Monday, July 19, 2010

Smokey goes Eventing

The day dawned cloudy!!! Which was just perfect because it meant there would be no slipping and sliding on frosty ground! :o)

Smokey didn't want to head off in the dark so he delayed departure by refusing to go on the float LOL. In fairness he has a brand spanking new canvas cover, that I'd thought to leave on him for the trip as it was still a bit chilly, but the cover scratching along the side of the float was enough to put him right off! Marcus up the front of the float with a carrot was in the end enough to prompt him (with cover off) to enter the float and off we went.

Thankfully after a hurried gearing up and getting changed we had enough time to warm up for the dressage (his first time on an arena set up on grass with chains) and he did a nicely average test and got a 67% (which gave us a start score for the day of 33)

Onto the Show Jumping which was only 65cm, but somehow managed to look big by the time I was ready to go in and the nerves were EXTREME! A couple of "eek" moments, but no stops, altho he dropped one rail, and tackled the Toyota sponsored wall like he'd seen it a thousand times before so I was very happy with him. He was even wanting to pick up a canter a couple of strides out so he's ready to start cantering some jumps now.

3 hours break until Cross Country time gave him plenty of time to have the breakfast grass he'd missed hehehe. Pete and Marcus and my horsey groupy Lisa arrived in time for the X-country and we were first out on the course! Smokey was already Tired with a capital T... not physically, he was rearing to go, but he objected to a few of the early things I asked of him (including not wanting to go down a slippery hill, and a refusal at the 2nd jump) and altho he didn't stop, he was still objecting at jump #5. After a good canter up a hill he was going more forward and the 2nd horse caught up to us so we let her slip in ahead of us and Smokey followed her down a wee drop and then she pounded off ahead and we settled back into our a lot slower rhythm LOL.

So those last 3 jumps were very settled and no objections and he hit the home flags having done all I'd asked of him and pretty much without having gotten a sweat up :o)

It was a huge day for the wee fella, and a big ask for the amount of riding and preparation we've done, so I'm very proud of him.

1 rail SJ, 2 stops in XC and a ton of time faults, but he was my wee dude. And he managed to get 2 ribbons!!! A first in the Combined Training part of the day (just Dressage and SJ) as the other person got eliminated in the SJ (a top show and dressage horse might I add!) and she didn't do the XC so we were it and we didn't manage to eliminate ourselves so I feel we actually earned that red ribbon, no matter how many faults we stacked up!!!

Tired boy then couldn't eat all his dinner at the float and Pete and Marcus were going to take him home for me so I could steward a XC jump for the rest of the day, so a bit more 'persuasion' was required to get him on the float to go home, but on he eventually went and they all got home safe and sound :o)

Our lovely neighbour came over on Saturday too with his digger and shifted my pile of crusher dust that was still dumped in the grass and finished spreading all the rest for me (God bless the man, you should see my blister, cracked, oozing hands after doing 2 piles with a shovel!) so no excuses now eh?! Smokey WILL be prepared for his next day out! (Dressage in 2 weeks time LOL)

And Mac will have somewhere to get his brain back into work mode and I'll have a potentially soft landing place for when I get back on him hehehehe.

And best of all.... another frost this morning, with a gloriously sunny day! The weather gods played the game for us on the weekend, gotta love 'em!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sunshine and Jumping

what more could you ask for in the middle of winter if you ride horses?! ;o)

We have had NO rain during July yet, the ground has dried out, the frosts have hit and beautiful sunny, and semi warm days, lovely!

Smokey has had dressage day, a cross country training day, and has his first One Day Event on this Sunday (lets hope for NO frost that day or we'll be sliding out of the dressage arena and skipping the show jumping!)
His dressage was good, he got 5th in both tests and happy with his work.
His cross country training day was a blast, he had a ball, we jumped mostly the 55-65cm stuff but picked and chose and did some of the 75-85cm stuff too and he was great. He was unsure of a few of them and just needed to be able to put a nose to them and then it was all go.

Ditches (empty) and water will be somethingn we need to work on however, he indicated a wee bit of a dislike to those, a bush pony who doesn't like getting his feet wet! Who'd have thought it LOL.
So an early start on Sunday for his ODE, and really really hoping it's not frosty, I don't want to have to pull out of any of it for safety sake!
He just got a new cover bought for him today and looks fab in his burgandy gear (will pop a pic of him at the dressage up :o)

Chickens are all great and healthy (touch wood!) dogs are good, have new beds getting sorted and last bits for them should be ready tomorrow (the bean bag and massive soft toy horse they had claimed as theirs all disintigrated and went to the dump and Karma didn't appreciate nothing warm UNDER her in front of the fire, poor shivering little girl, so new beds sorted :o)

Work has slowed down a little which is allowing me a bit of a break so appreciating that too while I have it :o)