April 25, 2010

Otaki PC ribbon day

Up to Otaki for a ribbon day today. Unfortunately heaps of rain overnight at my place - so the horses were muddy! Tried to give them a bit of a cleanup without hosing too much (too cold) and then set off on our way. Coco was just doing baby classes so I got on her first. She was super timid today - took quite a long time to settle her into her warmup routine, but once we got that sorted she was quite happy. She jumped her first class (50cm) quite cute, but was a little distracted by the people outside the ring.
When we came back for her 60cm class it all fell to pieces a bit. She got a fright from a child biking at her with spokey dokeys on the wheels or something... and then just really lost the plot. She didn't really do anything bad - but it took a kind volunteer to lead her, plus someone behind her, plus a bit of luck to get her past the bike at all. Then when we went in for our round she just really wasn't feeling it at all. I can't complain about the jumping (she does that part great), but it was the 'everything else'. It's a bit of a shame, as she'd been getting braver... but I guess sometimes you take a step backward. At the same time, she got a fright at one point and turned to run and buck, and came back within just a few strides. So there are certainly big improvements - I just have to keep at it.
My 2 'greys' were on after a long (long!) break. I had Xev and Neo both in the 2 last classes in Ring1. I was really pleased with Xev - there were still a few deep spots or missed strides, but overall she is just feeling great again - that abscess is all healed up and the hoof nicely hardened again. So stoked with that.
They both got into the jumpoff for the AM5 class - and Neo won with a nice double clear. No ribbon for Xev as we took the very first rail in the jumpoff by taking it a bit too cheaply. Neo was pulling again, but I managed to do his rounds with the myler on the snaffle ring, so I'm glad about that.
Xev being cute, and Neo with one of his ribbons:
The last class of the day was a TableC, which Neo absolutely tore up - I was stoked with him! Even got a great angle where we approached really only seeing jumpstands (oops), but he is such an honest boy and came home clear and with a time that was about 10 seconds better than the next horse or pony (as they were running over the same track as us). Xev I just took around more sedately (as it was slippery and she doesn't have magic sticky feet like Neo), but I was stoked with how kindly she went, and she came home with 4th place in that class.
Absolutely tired as by the end of the day! Thanks to Swifty for coming out and taking pics, and to Nick for coming down to help me put the horses away and generally ensure I didn't fall asleep before getting back up to the house!

April 18, 2010

Pink jods!

I got pink breeches! I'm so stoked. They are HKM brand and super comfy. I even made Pie take some photos of Xev and I modelling them (and my new riding boots too). Then even got Pie to sit on Xev for a pony ride haha - so cute.

April 11, 2010


Headed out to the arena today to get a little bit of jumping in, seeing as I have no shows this weekend and pretty much have no idea what to do with myself when I have a 'free' weekend. The myler combination is working nicely with Neo - it's not perfect, but I think that combined with schooling we're going to get some really good results with it. Today Neo went without a saddle so that I could work on trying to keep my lower leg steady. His trot is so easy to ride, but his canter can be a bit more bouncy - however with the myler I found it was easier to check him and get his mind back on task if he started to lose focus. I took the curb rein off the myler in case I got left behind or balanced myself on the reins at all as I don't want him to lose any confidence.
He was really kind over his fence and was really giving me a nice steady ride - with his canter not altering once he saw the fence (meaning we were always able to meet the jumps at the stride I had picked and not have an arguement over it).
Into the bounce, and out of the bounce - cute Neo:
I am pretty happy with my legs and stoked with how Neo went today. I still need to do something about the stiffness through my shoulder - I think I will have to see when Mum is next free and get some time on the lunge with no reins. But hey, baby steps and I won't get bored having nothing to work on this winter! There is always more to improve.
Coco was a little superstar today. She has taken to being a little nappy since the dressage day - but after a good growl she was fine. I just need to be mindful of it and give her lots of practise going away from the other horses and the truck so that she doesn't start to think it's ok to try to sneak out the arena gate!
She jumped really well today - I think she is more comfortable in her landing with the front shoes on too. She has rock hard hooves, and can be shoeless without any issues - but with jumping and doing more work it's nice to make them as comfy as possible.
Coco was awesome with all of the fillers as well - she doesn't worry about them at all! I am trying to eye up some eventing starts for her - maybe a run at intro and then into pretraining. Go Cocopony.
Xev didn't do much today. She has been feeling the hard ground, so I've been making an effort to not overdo things. But I wanted to do some jumping and get her jumping from a nice long bowling stride as we've been getting in under things a little just lately. So we did a bit of work through the bounce:
And some related fences just working on meeting the jump at the right spot. I also rode her in the myler combo just to see what it was like on her, but I think she is much happier in her french link or comfort snaffle - all good to know.
So a very easy day for Xev - she didn't even break a sweat! Thanks to Swifty for coming out to take pics and put jumps up for me, and Nick for coming out to pay the arena fee :)

