November 28, 2010

Hutt Valley Jumping Day

Out to Belmont yesterday for the Hutt Valley jumping day. Was quite impressed that it only took around 45 minutes to get there. I was the first person there - so grabbed a nice park and had lots of time to potter around getting all 3 horses ready for the day.
Xev had her first outing for a while. We did a warmup round in the morning and she was very spooky, but was in general quite happy - so that was all good. Then she had showhunter later in the day. We'd entered 2 classes and in the first class I was really pleased with her. The jumps were tiny, but she seemed happy and going kindly.
Then when I came back for my next class she was quite upset - she wasn't napping back to the others at the float, but she was just stressed. Not really sure what was going on. Ended up taking Neo in a round as well (2nd pic below) - and um, it certainly wasn't pretty! He was quite calm, by Neo's standards... but certainly not showhunter standards.
Gem did one showhunter round as well. I think she went lovely, but we did add a stride on one of the lines, so no placing for us. But she looked pretty!
Her showjumping was fantastic though! The first SJ for her was an AM5 - and she did a nice clear round, then came back for a good jumpoff. No speed, but as many tight corners as I could get from her. She's not 'nippy', but she does try very hard to get around those turns. Came away with a red ribbon for her efforts.
Then we had a take your own line class. I got most of the course I mapped out in my head, but had to make a few running adjustments when I landed from one jump past the point where I'd intended to turn for another fence! Again, didn't kick her on or let her go fast at all, just tried to get tight turns and good angles. The second pic below is the last 2 fences I did... they don't look like that tough of a line in the photo (damn!) but it was very tight to ride - she did it beautifully though, and came away with another 1st placing.
Neo had a bit of a mixed day. He was jumping quite well, but in the first class we warmed up far too early and he was very unsettled waiting for his turn - I think that made up both a bit tired and grumpy. He pulled, but it was only a 1-round class (TA2) so I still had arms left at the end of it.
He gave me a super ride in the circuit class though. I put him wrong into the double, so we took a rail there - but overall just stoked with him. He was strong, but not pulling and arguing. Much more fun to ride.
As I was finishing Gem's TYOL class, I looked over to ring1 to see there were no horses going - which is typically the end of the class! So I cantered Gem back to the float (luckily I'd suspected there might be a timing clash, and Neo still had his saddle on), popped the bridle on him and went in stone cold.
Had to ask a friend to borrow her course (it was also a TYOL) as I hadn't even had a chance to look at the fences. Ended up missing one of her turns and had to make up the last 3 fences on the fly, but Neo was awesome. Lovely clear round and 3rd place for him.
By the end of all of that I was actually pretty tired. I haven't had such a busy day in quite a while and after driving home and putting the horses to bed I was more than ready for sleep myself! Thanks to Swifty for the photos again.
Next weekend is Feilding I,A&P - but I haven't entered. Not sure exactly what I will do next weekend - doesn't look like there is anything on locally, so might have to consider driving up to Manfeild and doing late entries just for some Saturday classes.

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