August 31, 2009

Final Tielcey Park CT

Yesterday was the final of the 5-part combined training series at Tielcey Park. I was just heading up for the showjumping, no dressage for me this time. I had entered each of the horses for their biggest rounds yet (what better way to start a season?) -and got there to find it was a Chris Chugg designed course, with all lines related and tight! Very much a thinking course, and actually pretty enjoyable to ride because of that. Swifty came up and took some photos, and we somehow managed to stay there till 5pm and not get rained on! Fantastic!
Orin: 80cm & 90cm
Orin was heaps better in the collecting area this time. Previously I've had to walk him otherwise he gets a little fidgety, but this time he stood really nicely. So I was happy with that. His 80cm was a super double clear for 5th place (just couldn't compete with some of the speedier times, but our corners were lovely and tight).
Our 90cm round was not quite as tidy - a bit of drift around some of the corners, which set us up a little wrong for the distances - so came in a bit deep a few times. But he jumped everything really well, just tapped a rail. I was really pleased with that for his first course at that height, and he certainly didn't have a problem with it.
Gem: 90cm & 1m
Gem's jumping is just getting better and better! She loves it too. Last time we did the 90cm and she took a couple rails - just getting too tired. Today she blitzed around the 90 with a lovely double clear and speedy tight jumpoff for 3rd place.
Gem took the first rail in the 1m (which a lot of people were taking as it was right by the gate & had a sharp approach), but did the rest of the course really kindly. It wasn't as tidy as our 90cm - but if she keeps improving at this rate she'll be doing decent tracks in no time! She absolutely has the scope for it.
Xev: 1m & 1.10m
My first class on Xev I didn't even get into the jumpoff - we were arguing with each other a bit (I think I was trying too hard - wanting to put into practise the things I'd been working on with Andrew). I was a bit disappointed and wasn't sure if I should do the 1.10 class - but figured I could retire at any point, so I might as well. And hell - she attacked it!
Xev did a stunner of a double-clear with a great jumpoff time for 2nd place. I was stoked! She was on fire too - jumping everything great (I got left behind a few times (see piccy above!!) and jumped out the tack a few times!) - but I'm just so impressed for her first show of the season.
Neo: 1.05m & 1.15m
Neo was sporting new hardware - a rubber mullen mouth dutch gag on the snaffle ring. He's been a bit of a tart with the spring grass, and I've never bitted him up like this before, but I was at my wits end to get him to listen. And wow - it worked! He was going forward enough to get all the distances perfect, but not arguing with me and tossing his head. We were too slow for a ribbon in the 1.05 though.
The 1.15 he set out great for the first half, and then we kinda fell to bits a little just at the end. I'm not too disheartened - as often this is the case when I move him up a height. He just takes a while to adjust - but he can certainly do the heights and the distances no worries. He still got a 3rd place ribbon, but only because there were 3 of us in it! Next outing for him I will drop him back to 1.10 - but then he should be good to go for a few more 1.15 and perhaps 1.20 tracks during the season. Go Neo!
So each horse came home with a ribbon - they all did great and are my little team of superstars. I did not get rained on, and the gale force winds didn't hit until I'd just literally got in the gate at home. What a fantastic day.