December 30, 2007

Scuba learns to jump

So Scuba came along to the arena today too, to introduce him to jumps! He travelled really well, and didn't freak out at the donkey (yay). He was most interested in everything around the outsides of the arena while we were warming up, but as soon as we got on task he was really great - he didn't even seem to notice any of the filler.

I started him with the little baby crossbars. He was happy to go over, but trotted over the first bunch of times till he started to work out where front & back legs should go. After that there was no looking back. Pics of warming up, and his first ever jump:
Once he was happy jumping he seemed to just sort a lot out by himself in his head. He was cantering to the fences nice and balanced without changing pace at all, and not fretting if we didn't meet a fence perfectly - he still popped over happily. He did drums and flowers and all sorts of fill that I could find to try and scare him with. He's lovely and tidy with his knees naturally - I think he'll enjoy some little showhunter classes:
He actually did quite a lot of work - but seemed to enjoy himself and certainly learns very quickly. Will now plan to do some hillwork on him and get his fitness up and get him out to a few shows.

Gray's road arena

Took Dan & Scuba out to the arena at Grays road today to do some jumping. Dan hasn't jumped since Battle Hill ODE (which was his first time seeing coloured poles), so I just wanted to pop him over a few little things and see if his improved balance on the flat is making much impact on his jumping yet.
I started him with some crossbars (I don't think he even saw the first little one! look at the pic - he towers over it haha):
He felt like he was much more confident in his striding than before, but certainly wants some shoes on before playing too much more. I was really pleased that his improved canter and generally being lighter in front had carried through to the jumping (made it easy to guide his big tall self between fences).
I popped him over a few barrels and things like that, got a few nice lead changes out of him.
Pretty stoked really. Last time I tried showjumping him we had to trot everything and I think he even walked over a few as he was so confused about the showjumps!

XC practise at BH

Neo headed out to Battle Hill to do some XC schooling on Friday. He's still working on his fitness (so not a naturally fit horse!), so we didn't do heaps - but pottered around a few different types of jumps for him to have a look. Another girl was riding Silvi and he kept calling out to her (can't wait for him to grow out of that habit - even if it is kinda cute).

He went straight into the water, hopped up the staircase, did several skinny fences and generally was just happy to be out there jumping. I was stoked with how well he did - especially the skinny fences as we haven't done any sort of schooling for them. I got back to the truck and Nick & Brad had turned up - so I quickly got them to come nab a few shots (poor Neo, dragged back to the XC again).

Sailing over the training ramp, and hopping up the little bank:

Dropping straight into the water, and over the open fish jump (even while getting unintentionally hooked in the mouth - what a good boy he is to me):

Very pleased with his attitude, and can't wait to get a few more competitions under his belt. Roll on 2008!

December 27, 2007

December 22, 2007


So yeah, as below, Dan was an angel - but Scuba was pretty good for a baby horse too. He blew a few times and just wasn't sure of everything going on (including the chopper bike convention that turned up). He was quite interested in everything going on while we trotted about:
However his canters were fantastic! No arguements with transitions and he was really quite relaxed and focused. I was impressed with him:
Then I took him for a walk around to look at the spooky jumps and goats and noisy grass flapping in the wind. He was great though - even walked over the footbridge without protest!:


Took Dan and Scuba over to Battle Hill so they could have a look around somewhere different, and also (mostly) so they could have some flat land to do some work on. Dan loaded well (once I held a handful of food out for him) and travelled like an angel.

Dan has had about 6 weeks down at a friends place eating grass and having a break. I got him back earlier in the week and today was his second ride since coming back. I was absolutely wrapped with him! He was so much stronger and more balanced, and even good when some kids on ponies hooned past bareback (that's what he's staring at in the pic below):

His canter work was like riding a different horse, much more balanced. I mean, it wasn't perfect - but it was about 20 steps in the right direction. He wasn't dragging me around on the forehand and his transitions were really clean too:
Overall I'm just so pleased with him. He seems to be enjoying the work too:
I'm really looking forward to taking him to some competitions now!!

December 17, 2007

Horowhenua ODT

Sunday we were out eventing again. Had a good day with Silvi coming 3rd in the Training, and Neo 7th in the PreTraining.

Silvi's lost a shoe and had it replaced just before the dressage. She did a nice test:

As usual:

Neo's dressage was much better than his first outing. He was much more balanced in the arena:

He was still a little distracted at times, but that's all coming right:

Silvi had a clear showjumping round - a few missed distances thanks to the rider, but she got me out of those tight spots with a bit of fancy footwork (only managed to get 1 pic of her SJ though - still, it's a cute one though):

Neo took 3 rails in the SJ. It was a disappointment after a clear SJ last weekend, but it also showed me that he still needs more work on his balance at home. With all of the atmosphere and distractions at a show he needs to trot into the fences right now, and the canter will come later. We were clear over everything we trotted or did a very balanced canter into - but when we got a bit untidy was when the rails came down:

Silvi did an awesome XC. Bloody spooked at a roll of plastic by a jump, but other than that it was all perfect - cantered through the water, jumped the corner - gave everything a fair bit of air:

And the last fence:

Neo did a stunning clear XC - he did the corner and hopped happily through the water too. I was absolutely stoked! Warmup jump & fence 1:

Fence 2 and a ramp:

And the last fence on Neo:

So all-up it was a good day out! Then also heard that Spice's new owner took home a ribbon in every class over in Masterton. Brilliant.

December 14, 2007

New arrival

Scuba has come to live with us at Odenhills for a while. Mandy dropped him off at about 6.30pm, and after I'd ridden Silvi and Neo I thought "why not?". He's only greenbroke so I grabbed Nick as safety person on the ground (and cameraman). Scuba was good to tack up, and didn't seem too horrified with me climbing aboard. I did a little walk around in the sheepyards, then went down the driveway to the front paddock:
We did quite a bit of walking, and then some short trots and canters on each rein without any big hassles. He was very interested in everything else going on (especially new best friend Zak running up and down the fenceline). Here are some pics of Scuba trotting in the crazy long grass and the dead short grass:
Then just for fun we went into the creek. He didn't go backwards, but took some encouragement to go in (seemed more bloody interested in drinking the creek!):
Then gave them all a feed and popped them in their PJs for the evening. After half an hour Scuba and Silvi were -still- prancing around showing off to each other!