Friday, 26 May 2017

Post event blues and stressage

Since we got back from Badminton life has all been a bit of an anti-climax. I let Isla run the place for a few days before informing her that actually I was in charge. Mum has been busy at work then a bit under the weather so I have mostly been eating and chasing girls (they love it really). Last week mum said it was time to do some work again as a) my feet looked scruffy b) I may have forgotten how to do dressage (hey, it takes constant training to remain that fit and supple) and c) the invisible monsters in hedgerows had reappeared (not sure what this has to do with me having a rest).

The result was lots of school work, a bit of cursing and both of us sweating buckets.

On Saturday it became apparent what this was in aid of, the horsebox came out, I legged it but mum was insistent so it was grooming and plaiting and off to a party.

Area Festivals

We turned up at a new venue and the beautiful sunshine quickly gave way to rain which aptly reflected my mood. Turns out it wasn't easy eventing dressage with the promise of jumping it was the real thing, posh trotting against posh horses. I wasn't very impressed, my shoulder was a bit stiff and I did not want to tuck my nose in or "lighten my forehand". After 40 minutes solid work we reached a compromise and managed a pretty respectable 65.63% to come 10th in the Novice Silver section and qualify for the second rounds in the autumn. I even got to do a lap of honor which was fun though mum was a bit suspicious that after 3 hours stood on the horsebox I no longer had a stiff shoulder....busted!

The next day we were at it again, at least polo lady was there this time. I had to admit I wasn't stiff so offered to behave in the warm up, that was difficult to keep up as mum made it harder and harder doing fancy tricks and quick changes between short bouncy paces and big posh ones, wow that's hard work!
Into the arena and it was all a bit quick and complicated, I think I just about managed to keep up and mum was really pleased with me that I tried hard and was brave enough to try some medium trot. The judges loved my medium canter which we'd been practicing in our last lesson but apparently going backwards on the bit in a straight line still isn't any good if you don't move your legs in the right order and since when was I supposed to go sideways in the arena, I've always got told off for that before?!?
We came 9th and got another frilly but just missed out on qualifying as only got 61.76% and we needed 62. Apparently polos are not related to marks luckily and I got lots for trying hard.

Piece of advise to all ponies out there, DO NOT go badly after a week off then well after schooling 3 days in a row! Mum has now come to the conclusion that giving me a quiet June so she can concentrate on "the wedding" and princess Isla is not necessarily going to be the best idea so we're back to ride and lead hacks which are seriously dull as we have to avoid main roads and do what Isla says.

Monday, 8 May 2017


Wow has it really been over three weeks without telling you about me! The last couple of weeks in April were a bit of a blur, we took Isla on our last training hack which may have been a bit silly, turns out all this work has been paying off, I can keep up with her now and our jockeys were not best pleased by us racing over hills and rocks (at least that's what they tried to tell us but the big grins told a different story). Fitness work done with it was time to hit the school, I still had a few things to say about "upping my game" on the flat but the jumping exercises were fun and by our last lessons with both trainers we were starting to get the hang of it all. We ran through the tests at Tim's and picked up some tips on making it look more professional and went and jumped a course with Nic at Speetley.
Monday morning came around a lot quicker then was really necessary and I did not want to get out of bed, the presence of my show head-collar did not help.
After a lot of grooming I got loaded into a very full looking horsebox and we set off to somewhere called Badminton for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup BE90 Championships.
When we got there I got put in a stable that had grass on the floor, happy days! Unfortunately mum didn't reappear for over an hour by which time there was no grass and I was a bit cross. We went for a hack with Paige which was quite fun, especially as lots of other horses appeared to be doing stressage in the field.
On Tuesday we did Dressage, I felt great and mum managed not to interfere to much, everyone seemed very happy with the result. We finished the dressage in 62nd place, which sounded a bit naff until someone explained there were 107 of the best grassroots horses in the country here!

Back to my stable for some well earned polos and a rest, that was a bit of an easy day wasn't it? Must be something else happening tomorrow.

