So I was writing for the dressage judge on sat at Hopetoun and then when
finished, went off and walked the 100a and Novice xc course.
I was originally entered to do the 100 but on walking the xc and hearing
from others who were also walking it, I think they have made the novice
there a bit easier than in previous years as I honestly didn't think
there was anything we couldn't do.
Put on my brave pants and asked if it would be poss to move classes. Kindly they said I could . Think there was a wait list for the 100.
So on the Sunday I headed over and walked it again. Was still pleased with my decision so tacked up and headed to dressage
38.5 dr which I know could be better if we could sort the tension but
still no worse than we get at 100 (or at 90, or 80 it would seem!)
SJ was a disaster. Not the size, mostly muppet jockey who hasn't really
noticed the carnage that the double at fence 6 was causing. My horse is
not spooky at all and we were going clear until then when he stopped at
the first part !
This was happening a lot through the day but I hadn't really noticed
this so didn't ride any different and as he's not a spooky horse I just
assumed he'd be fine! Anyway represented and he then jumped it fine, but
the stop had worried him so he then had two down. Ended up with 9 time
Headed over to xc. He felt really good in the warm up, jumped a couple
of fences one on an angle then headed to the start. I was a little
nervous but a friend was doing the xc stewarding and said all the right
Set off and flew the first 3. They were log, sticky fence thing, and
roll top. Then the rain came and came!! By the time I was coming to
fence 14 I couldn't see where I was going!
fence 4 was a box brush, a few strides onto 5abc which was a large
rustic house thing, 3 strides to a ski jump/drop(with huge ditch behind -
rider frightener) then 4 strides to a skinny up a hill. Fence 6 was a
wide white table, and onto a roll top in the trees on an angle and down
to fence 8abc, a hexagonal roll top thing, one stride to a drop, then
three strides to a (very) narrow skinny brush. there was an alternative
to 'c' which was the 100 skinny and was on a much tighter right turn,
Brave little grey jumped his heart out but we collected 20 penalties as
he had a spook on approach to fence 8, we were about 5 strides away and I
hadn't presented but I think it was in the grey area of setting up for
the fence. Anyway not to worry, popped it and went for the tight turn to
the alternative at C which he did easily. carried onto fence 9 another
table which he backed off alot at but still jumped. fence 10 was a
pheasant feeder and flew it - I then went the wrong side of the string
so quick turn round and on the right track - heading for 11ab which was
a narrow pair of kennels on a curve. was worried J would slip out the
side door but he locked on and popped them. then turned right to head
to the owl hole which a few had miss walked. It started a conversation
on the day about whether you count your fences as you ride round - I
always do but lots of people don't.
Anyway, pinged through the owl hole and headed to the water. it was an
upturned boat in, then a small jump in the water - for some reason we
always grind to a trot in water, but he popped it easily from trot and
onto fence 14. this was a branch of a tree, with a whiskey barrel
underneath, 5 strides to fence 15 a wide table. Was an easy line but he
backed off and ended up banking it which was a bit . He carried on fine, but I was really having to keep leg on and drive at the big fences.
popped the next viaduct fence, then round to pallisade 17ab, with 'b'
being a skinny on a curve - no problems for him there and onto the last
which was a roll top.
came through the finish with his ears pricked (helmet cam doesn't lie )
but for me, I feel he is not ready for this level yet - and me as a
rider needs to buck my ideas up and start riding more accurately - I
managed to go the wrong side of the string, and at the last event ended
up jumping the wrong ditch so Jockey needs a telling off!!
Horse on the other hand, has had plenty of polo mints, hugs, and pats
for having a heart of gold. i am going to stick to 100's now for the
remaining season to boost his confidence. I have no doubt he has the
ability to do it, but i'd rather build on his confidence more and try
again another season.
Shame about the 20 pens as he doesn't deserve it, but my new plan is to
aim to get our dressage down to the early 30's at 100. fingers crossed!
Pics (I have permission to post!):
Pretty galloping one: