With most of the UK wondering where on earth spring has got to, work had to carry on at SG Eventing head quarters as we approached our first event of the season with both horses (Roxie and Milli) competing at South of England BE Horse Trials.
Milli finishing her dressage and saluting to the judge!! haha
Milli was entered in the BE100 section and with it being only her 2nd event of the season and after our little mis-hap at Felbridge the week before I was a little nervous as to whether I was asking a bit too much of her! At Felbridge she was jumping so big that she didn't make the width on one of the spreads and hit the back pole which resulted in her loosing confidence sightly and she hesitated at the next fence which resulted in me attempting to jump in myself but in stead managed to go through it and break my nose!! OUCH! Anyway back to SofE and Milli performed a super dressage test to score 33.0 and I was even more pleased with how she went when I found out she had pulled a front shoe off in the warm up before her test!
The SJ track looked to be jumping well but it was a very forward striding course so I knew I had to have an attacking rhythm with Milli. She wamed up really well and jumped a super round! We did pick up 4 faults when she tapped the first fence, which I think was a babyish mistake as the first fence was facing all the trade stand tents so I think she was busy looking at them and forgot to pick her back legs up high enough! She jumped he rest of the round like a star though so I was chuffed to bits with her, especially after Felbridge!!
With my positive riding approach working in the SJing I decided to carry that on with the XC as it was all to play for now!! The course was a testing BE100 I thought, especially as it was Milli's first run at this level and there were many of the Novice fences in the course too, including the Hippo jump out of the water (picture left). I was determined to push Milli a little faster than I did at Tweseldown and try to get as near to the time as possible so as soon as we landed after every fence i pushed her on. She jumped AMAZINGLY! We took all the direct routes and she answered every question answered of her and made it feel easy! I knew I had gone quite fast but was so pleased when I found out we were inside the time! We finished on a score of 37.0 which put us in 14th place out of 41 starters.....not bad for a baby! Without her SJ pole we would have been 4th so roll on the next event as we are all getting seriously excited about Milli's future :)
This was Roxie's first event of the 2013 so to say she was excited to be out was a slight understatement! She had been stropping all day as she was in the trailer whilst Milli was doing her stuff but when she came out she knew it was her turn to shine! She warmed up for the dressage really well and I have been asking a bit more of her on the flat recently as she tends to be a bit lazy not working through her back properly so I was keen to see what the judges thought. They obviously liked it as she scored 33.0 and when I got her sheet after there were some very positive comments on it too :)
Roxie's SJ was next and after her jumping so well at Felbridge the week before (double clear and would have bee 2nd in reg. with BS!) I was hopefull of another good round. She was very keen and excted to be jumping back out on the grass and before I went in she had heard the XC commentator which excited her even more! The round started well and then we had the back rail of fence 4 down as she took of MILES away and was never going to make the back rail.....I think there was at least another 2 strides before take off but Roxie thought hse new best! I regained control after dropping my reins and she jumped beautifully through the double of uprights following but then just tapped fence 7, an upright on a forward stride after fence 6. Although I was hoping for less than 8 faults I was pleased with how well she jumpe through both combinations and hoefully next time out on grass she'll be slightly less excited!
With a change of tack so I had a bit more control we headed over to the XC start. The novice track was a good track for a first novice run but very straight forward for Roxie and she agreed!! She started realy well but soon realised it was pretty easy so decided she wasn't going to listen to me!! She wasn't backing of at any of the fences and started to think she was invincible! This resulted in her fighting a bit infront of the fences and she got a bit too close to a log after jumping off the drop and hit her stifle quite badly. It's wasn't a deep cut but I decided to retire her there as she was jumping very well, a bit too confidently but wanted to get her home safe and save her for another day. Although it wasn't the run I wanted to start Roxie's season off I am pleased with how positive she was as that is something we have struggled with in the past, especially after my accident. With a bit more SJ practice I am hoping to move Roxie up to Intermediate level next time out :)
Please click on the following links to see pictures of both Roxie and Milli competing at Felbridge BS show last week as well as more pictures and videos from South of England Horse Trials at the weekend:
Roxie - Felbridge BS
Milli - Felridge BS
Roxie - SofE Horse Trials
Milli SofE Horse Trials
We have lots planned over the next few weeks so to keep up to date with all the latest goings on remember to check back here or check out my Facebook and Twitter accounts...
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