May 17, 2010

Tielcey Jumping May

Sunday was a super early start! I ended up being the first showjumping competitor of the day (on Coco) and the last of the day (on Neo) - hence why it's taken me a day to actually get around to updating the blog.. I've just been so tired!
I'd entered the Intro combined training (dressage & showjumping) on Coco. She did some okay parts in her test, but mostly she was very worried about the things going on around her. In the jumping we did a practise and she took exception to the reflections in the cafe windows, and she seemed to just get worse each time we went past. It was quite disappointing to be honest. I tried some other tactics and managed to get her focused on the jumps by holding my whip out by her inside eye. I will try side rolls on her bridle and see if that helps, but I am really starting to run out of ideas as to how to help her become more confident as time doesn't seem to be the key to it. In the end we just had a rail in the showjumping which is fine, but I really have to find a way to address her trust issues or at least sort out what situations she can be comfortable in so she can be a happy pony.
Xev was next up, doing the Novice combined training. And as I was popping her saddle on, a friend casually remarked that there were new eventing tests out! They hadn't been updated on the tielcey website, and I never even thought to look at the ESNZ site - oops! So I managed to locate someone's folder they'd left unattended (haha) and quickly read the test which was for a bloody long arena! Stupid extra letters. Luckily B1(2009) is a reasonably flowing test so able to learn off one read through - but still threw me a bit. Xev warmed up ok, but a little stiff (I think maybe from new shoes the day before). So we did our test (in the short arena! it was a tight squeeze for some of those movements) and came away with a 63% which I was very happy with. As Xev was just a bit uncomfy I elected not to compete her in the jumping phase. But was very happy with her dressage, so that is a good thing.
Neo wasn't doing any dressage - just jumping for him. And we'd discussed doing a round bareback (both for laughs and to continue working on my lower leg position). I entered the 1m class with the intention of doing it bareback, and somehow didn't wimp out before getting into the ring - but it was only my 2nd time jumping him bareback and my first time trying a course. I have to say, it's much harder doing a course than it is to do single fences!!
The round itself went pretty well. We came into one fence all wrong and slid into it, but no harm done and approached again fine. I am very happy with my leg as it seems to not move too much - but my shoulders are getting worse. It's time now to find some poor volunteer to stick me on the lunge so I can go without my reins (I don't think you're going to see me bridle-less on Neo anytime soon!). After the bareback round I came back for the 1.10m with my saddle and actually had a harder time - Neo was pulling heaps more than usual, and I only had the snaffle rein on my bit. So that was a shame, as I'd not expected him to pull. All gives me things to work on and work out - that's what winter series stuff is for I guess!
So a pretty mixed day. Not super in terms of results - but lots of learning and things to get cracking on over the wet, soggy, cold months. Thanks to Swifty for taking the pics and thanks to my mates for egging me on to do a bareback round in public - it was harder than I expected, but it was pretty fun (or is that funny??).