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.