After a busy week with the family we were back out eventing with both horses at Firle Place.....
So after a very busy few weeks with the family, involving lots of trips out, lunches everywhere and lots of alcohol drunk it was back to reality and work.....
a combination a, b, c etc it did mean we picked up penalties but I wasn't going out to win, I just wanted her to have a good run under her belt, so I am very pleased with how she went!
Next it was Milli's turn and with an 8:30am dressage time we were in for one very early start! It was our last attempt to try and qualify for the Lycetts four year old Championships and despite another great result, 6th place, it wasn't quite good enough to qualify! Oh, well she is only 4 and hopefully has many seasons ahead of her eventing :)
I have been woking hard on her dressage since she did a bucking broco impression at Chilham in the dressage and I am pleased to say she went really well, again scoring any 8's and getting positive coments about her future ahead. The judge did however note at the bottom that she needed to show a bit more enthusiasm...she is only a 4 year old! With this negative comment at the end I from thewas very pleased when she scored 31.5, 3rd best in my arena, so hopefully those dressage scores in the 20's aren't too far away.
As you can see from the picture or if you were there, the weather got quite wet throughout saturday morning so I was doing my SJ in the wind and drizzle! This didn't bother Milli though and the course was slightly more up to height than at recent events meaning she respected the fences more and jumped a super clear, so going into the XC it was all to play for as only 3 in my arena jumped clear round the SJ.
Unfortunately the weather got worse and we went XC in torrential rain, which considering the bad summer we have had I haven't done in a while! Milli however didn't mind the rain at all and set off really well. It was quite a challenging XC course for BE90 level and even including a drop into the water which is something Milli has not done before.....this didn't scare her though and she dropped straight in and jump out easily :) The next fence, fence 9 was where we picked up our penalties.....it was only a simple log fence but there was a sharp right turn after it into another field and behind the fence ahead was a herd of incredibly scary black and brown cows which were obviously going to eat Milli alive! Bless her, she eventually jumped it when I approached on a slight angle so she wasn't jumping into the cows. She went on to finish the rest of the course really well! Although we picked up penalties XC we still finished in 6th place, showing just how tough the XC was for the babies.....4 didn't even finish it! Although I am slightly dissapointed that we didn't qualify for the Championships I am so so pleased with how Milli has porgressed this year, finishing in the top 6 every time out! I am even more pleased as she is my first homebred that I have produced myself.....roll on the future :)
Thankfully Roxie's times were much better, 12:10pm dressage, with time to walk my XC course in between dressage and SJ.....much better!
Roxie was remarkably quiet and travelled really well to Firle, I think mainly because of the Five Star Bedding pellets I have put down in the trailer ensuring what she is standing on is a secure surface whisch doesn't move. She continued to remain calm whilst I warmed her up for the dressage and performed a very good test. The test we did isn't one that suits her, with medium canter on the long side tempting her to take hold a bit before the corner etc, but she was very well behaved! We scored 34.0 which put us 6th after this hase in a big arena so I was very pleased with the mark.
I couldn't wait for the SJ which is unusual for me but I have been working so hrd on Roxie's jumping recently and doing lots of grid work using verticals to make her more careful, oh and also got a brand new saddle courtesy of Fire Cracker Saddlery, check out their website as they have hundreds of top quality saddles for sale and offer a 48hour trial period too! Roxie was jumping a super round and clearing the fences easily and staying in a lovely rhythm, well until fence 10! It was the last fence and it was a triple, she jumped in really well but caught the back rail of the 'a' part which paniced her a little (as always!) and she rushed slightly just tapping the 'c' element of the triple! How fustrating, a great round going from clear to 8 faults at the very last minute! However I am so pleased with the improvements recently and I genuinely believe if she hadn't hit the back rail of 'a' she wouldn't have rushed, but there are 'ifs' 'buts' and 'maybes' for eveything aren't there.....if milli went clear XC she would have won be a mile.....the list goes on!
