Sunday, 15 May 2011

Practice, practice and practice again!

Couple of weeks break from competing and putting all my energy into practicing everything I have learn't. (And of course I am revising for my end of year exams)!

Forty minutes riding without any stirrups each time I school is definately the way forward for Stella and I, it frees me up and I am able to move my legs more, she responds so well. It helps our lateral work, I also feel so much more and she is a lot looser. If only I could ride with no stirrups in a dressage test!

Has enjoyed a week of hacking, . She also has a grazing muzzle (one of my birthday presents)! Which she absolutely hates and puts her in a thoroughly bad mood. We are desperate to get some weight off of her!

Has started taking the contact down with the lightest touch on the rein. She has started jumping, proving very easy to do, but then shes not gone through her teenage stage yet, she is still only 4. We know how 5 year olds can be!

Is happily enjoying retirement in the field, with his friends and being hacked out. I did have a little schooling session with him the other day, he was just amazing, he just floats accross the school.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Rewarding Day

My little horse Pearl who has taken so long to produce is finally proving herself and growing up.
Today Gail Stephens and I both went to Mattingly unaffiliated to do the Intro. Considering this was only her second event and first intro of the season I was a little concerned about the Show jumping and the Cross Country.
She was so relaxed when we got there I thought there was something wrong with her (usually she has ants in her pants when we first arrive).  I tacked her up and went to warm up for the dressage, she was fooling me, there was nothing wrong with her at all! She put in a few bucks and then bronked and galloped off with me up to the dressage arena, nearly knocking Mum over in the process! I couldn't get any sense out of her at all, she was so very excited, but then 5 mins before I went in, I got some awesome work out of her and she preformed a stunning test - I mean there were still blips like canter transitions being a bit exuberant and  sometimes she wasn't quite acive enough behind, but next time I am going to try the test in sitting trot so I can wrap my legs around her and have some smother transitions, she does seem to go better when I am sitting.
Show jumping was up to height and had lots of fillers in - she had a pole, but I tell you what I was chuffed, she was totally listening to me and even though she had that pole she didn't freak out because she knocked it, she just stayed totally focused.
On the cross country I had an awesome ride it was a a big course for Pearly and she has been having confidence problems and won't take me forward, I am constantly pushing her to go on and she is very wobbly, that was how she started today. She had a stop at the second fence,  but she didn't spook, she just didn't lock onto it so I re-presented her and she popped it. But after that fence, she got told to focus, she gave me a little buck and I knew I had got through to her and from then she took me all the way around, for once I was having to pull her up before the fence to set her up which is exactly what I wanted. She was fantastic I don't mind about the stop or the pole, I was just chuffed with the fact she has improved So much!!!!!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

When all you can do is laugh!

What can I say, you have good days and you have weird days and you have to take it all in your stride.
We warmed up nicely for our dressage at Nurstead, for the Junior Regional Novice and all is fine and dandy, Stella warmed up really well, then it was my turn to go in. The judges kept me walking and trotting around the arena for ages. I went round 5 times before they beeped the horn and then they went and beeped it at A!! So I had to go all the way round again and then they beeped the horn for a second time! But I didn't feel the nerves at all today, felt absolutely fine, we went in and did our job and came out feeling fairly confident, knowing it was an alright test and at a guess thought it would have been in in low 30's.
Went to go and look at the scores and unbelievably it said I had a 40 dressage! I am all for judges seeing different things and liking different things and I am happy to take most things on the chin, but no one that watched it could understand it!
I went and looked at the score board and they had withdrawn me! We asked the organisers why they had withdrawn me, no one knew so they reinstated me, then we questioned the dressage score, they told us it definitely was a 40!
We left it at that and concentrated on the rest of the competition. Which then resulted in a double clear. They announced I was clear cross country at a good pace and then announced I had finished on my dressage score with no time penalties.
However the weird day just got weirder, when we went to look at the score board they had given me 9.2 penalties for going to slow! Got my test sheet back and no one recognised it as the same test. Should we challenge it? No we will put it behind us and move it on. Take it on the chin and smile!
My brother has told me to put on the end of this "The greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time you fall", he asked me to reference this to Dr Upton 2011 but since he is not a Dr yet, R Upton BSc hons will have to do!