Shoes for the Greenies

This weekend Coco got her first ever shoes on - just fronts, and she was really good for it. She was a bit over it all by the time we got to the backs though, so we decided to quit on a good note and pop the backs on in a week or two when the farrier is back to do Xev and Neo.
Shante also got shoes on up at Mum's place - a full set for her (very swish). Not sure if she has had shoes on before, but she was perfect for the farrier so that is awesome.
A few random pics - first is Gem last weekend. Mum took her to a show and came 2nd in all three of her jumping events! They are doing so well together. And the other pic is of Lily at her owner's - she is coming along really nicely:
Also - have purchased a sidesaddle! So hopefully at some stage there will be pictures of Gem being a sidesaddle dolly-horse (with Mum, as I am pretty sure I'd fall off if I tried to ride sidesaddle).

April 05, 2010

Onslow DR - Xev

Xev had her Novice 2.4 as her first test. She was a little heavy in her transitions, but apart from that I was actually really pleased with the test. She was very willing and kind throughout.
At the end of the test she certainly thought she was finished though! I think she has gone to sleep while I do my salute!
A good 3 or so hours later I was back on board for her Novice 2.1 - sadly this ran late and she was well and truly overcooked by the time I went in. It was a shame as I thought she'd warmed up really lovely. She still did some nice work, but it's always a shame when you can feel things slipping because you've warmed up for just too long.
Xev was very pleased to be done at the end of the test - but even though she was tired and sort of 'over it' she was still making an effort to please which is fantastic. She is such a sweet horse.
Xev is being advertised in the Horse Trader at the moment, and hopefully we can get her out to some registered dressage days on good surfaces and just work on keeping her improving and going up the grades a bit.

Onslow DR - Neo

Neo's first and only test for the day was Novice 2.1 at around 4.40pm. Poor Neo had been tied to the truck the whole time waiting (though he did have lots of yummy hay to eat, so shouldn't be complaining!). He was a bit of a fool in many parts of the dressage - trying to run off or working on 3 tracks. But when he went nicely he actually did some really cute work.
I am rather tempted to keep him in work over winter - and if the others are going to dressage days he might find he gets loaded up for some as well. It will be a good learning curve for him!
The test sheet had some nice comments, and his score was about 58% which really wasn't bad at all considering he had a few movements where I'm sure he was doing an entirely different test to me! Always good fun riding Neo anyway :)

Onslow DR - Coco

Coco was entered in 2 tests, the first was PC Test A (just walk & trot) - we warmed up in a quiet area with no other horses around and I was super pleased with the way she went in her test. Her only negative comments on the test sheet were around occasional counter-bend, but that will come so I'm stoked with her result.
A few hours later we got back on for PC Test K (with canter!). The grounds were much busier by this time and Coco had a wee tantrum by the truck not wanting to leave her friends. She was stressed out, and the test we did wasn't very good - but I was pleased that even when she got worried or scared she didn't lose the plot. She is growing up a lot in her brain which is great. And it was also her first time attempting a canter in a dressage arena (it didn't go well!) but a good learning experience for her to give it a go in quite a small space as she is inclined to 'run' into her canters.
Overall I have some good things to work on with her - and I'm pleased to have her out and about again. I think we will target some unregistered dressage days over winter just to get her amongst the atmosphere as frequently as possible.