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We had a bit of a frustrating outing at Goring Heath BE Horse Trials with Roxie and Milli but many positives to take away.
With the clocks changing Saturday night and us loosing an hour it made the 4am alarm seem even earlier but just after 5am and we were all packed, loaded and on our way, ahead of time for once! Although it is a bit of a trek to Goring it is such a lovely event and on arrival the sun was out which makes the early morning start worth it! After unloading the girls for a leg stretch I set of to walk Roxie’s XC course which was, as usual for Goring, an up to height and technical Novice track.
First was Roxie’s dressage and to say she was a little excited to be out eventing would have been a slight understatement. She wanted to do extended trot EVERYWHERE so after lots of lateral work in the warm up to try and contain her excitement we headed over to our arena…..she thoroughly enjoyed doing her test that’s for sure, she even decided to add in a few extra movements to entertain the judge! Frustrating as it is she did do some lovely parts of the test to score good marks but then she did some ‘interesting’ additional movements, like the explosion from walk into canter at C along with a squeak which should have just been a simple walk to trot transition at C! The judge did laugh when she squeeked though but as it wasn’t in the test we were lucky to get the 3 we did! She was scored 45.0, which believe it or not wasn't the worst score in the arena…
With a very quick change of tack we were off to SJ and she felt great in the warm and was jumping brilliantly so in we went. The course was, like the XC track, very up to height which worked to my advantage until she had another over-excited moment as we approached the triple and our round very quickly turned from clear to a round with faults. Disappointing as it was she started great and we did regain control for the last part of the course but I do think biting for SJ is next on the to-do list as she just kept taking hold of the contact, leaving me as a passenger not the pilot!
Putting this behind us we got changed and set of to go XC. As we were out of the placings by now I decided to use our XC round as a schooling round because the novice I did was last year at South of England, where I had to retire XC as she was just too strong! She was a dream XC and settled into a lovely rhythm very early on, I stayed steady to start with just to make sure I had control but in the middle of the course I took the handbrake off and she flew, we took all the direct routes and then towards the end of the course I steadied her up again just to remind her who was boss and she remained very polite all the way round…..if only she was so polite in the SJ! Considering we started and finished steady we only got 4 time faults which is quite fast for going as the novice time is always very hard to get. Roxie managed to redeem herself after her ‘enthusiastic’ start and I can’t wait for her next run which will be around the Intermediate at South of England in a fortnights time…..hopefully the bigger fences will get her to back of a bit! On a positive note though we did finish 5th out of the retrained racehorses section so it wasn’t all bad.
With only an hour between Roxie’s XC and Milli’s dressage it was a bit of a rush to get Milli ready for her test but with the help of mum washing Roxie off and sorting her out we made it . After Milli’s good test last week I had been working on the movements we got lower marks for at home and she warmed up really well, if not slightly excitable…..I blame Roxie for that!! She performed a really nice test, both mum and I were convinced it was a low 30’s test or if the judge was feeling generous a late 20’s…..the judge thought differently and scored us 40.5 which we really couldn’t understand. I was very keen to see her sheet to see what the judge had to say, but the sheet didn’t help us understand the mark anymore. We got very strange comments such as ‘cautious, too careful in the walk and 1/4s high’.
Agreeing to disagree with the judge we put the dressage behind us and now had 3 hours to have a bite to eat and go walk Milli’s XC course. The track was similar to the Novice track and was up to height with some complex combinations in it so it was the perfect place for Milli’s last BE100 run. Before the XC though we had to SJ and as usual Milli was jumping really well and popped round the course clear making it feel very easy!
In a bid to get home soon we changed quickly and headed over to the XC start and she warmed up really well and felt very forward going which makes a change for Milli . 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO…..off we went and I planned to take all the direct routes at the combinations to test Milli out and she certainly stepped up to the challenge and jumped and amazing clear finishing well inside the time! Every time I asked her to travel a bit faster she responded and there was plenty of fuel left in the tank when we finished which is good seeing as her next run will be at Novice level at South of England in a fortnight . Milli did finish in 10th place in her section as well which was great and lets hope the double clears with placing's continues…..you can wish can’t you?!
Sorry for babbling on but we have had a very good weekend, learning lots and also coming away with things to work on for next time. For more pictures as well as great videos please check out both Roxie's and Milli's Gallery pages........onwards and upwards from here!
***Keep Calm & Canter On***