Wednesday morning was rather windy and everyone was very excited about something. I have to admit I was a bit naughty for auntie Paige when she took me for a walk so I got put back in my stable fairly promptly. Mum was a total spoilsport, she wouldn't even let me assault the polo lady for sweets whilst I was being plaited and groomed. When she got on we went for a wander round which was rather exciting, we watched two other ponies remove their jockeys before they even made it to the warm up and one jump out the arena, what fun! Apparently I wasn't allowed to watch anyone else after that in case I got ideas so we had to go and do some boring schooling. When it was our turn to go in the warm up I was sooo excited, there were loads of people around so I showed off my best leaps in the air and pinged over whatever jumps got in my way, mum even took her spurs off but auntie Paige looked a bit white for some reason. Into the ring and there were so many people there to see me it was great. Unfortunately mum and I couldn't quite agree on an appropriate pace and a couple of poles may have ended up on the floor but we got round and I didn't spook at all the people or flappy flags or the horse that came in when I was half way round, I think I was quite a good boy really.

The cross country warm up was a bit scary but now I knew what was going on I was pretty relaxed, I love cross country these days so we just warmed up and off we went. The course started off nice and bold, I could gallop and see where I was going, mum said I needed to look at number four but I had already looked and knew what I was doing. There's some cool footage of number five here Fence 5 Slo Mo thanks to Nic Barker. Things started to get a bit more interesting at Fence 8, mum insisted I slowed down to look what I was doing and initially I thought she was just being boring but I soon learnt as we went around that it wasn't always obvious and I needed to check out what was going on when she told me to as there were some very different jumps to what we have done before.

Having got the hang of looking where I was going it was great, there were plenty of interesting questions but nothing we couldn't handle, I got to do some galloping and even managed to take a stride out at the table to catch mum out, I am such a clever boy! When we got to something called the lake there were soo many people there to watch me, I showed them my posh trotting
We had to slow down towards the end as the beeping thing on mum's hand kept going off at the wrong time so by the end I wasn't even out of puff. It was all such fun I wanted to do it all again. Unfortunately mum gave me to Paige to take me off on my own as I wanted to go back into the big park to meet all my adoring fans...apparently that wasn't allowed but some of them came back to the box to see me and give me sweets. We came 50th in the end which was in the top half of some seriously classy combinations, apparently we would have come 12th without the poles on the floor and got an extra rosette but I think that would be greedy, surely one is enough?
I spent the rest of the week chilling in my stable, I made some new friends called Clippy from World Horse Welfare and Mangoberry from Willberry Wonder Pony, watched lots of planes take off and ate my way through 3 bales of hay. Now I am home and chilling with the mares, Isla thinks she is back in charge but that's fine, she can think what she wants, I am the super star I always thought I might be!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Isla at Norton Disney

So the princess got to have an outing at the weekend without me, humph! She was bathed which appeared to displease her.

Washed again, and plaited by auntie Paige for a change. Then off they went and left me behind for the day!

They went to Norton Disney to do the Blankney Hunt Pony Club 80cm one day event. The girls kept it together well after the dressage judge rather rudely decided to take his tea break early so they ended up going in ten minutes late. There were some nice moments with a few 7s and even a 6 for her free walk but an unlucky mistake in the second canter and tense medium walk brought her marks down a bit. 39.4 not bad at all by Isla's standards. 

Warmed up for the showjumping well, made a mess of the first fence then went really well until 7 which somehow Isla ended up in the middle of, originally we thought she'd tried to stop but having watched the video we think the sun popped through the clouds and reflected off the pole or something because she appears to just not see it properly, sorry Isla, falsely accused! They did well to pick up and kick on to the next decent oxer and finish the rest of the course clear.

Bit of a wait for the cross country but again Paige did really well in the warm up, even managed on her own. They were certainly concentrating hard on learning the course!

Unfortunately the camera decided not to save most of the round but it was very smooth and professional, nice even rhythm and just missed the odd stride when they both started eyeing up 100cm fences instead of concentrating. Unfortunately 30 seconds under the optimum so another 6 penalties but would have upset their round to try and go any slower.

