December 18, 2006

horowhenua ode @ qe2

Up stupidly early on Sunday to get out to QE2 park. Of course Silvi loaded perfectly and the drive went really well and we ended up getting there 40 minutes ahead of schedule in the pouring rain. But that gave us lots of time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves.


It was horrible weather for the dressage - windy and soaking rain. Silvi was very well behaved in the rain and didn't even try to turn her bum to it in her halt or counterbend to get away from it on the straights. We got 60% and got 4th - which I thought was a really great result against what was a fairly experienced field.
Trot work:

Canter work:

Show Jumping
Tamara came over just before the showjumping started with soup for Mum and company for the rest of us. Always nice to get visitors at events - especially on such a miserable day.

Silvi's showjumping was a lot more tidy than her last eventing showjumping this time! The first half of the course she was very calm and tidy, then about fence 5 she put in a big leap and overjumped the next few, then she settled again and was just jumping nicely out of her stride. She got disunited on a few corners as we didn't quite complete the flying change until a few strides later, but she kept a very consistent rythm through the entire round. She was also very surefooted through her round, as I was a bit nervous about riding her over a course this height in the rain with no shoes, but she coped well.
Photos of 1 & 5:

Photos of 6 & 9:

Cross Country
Fence 1
We did the little logs at fence 1, and she put in a little chip but went straight and happy into it (not weaving like in the pre training a few weeks back)
Fence 2
This was the same jump as the open riders did - and I think it just overfaced her (even a bunch of the open horses propped over it uneasily). I don't like it as a 2nd fence, and that probably came though in my riding too. We had 2 stops, and the second time I let her have a bit of a sniff of it, them turned her back in and tried to fake a bit of bravery and she popped over it happily.
Fence 3
A little oxer that she just hopped over - great to get her (and my) confidence back after fence 2 though.
Photos of 2 & 3:

Fence 4 (a/b)
There was a long run to this double of ramps. So we tried to use that run to make up a bit of time. The first was quite gappy and she did a really big jump over it, and then also had to make a huge effort over the second element - taking out a whole stride.
Fence 5
The sharkstooth upright in the valley, she came back to me really well to get her down there, and popped over it very economically with only a few straight strides run into it.
Fence 6
The helsinki. Only one section of the helsinki was flagged for us, so it was actually quite a skinny jump we had to aim for. I didn't get back to a trot, but did get a very collected canter and Silvi was nice and straight for it. She didn't seem phased by the takeoff and landing on the slope of the hill either.
Fence 7
Coming into this I came around a corner and was going right for the fence judge and we sort of spooked and decided to come back around and get a proper approach, as it was a nice low ramp, but did have a drop landing and Silvi is still barefoot. She did it 100% perfectly and even slowed herself down so that she didn't zoom off down the hill too fast.
Fence 8
Wide tripple bar, which we stood off quite a bit and ended up overjumping by heaps - but really happy, as by this stage she was starting to hunt out the next fence.
Fence 9
Fairly big tabletop which she leapt over really nicely, from just the right stride without changing her rythm at all.
Photos coming through the gate & over 9:

Fence 10 (a/b/c)
This is the rails - ditch - rails combination. We put in quite a bit jump over the first and then she flew over the ditch like she does with ditches, and we ran out of room for the last element and ended up having to put in quite an untidy wee chip (but it was better than the bounce she was keen on doing!).
Fence 11 (a/b/c)
The first part of this was the little section of the bank, and then around to an upright. She just popped over everything like an old pro.
Fence 12
A skinny mobile which was no problem.
Photos of 11 & 12:

Fence 13
Fairly boring upright which was no problem.
Fence 14
Another fairly boring upright, but right at the top of a hill, which she had no problem with.
Fence 15 (a/b/c)
The corner and then a very skinny big rolltop. We did the option at the corner and then gave way to a rider who had decided to do the straight through while we were in the middle. Then I came around for the last but got her stride wrong and pulled out. We came around again more collected and she got over, but she did clip it (the only fence on course she even looked like touching).
Fence 16
Rolltop in the home paddock, got in a bit close but no problems.
Fence 17
Kennels which she stood off nicely.
Fence 18
Last fence, the chair and she took off ages in front of it and landed at least an extra stride out too. Almost unseated me!
Photos of 17 & 18:

So while it was a bummer that we didn't go clear, I was still over the moon with her performance. Just 4.5 months under saddle really - and she's had 2 intro runs and a pre training, and this training course was overfacing her a bit... and to come out the other end with just 2 refusals from her being overfaced, and 2 from technicalities. Well I'm absolutely wrapped.

The plan from here is to take her back to pre training for her next eventing start, just to consolidate what she has learnt and keep her confidence up, then she should be ready to hoon around any training track without looking back at all.

