I hope you had a nice bank holiday weekend, we did, although it was a very wet one in the South East that was for sure!
Milli has been having a bit of a leisurely few weeks, just doing a bit of hacking and fun work at home, She's had a physio treatment from the fantastic Sofia Graham which showed up a few areas which needed treating. I also had Kelvin Williams, our Equine Dentist out to see all three of my girls last week and he found some sharp edges in Milli's mouth which Kelvin advised could have been causing her some discomfort so hopefully we'll have the usual cheeky Milli back to her normal self in no time. Roxie's teeth were all fine, she just needed a simple rasp around the edges. Diaz was in between them both, she had some little points which Kelvin got rid of for us and she now feels much much better in the contact, a lot more soft and consistent.
Talking about Diaz, it was Diaz that was out competing over the bank holiday weekend, and after her confident run at Chilham I decided that it was time to move her up to BE90 level. I decided as opposed to doing an affiliated BE90 it would be best to enter a Pony Club level 3 event which is the same height but I thought, being Pony Club it may be a more inviting course - how wrong was I?! More on that later.......
After getting stuck in some traffic on the way there we ended up having to get ready straight away for dressage to ensure I had enough time to warm her up sufficiently. She was working very well so we went over to our arena in the corner of the field right by a freshly painted white gate, which as far as Diaz was concerned was deadly! Once we'd got over that fiasco we began our test, she did try and keep one eye on the killer gate at all times which showed some moments of slight tension but there were also parts of the test which showed huge improvement on previous outings so I was a little disappointed with our mark of 38.7 which put us mid field.
We now had a few hours before the jumping phases so I sorted Diaz out and set of to walk the XC course. It started ok with some inviting fences to get us going then fence 3 was a trakehner fence which looked a bit daunting so early on in the course. Then after this there was question after question with very few 'let up' fences for a course at this height / level!
After a few hours sitting watching it was time for the SJ, which was in quite a tight arena and had a few spooky fences and square oxers without any form of ground line or fillers which was causing quite a few knock downs! Diaz was feeling a bit fresh and cheeky in the warm up, to the point that after jumping one of the fences she landed cantered a few strides, squeaked and then did some form of rodeo bull impression, catching me completely off guard which resulted in me having a quick flying lesson. I managed to keep hold of the reins and she looked at me with a very sorry look in her face as if it wasn't meant to happen! after this whenever she squeaked I was ready!! After a few more jumps we went into the ring and she jumped a lovely round picking up a very unfortunate 4 faults after putting in a stride last minute at fence 6 which was very close to the rope and horses were standing outside the arena.
With a quick change of tack, plaits out and a change of clothes we were warming up for the XC. I had decided to take all the direct routes as opposed to doing the alternatives and see how she responded. The answer was very well!! She went straight over the trakehner and straight down the bounce steps which I was very pleased with! We did pick up penalties for two stops unfortunately at the skinny after the castle and the skinny coming out of the water. Neither skinny fence had anything encouraging you to stay central like trees / flowers at the side which there are normally at this level BE so I think Diaz just got a bit confused and thought they were in the way.....mental note made to do some more skinny practice at home before our next event! There was two skinny bullfinch type brush fences on the course which had the top lot of bush shaped in a U encouraging you towards the middle and she went straight over these first time and on approach second time to the other two skinnies we came out of a trot and she understood it and jumped straight over it. at this stage in her education she is still learning from every outing so there are going to be the odd situation pop up but all in all I was very impressed with how she ran and coped with the more technical fences really well :)
I'm not entirely sure exactly where we finished as we left before the prize giving as it had been a long day so I wanted to get Diaz back home to chill out. I had hoped to find out how we did time wise as we really stepped up a gear speed wise and she still finished full of running which is always a positive thing. For more pictures and a video from the day please Click Here!
We are back out eventing this weekend too, another outing for Diaz, this time at an unaffiliated event at our most local BE event venue, Chilham Park. Fingers crossed for another positive run at BE90 level.....will let you know how we get on early next week.
***Keep Calm & Canter On***
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