Very proud of the girls for their joint effort and lack of hysterics, keep it up!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Eland Lodge 14.4.17

Bloody hell, my little legs don't know what's hit them.
Since my last update we've been out poncing around at Brackenhurst College. We did two elementary tests for the first time getting 63.59% in E43 and 63.04% in E50 which apparently with our results from the autumn qualifies us for the Petplan Area Festivals after the big party at the Mitsubishi Motors Cup (Badminton) in a couple of weeks. We also got two blue rosettes to add to our collection.
Then we've been out hacking AGAIN, my feet are starting to look a little less rotten but have been a little bit sore with all the spring grass so we're onto our summer paddock and even more minerals.
Mum and Tim have been getting a bit stricter about my flatwork too, apparently sticking my nose out and dropping my shoulders is not allowed and I should know better, so I lifted my shoulders up, tucked my nose in and waved my front feet in the air, apparently that isn't right either!
Mum continued the new stricter dressage rules into our event yesterday, she made me work harder and I got a bit cross but the judge seemed to like it - 68% definitely an improvement on our last few outings, just lost a few marks as mum got confused by the arena not being quite square and couldn't get her shapes right. Even more pleasing the judge liked my trot which is the bit I've been struggling with so hopefully we're getting there.

Straight onto the showjumping and they were a touch smaller then the last two times out, jumped round clear, easy peasy, even got the correct 2 strides in the double which felt great!

There was quite a wait for the xc to get started, I did some walking around but also did some bouncing to show the little grey pony how to do it properly. We warmed up then stood talking to the steward, mum said I was naughty at the start (no idea what she's talking about) so they sent an extra steward to walk me down which was very nice of them. Anyway I was perfect until they got into the count down when I couldn't contain myself any more so stood right up on my back legs and jumped out of the front of the box at warp speed. The first few were great, had a little look at the new water but just one trot stride into it, cleared the new ditch and brush by miles which was a mistake as the landing was very hard. After that mum started slowing me down, apparently I was too fast which is a first. That made us miss a few strides but mostly is was great fun, I even cantered through the second water and got the right striding in all the combinations. The end came far too soon and I didn't want to stop, this is definitely a first, maybe all that hacking is starting to pay off.
Mum took me home and went back to collect my rosette - 5th place in the end, not bad but apparently still need to work on my dressage if I'm not going to disgrace myself at Badminton....stuff that I'm sleepy!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Training for mind, body and feet

With one month to go to the big competition mum is on some sort of mission to get us into shape, whilst the pilates mat doesn't appear to have made it out of the cupboard yet we have been racking up the miles and hitting the school like never before.

Tim rode me a couple of weeks ago as mum and I had reached a slightly frustrating plateau on the flat. I wasn't naughty but I decided to be very loyal and not go any better for him then mum....that was a bad plan, over an hour and several changes of tactics later and he just kept making it harder and harder when I wouldn't give in. Humph! Anyway I've been really good for mum since and Tim was really impressed at the progress we'd made in our next lesson so I got to finish a bit early but not until after I mastered something called simple changes - nothing simple about them if you ask me!

Mum is still rather paranoid about my feet, she's currently cleaning them twice a day and having, she hopes, finally got on top of the thrush she's now determined to grow out the worst of the damage before anyone sees them. She's taking this to a whole new level, the extra food to help them grow is great but we've done over 25 miles in the last 7 days to try and keep me trim and strengthen my footsies. On the plus side it means some different scenery and cantering along the high peak trail is getting easy peasy even if those damn hills don't get any less steep.

Then Nic has been as well and practiced our jumping again, the main lesson is mum needs to make up he mind and sort my canter as soon as we land, not 2 strides later. We were struggling with doubles last time but so much better today. It is very confusing jumping at home, I have to think really quickly in the small arena and they keep changing the order the jumps are in which is most unreasonable.

After all that I think I need a rest, good job it's physio tomorrow then mum's back at work for a couple of days. Here's a little picture of me exploring the new feed room to finish off.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Barefootin' it

Mum has been trying to work out the best way to tackle the questions that arise from my feet at pretty much every outing, luckily auntie Nic has done it for her! You can buy her new book Performance Hoof Performance Horse in various ways via amazon or her blog.

Do it now, cause barefeet give you wings!

Whilst we're on the topic don't forget to watch Healthy Hooves if you haven't already - starring yours truly.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Lincolnshire Horse Trials

Last Friday we went eventing AGAIN, 3 events in 4 weeks is a bit unreasonable if you ask me. Anyway early start and off we went, dressage was in gale force winds, I did a bit of jumping about but actually felt better then I have done recently, even managed some posh trotting between chasing that pretty bay thoroughbred and escaping from the plastic bags in the hedge. Showed the judge my jumping ability over the patch of sand and had a bit of trouble with the immobility bit of the halt (I was getting blown over), mum said actually the bits in between weren't bad but 37.5 certainly wasn't my best mark ever....oops.