Swifty drove us back home and Mum went back to Palmy. Silvi was quite happy to be back home and to see her paddockmates and have a sleep after such a busy weekend I think.

upper valley jumping day

Friday night Mum came down so that she would be able to drive on Saturday. It wasn't too much of an early start (which was nice), and we took Surfbuster in the truck for Ora as well. Silvi and I had a great day and even came home with ribbons (I really like the first photo here as you can see just how differently coloured she is to a normal grey horse):

First I hopped on to do some practise rounds. Didn't plait or get tidy. We did the showhunter first and I was really pleased - Silvi hasn't seen showhunter style fences before, and although she gave some of them a bit of air she went really nicely. We had a wee issue at the last one (which was right where our truck was parked), but on another approach she sailed over it happily:

Then we went and did a showjumping practise round which went even better - with a few flying changes and absolutely no issues at any of the fences. Headed back to the truck while I got a bit tidier and Mum put some plaits in Silvi for me. My first competition class was showjumping 70cm. It was a closest to the optimum time thing, so quite a bit of luck involved but Silviapples hopped over everything very happily and got 3rd:

After that we went straight into the Hack showhunter class 75cm. We chipped in a few distances in a line of 3 as we stuffed up the first one and then couldn't quite recover. But the rest of the round was really nice and we hit all the right number of strides, and we ended up getting 5th (only one pic of the showhunter, the first one - the other pic is from the 70cm showjumping):

Last class for us was the 90cm AM5 showjumping. We hadn't done a course anywhere near this big before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. We didn't go clear - a rail at the 2nd fence which had a slightly difficult approach, and a rail at the 6th which was my fault as I held her too long (like, until we were halfway through the jump! oops). But very impressed with her, she started to stand off the fences a bit more which was nice, and gave the double quite a bit of air:

After that we sat in the sun and watched Ora do her circuit rounds and then loaded up and went back home so Silviapples could get some rest before the ODE the next day.

update on bonnie

Seeing as I put a wee update about Bella in the last post I thought I'd do a wee update on Bonnie too. She's going so well at her new home with Kayleigh! Every time I see photos of them they look even better together. Here are some pictures of her a few weekends ago eventing:

They are doing Training level now, and going great. Last season Kayleigh and her pony were doing intro. I'm so glad that Bonnie has been able to give her so much confidence.

December 12, 2006

makara show

Saturday we headed down the road to the Makara Show. I'd plaited Silvi the night before, so all I had to do was get down to the paddock and load her up. I took Nick with me to come in the truck. Silviapples loaded perfectly and we went off on our merry way. There was pretty much no traffic, so aside from the road being wet it was a really good drive out there.

It was bitterly cold though. I got on for the flat classes and we were soaked through before the first class even started. I entered the rider class and the paced & mannered. We got called in for both but didn't place in either. I was happy though, it was her first time in a ring class environment and she didn't get upset when some of the other horses bucked or went a bit crazy.

Tied to the truck:

I was also entered in 2 jumping classes, but we were both freezing and it was going to be a 4 hour wait until our first jumping class, so I decided to flag it. Swifty had picked Nick up and he'd gone off to work on his car, so I drove home alone. There was quite a bit of traffic (floats coming the other way!) but it was really good and Silvi was settled and happy when I got her off the truck and put her away after a feed.

Sunday there was a small riding club show on, but I decided to stay home and do some jumping instead. We did some bounce gridwork which she popped through beautifully and some practise landing on the correct lead for showhunter. I need to get out there and do some practise with placement poles as we often get in a bit too close to the base of the fences though.
Jumping at home:

And a few bonus photos of Bella Rosa that her new owner has sent through by pxt on her phone. Bella is doing awesomely and got Reserve Champion on the flat again on Sunday:

Silvi is supposed to have 2 outings next weekend as well - a jumping day and then an XC practise. Should be fun.

December 04, 2006

QE2 Park ODE

Took Silviapples in her first Pre Training ODE yesterday and she went like such a little star. She really is taking everything in her stride. A nice dressage and double-clear. I didn't stay around to see the results posted though.

We didn't get a very great score (around 58%) which was a bummer, as there were very few comments on the test sheet for us to know what to work on. But I was so pleased with her, it was such an even test. And she was even plaited thanks to Mum (I wasn't going to bother).

Photos of cute little Silvi:

More canter work (I l
ove her showhuntery canter):

More trotting and free
walk (wish she'd stretch a tiny bit more):

Halt and leaving
the arena:

Cross Country

She was great out of the start box again, and a little wobbly into fences 1 & 2, but by the time we got to fence 3 she was fully into it and flying (as you can see from the photo).
Fences 2 & 3:

She was really good with the few different types of fences (helsinki and corner), and great at coming back to me for quirky little turns before
and after fences.
Fences 7 & 8:

She had a little wobble into the last 2 fences as well (I think she sees everything else going on and being green still gets a bit distracted), but she was super. And after the last fence I was able to have her on the buckle
to canter steadily through the flags (no wonder she never raced!)
Bonus cute pics of her hiding in grass and cantering along:


Was supposed to be back number order, but so many people took ages to get over there, so I went in third. The course was quite nice - lots of room in between the fences. We did the first few fences nicely, but then got a little disunited and never quite got ourselves together 100% again, but did go clear and as always she was lovely and calm the whole time.
Jumping the last 2 fences:

Cute pics coming into the arena and then going through the finish flags:

Then she was a bit of a snot to load, but didn't take too long (just wanted more carrots I think!) and travelled beautifully all the way home. Swifty drove to Pukerua Bay and then I took over the rest of the way.