Monday, November 23, 2009

It never fails

So I signed up for a two day clinic being held next week with a top NZ showjumper who is in the country over the summer and when I walk out to the horses, what you you know Kate has a fat leg. She has a small cut on the outside of her right fore and her whole leg has blown up but the tendon feels good and she is barely lame so here is hoping I can salvage this clinic because Kate is the one I really need to take.

So she was cold hosed and given penicillin and herbal anti-inflammatories and poulticed and wrapped all day and it has improved marginally, there is less swelling. More anti-inflammatories tonight (It's Devils claw and yucca, sold in NZ as BLS, and I think as Buteless in America? I love the stuff) and I have left the wraps off and will wash and wrap again tomorrow. But curses! The timing sucks, thats so typical of horses.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ride the horse you have

I'm really lucky you know. My family set out to breed a horse and after losing the Hanoverian X colt that we had to a growth plate injury we breed Connies mum to the Andalusian stallion down the road. And yes he was a nice stallion but lets be honest Andy TB crosses can come out pretty funky looking. We got lucky with Connie she is a very attractive mare with her greatest flaw being slightly back at the knee which means I'm always careful what surfaces I jump her on. She was an ugly duckling I have to say and she still has this tiny petite pretty little head which is a surprise, but she is a nicely balanced functional sort of horse.

The biggest problem I'm having with Connie is that every so often I chase her to a ridiculous spot and it comes from the fact that last season before she went out we had very little collection. We either moved up to a fence or stalled and did an awkward jump. I'm riding a different horse now to the horse I had last year and it's me that has to make the adjustment t ride the horse I have. She is so much stronger, to the point that she is sometimes a strong ride (hence the change to the waterford- it is a lot better than the rubber snaffle I think I would have no horse in that once I got in the ring) But she can collect and hold herself together and it's time I got a little tougher about her doing what I ask of her instead of bringing her along baby slow. She is seven after all but it is still only her second season of jumping and she only did half a season last year before she got put out by injury.

The other problem was me. It's not until I just upgraded with Kate that I even really thought of doing it with Connie, and after her confident performance in the 1.05m championship which she took completely in her stride I realise Connie is ready for way more now. So I'm really looking forward to her first 1.10m classes. Had a little jump play in the paddock today and she popped over a 1.20m upright just as easy as anything and I was like wow I have to stop treating her like the awkward ugly duckling she used to be and really ride this very nice little horse I have here. I have so much to work on though I really need to practice jumping now because just showing gets me in bad habits really quickly, mostly in terms of chasing spots. I'm trying to substitute aggression and speed for the bravery I'm lacking to the bigger fences and I just need to chill out and stop dropping out a stride to the fences while maintaining a confident powerful canter. Man you guys riding is complicated!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Plan

Never got out of the gate on Sunday, I had too much farm work to do so that was a bit lame. I have a bit of a break now with the next show being Gladstone Sports day where I'll do the 1m and the 1.10m on both of them and then it's Fielding A+P show and finally the Christmas Classic at Taupo to finish off the preChristmas year. I may go to Kyrewood after Christmas and then thats all the shows on this side of the year. Mad eh, it's going past unbelievably quickly.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh Bum!

I do believe I'm getting sick. i have been feeling rather crappy all day and it's only getting worse which is rather inconvenient because my Dad is away on a trip so i'm running the farm and so can't get sick. I went to ride Kate yesterday and Kim was going to help me do a bit of jumping- the first jumping since my dive last weekend, and my only chance to jump before the show on Sunday. Now Kate has been really really angry when I have been getting on her, but I haven't been able to find any back or muscle pain. Yesterday however, as soon as I started trotting for my warm-up I knew she was lame and she is off on the corners in her right fore. I'm hoping it's related to her feet as she needs her shoes reset and I'm hoping that as soon as that happens she will be fine again. Her legs are all cool and dry and tight so I don't think it's soft tissue.

