Thursday, 11 April 2013

South of England and Larkhill in one weekend!

So you may or may not know that Mum, who has definitely become more of a liability these days, has broken her arm. She got in the way of one of the horses hooves and as a result was told she would be 6 weeks out of action. Hence Ross back for the weekend to help out and Dad stepping up to show groom. He has now learnt to put on a bridle and has announced that Mum is now redundant. Thankfully Michael and Lisa Rogers were in attendance at Larkhill as was Sarah Millard, so we had plenty of helpers.

Danny at the South of England!

This was a family affair, Mum, Dad and Ross came along.

We stepped up to our first Novice run together and it was great to back at that level. We had to run HC as it was an ordinary novice and not an open novice, which would have clashed with Larkhill the following day.

He did a much better dressage test this weekend, I think it was because it was more interesting for him and I also did it in sitting trot (practice for my internationals) which he seemed to go a lot better in. Anyways we got a 34.5.

Then before we went to the show jumping we walked the cross country, where we caught up with Gemma Tattersall, who is also sponsored by Timothy Foxx Clothing, Gemma, her Mum and I were all wearing our TF headbands and both of us had been wearing our hoodies that day as well!

The show jumping, welllll it was a little interesting, and not the most stylish we have ever done. I think I over bitted him so he wasn't going into the contact, we had a few miss communications resulting in a flier! Next time I will put the snaffle back in but with all the fliers he did we only had one pole down.

I was a bit keen for Cross Country and got there miles too early but when they changed  the course and we could get going he was machine absolute machine. 3, 2, 1 GO and we were off quicker then the speed of light, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it felt like that to me. We did end up with time penalties but that was because I wanted to gain some control. He was awesome and we got some great compliments from the commentator about our lines.

If he wasn't running HC (Hors Concours) he would have come 7th. Good boy.

We had a really sociable day meeting up with lots of friends and it was fantastic to see so many people I knew in the placings.

After getting back at 6.30pm we then had to sort horses, bath and plait for next day. We finally finished in the yard at 9.30pm, had supper and then had a very early start the next morning. Lovely!

Larkhill is the coldest, windiest place on earth - just saying!

Hector was up first, his dressage was a generous score of 32, it reflected his paces and some of his test was very good, but he still needs to settle and relax more, we had a few to many hollow moments for my liking. At home he is incredible, when he has been out more he will settle.

The showjumping I felt was the greatest achievement  its an element he has always struggled with. But the Jon Pitts Combined Analysis Training was such a turning point. I throw the rule book out with Hector I'm afraid but it works for him, you have to really understand him to realise why this technique works. If you see me jump him and think I am getting him in too deep, its all in the plan! Anyways he did a lovely clear and I was so proud of him.

He did a super cross country round but just didn't lock on to fence 7, I couldn't understand it as he is usually so strong xc but after watching a video I can see another horse coming up the hill directly in front of him and he is looking at the horse. Oh well the rest of the round was super, all in the time. We were in 2nd place going into xc so there is real hope there,

Arabella's dressage came directly after Hectors, oh she showed what she could do in the warm up, she has such a wow factor and she was bringing out her medium trot for all to see. The actual test was not too bad but she did feel like an unexploded bomb underneath me. I was slightly disappointed with the 36.5 score and felt they could have been a little more generous with my baby!

Thankfully Alexis Ross pointed out there was just about to be a change of sections as there was a slight miscommunication with the times (we had taken a withdrawals times), it resulted in me being late for the show jumping and poor Arabella not getting a warm up, but she went in there unfazed, we had 2 poles but I cannot blame her for that.

We hot footed it over to XC and were there in plenty of time, she did a stunning round within the time. Not bad for a 5 year old and her first event of the season.

It was great to catchup with Gail Stephens, Abbie Lloyd and Alexis Ross.
Massive thank you to MDR photo for taking the photographs and videos at Larkhill and for acting as showgroom too.

We arrived back home Sunday evening absolutely shattered but pleased with all the horses. On paper they were all average but we achieved some real milestones.