January 25, 2009

Upper Valley Equestrian Day

On Saturday I took four down to Trentham for the Upper Valley Equestrian Day. I was by myself, so it was a comparitively early start (leaving my place at 6.15, for a show that's really just down the road!). I had Violet entered in a few flat classes, and Grace entered in one. Of course, the one between! So I had to do a switcheroo of horses in speedytime.

Violet went lovely in the showhacks ring, and came 2nd in both of her classes. Grace stepped up to the mark really well too - coming 3rd in her class (maiden showhack). A good start to the day for us.

Jumping was fairly busy, with all 4 going. Grace did one class in Ring2 showjumping - it was an AM5 and she did a clear first round, then an awesome jumpoff with great turns and angles. She came away from that with a blue ribbon and second place and lots of nice comments from people on the sidelines about how well she did. I had her entered in more showjumping classes, but decided to leave it at that as I was really pleased with her and didn't want to overdo it.

Dee came out for one of the bigger Ring2 showjumping classes and did a super clear first round - which was spoiled only by the silly rider on top taking a raised oxer in the jumpoff a little too cheaply and taking the back rail. Still over the moon with both how kindly she goes, but how mature she is about everything. She got a little unsettled ringside this time, so I just kept her walking which she was happy to do on a loose rein... then as soon as she gets into the ring she is just such the little professional. My 4yo superstar I reckon!

Neo was doing showhunters, as a confidence building run after the bigger showjumping he's been doing lately. The first round was fairly ugly (bad distances and the like) but I must say I was really surprised with just how kindly and calmly he was going with no noseband and no martingale... also no bellboots! and he didn't overreach once! It's almost as if that schooling is paying off! The second round was much better - just a little short striding through the final double. But I got what I wanted from it, and can't wait to take him out showjumping again.

Violet had to do showhunter too (because I didn't think I could keep up with 4 horses and 3 rings all at once!) - our first round was a little like Neo's. Just a little uncoordinated on both our parts! The judge also mentioned that I held her back a bit too much, and I needed to let go and just trust her and let her move along at a better pace. So in the next round I focused on that and we did a much much nicer round! I muffed up the striding at that same double, which the judge commented was a shame because otherwise she would have won (and it was the championship class! argh, so angry at myself!). But I think it was a good learning experience for me, and I want to do a bit more showhunter on her now, I think it'll improve our showjumping and let me focus on getting a more free canter and not jamming her up so much. There is another local show with heaps of SH classes next weekend - so I'll enter a few of them!

All up it was a really great day, with all of the horses going great! Bring on the next show!