Monday, November 29, 2010

North Island championships in Foxton

So after the clinic I decided to have a somewhat cruisy show and just take Kate to the Champs in Foxton, which was a lovely idea because it really was cruisy, even though I did get a bit bored once I had finished my novel. The first class was a 1.10m class and there were lots of spooky things in it, so I was glad it was only 1.10 class. The whole maintaining the contact really made her bold to these spooky fences, so I didn't have to worry so much anymore. I had the the back rail of the oxer at the first fence, which was a bit of a shame because it was a very cheap rail.

The next day I was entered in the 1.15m speed class and I figured if I was going to donate at 1.15m I might as well donate in the 1.20m class so I changed into that class instead. She jumped really well, but i thought she had had the very first fence again. She jumps e around at this height a bit too so I felt unsteady in the saddle at times but apparently it looked fine so there you go. So then i had to go into the jump-off but I didn't know I had gotten through so the bell really surprised me and I got all flustered and stupid. Had a rail at the first because my canter was average and so I retired because we weren't going to improve from there to be honest. Still I was rapt to jump a clear at 1.20m.

The amateur track was actually smaller than I thought it would be seeing at is was a championship class and worth double points. That meant of the 40 starters there were 20 clears so the chances of me placing weren't all that great anyway. Still she jumped well over a relatively technical track, and I just jumped her too big into the second double and had my eighth four fault amateur round so far this season. Boo Hiss. Still I can't complain because I'm still so green at this level.

And now everything has caught up with me and I'm very sick. boo!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cashmore clinic

We picked p a clinic with Grant on the Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. It was a bit of a tough grind with Dad out. I had to be up at 4 the second morning and worked until 12 when I headed off to my mates to meet up with my horses who had stayed overnight and travel to Upper Hutt to ride at Thompsons for the clinic. The surface there isn't as good as it used to be. It shifts alot and after a few jumps you can end up landing on the base. I didn't get to bed until 10.40 :(

The first day was quite good. Grant rode Connie because she was incredibly fussy in the bridle and just not herself. He got some really nice work out of her because she was still very sensitive and very hot which is unlike her. The next day she was better but completely unable to collect and frustratingly not herself at all. Grant was saying that as my trainer sometimes you have to just a sack a horse. I pointed out that at the last of the winter clinics I basically had it and he had been very impressed. When I thought about it, the fussiness in the bridle started the second day at Central Hawkes Bay. So out came the hoof testers, and after testing and palpating and trotting on the lunge and flexioning we (Well Grant really, he has an incredible eye for a horse being off) decided she was jarred up from the hard ground. This happened a bit last season as well. So Connie missed the show this weekend and she gets her shoes re-fitted this coming week and the farrier and I are going to look at options to keep her more comfortable, and get her back in the ring for Taupo. I made Grant revoke his statement about sacking her!

Kate jumped really well. I learned something really key there. When I'm jumping a spooky fence of her I'm throwing my reins at her and in doing so I'm throwing away the connection and scaring her. This is a key point. something simple, but something I lost by trying to ride hard at spooky fences. When I maintain the connection, she isn't scared anymore anyway and jumps more confidently. Had a very hairy moment when my rubber snaffle snapped in half, which panicked Kate and we did a lap around the arena full tilt. I tried to pull her up from her noseband but she wasn't listening. Eventually she stopped and I just burst out adrenaline laughing. Phew it was a little scary though.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gladstone Sports

Every so often I get the idea that I should do flat classes. I hate flat classes, so I don't know why I get this idea or follow through with it. But anyway Rascal and I did the flat classes and she was actually quite good and I enjoyed riding her. She was second in the Maiden Hack and I was third in the rider class. I still hate dolly classes though.

Then Rascal had a practice round and I don't know what happened but she was so good. I have been collecting Es on her all season and last weekend had to hit her on take-off for nearly every fence. She never even hesitated, she wasn't slow off of the ground and she took the long distances and no chipping in. Weird! So she was clear in the 80cm and the 90cm.

Connie and Kate came out for the 1.10m class. This was Connies first 1.10m class and last year she won it, but I didn't defend my title. I went out on Kate first and was so casual and she ran out of the second fence. Lazy lazy lazy Becky. Poor old Kate being saddled with me. Connie felt really average and argumentative but was still double clear and we ended up second. I actually think we have all reached the point where 1.10m is too small, and we don't take it seriously enough. But I still don't know if I'm ready to stay committed to the bigger heights :(

A TMI issue but after a whole day of riding the old saddle sores are killing me again. They haven't really had a chance to heal properly with all these shows and riding. Boo hiss.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The day you have all been waiting for.

This blog is quite old, if you add in the three years of blog I lost to spyware. In that time, like many aspiring showjumpers, I have often referred to my homebred hope for the future haha! My very own fancy warmblood. Well most people move faster than me, but finally at 6 years old, Bill jumped her first fences under saddle.

She was so good! She had little baby issues like leaving early, smashing down the little jumps. She got better when I clicked her off of the ground but thats not a habit I want to keep up. She has to figure it out for herself. The two fears I have jumping a baby are 1. landing in a buck or 2. freaking out when they knock rails. After a little canter I felt pretty confident she wouldn't buck and she really took it in her stride. Tomorrow she goes to a sports day the whole crew are going too for a look and a day spent at the truck. Maybe I'll even ride if I get brave. She was certainly very solid to ride and is really quite balanced. There is a real difference in the warmbloods, I can see why they are so popular. Already she has more collection in her canter than Connie had for 3 years, well we she turns anyway. Anyway, enjoy some pictures of a bumbling baby being jumped by a bumbling rider.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Amateur Points

So when I refer to the amateur class, I'm talking about the Inverquantel amateur rider series classes. They range from 1.10m-1.20 and the points from your top 12 rounds count. You get 10 points for first, 8 for second, 6 for third, 4 for fourth, 2 for fifth and 1 for sixth. I have maybe 10 more amateur classes that I will get to unless I suck it up and go to Feilding. It's a rider series, so you have to nominate which horse you want to get points on and it's your results on that horse that count. You also have to ride the nominated horse first so you don't get the advantage of having jumped the course already.

Anyway, I really want points in the series and to get on the board as it were. If Connie was the horse that placed sixth at CHB then I should get a point, but not if it was Kate. So I was looking at the leaderboard and I'm already on it! I'm 62nd! It turns out I got a point with Kate at Gisborne, so I must have been like 7th or 8th and the horses that placed ahead of me must have been un-nominated horses. Woo! I'm on the board!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Some pictures from CHB


In the 1.10m on Saturday

In the amateur


In the 1.10m

Whispering in her ear, how I'm an idiot for making such a rookie mistake

In the Amateur


Hey Aunty! Had a nap today :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Central Hawkes Bay A + P

Man it was freaking hot in Waipukarau this weekend, Summer has certainly arrived without warning. The first class out was the amateur and it was the first time I'd gone straight out into an Amateur class without jumping a smaller track in the same ring. It was a fairly big one, looking a lot like the 1.20m class the next day.

Connie went first as I nominated her after Kate stopping the weekend previously. She jumped super, giving lots of air to things, even jumping me around in the saddle a bit with the power she was leaving the ground with, and she never does that! I just had a rail at the first double, when Connie was somewhat tempted to opt out of the scary plank to oxer combination. Still I wasn't allowing that and she finished really well. She is just jumping so well, really jumping across her fences and using herself.

Kate was next, and I made a cock-up because I handed the bell boots to Kim, but never told her to put them on so unfortunately she did have an over reach injury when I finished. She also jumped really well. After the stops the weekend previous I was really on top of her spookiness, but she was never going to stop so it must have been the surface last week. She jumped really well as well, just had the rail in the other double when she closed down behind over the oxer and her back feet hit the back rail. Still no complaints from me. Four fault rounds, while frustrating, at least mean I'm right up there close to breaking through. And I was the fastest four faulter so I was actually 6th and have finally placed in an Amateur class! I'm not sure which horse to be honest, but if it was Connie I'll have one point in the aateur series :) I suspect it was Kate though who is a quicker horse.

Today I just had the 1.10 class, taking it easy if you will. Connie jumped really well, despite being strong. We had an argument about whether or not she should take the deeper spot to fence 7 and we punted that rail out. I should have just taken the longer one, but she should listen to me as well. Work to do there. She was so casual about this height, I suspect it's almost to small for her now.

On Kate I needed to work on getting a better ride to my verticals because I have been choking her a bit to them. In the first round I had a great ride, it was pretty much perfect haha, great rides to all of the uprights. Then I ruined in the jump-off by cutting too tight to an oxer and jumping ahead. She would have jumped if I sat up, but never mind, a small error. I need to practice jumping oxers at angles with her, because I don't know her tolerance for angles really.

I'm exhausted though, and I had decided to flag going over to Whanganui before I left central because I was just knackered and honestly a bit over the whole thing. I needed a break from showing and was very much looking forward to a sleep in tomorrow. I'll do gladstone sports hopefully next weekend and canter round the 1.10m class before North Islands in Foxton the following weekend where it's back to 1.15m and amateur classes. Alas, Whanganui was obviously not to be, as my Dad has some suspected broken ribs and is in hospital, after getting kneed at hockey which means I'm back to work tomorrow. Tough break.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Thornton beach on our trip away. Thats Kate's ears and the tracks are from our previous rides.

2 months into the season and I'm already tired. I have never shown this hard, and I am concerned that perhaps I am pushing myself and the horses too hard. Though of course this is how I always wanted to show, on the circuit every weekend. The progress I have made over the winter and the start of the season has been unreal and really proven how confidence is such a big factor in showjumping. I'm technically no better of a rider than last season when I was stuck in the 1m classes, but because I think I can jump bigger I can. I haven't even jumped a 1m class this season, bar the one at Pukahu on Fido.

Connie is just jumping unreal, I know my parents are rapt. I have been teased so much about this horse, especially when she first came out, obese and ungainly and oh so reluctant to go forward, but now I hear all the time how nicely she is jumping and that's a really nice feeling. I have always known Connie is a good horse, because to me she feels like a good horse. I'm a bit disappointed with the stops on Kate and this general feeling that I don't ride her well enough, but Kate is bigger, more sensitive and more powerful. She doesn't forgive me my errors like Connie does but at the same tim she has covered my ass more than once, I just want to ride her better so everyone else can see what a nice horse she is as well.

Life is hard and a bit lonely. I miss my ex, who was of course my best friend, but make a special effort to go and meet people, even though it adds to my already punishing schedule. Full time work and working the horses doesn't leave much time for anything else, and I really need to get the truck cleaned and about 6 loads of washing done before the weekend. Some days I start at 6am and literally don't stop until 2 for a break, especially now I'm trying to get a horse worked between the end of milking and the mating of the heifers and feeding out Palm Kernal to the cows. Though I think I'm losing some weight which is a bonus. Being on the farm is of itself quite lonely, because there just aren't a lot of people around, and I do miss the social interaction. That and being dumped has left me breathless, even after 4 months, so to lose myself in the riding and work isn't always a bad thing.

I'm scared also though. I'm really truly scared. It was a little bit after this time last year that my depression started spiraling out of control, and I'm so afraid it's going to happen again, despite the drugs and everything. I don't want to go to pieces again and I don't want to feel worthless and that everyone would be better off without me again. I don't want to go back into that black hole where nothing means anything, and you feel nothing but numb. I'm doing so well. So well so far despite the fact that 2010 is definitely a year I wont be sad to see the back of.

