walked the course yesterday and it was very up to height and technical, although Punch is an old pro and so I was looking forwards to having a go, especially after falling off last weekend. The dressage could have been better, in terms of what I did, rather than the horse going better. Punch went fantastically, but I was stressed and feeling that he wasn't working well enough, but looking back at the video he looked great and I looked like I was flapping around a bit but still being rather ineffective. I find dressage difficult as the marks don't always reflect your test and at the end of the day it is judged, I would much rather be jumping! However today has proved to me that I really need to start working on my flatwork, because until I can present a test, my marks will not be as high as I would like, so through my exams when I'm not eventing, I will be working hard on my dressage so that I don't hinder the horse! Punch came out with a 36.5 today, which was on the harsh side as it was a very nice test overall, just a bit rushed at times, however the comments didn't really reflect that!
The show jumping was on the sticky side, and the drying ground was definitely a bit holding, not helped by warming up on a surface and then having to go and jump on grass! Despite this, Punch jumped very well, but I didn't seem to be able to get into a nice rhythm, resulting in me over checking to the double at fence 8 and getting deep, before panicking that we weren't going to make the stride so pushing him a bit flat and he just touched the front rail of the in behind which came down. He didn't really deserve it as he jumped fantastically and didn't touch a pole anywhere else!
The cross country today was spot on! He was absolutely flying along and gave me the most fantastic and confidence giving ride possible! He is one of those horses that puts a smile on your face as he just loves his job. We were meeting all the fences on such perfect open strides which he was just picking off like it was nothing, he would jump round novice cross country easily with the way he went today! At fence 14 was a pale blue fence, which was a decent enough size, with enough width to it, although it was sloping. Punch was having a good look at it on the way in so a stride out I smacked him down the shoulder for encouragement, and he just took off! It took me slightly by suprise but he felt fantastic. Then in the quarry was a ditch, two strides to a skinny house, I managed to lose both stirrups coming to this fence and was then a long way off the ditch, but put my leg on and he popped it all easily and finished well within the time. We ended up 11th and without the pole we would have been 7th.
This afternoon I stayed and watched everyone compete in the junior section, which was lovely as I caught up with everyone from last year that I haven't seen for ages!
Thats it for now, although I am sure there will be many more mad tales next week, most likely from the warm up at a hunter trial! I still have the bruise from Lily jumping on my foot last weekend.. horses are heavy!
Link to photos from coombelands xc schooling;http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3694276120691.165664.1388942349&http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3694390083540.165668.1388942349&
a link for todays video click here ... _