June 14, 2009

Solway Dressage

Saturday I headed up to Masterton - picking up a wee pony to drop off to a friend, then backtracked a little bit and picked up wee Zakky who has been off grazing with another friend but is now ready to go back with Mum and be spoilt some more. Lots of driving around, and by the time I unloaded at Solway most of the horses had been in the truck for 4 hours! They were very pleased to get out and stretch their legs and have some grass. I gave them all a short ride around just before dark too - only about 10 minutes each as I wanted to get each of them ridden before it was too dark to continue. It was a lovely night too - I stayed in the truck and it was really quite nice and warm, pretty unusual for the weather we've been having lately, but I'm not complaining! Up at 5am today to start getting all 4 horses ready for their dressage tests (no sleep-in even when staying on the grounds, how unfair!).
I really wasn't sure what to expect with Coco. She was good on Saturday night for her ride around - a little nappy, but no issues. Sunday with all of the trucks and horses and everything 'busy' happening was just a bit too much for her. She looked really worried, and actually ran off 3 times while I was leading her (she would run back to her yard and 'hide' in it). I knew that sort of behaviour was a possibility, so we just took it really slowly and I had Mum help me while I got on and we used Xev as 'nanna horse' to babysit Coco for a while. She was still very tense, but I managed to stay topside and after some circles in a quiet area I headed over to the arena. She was spooky and reluctant to go forward at times, but when she did she got some lovely comments from the judge. I was so pleased to get into the arena, complete the test, and stay on! Mission accomplished. After the test I got off immediately and led her back to the truck, then she took off again when someone walked past on foot. So there is still a lot of work to do - but I feel that mostly it's exposure. So for the next wee while Coco will be tagging along to every outing, even if it's just to stand tied to the truck. it'll be good for her! Overall I was very pleased with how she coped, seeing as she was very worried/nervous. Looking forward to her next outing already - just not sure what it'll be.
Kody was spooking at everything! I wonder if the grass is growing again? They were all a bit 'looky' today. After an initial phase of looking at everything he actually warmed up pretty well. He is really starting to listen to my leg a lot more, making it so much easier to push him out on his circles and correct his bend when needed. His flatwork is improving every day at the moment - I think he is mentally & physically ready to have a bit more asked of him than he was last year, so hopefully we'll start to see his scores improving heaps. Excuse the blur on the second pic - Mum was trying to take pics while sitting on Gem, and I suspect Gem was not standing still!
Gem is still acting very fresh, and putting more energy into jig jogging around than actually moving forward. I hope that starting her jumping will give her an outlet for all that extra energy and also stop her from getting too bored (seems an idle mind causes nothing but trouble). As always, she did some lovely work - but there needs to be a lot more of it. Mum rode her in the afternoon and started to get a bit more submission - but she was still full of beans when it came time to head home. In a couple of weeks Gem will have her first showjumping start at Tielcey Park - I hope she enjoys it! At least I know she won't run out of steam!
Xev has got her transitions back, yay! It wasn't our best scoring test today (we did 2.2), but I was happy with how it went. Mostly I wanted to just have her listening to me, which she was doing really nicely. After her dressage test we popped down to a friend's arena and did some jumping which went quite well and has given me some ideas for new exercises to incorporate into my routine (always good to have new tools in the toolbox!).
The horses really enjoyed the covered yards overnight.. I need to get onto completing mine so they can have the same comforts at home! I think they will appreciate it (and the paddocks will probably appreciate it over winter too). Mum ran around taking photos of the horses looking silly - I think the one below of Xev is just hilarious.
After a very busy weekend I loaded up Gem, Xev, Kody & Coco and headed home. There was a crazy amount of traffic on the roads (not sure why), and we had a very near miss just a few km from home when someone coming the other way had picked a blind corner to overtake 7 cars - he missed us by what I am sure was only inches... It gave me a huge fright and I actually had to pull over and 'recover' before I could drive the rest of the way home! But when I got home Neo & Pippa were extremely happy to see me (or the hay I was carrying). No driving for me tomorrow! Going to be a stay-at-home day for sure.


Sally E. said...

Silly Kody. That photo would have looked good if it wasn't blurry! Oh well, plenty more photo ops ahead I'm sure.

perfk said...

Yeah! Kody's next show is at the end of the month... I'll just have to scrub him up clean again (gosh he has a lot of white bits to clean!)

somebody said...