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
We had a few busy days at home after being away at Barbury International and then before we knew it we were back out eventing again! This time slightly closer to home, at Tweseldown with Milli doing her first Lycetts four year old qualifier...
I arrived and set of to walk my course and was expecting it to look like a walk in the park but it didn't! It looked quite challenging and scary, probably because I knew I was only on a baby! We got tacked up whilst there were red arrows practicing for the Air Show this weekend but Milli didn't mind at all.
I took her down to the warm up and she worked very nicely. It was our time so in we went.....the test went really well. She did what I asked when I asked and yes there is still lots to improve on but at the end of the day she is only 4 years old!! The judge put some lovely comments at the end of the dressage sheet commenting on her future potential and also that she was 'amazed' by her downwards transitions to trot!
With a very quick change of tack we headed down to the SJ ring. We jumped a few warm up fences and then went in. It was by far the biggest course Milli has jumped to date and there were fillers at every fence! The bright scary jumps didn't bother her at all ad she jumped a great round. we did pick up 4 faults as we got a bit too close to a fence and she didn't quite sap her front legs up in time. Looking on the positive side, when we got close to the last fence she was determined not to it it, again showing how quick she learns!
Again, with a quick change of boots and my clothes we went down to the XC start. Milli got quite excited as we approached the arm up and she could see others galloping round and hear the tanoys! She walked into the start box and when the starter said 'GO' packed in a hug buck of excitment and then cantered off.....
She jumped a super round, I am so proud of her. Milli didn't hesitate at anything :) There was plenty of questions on the course, there was a sunken road, a coffin, skinnies, drops as well as a related distance to a corner! All of this she took in her stride! The four year old classes aren't timed XC but my mum did time it and she was going at a very good pace which is promising for the future.
We finished in 6th place out of an area of over 25 so I was thrilled. Unfortunately we just missed out on qualifing for the championships at Osberton in SEptember as the first four qualified. Had we not had our pole we would have been 4th....how annoying! But then again there are so many 'what if's' in life aren't there?! Next time maybe......
Pictures and a Video from Tweseldown have now been uploaded so please feel free to check them out! Also Results update.....
We have a relatively quiet weekend this weekend and are just out at a local competition doing dressage with some of the horses. A few of my Clients are also competing there so GOOD LUCK to them all :)
So, until next time,
Keep Calm & Canter On
Well, the day of packing was nearly done, both horses bathed and all ready, so the last thing for me to do on Wednesday was set my alarm for some silly time Thursday morning.....I don't like it when your phones says 4 hours 57 minutes until the alarm!!!
Alarm goes off and out of bed I jumped, yes I was just a little bit excited! This was the first time I had taken both Roxie and Milli out competing together and was going to be a real test for me as I have backed and produced Milli myself and retrained Roxie myself as well!
On arrival we got the off and started to get Milli ready. She was behaving really well and acting very grown up, well until we got down to the warm-up anyway! She found the warm-up very exciting and danced around bucking and bronking! What a monster!?
After popping a few jumps and practicing some of the movements in the test we went in and thankfully Milli, althoug only 4, knows when she has to behave and did a lovely test. She scored 15 for her dressage test which put her mid-field at this stage, which I was slightly dissapointd with as she did a very accurate lovely test but the judge clearly preffered the warmbloods....
We went straight from the dressage to jump our SJ round and Milli jumped a super clear. I was so so pleased with her, and even more pleased when I was told she scored 32, one of the higest jup marks awarded that day!! After we had jumped our round I had to take her saddle off and trot her up for the conformation and type mark. She trotted up nicely and I felt I did too!!! She scored 12 for this, finishing on a score of 59.
After this I took Milli back to the lorry and got her and Roxie settled into their stables. Milli settled immediately and tucked into her haynet! Roxie was still a little unsure of where she was...she's supposed to be the older, more mature horse but it as Milli looking after Roxie! I rode Roxie around the gallops at Barbury and then schooled her for a bit before returning her to her stable and this time she was much more settled.
WE then set of to walk Roxie's XC course with one of SGEventing's super sponsors, Ultimate Images. Paul gave me some grea advice as we walked round the course, which was by far one of the most challenging courses I have ever done. There was big drops, tricky combination and very skinny skinnies!! It was a course that needed to be attacked and I couldn't wait to get started....
First though it was time for dinner and after a few drinks it was bedtime! NIGHT!
The dressage arenas at Barbury are MILES away from the lorry park and stables so we had a nice hack over to the warm up area. Luckily there are golf buggies that take your team members backwards and forwards! Roxie warmed-up well and did a nice test. There were noticeable improvemets from the last time we did this test at Tweseldown which was nice. She scored 34.6 which put us in the top half so I was pleased :)
I went to walk the SJ course after we returned from the dressage and it looked a nice course. It was right up height so I was a little nervous as we have only jumped 1.20m once, at Tweseldown a few weeks before! Roxie jumped a great round but had 2 down unfortunately. The first fence was very wide and she just came down on the back rail and the other fece she only taped it! Roxie's SJ rounds are continueing to improve each time out and she really listened to me and came back to me when I wanted to so I couldn't wait to get out on the XC!
With a quick change of boots and my clothes we headed over to the XC warm up. To be honest I was a little bit nervous when I was warming up but kept going over the course in my head and made sure I knew exactly where I was going! GO.....off we went and Roxie settled into a great rhythm straight away! The round went perfectly and Roxie jumped straight routes through all the combinations brilliantly :)
I was so so pleased with Roxie, she had gone brilliantly!! I took her back and sorted her out and then MAx took Roxie and Milli for a walk around the car park whilst we sorted everything out and started to pac the lorry ready for the long journey home.
We eventually made it home at some ridiculous hour on saturday morning after we ran out of fuel at 1:30am.....long story! It was a great few days away and I can't wait until the next stay-away competition with both Roxie and Milli, hopefully sooner rather than later!
Pictues and videos now uploaded in Roxie's and Milli's competition Galleries so please feel free to have a look. We have a busy few weeks coming up now and we are back out competiting on Tuesday (the 2nd July) at Tweseldown with Milli who will be doing her first Lycetts 4 year old qualifier.....wish us luck :) After Tweseldown, Brightling International is next, where Roxie will be doing the 1* class as we begin our move up to compete at Intermediate level!
So, until next time,
Keep Calm & Canter On
You'll find regular updates on this page with all the very latest news on everything that we have been up too!