Straight onto showjumping and mum started without spurs as she wasn't sure she could hold me with them. Then she put them on and missed into the oxer, saved her ass by going for the long one then made sure to tell her off by bucking round the warm up for a bit. Anyway, we went into the ring and they were huge, with flowers, in the wind. I sucked it up and jumped the first well, cantered so boldly down to the second we got there before mum had finished counting strides, that confused her so she froze and I went through it. Three was scary, it had blue flags on it so I cleared it by a foot just in case. four was easier but forgot to pick my back feet up so that came down too, oh dear. By the time we missed into the double I thought I better start leaving them up so I tried really hard and cleared it, sorted myself out at the scary number 6 by shortening two strides out so we ended up right then cleared the last 3 really well.

Over to the cross country, I was very excited, had 6 pees and 2 poos in the warm up just to make sure I was ready to gallop, managed to behave going to the start box and we were off.
One - easy peasy, Two I wasn't very sure about the white jump wings, only saw the brush at the last minute which was pretty big so had to go through the top and scratched my toes a bit. Three ok, got a bit close and decent size but made it. Then we had to canter through a farmyard and along a wooded track...hmm, perhaps some trotting is required. 4,5 and 6 were a bit hairy, in the woods and not much time to see them. Got back into our rhythm out the woods and flew the trekenher with the scary yellow flowers, into the angled double fine, didn't quite understand the table on the curving line out so I chipped in a cheeky stride...remind me not to do that over maximum dimension tables, had to stretch for it. There were a couple more big fences that jumped well then the water, jumped straight in but didn't realise I was supposed to turn left over the skinny brush so had to jump it from trot and scratched my toes again. Back into gallop, mum messed up the angle of the double a bit but I sorted it out then there was a big brush, no way was I scratching my feet again so I cleared it, nearly lost mum out the back door!

Rest of the course went fairly well, mum missed a few but I'd worked out that the long one is generally the better bet so flew them. Not only were we clear, I was 5 seconds under the time - first time I'd even got the time at this level then 5 seconds under despite a look at the farm yard and water, this galloping lark is fun!

No rosette with a finishing score of 45.5 but everyone was really proud of me for jumping the big jumps, going the straight routes and going past all the scary flowers.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Video overload Oasby, Eland and Hambleden

We've been waiting for some videos this week then like buses they all come at once!

First up Isla and Paige going clear around the 80cm arena eventing at Eland Lodge on Sunday, Paige was trying to go a bit slower after going too fast last time out. Lovely calm round, unfortunately a bit too slow but still came 10th in a big class. Thank you Meadow Productions for not only producing the nicest video, you definitely won the processing race.

Next up Mango's round from last Thursday at Oasby BE100. His first 100 run in 2 seasons and by far his best effort.

And finally an old VHS I've had digitalised thanks to Total Recall. This is Isla doing her thing at Hambleden pre-novice (BE100) in 2006, went double clear this day on hard ground despite it being the first day I realised she had problems with her front feet. This course was huge, as usual Isla makes it look like nothing and went well within the time despite looking so laid back.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Oasby 9.3.17

It's been all go here to work out why I wasn't quite my normal cheeky self the last few weeks. First up was Sarah, she usually come to see princess but this time she looked at me too. She did lots of things to my back and shoulders and said they were very sore, she's not wrong! I didn't really enjoy all the prodding and had to be bribed with sweets to stay still but in the end it all felt a lot better.
On Saturday we had a visit from Steve he watched us walk and looked at our hooves, mainly we just stood around whilst they talked about feet and mum moaned about how ugly mine are - humph, well I can't be perfect can I? Mum says I'm to be grateful he came a very long way to see me as I'm so special and she doesn't trust anyone else to look after my feet.
Mum gave me most of the week off but when she rode me on Monday I was very stiff again. On Tuesday we had a lesson with Nic I was moving much better, apparently this shows that time off is not helpful (damn). Nic noticed I kept knocking a trot pole with the same leg and wasn't pushing off the ground properly so now I have to do leg stretches as well as touching my toes....honestly, they'll have me doing yoga next!
Wednesday we went for a slow hack then Thursday we got up early and had a wash before heading off in the horsebox. We arrived at a smart little yard and met Debbie my saddle fitter. My dressage saddle has been rubbing a little and she soon worked out what was wrong. I have my girth straps on one side slightly off set, as I've straightened up I wanted the other side the same. I've also filled out a bit so she softened the flocking a little to compensate. After a bit of re-stitching and bashing it felt much better so I got to stand in a stable for bit whilst she had a catch up and tea with mum.

