January 31, 2010

Battle Hill XC - Princess

Today there was a cross country practise day down the road at Battle Hill. It was only open for 90 minutes, so I decided it would be a good outing for Princess and Xev - and the others would just have to go another time. Coco and Edie came along to watch though. Princess was a little nappy in the first few minutes as she was warming up, but once I got her onto a trot circle she was fine. Pics of pre-training dog kennels and bank:

Over at the water she was pretty good- needed a bit of a kick to get in the first time but then was all good. Happy to trot or canter in, and did both the Pre-training and Training approaches.

She did think it was fun to drink from the waterjump! Not sure I would have done the same, personally! We did the lotto bank as well and she went off the PT/T as well as the Open drops really happily.

Didn't do any more with her, as she'd had a busy day yesterday and didn't want to make her think that jumping is no fun!

Langdale Sports

Mum took Alfie & Gem to Langdale Sports yesterday and had a good day all around. Alfie went lovely in his flat classes and Mum was especially pleased with his halt to canter transitions - he picked up a 3rd in the Open Hack. Gem did the Open Hunter and won it! Then they did a bit of jumping where they ended up forgetting the course - so no placing, but still really happy with how kindly Gem was going.
I think next weekend Gem gets a rest, and Alfie comes up to Danneverke A&P.

January 30, 2010

Pauatahanui Sports

Headed out this morning in the sunshine (yes, it was already starting to look sunny by 7am!) just down to Battle Hill for Pauatahanui Show. Edie had come along with the ridden horses to have another look at things - so I made sure to park right next to Ring1 where she'd have a lot of things to look at all day.
I took Coco for a ride as soon as I got there, while there were hardly any people around and just got her settled in. She was pretty good after a 3 minute ride so then I put her back at the truck and left her until it was time for practise rounds. It was also my first time having a go at jumping in my new 'at home' riding boots (dublin spirits, with airmesh chaps) - they were really comfy! I'm really happy with them.. and not too untidy for practise rounds either. Coco went around her practise round really nicely - even got into a good consistent canter after fence one and kept it up the whole way around the course.
Once she has a task to focus on Coco seems to be really great and not spooky - just needs more mileage to get her confident in busy situations I think. Stoked with her practise round though.
Took her back later to do the first class in Ring2 and it wasn't as tidy as her practise round - but was still a clear round and I think she coped with the busy entrance area, prams & screaming kids, and loose sheep etc - all of it just like a seasoned pro. I did not enter her in any further classes - I thought this was enough for her right now - just want to do a little bit each time we go out.
Princess did some practise rounds too. She wasn't nappy at all in her practise which is fantastic (as we have been working through some of those issues just lately) - but she was jumping a little inside out, which has been traced back to a few weeks ago when she put her leg in a fence and just had a bit of a struggle. Nothing too bad, just needs a bit more time & massage to get back to being softer in her frame. Straight after our practise rounds we did the first class (same class Coco was in) - it was judged on optimum time (so really pot luck!) but we came out of it with a ribbon which was neat!
Princess was also entered in the 85cm class in Ring2, where she did a stunning clear first round, then such a good jumpoff! Sadly we tapped down the first of the double, but I am really pleased with her angles and response to everything I asked of her - we never went fast - but did heaps of good corners and angles which would have given us avery competitive time.
Neo did a couple of classes in Ring1 and came home with a placing too. He was arguing with me in the first class a bit, but by the second class it was much tidier and he was jumping absolutely great!
Have entered him in 1.15m at Danneverke next weekend... let's see what happens! Hopefully I don't wimp out before then - as when he thinks about the jumps, rather than everything else on the planet, he is making easy work of the current heights we're doing.
Xev had the easiest day of anyone today! Just one class for her - really just to give her a tune up before tomorrow. Tomorrow she's got the farrier coming in the morning - then XC practise in the afternoon at Battle Hill - so really looking forward to trying their insane range of skinny fences and combinations out there.
So after her early morning round Xev spent the rest of the day eating hay and babysitting Neo at the truck in the shade. Hoepfully a nice relaxing day for her at any rate.
Swify came along today to do photos, while Nick dropped in for a little while, and Princess' owner also spent most of the day out there watching which was nice. Not sure what Mum is up to this weekend - it's Langdale sports in Masterton area, so I guess I will get an update from her shortly to put on the blog!