So tomorrow only Connie will be going to the show, but I suspect the ground will be hard and she isn't great on hard ground. If he feels ouchy I will definitely scratch her. She can do her first 1.10m class elsewhere I'm in no rush. After this show I have a break until the 6th of December I think show wise and it will be nice to have a wee break and to get some schooling/hacking adventures into them. I don't know if I have stated this before but my goal for the season for Kate is the basic amatuer class at horse of the year over 1.10m-1.20m. It would be really awesme to have Connie ready for this class too. If she can jump this high of course bahaha!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Waikato Showjumping at Kihikihi

Kate in the 1.10m class on Saturday- photo taken by Rons Photos

Another big trip but I have to say Kihikihi was an awesome show. It was a three star show so the grand prixs and series classes were all maximum height so there was plenty of exciting classes to watch. Kate was in 1.10m classes on the friday and Saturday while Connie was in the 1m on the firday and then 1.05m on saturday. On the sunday they were both in the 1.05m championship class.

Anyway, all of the rings had plenty going on in them. Even ring three which often has no fill at all had a liverpool and bushes in the double and a few walls, pickets and the like. Connie had a rail in the 1m class after I made her hot by chasing her to a spot. Oops. I have to stop leaving strides out from the corner. I have gotten too agressive about chasing distances on both of them. Kate had one rail in the 1.10m class, I need to keep her together more.

Saturday same deal- Connie had 1 rail in her first 1.05m class but my goodness I was glad to feel her try a little and actually get off of the ground so that was really cool. Kate jumped awesome and I rode her better- a lot more together and contained but had a circle before the third fence when I chickened out in front of a big oxer. Of course she jumped it awesome once I grew some testicles.

She warmed up amazing for the 1.05m championship I was riding her really well and I got well a little complacent. Cantered in way to quietly to the first, not enough leg or enthusiasum of anything. I was way to casual and so Kate left me at the base of fence one and then booked it (I obviously gave her a real fright) out over the tape around the edge of the arena and back to Connie.

After I caught back up with Kate I decided not to get back on and go to the practise fence because Kates old enough to know her job and Connies turn in the same class was quickly looming. That and we would have done the practise fence fine. I'll have a jump during the week at home and then I have another start at a small local show so I have to just put it behind me and move on which I will do from now.

Getting on Connie and going ou to jump sucked because it was a big (For 1.05) track- lots of maximum sized oxers and spooky spooky with a few tricky distances. Now Connie isn't green anymore but she has never felt particularily scopey so you can never tell if she will make the step up. Anyway, she jumped awesome despite the shocking ride I gave her (especially to the first) after being shaken up by my fall. The rail was my fault because my corner sucked! Anyway check out how nice she jumps over fence three the pink oxer. Gooo Connie. So a really mixed bag but mostly good I feel.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wairarapa A+P Show Sunday- 1.10m class

It's safe to say that the thought of doing this class had me fretting all day. I have this mental block about moving up I swear. Everytime I sort of moved up with Fred or connie last year it was a disaster of sorts, though Fred did have one decent 1.10m round to his name. I don't feel like a rider who is good enough to ride the bigger classes. It may be ridiculous, 1.10m (3'6") being not that big, but I really do struggle with my feelings of inadequacy as a rider. I have always been a bit like this, but Having Fred last year really brought these feelings to the forefront. It was hard with Fred because while I acknowledge that anytime something went wrong it was because I made a mistake, he had no generosity and would take instant advantage. It's strange now to have Connie and Kate both of whom will pick up some of the slack if you will, leaving me free to make mistakes and not get hurt for them. It's a real relief I have to say and it will help me get my confidence back.

Anyway, all day I was saying I couldn't do it. And I genuinely thought I would pull out for most ofthe day. So I rode my metre and there were a few horses to go in the 1.10m class. My friend who watched the 1m class was just like you can't jump her that height anymore because it's ridiculous (and he is right). It just seem like a huge mind bend that a horse would jump bigger fences for me. Especially because it was spooky! Black planks, a liverpool and a big filler compared to ring three that had no fill. Still my logical brain could see tha 1. It was a nice looking flowing course, 2. The jumps weren't that big even at 1.10m and 3.Kate is a really good horse. In the end my friend was lied to me (I think anyway mostly because the fences were definitely 10cm bigger than the 1m) And said that it hadn't gone up from the 1.05 class before and I was happy to latch onto this lie and I went down to warm up.

