March 10, 2009

Solway ODE- Alfie

Alfie (Banoffee Pops) had such a big day on Saturday that I wasn't sure if he would need the early morning trot around that he normally gets at shows... but I decided to go ahead and do it anyway. So he got tacked up early and we went for a wander, but he seemed very laid back so we didn't do much. When it came time for him to get ready for his dressage he was still fairly laid back and he trotted into the arena like a pro. Such a different horse from the one who had a meltdown when I took him to a dressage day in Waikanae all those months ago.
I didn't ask too much of him in the arena, just let him have a cruisey time. He was going forward nicely and actually had pretty good balance in the small space. Our test sheet mainly commented that we could do with more bend.
As he's still so green we popped boots on him for showjumping. He was pretty good over the practise fence, trotted over it (without jumping) a couple times, but then seemed to remember what he'd learnt the day before. And what a dude in the arena! The only sticky moment we had was in the double where he landed and went "mum! there's another jump right here!" - he seemed quite worried (understandably!) by this, but I kept my legs on and he kept going forward. We did take the rail, but I was stoked that he'd kept going. The rest of the round was clear and I was absolutely stunned! So happy with him.
Because he's showjumped so well, I was actually pretty confident about the crosscountry. The first few fences we jumped almost from a walk as he just wasn't really sure what they were. But once we got going he was happy to pop over everything in front of him. Even the bank wasn't an issue and he was keeping fantastic straight lines between fences. There was a double as well - and he wasn't phased by it at all (seeing as he's seen one in the SJ course earlier).
He cruised around happily, and even jumped the second half of the course mostly out of a canter stride instead of a trot. And by the time we got to the finish flags Alfie had given me a great clear round! So impressed with that! And he has a nice settled jumping style (of course needs better form, but that will come) - and Mum will be able to do some showhunters on him.
Alfie finished 6th overall - which is a good effort for a horse who only learnt to jump the day before! He came home with me in the truck, and will get a bit more jumping mileage before going back to Mum to grow some more (he's looking to be 16hh now, and may even shoot up a bit more over winter - as he's still rather baby/rangey looking).
So it was a great weekend - so proud of ALL the horses.