Despite the weather trying to cancel yet another event and us not sure what the ground would be like we headed over to Brightling Park on Sunday to compete in the 18 with Roxie. People that were there for dressage on the Saturday had said they were trying to make the ground as good as possible, considering it was so wet and boggy after this lovely 'summer' weather we have had recently!!
On arrival we went over to do the trot-up and Roxie sailed through with flying colours. Mum and Sophie, my sister got her ready for the dressage whilst I went to the rider's meeting to hear what they had to say about the going and if there were any changes to the courses.
The dressage warm-up and arena's were completely and utterly waterlogged!! As the sun (that yellow circular thing in the sky, just incase you didn't know!) was starting to dry the ground out a bit but it became very holding! Roxie wasn't too sure to start with but soon got on with her work. She did a very nice test, considering the mud and scored 57.1. I did feel she deserved a slightly better mark but hey ho.....
We then set of to walk the XC which was quite a testing track with lots of related distances and tricky lines but we were ready to give it a go. Fences 10, 11 and 12 were uprights at the top of the hill and I
was undecided whether to go the direct route or circle as fence 10-11 were one stride apart but fences 11-12 were on a bounce distance and Roxie hasn't ever jumped bounces out XC in competition!!
First though we had to SJ and this was causing problem after problem as the mud was adding a few inches to the height needed to be jumped by each horse! We had two down, one was her fault but the other I hold my hands up as it was mainly my fault. I have been working very hard on getting her closer to the fences so she doesn't rush but we were slightly too close to this one! Her rounds are continuing to improve each time out though :)
She felt sure enough on the ground so we changed boots and tack and then headed over to the XC warm up. I didn't jump many fences
as the practice fences were very boggy. I aimed to set out and come back having jumped a positive round as it was by far the deepest going Roxie has ever competed in. She set off in a great rhythm straight away and coped very well with the boggy ground! I as aiming to circle between 10, 11 and 12 as two out of the very few that went direct had quite nasty falls! Roxie showed me that she knows her job though (to jump through the flags) and she decided to go the direct route so I just softened the contact and she jumped through really well
:) She did the rest of the course really well too, considering she lost one of her front shoes at after fence 9! We finished clear and after found out that we were well inside the time too!
After sorting Roxie out we went to look at the scores and Roxie finished in 16th place out of a large arena of initially 89 competitors (not all presented because of the ground)! I was chuffed with her as
this was the first time we have done a bigger, more complex XC since my accident! I now feel ready to move her up to Intermediate so keep checking back to see where we go and how we get on!
We are next out at Chilham Park on the 4th / 5th August with both Roxie (Intermediate-Novice) and Milli (4 year old qualifier), so lots of work is going in to prepare them both for that.....fingers crossed the weather is nice and it is a great weekend!
I am out on Thursday this week as I am going to Hickstead Royal International show for a bit of shopping with some friends! I am also meeting all of the crew at Hickstead Horse Feeds which I am very excited about :)
So, until next time,
Keep Calm & Canter On
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