February 28, 2010

Alfredton + Goodbye Alfie

Alfie sold on Friday, so Saturday was Mum's last show on him - and they really made it a great one. They won the Southey cup for turnout and then went on to win Champion Hack of the show. Alfie had lots of attention too, as Mum had Aki and Doreen with her and between them his tail was well and truly brushed out by the end of the day:
The judge had very positive things to say about Alfie's way of going - and commented that next year he will really shine.
So while it's very sad for Mum to be saying goodbye to Alfie, this will give her more time to focus on jumping with Gem. Alfie's new owner is based in Christchurch - and he will be making his way over the ditch tomorrow!

February 22, 2010

Masterton A&P

Up at about 4am on Friday to load up the horses and head up to Solway showgrounds for the first day of Masterton A&P. Friday is dressage day, so Xev was all set to go - but then must have knocked herself or stood on herself in the truck or something? Lucky she has strike guards on her travel boots, but still managed to bruise herself and just make her a bit uneven at trot. So sadly she spent the whole weekend in the yard and eating grass with the occasional hack around. That was a bit of a bummer. Not wanting to waste the day off work I decided to put Neo into 2 of Xev's dressage tests (just prelim). I bet nobody ever expected Neo would be doing registered dressage! His first test wasn't too bad, for Neo, and he came away with 53.75%. By the second test he was well and truly over this 'dressage' stuff and got naughty -I wasn't sure what the judge would have to say (dressage judges can be very scary beings) but the comment at the end really made me laugh: "This test was fun to watch, I hope it was fun to ride." and "When settled shows some attractive movement" - what a good sport that judge is!
Mum came down later in the day and we went off to the saddlery to get some more back on track quickwraps so Xev and Neo could both have them on, then the feed shop, then to get some hay. Took the horses for a pick of grass but mostly had a fairly lazy night as Neo had already been ridden so I didn't need to hack him around the grounds in the evening as I'd planned to.
Neo did showjumping on Saturday and Sunday and did some lovely jumping (and came home with a red, which is always nice) - but was frequently not listening to me. A bit annoying, as I'm doing heaps of schooling at home, but I'm wondering if he needs to do some jumping at home? I don't jump him between shows as I want to save his legs - but perhaps this is making showday too exciting for him? Need to try some different things anyway - and probably need to keep him to slightly bigger tracks than he has been doing, so that he's got a bit more to think about!
In between our 2 Saturday SJ classes we whipped over to the in-hand ring for the pinto classes (literally, like I didn't even have time to get into my in-hand gear or change his bridle). The judge didn't seem very taken by him - so no placing in his gelding class... but a blue in the suitability for jumping. Neo chilling between classes:
Mum was out on Saturday (Saddle Hunters with Gem) and Sunday (Show Hacks with Alfie). Sorry about the really weird picture of Gem - the camera had lots of condensation and I couldn't get it 'thawed out' before I had to run back and get Neo ready. But you can at least see that Gem was there and looking pretty. She got placed in all her classes, and took out the prize for Irish horses (shamrock sash & trophy) which is very exciting! Gem was entered for some showhunter, but didn't finish her flat classes in time. Sunday Mum came back with the truck, with Alfie this time. Pics of Gem warming up, and Alfie in his first class:
Alfie came 2nd in the Novice 0-5 wins, then won his paced and mannered class. He was going so calmly and kindly and standing like a rock even though one of the horses beside him was a bit upset and didn't want to stand still. He also picked up 3rd in his open height class.
Mum was stoked though, he picked up Reserve Champ Novice showhack! He is really starting to do so well at the A&P shows. And what a weekend for Mum - 2 wides!
As I was only riding one horse I had a bit of time between classes every now and then - so on Sunday midday I decided to take some pictures of the stunning ponies doing the FMG Grand Prix. I only took pics of the first half of the class (as then had to go tend to my horses), but have put the pics I got up online at PerformanceEquines Gallery and I tried to put some of the rider's names too - but didn't know them all. I was all done not too late at all on Sunday - and was back in Wellington and horses back out in the paddock by 5pm.
Next weekend is likely to be up at Foxton for SJ & SH and I suspect Mum might be out at Kyrewood doing more dolly classes.