January 28, 2010

Pippa Sold

Yesterday Pippa headed off in a truck to Otane. We got word later in the evening that she had arrived safe and sound. She's gone up that way to finish being started and then eventually become a hunter. Her new owner is a fantastic match with her, and they had started bonding really well within the first half hour they spent together when she drove down to view her a couple weeks back. Very excited for Pippa to finally be doing something and getting some good one-on-one attention.

January 27, 2010

More QEP XC Practise

After work I headed out to the second of the Eventing Wellington twilight sessions at QEP. Took Xev and Neo to ride - and Coco and Edie came along to watch.
I didn't do heaps of jumping with Xev as she'd flicked a shoe - but I took her for a few good strong canters and I'm pleased to see her fitness is getting back up to where it should be. Xev found 2 big diggers in the middle of the course to have a look at (well, she didn't even seem to notice them! brave pony!), and the second pic is popping over the novice rolltop:
I walked Xev up to the bank to show her (as it had really long grass and was a bit hard to see the jump properly) - well, she launched up it practically from a halt and I got very left behind! (see pic!) - we came around and did it from a canter much nicer next time - but I just thought this pic was too funny to not include it.
At the waterjump (which had splashy water in it this time, thankfully!) I thought I'd be brave until I walked up to the larger drop (I hate drop fences) and even Xev thought I was joking at first. But she jumped off really nicely. I'm really pleased with that as it's her first time jumping over something to get into water rather than just dropping off like a bank. Xev seemed to have an absolute ball out on the XC - I swear she was smiling the whole way around.
Neo is still not 100% after the weekend, with a bit of the runs and being a bit spooky. I think the grass is really lush this year! But I wanted him to have a good hoon (which he loved). Pics below are a skinny to a ramp combo:
And into the water and back out the water. He did this absolutely foot-perfect. Such a dude. The same with the ditches on course too - he doesn't even hardly seem to notice them.
And of course Neo had a play with the diggers too - he looks so cute in between them. He was sweating after his ride but not puffing - I think he enjoyed going for a blast but would have preferred even more hooning around (too much walking according to Neo!).
Coco & Edie stayed tied to the truck while I was riding the others - and they were both perfect. We got a good spot where there weren't too many horses right up in their faces, but they could see lots of horses cantering past.
Cute pics of Coco loading - awesomest pony ever.
Before heading home I took Edie for a lead around and got her a bit closer to some horses jumping and cantering around - she had a good look, but didn't misbehave at all.
And she took the opportunity to have a pick of grass too!
Edie is also now loading really well - easily a one person job to get her up into the truck, turned around, and partitions closed. She is still sweating during the journey - but I think a little less each time. I put her beside a different horse on the way out there & the way back (but left a space on the other side of her so it wouldn't be too many new things). She seems to enjoy meeting other horses... even if they aren't always too impressed with her sniffing and being nosey.
Thanks to Swifty for taking the pics and walking around in the hot sun. It was really stunning weather today! Got a show this Saturday at Battle Hill, then XC practise the following day too (likely take Princess to that one). Then Danneverke A&P the following weekend for Xev & Neo (have finally bitten the bullet and registered Neo!).

January 23, 2010

Upper Valley Equestrian Day

Mum came over from Masterton to Trentham for the Upper Valley equestrian day - so with my truck out of action I managed to talk her into hitching her horses to a fence down there, while I drove out in the car and borrowed the truck to get some of mine there. Made for a lot of driving and a long day - but worth it to get out & about.
Coco came along and had a ride around. I'd planned to do a Ring2 practise round but felt she had enough to look at in just being trotted around so I left it at that. Neo did a couple of Ring1 classes and placed 4th in them both (the AM5 2 phase and the Wellington Feed & Saddlery circuit class) - he was a bit off colour though - so didn't take him in the tableC class.
Mum did some showhunter practise on Gem, and a Ring2 class, then a dressage test (& came away with a ribbon!). Then I took Gem in a few classes as well. She wasn't too keen on the showhunter for some reason, but did a really nice round in the AM5 - especially considering the very slippery ground conditions and no studs in!
Mum took Alfie in the flat classes and he trotted around nicely, but wasn't as focused as he should have been and mucked up his workout. Alfie wasn't doing any jumping today as it was just far too slippery.
I took Xev in some Ring1 SJ and a showhunter class - she was a bit speedy in the SJ, but I was stoked with her showhunter round! A lovely controlled pace and making tidy work of it. Sorry no pics of either Xev or Alfie as there was just too much rain to get the camera out (and Mum & I both on horseback most of the day so not much opportunity to take pics anyway).
Next outing for us should be another XC practise day down at QEP midweek.