Back on the box then we pulled up at Oasby, mum plaited me in the box and I stood very still which apparently was a miracle. I was a bit grumpy in the dressage, you can seen the cross country from teh warm up so I wanted to do that instead, I did a bit of bucking but actually did quite a nice test in the end. Slightly disappointing mark of 35.3 but mum is still going a bit easy on me so hopefully we can improve on that.
I had a long break while mum walked the course with chief pony holder (polo lady was busy apparently). Then we went to the showjumping. There was only 2 before us so we did a very quick warm up that went great. Mum only missed one stride into the first big upright but the spread was ace. We went in and it was a bit bigger then usual, I have yet to jump a clear at Oasby so this didn't bode well. 1,2 and 3 went well, 3 was quite square so I had to make a bit of an effort, 4 was good but somehow the rail fell off, oops, must pick my back feet up. Jumped into the double well but then mum froze and I had to chip in an extra stride so went through the second part and landed in a muddle. We had a bit of a discussion around the corner, mum wanted to sort my legs out but I just wanted to get on with it. Sorted it out and came down the related distance on a perfect four strides which caught mum out a bit. Disunited round the corner to the big oxer worried mum but she kept her leg on so over we went and the last too. We were really pleased with only 2 down in our first 1m on grass in nearly 2 years. Mum says the rails don't matter for now, it was just good that I took the course on and didn't back off anywhere, cue lots of polos although these stopped when I tried to roll in a muddy puddle on the way back to the box - it was warm and I was thirsty.

We went straight down to the cross country but there were a few waiting so we stood around for a bit. I warmed up well and actually jumped the practice jump properly for the first time ever. Mum asked the steward if we could not go over too early in case I was naughty, no idea what she's talking about I was perfect at Osberton. I walked over and calmly around the start box then...ooh, jumps, lets go! Apparently I have to wait for the countdown which rapidly got quicker (thank you nice starting lady) then we were off.
Number 1 was a touch bigger then expected so I rapped it a bit, 2 was little and easy, 3 was a bigger hedge which again caught me out a bit. Into my rhythm I managed not to spook at the scary novice fence on the approach to 4 (did give is a sideways glare to warn it though), 4 was easy, 5 mum went to set me up which made me a bit suspicious, turned out it was just a trekehner which mum hates but I don't know why, once I knew what it was I took over and flew it nearly loosing her off the back in the process.
Onto the water, roll top before, cantered into the water before I remembered I only trot through water, once mum pointed out the big jump on the way out I decided canter might be wiser which worked much better. Mum mucked up the corner a bit but I was a good boy and sorted it out, it was a bit scary with narrow flags and apparently caused a lot of trouble but we got over it and as we landed in a muddle managed to pull off a tight turn to the next which will have helped out time a bit. Galloped down to the brush, got a bit close so I decided to clear it by a foot to compensate. Downhill again to a big log, I got a bit confused and put and extra stride in before the step then managed to get to the next log on the correct one stride, nearly loosing mum out the back door again in the process. Must say the bench jumps a lot better in one rather then using the seat as a take off pad (who knew?). I wanted a breather by now but mum make me gallop along the top of the valley then nearly missed the turn into the woods. kept my momentum around the tight turn and flew over the drop. She then missed me into the biggest fence on the course, luckily only a rail so I sorted it out then galloped over the house and pheasant feeder. I was feeling pretty cocky by now so was a little surprised how wide the sheep feeder was off a long stride I had to stretch for it then flew the last and home. We were so pleased with ourselves scores didn't matter but only 3 seconds slow round a BE100 was certainly a bonus. We came 10th out of 19 with a fair few pros in the section.

