April 20, 2009

Clareville Hickstead

Sunday we headed over to Carterton for the Clareville Hickstead day. It's pretty much the same as eventing, but instead of having a showjumping phase, they just put a few showjumps randomly around the XC course. As I've not had a chance to XC school Dani or Xev I thought it would be a good first eventing outing. Unfortunately the course was pretty tough, with more than half of the competitors in each class getting eliminated (never fun, really)... but it did at least expose us to lots of different types of jumps. Swifty came along to take photos, and Mum met up with us at the grounds as she had 2 competing as well.
Farrago Bellringer:
Xev drew the short straw a bit, as I'd calculated my driving times wrong and got to the grounds with only enough time to get changed and tack up then get into the arena. Of course Xev didn't fuss and still got a great dressage score putting her in the top few of the PreTraining class.
Warmup for the jumping had the most awful practise fences you've ever seen! Skinny, fairly large (for PT & Intro, at least) kennel type things! Xev wasn't sure what to make of them the first few times - in the pic below you can see what I mean. It did mean that the first few fences of the actual competition felt easy. Xev cruised around and jumped the chevron, corner, drop and did 3 creek crossings really nicely. A real bummer that when we got to the waterjump we just didn't quite have ourselves together enough - but I am stoked with how she went and how brave she was about all the different fences. This is her first time doing crosscountry.
Dani's impulsion is improving through some very repetitive work at home. I was gutted to be doing a ponyclub test where we can't wear spurs - but in the end as long as he is improving with each outing I can't complain. It's also nice that he's very laid back about the atmosphere - so is an easy ride in that regard.
I had to really rev him up for the crosscountry (he was in the PreTraining, same as Xev), but he got more confident as we got further around the course. By the end he was almost pulling! Maybe we have the key to his "go" button - a few hoons on the airstrip coming up perhaps? He ducked out at the corner, but flew it happily when re-presented and was clear the rest of the way around putting him in 6th place overall I believe. I have no idea what I'm doing with my hand in the pic at the water?
Three of Diamonds:
Mum had so much fun showing Gem the previous day that she decided to late enter her in the Intro! Gem was a bit full of herself in the dressage -but a cutie. She got eliminated at the water - but they carried on past that and did the rest of the course clear. Gem was jumping super and didn't hesitate at anything. There will be more eventing coming up for Gem before the end of the season I'd say!
Banoffee Pops:
Alfie was in the Intro too with Mum. His dressage was more calm than Gem's, but not as accurate. They both scored about the same in the end. Poor Alfie looked horrified by the XC and took a few jumps to get into stride but then looked to be having a great time. Sadly he didn't want to get his toes wet either, but still an awesome effort from him. He will have one more outing before being turned out - he's already about 1 or 2 inches bum high again so needs to go out and do some more growing and bulking up.
Before we headed home I saddled up DickyDick and took him for a ride around a busy area of the grounds. He was a real dude - extremely laid back.
As he was so neat to ride around all the trucks and the others horses I have popped in a late entry for an ODE this coming weekend on him! Should be stacks of fun.
On the way home we dropped off Zakky with my friend Karina - he is going to spend winter at her place - she's getting quite the number of grey horses populating her paddocks now!