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.