February 12, 2010

More shopping

I was so pleased with the supaflow combos that I got from horse-world that I went back and got more! They have been great in this muggy warm rainy weather we're having right now.
Of course Xev has managed to get hers filthy already!

February 10, 2010

New stuff!

New cool stuff to buy:
Just a couple of products that have caught my eye recently. First is the Zilco Supaflow rug (from your favourite zilco stockist, whoever that happens to be) - it's like the new version of the cool white / cool blue. Mesh lined and the horses haven't seemed to get too hot. Not sure how the mesh skirting would wear over time - but they seem great for this inbetweenish weather so far - keeps the rain off them without making them sweaty and stuffy. The other thing that has been useful is the Derma Safe saw (from Outlaw imports) - Nick has been bringing these in and they are fantastic for hanging on a piece of string in the shed to cut open haybales and open feed bags - they have a straight blade too, but I'm likely to hurt myself on that.
New cool stuff to make:
I can't really afford to go around buying new stuff all the time - so this week I decided to get a bit creative. I noticed that Neo's ESNZ IP book was getting a little dog-eared already, plus it's ugly as anything. So I made a slip cover for it (Hello Kitty!) and it looks absolutely bangin. I'm gonna make another one for Xev - and maybe something I can put their height certificates in as well, because those always get crumpled in my pockets at shows.

February 06, 2010

Danneverke A&P

Set off last night after work to Masterton with Neo & Xev. We stayed overnight at Mum's grazing (got them settled into yards at about 10pm and promptly fell asleep myself) - then up again at 4pm to take my two plus Alfie up the line to Danneverke. It was a stunning day - but heaps of fog to drive through in the morning which is always a bit tiresome (or is it the 4am starts that are tiresome?!).
I did 1m & 1.10m on both mine and was really happy with them. Ended up retiring Neo from the larger class as we stuffed up the double and I didn't want to re-try right then as I didn't feel it was worth it to stress him. But Xev was jumping great! Met a few fences wrong, but she put in some massive leaps to get us out of trouble. Really pleased with them for sure, and even in the warmup rings their flatwork is improving all the time. Got to be pleased with that. Will enter both for HoY this week and that will give me a good goal for both of them. No pics of me as we didn't bring a photographer today - but I did manage to finish my showjumping to get a few pics of Mum.
Mum and Alfie had a fab day, winning a conformation class and the ladies hack - then taking home a wide ribbon for Reserve Champ Riding Horse!
Alfie was a real star - not bothered by any of the noise at the sideshows next to the ring and was very laid back (even for loose-rein work in the ring as requested by the judge). He's also getting heaps better at standing well without fidgeting while waiting, especially when he doesn't have Gem around to call out to.
More pics of pretty Alfie:
We were all finished before lunchtime, and I managed to get back to Wellington by 3pm, making great time even though the roads were very busy. Stellar weather too - Neo and Xev are currently out in the paddock naked and rolling around and grooming each other being very cute.

February 01, 2010

Battle Hill XC - Xev

Xev had a good warmup in a nice big space - with only a couple of horses jumping the fences we were close to it was really good (as some areas get quite crowded out at Battle Hill on the XC days).
She cantered around really laid back - even after I got up in a more forward seat - I was starting to get a bit worried that she'd have no energy for the jumps! But a few practise fences reminded her that we weren't here to do dressage.
Skinny fences. A skinny Open rolltop, and the hideous Open corner (cheese wedge) - the rolltop was nice and easy, but the corner had a really strange approach so was actually pretty hard to get a good line to.
Ramp type jumps. The Open kennel and Ramp - both pretty straight forward and Xev just cruised into them really nicely.
Random jumps. Training staircase (3 steps with a skinny at the end) and what I think was a PreTraining fence which we jumped on it's short edge as a corner (looks like it is a new jump as I haven't seen it out there before).
The water. Through the Training combination. It was a bit of a disappointment that none of the Open water, bank, palisade, ditch or trakhener were flagged (as those were the main things that I wanted to go practise and get my eye in for!). Hopefully they will flag them at the next day.
So it was a pretty busy day for Xev, and she got a little sweat by the end of it (but no puffing) so think she is at a pretty good fitness now. After coming home and unloading I popped Edie & her things back on the truck and took her back home as she's finished her introduction to what grown-up horses do and has been really well behaved at her outings. Will be great to see her after she is backed next year.