November 10, 2008

Battle Hill ODT

I had entered four horses for the One Day Event at Battle Hill on Sunday, so decided to make a bit of a day of it (and con some people into helping at the same time). Mum came down from Masterton to groom, Nick & Brad came along to support, and Rachel even came to support Violet! We had the couch out beside the truck in the sunshine, a few cases of beer... ...and then by the end of the day I had 4 very tired, but very special horses - one ribbon each!
I've had Dee a week now, and haven't had a chance to jump her - but I had seen her out and about with her previous owner Karina and knew she would be fine to compete. She was a bit of a snot to load, but got on the truck eventually and travelled well. She warmed up for the dressage really calmly and seemed happy as larry to trot into the arena:
A fair amount of her work was above the bit, but occasionally she would settle and work in a really nice outline and she's got a lovely active trot. Her dressage test sheet was full of nice comments too, which is always great to get.
She was perfect for the showjumping. I popped her over a crossrail and she cleared it by a mile, and we slowly worked out each other a little better. She does a lovely flying change and the intro jumps were hardly even registering on her radar.
More cute photos of little Dee:
She was a bit less sure of herself in the cross country, just a little wobbly - but she popped over everything for a lovely clear round under the time... which made for a double clear finishing on her dressage score and picking up 4th place in the Intro section.
Neo did an unsettled dressage, but is really coming into his own on the cross country and did a clear round with no time faults! His stride is really starting to open out too. I'm so pleased with him.
Neo's showjumping was good, we tapped a light rail that at least half of the class took. He did the striding in the double perfectly too. I can't believe how much he has changed and grown up! Neo came home with a yellow ribbon for 3rd place in the Training division.
I had my first dressage test with Sam. It was a nice enough test, but lacked the 'polish' that I know he has. I need to ride him a lot stronger with my legs and really get him working under himself and bending properly! He is accustomed to far longer legs, so I am going to have to perhaps try riding him in the dressage saddle to get a longer leg against him. He was nice and easy though, so that was nice - and he came 2nd in the dressage.
His cross country was good. I had to remember that he hasn't seen a solid fence for a few years! He had a good look at the water, and also had some trouble with the downhills (slipped after a fence) - I need to put studs all around! He only had back ones in and I think with his huge hooves he really needs front studs as well. He went around the XC in a snaffle with a cavesson noseband and was easy to control even for the skinny fences, so that was great! Showjumping was nice and easy for him (though I got left behind into the double and he had to get me out of trouble). Sam came 4th in Training.
We didn't get any photos of Violet, as she was first up for everything, and the photographers weren't quite ready. She did a lovely dressage test loaded with nice comments (as she usually does), then cantered happily around the XC - we stumbled in the bog around one of the chevrons and had to reapproach at a trot to get over it nicely, but Violet gave me a really nice run around the Open track. I don't enjoy riding XC - but Violet certainly makes it easy and I cantered on the buckle for a few of the long stretches. Violet came home with a blue ribbon for 2nd in the Open. I was really pleased with that - she has picked up a ribbon in both our eventing starts together, and now we're all geared up to give Novice a try this coming weekend.
I got a little bit of video of each of the horses on the XC too: