Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hunter trials

I have to say I was pretty nervous about the hunter trials because it was my first show since I started getting treated for my depression and I wasn't sure I wouldn't flake out again. It wasn't really a show as such it was more of a fun day really so it was a good starting point. I had initially thought I would ride Connie but then they started calling the 65cm jump so I got on Rascal instead. She hasn't been jumped since January when she got turned out with a pressure crack in her front foot.

She started off initially a little bit sticky because she had a few frights with Kim, but once she realised I wasn't going to kill her speed in front of the fences, and just leave her alone she jumped really well. In fact to the last fence I just had to sit there and give leg on take of instead of riding the last few strides really strongly. It was a closest to the optimum time class and incidently, Rascal was third.

Now I did suspect that Connie might struggle with the whole hunter trial concept for two main reasons. One: we both haven't done anything like it and two: Connie has never done anything were she has to travel away from the group. Hunting, you follow the group, showjumping you never leave the group and the most cross country Connie has ever done was a practice day a year ago where I followed Kim on Rascal around. And i was right. in my nerves I didn't give her a strong enough ride and in the maiden hunter class she hit the first fence really hard, then turned towards the second fence and starting jacking up and had a stop. Then I gave her a towel up and she jumped super especially once she got going. She had another stop when she wouldn't jump the lowered wire next to the scary cross country jump but still it was a solid start I thought and she jumped so well once she got going.

Then we showjumped. It was supposed to be 95cm but it was smaller. Still nevermind, she jumped super as expected though gave the first few a lot of air.

Then it was time for the ladies hunter and I was more aggressive to the first and even though she wanted to go crooked at the second I wouldn't allow it and off we went. She jumped super. Not a placing round because she isn't that super but still I was pleased with the progress she had made up.

First fence (spar)

Second fence (lowered wire)

Third fence (another lowered wire)

Yeehaa into the water.

Then we had the Hickstead, which is a combination of showjumps and cross country fences to be ridden at a good hunter pace which turns out to be very fast. Again my expectations were fairly low because neither horse has ever really cross countried and Rascal hasn't been back in work long. Still she started well.

She got a little sticky as we went around the course, mostly at the cross country fences and I had a stop at the little palisade mostly because she was looking at the miniature ponies next door and because she hasn't jumped a lot of solid fences. Still she jumped it on re-approach and finished really strongly so I was very happy.

I was more worried about Connie and I was right to be. She was more sticky than Rascal, jumping confidently over the showjumps but wiggling like a real greenie into the cross country fences. I can't really fault her though, because of her lack of cross country experience. Mostly she struggled with the really solid fences and the banks.

Again I had a stop at the palisade and again I made it over on the second try after letting her have a look/ horrified snort at it. She also finished strongly.

It was most definitely a fun day, I had lots of fun. I had forgotten how much fun cross country type riding could be. I have done so much showjumping the last few years. I may do a little bit of eventing next year for giggles. It was definitely good to get out of my comfort zone and do the hunter trial over wire and just to do things I don't normally do. Connie seemed to enjoy it, once she got used to the idea she needed to keep travelling, even though we were going away from the other horses. Still I was pretty tired by the end of it!

Bill is doing ok. the wound looked good when I changed her dressing today and she tried really hard to be good, even though I know she wanted to kick me really. I have Connie in next to her because she was quite unsettled today and moving more than I wanted. Bill is happy as, Connie is less than impressed. Also Kates new saddle is in the country! Yesss!


  1. Very fun outing and sounds like a good experience for you and the horses!

  2. I saw your blog on Mindy's blog roll...awesome jumping...but man...I have to say I have NEVER seen something so dangerous(or offered as a jump) as jumping a wire fence?!!Truly amazing.
    Glad you made it through that!

  3. All the fences in NZ are wire so if you want to hunt across the properties, then you have to jump wire! It's actually less dangerous than you would think. I have seen a couple of horses get caught up but never seen more than a little skin taken off. A big ugly barb is your best friend because it snaps, whereas high tensile wire cuts like a knife.

  4. glad you had fun at the hunter trials. Your horses did great.Glad to hear Bills leg is looking better. Our hunter trials are in a couple of weeks

  5. Hey Beckz - well done for getting out there and competing again. I wrote a post to you in August, as I found your blog on the web and it was exactly how I am before a competition. August was my last competition as I got married and I was out earlier this year with a knee injury. My first competition is Saturday - you can imagine how that's going, but it's only a 90cm one day event. It's great to see you so positive about the outing and I'm inspired now. Fingers crossed

  6. What a day! That sounds like tons of fun and I'm glad you did it.