For the XC, as it was only a Novice trackand Roxie was slightly speedy at Chilham I decided to set out steady and maintain a good rhythm throughout the course, which we did and she jumped superbly, infact the rhythm was so good that we got 6 penalties for going too fast! It didn't even feel fast, I just let her go at a speed she was happy with and more importanty a speed that I had contrl of with Roxie as she can get a slight adrenaline rush XC at times! We took all the direct routes and at fences with a slight turn i between we hit the 'a' part on a very acute ange and went straight to the next fence and she felt super! In fact she made it feel incredibly easy, proving that we are now ready to take the LEAP up to Intermediate level.....wish us luck!
We will be making our Intermediate debut at South of England International towards the end of September if everything goes to plan! We have one more run next weekend at Goring Heath where we are entered in the IntermediateNovice section so a great chance to do an Intermediate dressage test and SJ round.
For more pictures taken of Milli and Roxie whilst we were competing at Firle Place, please check out my Gallery page! Also videos of both horses can be seen on the SGEventing YouTube channel by clicking on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/user/SarahGaddEventing
That's enough of me waffling on for now, So until next time,
Keep Calm & Canter On
After a quiet few weeks at home we were out both days at Chilham Park BE Horse Trials with both Roxie and Milli.
First to go was Milli on the saturday, she was competing in her second Lycetts four year old qualifier. She was rather lively and fresh in the dressage warm up and did great buckin' bronco impressions! She did settle down but didn't perform to her best and scored 37.0......there was a break after my test so we were the only ones down at the dressage for a while! (not that i'm making excuses for her but she is only 4!)
Next was the SJ, and it was not a very big or challenging course which didn't really work in our favour. Milli was so relaxed that she picked up 4 faults for a pole which was very unfortunate. The SJ at Chilham is on a slope so I was pleased she jumped the double downhill well but it as the fence after, an upright jumping back up hill, that she tapped.....I don't think she measured it right so didn't jump high enough up the hill. She learnt though :)
The XC was causing problems for many of the BE90
competitors so I was quite nervous and considered taking some of the longer routes at the more complex combinations but I should never have doubted Milli.....she jumped a super clear taking all the direct routes and I was praised for my nice
sympathetic riding :)
We got very excited when the provisional scores were read out on the loudspeakers which said that Milli had won!!! GREAT......or so we thought anyway! Turned out that the bloke talking got the results in a muddle and we were actually placed 4th! Once again we just missed out on qualification for the final so hopefully it will be third time luck at Firle Place.......
We were back at Chilham sunday afternoon for Roxie in the Intermediate Novice section. We had very late times.....dressage at 17.32 but thankfully Roxie didn't go to sleep, in fact the complete opposite once we got going!! She worked in very well for her dressage test and I feel we did the best
test we have done so far this year. We scored 35.9, which I thought was quite harsh but looking at the other scores it wasn't a bad mark at all.
Then it was the SJ and I was quite nervous for the SJ as I had a SJ lesson with a new instructor on Thursday who made very big changes to the way that I ride her so we are still mastering this. Unfortunately we did pick up 12 faults but I was
really pleased with the round as she really listened to me so if I work hard on the changes we have
been advised fingers crossed the clears will start coming :)
Next it was XC and after walking the courses at
Barbury and the 1* at Brightling it looked very straight forward although it was a big novice track! Roxie was on fire and jumped a super clear inside the time :) She did fight me quite a bit around the course but I think she is finding it a little bit too easy now, proving that she is
ready to move up to Intermediate level once we have improved on the SJ.
Roxie finished in 6th place in her section so we had a very good weekend out at Chilham with both horses finishing in the prizes! One of the reasons I love my job :)
We have lots of training sessions coming up and now it is the school holidays I am doing many more hours teaching too so it is very busy this end. Our next affiliated outing will be at Firle Place where Milli will do the 4 year old and Roxie will do the Intermediate Novice so we can jump bigger SJ.
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!