I've been very excited since Thursday, done a couple of high speed short hacks over the weekend with lots of bouncing so hopefully the mojo's coming back, got a dressage lesson in a bit so we'll see if my legs are up to working hard again yet.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

EMDG ODE Osberton

After Field House mum went a bit crazy, we had a lesson with Tim on the Wednesday which mainly consisted of canter, big canter, bigger canter, sideways big canter, phew, how on earth am I still on a diet? Apparently the dressage test at Badminton doesn't have any fancy tricks in it so I'm going to have to wow them with my paces and obedience, mum is sceptical, how rude!

The next day we went out on the box to something called "the gallops" this was great fun, Isla let me think I was winning most of the time which I really enjoyed. It was a bit wet and we got filthy, unfortunately this meant we had to steady for the deep bits which was rather boring. We had a medium trot race up the hill though which was very cool, why can't all schooling be this fun?

Then on Friday we had a jump lesson, to be honest I was knackered. I still tired very hard and jumped 105 but I just couldn't get my big canter right and the related distance wasn't happening. I did discover a new trick though, when you're on the wrong stride and you're too tired/don't want to go for the long one then you just put a short one in 2-3 strides out and you end up back in the right place to take off, and it catches mum off balance which is funny.

I got a couple of days off, a quick jump on Monday and a hack Tuesday. I had another lesson with Tim on Wednesday and mum was getting really frustrated, I wasn't happy and she rode like a muppet. Somehow Tim got us through it and by the end I managed some of my most consistent lengthened trot strides so far. Afterwards though mum poked my back and it really hurt, ouch! Think all that galloping in mud didn't do me much good.

So the last few days has been spent with mum rubbing my back twice a day, putting some strange pad thing on it and teaching me to touch my toes for treats, are all humans as weird as mine? It's still a bit sore but it does feel much better then a few days ago so hopefully I'll be back on form soon. Meanwhile someone called Doris has rearranged out paddocks.


Today we went to Osberton to do the East Midlands Dressage Group one day event. Mum and Paige got increasingly cross with my jumping around and I got a few smacks so I went to talk to polo lady, that went fine until I bit her...oops, it was an accident, honest! It was all very exciting being plaited and working on grass again, I said hello and goodbye to everybody in the lorry park. I managed a reasonable dressage test, nothing special but better then I'd been going earlier in the week so everyone was happy and there were a few polos.

Straight onto the jumping and I played around with my new trick some more, that was fun, mum never new which stride I was going to pop the short one in on but we consistently ended up in the right place to take off and I left them all up. Into the ring and apart from getting a touch close to a few it was going really well. We turned round to the double and holy shit what's that, someone put a scary filler there, I know I'll go round it....ok no I won't, mum sounds like she's going to kill me so I better jump it, and the second bit. Ok, get it back together, hang on mum bossed me around there, better buck to tell her off. Now that's out of the way where's the rest of the course? Yep, easy peasy we went clear!

And over to the cross country. There was someone being very naughty at the start so mum kept me out the way in case I got any ideas. We went and did a few jumps but it was really difficult jumping into the gale force winds, when mum jumped them on the angle it was much easier. We had to wait a minute by the start box but I was very clever and kept my feet on the floor for once which went down well then we were off. The first three were fab, hit them on perfect galloping strides and ran like the wind in between. four was a bit scary as the straw under it was blowing towards us as we approached but I got over it without any drama. Back in our rhythm and we were having fun, started getting a bit close to a few half way round then mum brought me back a touch and set me up. What's this about? Oh, corner, ok bounce, bounce, jump - that was cool! Back to gallop, hand on I'm a bit tired can we slow down, no, apparently not, ok. We had a couple of little hiccups when mum decided long ones were appropriate at skinnies and I thought otherwise but we went round clear and at a good pace. To be honest I wasn't really out of breath at the finish so maybe all that fitness work and dieting is paying off?

So now I'm a clever pony who can do all three phases and walk back to the box without leaping in the air. I get lots of polos and even managed a rosette - 9th place - we finished on 30.8 which is pretty good really.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Field House videos - Meadow Productions

Here's our videos from Saturday, huge thank you to Nick for getting them to us so quickly. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend Meadow Productions, good quality videos, well edited and fantastic value for money. So good we bought three!

Isla and Paige 75-85cm clear round 2nd place

Mango and Becca 85-95cm clear round 3rd place

Mango and Becca 95-105cm 8 faults

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Arena Eventing - Field House

Sorry people, it's been a bit too wet this month to use the laptop from my field! It's snowing now so I'll sit down and type in the shelter.

