March 09, 2009

Solway ODE- Beau

Beau (Distelfunque) was up first on Sunday. Thankfully I had a lot of volunteers to hold the rest of the horses while I got him warmed up. They didn't provide a gear checker for our arenas, and the other gear checker wasn't interested - but we finally got gear checks done on all 4 horses and then headed back behind the grandstand to the dressage arena.
Beau had been in a dressage arena before, but he'd been quite wary of the arena ropes and a bit arena-shy. I hadn't had a chance to try him in an arena before the ODE, so I just made sure to ride him nice and close to the ropes while warming up around the outside. He didn't seem bothered at all! And I was stoked when we came up the centre line and he didn't even bat an eyelid, he just marched on in. His test was nice and tidy, though lacking a bit of impulsion - I might pop some spurs on for the next one we do.
Showjumping was such a lovely course - beginning with a crossbar! Of course Beau already knows how to showjump so he cruised around no worries.
Crosscountry was going to be more of a challenge for us! Beau hasn't done XC before - and he was throughly horrified by the practise log (he kept his eyes firmly planted on it the whole way over, and I think several strides after landing the first time we jumped it!). He was laid back at the starting area and calmly trotted off towards fence 1.
He gave me a really easy ride around the course - didn't need to kick him on too much or hold him back. Mostly just steer and give him some reassurance into these strange solid jumps I was pointing him towards.
We took a corner a bit too sharp towards a rolltop type jump and scooted past it which is a real shame (rider should have been paying more attention!), but of course he popped over it without any hesitation when I re-presented him. He was absolutely unphased by the bank and the staircase too, which is great.
We were about 4th in dressage, and 8th overall I think. I was really pleased with how he went and how he coped with all of this new stuff happening over the weekend. So now we've got our sights set on Manakau Sports to do some hunter flat classes, and some round the ring jumping, and probably a few showjumping classes too!