Well I have had another busy couple of weeks, what with having to fit in my PE coursework and keep the horses exercised and avoiding the rain, I have had plenty to keep me occupied.
On Friday 20th, I took Punch to Hambledon to do the BE100, which I was really excited about as I have never competed at Hambledon as the BE100 is always on the Friday and I am normally at school. We got there and got ready for the dressage. Punch was feeling rather fresh and pleased with himself, but none the less knuckled down to produce what felt like a really lovely test, with no real mistakes, and much more consistent than South of England where he got a mark of 36.5, which I thought was on the harsh side of fair. We had a big gap before the jumping, so went and walked the cross country course, which looked fab. They had worked so hard on the ground and although deep in places where the string was narrow, considering the rain we had had leading up to it, it was very good. Unfortunately we got back from walking the cross country to see Punch had been given a 40 dressage mark. That was a real shame as we didn't feel that we should risk him in the deteriorating conditions, so yet again I haven't been able to complete at Hambledon, although at least I got there this time. All credit to the organisers who were fantastic, and it was such a shame that the conditions deteriorated sufficiently after the first day that they had to cancel.
Then on the Saturday I went round to Littleton for a show jumping lesson with Ernest Dillon. Lily was flying, and didn't touch a pole, except when she had a little spook jumping into the combination, having the rail in behind. She jumped the water trays and all the new fillers, which filled me with confidence, especially after our little issues cross country. There are pictures in her album in media.
On the Sunday we then took Lily to do the 90 cm pairs hunter trial at Coombelands, thinking pairs would be a good idea to get her going forwards and enjoying it. We had aimed to jump the 2'6, but having been schooling there and jumped the majority of the 90cm fences, we decided that would be more beneficial. So off we went out of the start and through the hedge, just at trot so they could see what they were doing, and picked up a nice confident canter towards the first which she jumped beautifully. Unfortunately at this point Lily decided it was all a little exciting following a friend and started to buck... and buck and buck and buck and buck. Well I reckon I sat at least 10 bucks, increasing in the height her back end was reaching and the amount she was propping until I fell off. Off went the air jacket.. again, although I kept hold of her this time, wasn't playing any more of those games. Very cross at this point, I got back on and then made her go in front, and to be fair she was fantastic, she jumped round the whole course, bar a spook at the photographer behind one fence which caused her to stop. So actually despite falling off it was a really beneficial outing as I feel I have got the measure of her a little more.
Back to school this week, unfortunately. And I still hadn't finished my coursework which was in for Friday (27th) I spent my frees in the library and was up till ridiculous hours but I got it done and given in on Friday, all 25,000 words or 38 pages of it.. and yes this was A level coursework, not a dissertation! However I think it is pretty good, so fingers crossed the moderator agrees.
On Saturday, with Nurstead cancelled, we headed to Felbridge with Punch and Lily for some BSJA. It was heaving and everyone was there, including most of the eventers from the South East, which was very sociable! Punch was a superstar, as usual, and jumped a fantastic, quick double clear in the discovery, which was good enough to win, out of at least 60 horses, if not more. See his winning round here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN73AFYbDzY&feature=plcp
Lily is still thinking she is a teenager and a little too cool for rules, well for obeying them anyway!! She was jumping very well in tuntil we reached the spooky line at 7 to 8, which was a one strided double and then five strides to the planks. She wanted to stop at the double, but my reactions have improved a lot, and I was quick enough to ride her forwards, so she jumped it. However she backed of the planks the whole way up and when she got there decided to test my stickability by stopping and moving sideways rather quickly. I have to admit I did come dangerously close to coming off AGAIN, for the 3rd time in a month, but knowing this and that if I did fall off I then couldn't make her jump them, I stayed on. A reminder of who was boss and she flew them. She then jumped clear the rest of the way, so I wasn't too disappointed. At the moment, she is just testing me a bit, to check that she has to do it.. which I am informing her that she does, so I think we will be back on track very soon. And whilst its not all going to plan, it is doing my riding the world of good, so just got to keep going and working at it. I then took her back in for an HC round to reaffirm what we had learnt in the first round, and she got a little tired towards the end so rolled a couple of poles, but it was a much better round, so hopefully she will be ready for next time!
This has ended up with a bit of an essay... But until next time