January 10, 2009

Hutt Valley Jumping Day

Went down to Belmont today for a jumping day. Turned out to be a fairly laid back day, as the 2 grey girls only did practise rounds. Mum had thought about bringing Sam & Alfie for me to ride as well, but didn't - so I was quite lucky with not much to do at all (even got home pretty early too!).
Started with Grace (her owner Kerry came to watch too). She's always really good with the showday stuff (travelling & standing at the truck), and she warmed up fine too. So we started with a practise round in the little SJ ring. It was awful! Poor Grace, it's been 2 years since she has jumped! It took a while to get into the swing of things, but by the second half of the round things were beginning to flow. Pics of mounting from the truck (cause I'm short!) and Grace's first fence in the arena (so messy!):
Then we headed to the showhunter ring to do a practise in there, and by this stage Grace was remembering what this jumping stuff was about and starting to get tidier with her legs and quite brave with the fillers and weird looking jumps that the SH rings always seem to have. We took her back into the SJ ring again and did pretty much a perfect round. I was really pleased with that! She does lovely flying changes too, and has a nice rythmic stride, so I think she'll do nicely in the showhunter ring at competitions.
So that was Grace for the day, and time to saddle up the next grey girl. Dee has had a week off with a cut on her leg, so I didn't want to overdo it. We only did one showhunter practise, and she didn't put a foot wrong. She is such a honey! I can't believe she's only 4 - she's so honest and sensible!
Just as I was getting Violet & Neo ready for their Ring1 classes Mum turned up to watch and help me get the horses warmed up. Violet did a nice first class (TA2) though we didn't really try for the corners/speed as I just wanted a nice tidy round.
We also did the circuit, but lost a bit of oomph - Mum has suggested that maybe Vi is lacking a bit of energy, so have upped her feed to see if that just puts the final polish on things. She has such an awesome jump and makes things feel effortless, so I really want to be able to make the most of that and start to put her over a few bigger tracks too.
Neo was a superstar today.. listening perfectly like he'd started to do at Kyrewood - and he was like that for every round today. I was over the moon. He was 1 second off the time in the first class due to a wide corner I'd taken into an oxer. He's really starting to feel so much more confident with the Ring1 heights now. He got into the jumpoff in the circuit too! But I retired him in the jumpff as the fences were just feeling a bit too big for him and because he's so sensitive I don't want to hurt his confidence. We still came 6th in the circuit! So pleased with him! I think that is his first ever Ring1 ribbon!
Couple more pics of cute Mr Neo:
Neo with his pretty rosette... and Nick who volunteered to run the sausage sizzle for the day! As well as fitting in taking pics for me! Yay.
Loaded up and came home shortly before the rain started. A pretty good day all-up, I think! Heading off to a car trackday tomorrow to support Nick - and next outing for the horses will probably be a midweek arena visit, so I'll hopefully have another update then!