We finished off our busy week after my last post with a jumping lesson. A nice lady called Nic came to visit us to give mum a few pointers. She got us jumping confidently, not getting too bogged down in the detail and managed to be encouraging when mum announced her somewhat ambitious plans for the start of the season.

A few days later we had a visit from the dentist, again someone new but highly recommended. Sophie was kind to us and knew what she was doing but unfortunately her visit coincided with the builders starting work on the barn foundations so even I needed a sniff of the happy drugs. Obviously the girls are not as brave as me and had to have rather a lot of sedation, to be fair poor Emy had a broken tooth which was a bit sore but Sophie soon had it sorted out.

We've been doing our usual boring hacking with Isla in tow, a bit of schooling on the flat and over jumps the last couple of weeks. Nic told mum to practice transitions which is hard work and mum has decided she needs to be braver so is putting the jumps up bigger then usual at home. All this and she still has me on a diet, life just isn't fair! I may have got my own back by pretending to be scared of a motor bike the other day, apparently I am not allowed to rear, spin, bolt or run into walls on a single track road whilst we're leading Isla but as mum didn't have a stick with her she couldn't do much about it.

On Friday we all got our manes and tails trimmed and washed. Whilst I was supervising Emy's tail wash Isla disappeared so I cantered up to and around the school desperately looking for her in the dark. Apparently this didn't help with auntie Paige's attempts to ride Isla who was already spectacularly hangry, oops.

Yesterday the horsebox came out despite the snow, I was not at all sure it was safe so legged it up to the field as soon as I'd eaten my tea then refused to be caught.

We set off with Paige and Isla but despite the forecast the weather got worse the further we went, we arrived at Field House to this...

Luckily, or otherwise the snow gave way to sleet which improved the going before we were on. Isla went first and despite Paige's nerves and Isla's temper they pulled it together in the ring to go clear and into the lead in a very large class. Unfortunately they were just beaten by a late entry but still very pleased with second place.

Then it was our turn. Mum spent a few minutes getting me to stretch and warm up after standing on the lorry for so long then she was straight after me to do my big boy canter. Once she was happy with that we did a few jumps, it was quite busy so mum had to shout where she was going to avoid running into anyone, she's damn scary when she's focused! In we went and there was Isla...must go say hello...oops not Isla, just another grey pony finishing its round, how embarrassing. I managed to jump the first few really well, got the distances and kept my canter good. We had a little leg stretch after six then turned into the start of the cross country section, that caught me out a bit but by number eight I'd got it sussed.
There were some fences I'd not seen before and a few questions but apart from trotting through the water (it was snowing ffs) and over the big house (mum said to slow down and look where I was going) I did a very professional and quick round to go into the lead! Again it was a big class but we ended up a very respectable 3rd.

Back on the lorry for a bit then I got dragged back out and tacked up again. One cross pole then polo lady put the jumps up huge but I jumped them well and headed into the ring again. I had a few words to say in the chute this time but mum was ready for me so I didn't get very far. Mum seemed very determined about this class and I soon saw why, the jumps were huge! The showjumps went well, we just had a slight moment at the first part of the double so mum let me put 2 strides in meaning I had the second part down, no biggie. Onto the cross country and I nearly fell over the first one, must remember to concentrate on the easy fences too. Straight up the steps and out of the arena, I cantered through the water this time and back in over an upright just a touch too quick so that hit the deck too. Lost my canter a bit so mum had to slow me down a bit to correct it which seemed to worry her but we got it back quickly and she placed me perfectly at the next, which was handy as it was rather large.

Out the arena again then down the steps, swing right, over the angled double, s**t I'm tired can we trot now? Apparently not! I got a smack down the shoulder so threw in a little buck before we turned into the final section, wishing well is easy now I've seen it in the first class as is the green house then quick turn into a triple brush arrowhead, mum saw a long one so just kicked and I flew by which time I was off and she couldn't stop me, yee ha over the big table and collapse in an exhausted heap.

I got a really quick time thanks to my enthusiastic galloping, mid air turning and getting the correct lead every time for once but with two down no rosette. I think I might like a challenge occasionally, I got so many pats and polos from my fan club it's almost worth the hard work.