I hope you had a lovely weekend and the wet weather didn't disturb your plans too much! Luckily for us the weather was lovely Saturday whilst we were out at Borde Hill BE Horse Trials with Diaz for her first ever event! After a very wet and miserable Friday afternoon and evening I was hoping the rain would stop and that the ground at Borde Hill would be soft but not too 'holding'. The ground coped very well with the rain and although it was a bit 'boggy' in places it rode very well. Anyway that's enough about the ground, let's get back to the event went.....
Although it was Diaz's third competition it was also lots of first's for her - first time competing on grass - first ever event - first time XC in competition! Having started her competition career a bit later on in life than others her age I wasn't expecting big results, I just wanted us to have a good run and give her plenty to take away from the day out and learn on.
After the rain during the night we had a bit of car / trailer and lorry XC to do on the country lanes before we got onto the motorways (picture attached!). On arrival at Borde Hill I gave Diaz a drink and then set of to walk the XC course. It has been a few years since I have walked a course of this height but it looked a nice course, perhaps a little challenging for younger horses with a few tight turn and light into dark changes in the lighting.
First we had our dressage and Diaz warmed up very nicely, not getting too excited about being ridden with lots of other horses which isn't a situation she has been in much. She went in to the arena and did a lovely test, getting better as the test went on and once she realised we had to stay inside the white boards! Obviously there's still plenty to work on but I was pleased with how she went and we got a mark of 38.0 which put her mid field in our arena, plus we picked up some lovely positive comments from the judge - not a bad start :)
Next was the SJing and the ring at Borde Hill is always on a slight slope and as I was watching before warming up, the clear rounds were few and fare between! Diaz went in and jumped a super round, leaving them all up! She coped very well with all the trade stands and spectators around the arena and really listened to me which was great!
Now on to the XC and my aim was to complete, there were a few questions that I thought she may not entirely understand as she can try to be a bit too smart for her own good sometimes but I'm pleased to say we did complete and the further around the track we got the more confident she was jumping and she finished very well! Unfortunately our round doesn't look that good on paper as we finished with an E on the score sheet after we picked up a few hesitations at the step down - Diaz wasn't entirely sure where she was to land as there were 'B' elements for the BE90 and BE100 which confused her a little bit but after a bit of persuasion she popped of and we wiggled our way around the 'B' elements. (picture attached). We then had a slight misunderstanding at a skinny house which was on a steep camber after a tight-ish turn but on our second approach she flew straight over and finished the course very well over the last few combinations!
Diaz looked very pleased with herself for what she had done and I was very pleased with her, as too was her owner who came to watch her. Having sorted everything out and packed up we headed home to tuck Diaz up for the night. The journey home took us twice as long due to the dreaded operation stack on the M20 resulting in EVERYONE coming down the M2 and A2 so we were stationary on more than one occasion for 30-45 minutes at a time which was a bit frustrating and wasn't what poor Diaz needed after her long day but she stood quietly and travelled very well!
For more pictures of Diaz at her first ever event and a video please Click Here!
Roxie and Milli are both fine, Roxie went for a little hack at the weekend as I'm starting to bring her back into work again, which she thoroughly enjoyed! I'm hoping to do a bit more with her now, maybe a bit of dressage or stressage as Roxie likes to call it - fingers crossed her knee stays strong and that she's a new calmer Roxie.....you can wish right?!
I had a jumping lesson on Milli after work this evening with David Pearson-Smith and as usual Milli umped brilliantly. We did some new exercises to really get her to use herself and she felt super, almost jumping me off the top at times!
Our next outing is at Hickstead this weekend where we are jumping in the riding club team competition. Milli and I are jumping the biggest for our team so we won't be jumping until the afternoon time....plenty of time for shopping before hand in the morning! :-)
***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!