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.