It was so weird though, she got into the warm-up for the bigger classes and she changed I swear. the canter was different. I don't know if I got serious and she felt it or what but she had this really rhythymical powerful canter that i haven't ever had before. So over the cross, then the 1.05m upright and then the 1.05m oxer and I was hitting my spots and she felt amazing. (I was secretly hoping for an excuse to pull out). Oxer went up to like 1.10-1.15m range and I cantered in and the spot was there and she boomed over it. Such a good horse. I did nearly crash into someone two strides on landing but thats warm up arenas.

I cannot describe how sick I felt waiting to go in. Anyway, give the judge my name show her the fill and the planks and the liverpool, which she spooked at of course. Reassuring. Anyway, the bell goes and I canter into the first and it just sort of happened. The spot was there and we went over. I was a little amazed I think haha. And it was good. The canter being so good helped and having an actual jump in front of her, made Kate better too, actually more confident and more willing to listen. She did back off the fill but not eve so you could see it, just a little bit that I could feel and I just put my legs on her and she boomed over it. Same to the liverpool. Bold as into the double. The spot was a little long into the double but I backed her and she is clever as so it wasn't a problem. She did the little are you sure at the planks as well but she just wants leg to reassure her. She finished well I just let her travel too much down the related distance. I need to remember that her stride is longer than the standard stride and so needs to be always checked. So she got close to the last and had a rail but I was over the moon with her. And me too, I guess for getting some testicles and getting it done. Looking at the video it looks like a really smooth round on both of our behalves. It felt so good eh I hope it feels that good next time :) Not bad I think considering we have only done 7 classes together previously and only 4 of them 1m classes. Anyway, enjoy the video I guess.

Wairarapa A+P Show- Sunday the 1m class

So after milking I trundled down to Clareville for the last day of the Wairarapa A+ P show. For those of you that aren't in New Zealand, the A and P stands for agricultural and pastoral and basically it's a big fair with donkey classes, and western classes and english disciplines and cattle showing and pig showing and sheep showing and home crafts etc I have no idea what the equivalent overseas would be. They are quite good because they have a lot of atmosphere so that gives the horses plenty to look at.

Anyway, I arrived at midday, got bitched at for parking to close and I pointed out there was plenty of room and I want to point out shehad no trouble getting out despite it not being within her stated driving abilities. I so would have moved the truck if she hadn't been so rude especially when I'm exhausted for having just worked 5 hours straight you know. Anyway, I rode Connie in the 1m first and she was double clear. Fun times the class was a TAM5 so instead of everyone who jumps double clear getting a ribbon and the "win" we jumped off against the clock. It's good practise at these smaller heights. Anyways, she jumped super cute as she does but still have to get onto this bit issue. I'm thinking waterford or back to the rubber snaffle and we will see what happens. she is a lot stronger and more up than last season so I might struggle to hold her in a rubber snaffle now. Regardless, below are the videos of her rounds. She didn't place in this class. It's interesting watching her, she really doesn't cover a lot of ground so she isn't particularily quick. I also want to point out that this was the second weirdest jumpoff I have ever done- so many loopy turns and both the doubles?! Unheard of.

Because I had Kate in the 1.1m class I really wanted to ride her last so I could do the 1m and then go straight to my 1.1m and as it worked out that worked beautifully. I was hoping for a beefy 1m class but it was tiny eh which was a bit lame. Both Connie and Kate shouldn't be in the 1m classes anymore. Luckily, Connie has some 1.05m classes at Kihikihi next weekend so we can see how that goes. Ahh back to the point! Kate just skipped around as she does and I put some gas on for the jump-off and she was fourth which I was rapt with. First time really riding her against the clock. Everytime I jump her we get a little bit better eh. (Sad story- A girl came up to Kate patted her on the neck and went " Back in the 1ms eh Kate" and walked off. I felt stink!)