September 21, 2009

Waikanae Spring Show

After a bit of a late start we got on the road up to Waikanae yesterday. I had Xev entered in flat classes (saddle hunters) and had done the most awful quick plaits the day before - poor horse with golfballs on her neck. Swifty came along to take some pics. There were heaps of horses over in the hack ring, glad I wasn't a part of that as they seemed really packed in with not much room to actually ride foward. Where we had a huge space for hunters and even got in a few gallops for our workouts.
Xev went nicely - though a bit unsteady in the head at times (allergies? teeth? must look into both). She got placed in each class I entered: Maiden, Lightweight, Paced & Mannered.
It was super weather - and is the first time this season I have ridden on the new surface at Waikanae. It was certainly nicer than last time I rode on it. Good for flat. I wouldn't really want to jump on it though. Also in the pic below I am grinning like a fool - because that prizemoney is gonna buy me an icecream!!
After the flat classes I rushed back to the truck to get Gem as I had both Xev and her entered in the working hunters. I probably shouldn't have bothered as they weren't warmed up for the small cross-country course they had us do, so both overjumping a bit. I even managed to tumble off the front of Xev when she dipped on landing off the drop. Was a bit uneventful, as I hopped back on and completed the corner and then the gallop without any problems.. but I must say I am nursing a bruise or two today.
Kit did the 90cm SJ in Ring1 and he went lovely. He had a few naughty moments in the warmup, but he is stopping as soon as I growl at him which is fantastic progress. He did fab in the class as well. It was a 2phase and both pictures below are over the same jump (first round & then jumpoff round). He did some lovely controlled corners and I was pleased with that.
After the showjumping his owners were standing with a shoe he tossed during the round! So instead of waiting around for the 1m SJ I put him over to the showhunters instead. It was the tightest showhunter course I've ever seen - a real tricky riders course, with a long strided double off a sharp turn (the best you could do was to get 2 straight strides into it, and that was if you went right up against the railings). It was really intersting to watch how each rider tackled it.
Kit went kindly around, and wasn't too distracted by the spectators who all line up at the shed with prams and dogs and various other things. Did a bit more riding around the warmup areas and Kit was good. I'm really pleased with him.
Gem was entered for the showhunter as well, but I decided against it with all those sharp turns - I just felt she was a bit green to do it well enough to do justice to herself. So we skipped that and went straight to our 90cm class. She jumped super even with me flopping around on top - my lower leg was so unsteady!
We came back for the 1m class - and looking at these pictures I will be taking the stirrups off all of my saddles for a week! Such bad leg position! The 1m was big & technical, and caused a lot of problems. I did the first half, which Gem jumped lovely, then retired after we got in wrong to an oxer. I didn't want to dent her confidence, so just went and did some practise fences to get the striding right again and then put her away. She really is doing fantastic for a horse who has had such a late start to her jumping career.
Poor Neo had, like usual, been tied to the truck all day and was just getting dragged out for the last classes. The 1.05m TableC was built very kindly, so I hopped on while the coursebuilder was putting the jumps up and did a few practise fences, then took Neo in first to go so we wouldn't have to wait around. He came 4th.
By the time they started the 1.10 it was getting very dark - I've lightened these photos so you can actually see him! I'm not sure why, but I was a bit nervous. We came into the first (a tripplebar) and stood off a bit, but Neo reached over it and saved my butt.
He is jumping so well at this height right now. He improves every season and is just such an honest wee man around the course. I'm looking forward to finding a few more 1.15 starts for him to see if we can get him competitive enough to justify paying for the ESNZ rego!
Loaded up in the half-light, and it was pitch black by the time I got home. Poor Swifty had missed his dinner, and Nick came down from the house with a torch to help put the horses away. I'm hoping to have a very lazy Monday!