December 14, 2008

Horowhenua ODT

A bit of a mixed bag today - but good to get out again after a few weeks with no competitions for me! Neo got his highest dressage score ever (60-something percent!), and a few encouraging comments from the judge, which is always nice. His bend was improved over the last few outings, but quite uneven contact (might be time for a visit to the dentist?):
Violet did a nice test, but scores not fantastic. That put us a bit above mid-field, but certainly not her usual top-3 dressage placing, which was a bit of a bummer as I was really pleased with the test! The sheet didn't seem to pinpoint anything specific either, so suspect I will have to keep aiming to improve my arena-craft to pick up those few marks I might be losing for not quite hitting the marker in some of my transitions. Good to have things to work on. Miss Vivi:
Showjumping for Neo was good. His first time being fully studded up (8 studs! gawd if that didn't take me half of forever to do this morning) and I did feel like he was more secure in his footing, not scrambling around the corners quite so much. I was really pleased with his SJ round:
Violet's SJ was after her crosscountry and she was quite tired, but got around - just tapped a couple rails in the process. I'm happy with that - as the day was quite demanding for her, and her level of fitness isn't as high as ideally I would have liked it to have been due to being busy wrapping things up at work etc. One thing I did notice was that her flying changes in the SJ are getting more automatic too, so that is good, I feel like it means she is listening to what I want to do rather than just relying on her own (really good) balance. Vivi showjumping plus bonus pic of me with antlers at lunchtime:
Then it was crosscountry time. Violet was such a good girl! First she let me dress up like a fool on her, then for the XC she didn't have studs in and due to her not being super fit we decided to really baby around the course and she was absolutely perfect! Cantered around on a soft contact the whole way and came back to a walk when I was nervous about some big downhill slopes. SuperVi:
She got me home nice and safe, but due to our babying we did get rather a pocketful of timefaults to put us out of contention of any placings:
Neo's XC started well - his warmup was really cruisy as he always tends to be... but once we came out the start box he just didn't seem right at all and we were chipping into some fences and overjumping others - so I decided to retire him before I even got halfway around. I'm glad I did, as after the trip home he came off the truck looking very unlike himself - no energy and not very alert. Have got a few things I want to do to see if I can sort out what the issue is - hopefully get to the bottom of it quickly as it's no fun when my Neo isn't happy. XCNeoSanta pics:
Kody had come along for the drive today and behaved like a gentleman all day, not getting upset when horses were coming and going, and no worries with the trams passing by where he was tied up.
So yeah, a bit of a mixed bag - but overall I'm happy. I have things to work on and fix, and the horses really seem to be trying their hardest to please which makes everything much more pleasant.