April 23, 2012


So, yesterday was the first of the Manfeild winter showjumping series. A lot of things have changed since I was last competing, one of them seems to be that Manfeild is now closer than I remember? Or my grazing is closer? Either way, it only took 2 hours to get there - so I had lots of time to stuff around and think about which classes I was going to enter.

Neo was well-behaved for loading and travelling, stood tied to the float nicely while I wandered around to look at the course and stuff like that. He even stood still while I tried to yank out some of his very overgrown mane.

But once we came to our first jumping... the 70cm practise outdoors, he got a bit tanky and did his usual bounce around in front of the jump and don't look where we're going. You'd think that 70cm really shouldn't be that exciting, but Neo begs to differ. I only got really left behind once though, and I'm sure the poor pony suffered a jab in the mouth for it. 

After the practise I took him back to the float and unsaddled, gave him some more food to occupy him, and wandered to fill out my actual entry form. I think it took me close to an hour to decide what to actually enter. I don't normally do many classes on Neo, but at least I've typically known what I want to do. Yesterday I just really had no idea what either of us should be aiming for. At home we've been jumping about 60cm? Neither of us very fit or balanced. I finally decided on the 80cm outdoors, and the 90cm indoors (but I wasn't very sure about the 90cm... Neo is notoriously bad indoors, and I wasn't feeling like it was going to be much of a success).

Our 80cm went ok. We had a lazy rail, but there was not quite as much tanking off. He did get strong, but seemed to at least meet his fences in better spots rather than getting in super deep like he was in the practise. We headed to the indoor, and I wandered Neo around outside. He was pretty skittish after his previous round... but I figured I could go in, and if he was being impossible I could just retire. You get to go in about 3 riders before you, so you can do a practise fence inside. I was really surprised that Neo wasn't stressing about the noise. Even when I went up to the judge (took Bruce a few seconds to jog his memory banks and recognise us) Neo didn't really spook at anything. He rushed a bit, and took a couple rails, but overall he actually acted like a grown-up horse. Pretty happy with that. 

So the next show for us? Not really sure, the next of the series is mid-May in Foxton - so it will probably be that unless something else pops up. Thanks to Michael Thomson for the first 4 pics, and Swifty for the rest of them. I got home and was too tired to face riding Zak, which actually worked out pretty well - because when I got on him today I managed to pre-empt his rearing and get off him beforehand, so the entire ride was positive stuff and no arguements. But there was a lot of getting off and getting back on again.

No comments: