Busy, yet we picked up great results and the weather was lovely - what more could we ask for?!
We started the weekend with an early start to allow the 3 hour drive to Goring Heath Horse Trials, which although a bit of a trek is such a lovely event to be at and this year didn't disappoint! The going was super, and considering the rain we'd had the week prior to the event I did think it may be a bit muddy but the team had wonder hard to make the going as near to perfect as possible which was very much appreciated by us riders - big thank you to all the helpers!
On arrival I gave Diaz and drink and made sure she was settled so I could head of to walk the course. I was keen to see the new XC course as this was the first time there has been BE90 sections running at Goring! The course was nice, it asked plenty of questions which is nice to see at this level, with skinny fences, angled combinations, a corner, steps and various options at the water. Before we got to do this though we had the dressage and showjumping first so we went back to the box to get Diaz ready.
As we made our way towards the dressage arenas Diaz got her hopes up as we had to go past the showjumping arena but when we started warming up she soon knuckled down and got on with the job in hand. at one end of the warm up and behind the car's a C or the arena was a wooded area behind the fence and Diaz wasn't the only one who was convinced there was a horse eating monster just the other side of the fence in the trees! We went in for our test and Diaz put her brave foot forward and forgot about the monster and performed a nice consistent test and when we later received our sheet this was reflected in the marking as we got marks from 6.5 to 7.5 fr the whole test resulting in a score of 34.5 putting us in the top half after dressage. With a bit more work on our flatwork and we can look to up those marks by 1 or maybe even 2 per movement hopefully!
After having a quick look at the SJ course which looked to be riding nicely I got Diaz ready and set off towards the warm up. Diaz got a bit excited in the warm up and after jumping the cross pole and the upright nicely we had a 'Diaz moment' on the approach to the spread! The atmosphere got a bit too much for here I think as there were plenty of spectators watching around the arena and behind the spectators there were lots of trade stands, most of which had flags flying high above in the wind! After a few more jumps it was time for us to go in and Diaz popped herself in pro mode and jumped round beautifully, continuing her clear round spell! She didn't look at anything which I was very pleased with :)
With a change of tack and boots on Diaz and me into my XC gear we headed over to the XC start. Diaz felt fighting fit and ready to go in the warm up. The starter counted us down and Diaz left the tart box promptly....she knew what to do! I made sure she had plenty of time to see the first fence as there had been a few stops at it we had heard over the tannoy. I was a simple roll top type fences but covered in fake grass and the green was reflecting the sunshine which may have spooked some but not Diaz in fact she took off a stride early! She flew and got off to a great start! We had a slight hesitation before fence 4 which was a skinny fence in the hedge line - I don't think Diaz quite read the question right and questioned why were we jumping the hedge! I kept m leg on a pushed her forward and we jumped the skinny from a trot but we jumped it clear and left the flags in place which is what counts. The next fence was two angled houses on a related distance, Diaz got a bit too big for her boots and pulled me through it getting very close to the 'B' element! She learnt from this which was great and listened to me the rest of the way around the course and jumped a superb clear which I was thrilled with! I was also pleased with how well she finished and by the time we had walked back to the box she was back to normal breathing which showed her fitness levels are right at the moment as it is a very hilly course at Goring!
Chilham is our most local event and they've had a complete re-vamp this year and the course is running in reverse with the start and finish in different places.....fingers crossed our run of good form continues and we have a good first run at this level! Please Click Here to view more pictures as well as a video of our day at Goring Heath.
After a long drive home, due to the M25 'car park' being on top form and the starter motor on Fiona (my little ford lorry) playing up when we stopped at the Cobham services, what was an early start soon turned into a late finish as well. I tucked Diaz up into her stable and headed home to sort tack out for the next day as I was back out early to the Riding Club Winter Dressage Qualifier with Roxie!
We were competing in the Elementary part of the competition so I wasn't riding in the afternoon but after being advised not to drive Fiona until the starter motor has been replaced, my mum very kindly offered to take Roxie and I could follow over in my car later. Roxie had her legs washed and tidied up a bit and was sent of in the trailer with my mum and sister who was riding mum's mare. I got the yard jobs done and then headed over, to find that fellow members of the Royal Oak Riding Club were doing very well picking up individual wins and team placings!
I got Roxie plaited and headed over to the warm up where they said they were ahead of time and I was next! Despite not getting the warm up we needed Roxie pulled of a nice test with a few errors where Roxie thought she knew the test and didn't want to do what she was being asked. We scored 62.4% which resulted with us finishing towards the middle of the field. It was only Roxie's second competition outing this year so she tried her best to remain calm! For more pictures and a video of our test, please Click Here.
We have a quiet few weeks on the competition front now so time to concentrate on some training to ensure we are fit and ready for our next competition! We have David from D A Saddles coming down to see us on Saturday to check the fit of my saddles and make any alterations that are needed as well as take measurements for make a new saddle for my sister. Then on Sunday we have Sofia coming to give the horses their monthly phsyio session which i'm sure they will all enjoy as they do every time!
Sorry for the long update, I hope you've enjoyed reading it.....I promise the next one will be shorter!!
***Keep Calm & Canter On***
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