Still the schedule is as follows- Central Hawkes bay next fri/sat
- Wanganui next sun
- Gladstone sports- following sat (I hope to have Bill at this one)
- North Islands following fri-sun
- A rest! Not for me I'll be working but for the horses, because I don't want to jump indoors at Feilding. I may pick up a small local show if there is one.
- Taupo Christmas Classic 16th-19th- Connies first 1.20m!

Please let me have got more organised and be jumping clears at the bigger heights. Woot.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Manawatu A+P

$84 dollars in entries, which left me in a hard place really when I realized the surface was concrete like in places. I hate jumping on hard surfaces, and I really feel like more needs to be done now by the shows to have good surfaces. It was a pretty basic looking 1.10m class to start with, that walked ok but caused a fair bit of carnage. Some very good horses had high faulting rounds, and Connie and I were the first clear round and I was the 11th rider in. Kate had a really naughty stop at fence three which did have an ugly fill, but it wasn't a necessary stop. After a smack though she flew over everything. It was awful riding Kate in that arena what with the farrier competition, the alpacas, and the lumber jacks she wasn't sure where to look. Still no rails down, but I was disappointed with the stop.

Connie was next in the jump-off for that class and as a late entry I was the first to go. I have never been first to go in a call back jump-off, but knowing Connie isn't particularly fast across the ground or good at turning, I just tried to be as economical and smooth as possible. She was clear again and then I just had to wait. There were other clears and I held the lead until the last horse went in and jumped a really good jump-off as well. But when the results were announced it was little C horse who got her first proper registered win. Such a good pony.

Then it was the amateur. As my nominated horse, Kate was first and I hoped she would be a bit better. She jumped well to start with but then stopped again at the wall despite an aggressive ride to it. My friend said I was a half stride out but she is hard to place to a spooky fence anyway because she backs off of them. She also said it was a naughty stop. Again she finished really strongly and again she didn't have any rails so to be that close to a clear round in the amateurs and getting some points is starting to get a bit frustrating. She was quite hot and running through the bridle and I do wonder if she wasn't that comfortable on the ground.

Connie jumped well in the amateur, but I rode like a bunny into the second double and was way to quiet. She hit the first rail hard and I pulled her out of the double for 8 faults but she finished really strongly despite being pretty poked. She really prefers to be a one round a day pony. Then everyone got their legs poulticed. I guess I have a few things to think about now. Do I change Kates bit, possibly to a french link? Am I doing too much with them? Though I see the same horses every weekend so perhaps not. I try to be as easy on them as I can but ultimately they do have a job to do. Central Hawkes Bay starts on Friday and if the feel tired in their first class that day I will pull them out. To be fair they don't get worked very hard between shows at the moment.

Oh I really want some clear rounds over the bigger heights. All these 4 fault rounds. Sigh. I hope it was just the ground or the atmosphere with Kate and that she will be happier the coming weekend.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Manawatu A+P

I was going to have a rest weekend, but with my friend going past with room for Connie and Kate I couldn't resist so I'm going over just for the Sunday. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wairarapa A&P Show- Day 3

An interesting day thats for sure. didn't get the results i wanted but figured out a few things. Rascal was first up in the worlds cutest 90cm class. She started out a little hesitant but by fence 3 was really swinging along and I was like sweet as. Then down the double she added a third stride and I got a little ahead of her, and boom her confidence was gone and she was hesitant again and then had two stops at a fence, before I trotted into it, and then after that she finished well. Obviously when Kim went over her head jumping ahead of her it frightened her more than I realised. So I'll keep it really small 80-90cm rage for a while longer and see how it goes. She is too nice of a horse to give up on. If not I may go on to do some dressage with her, there must be something she can do and enjoy and be good at.

Had the amateur on Kate and Connie. I don't know why this class makes me nervous, I guess because I want some freaking series points. I rode Kate super shithouse. Started ok but I'm just getting her way to deep into the uprights, whereas she needs more room and prefers a longer spot, so three rails. But I still don't quite trust her at the higher heights. Next show I hope. Connie blew me away. She jumped so well in what was by far her biggest track and cantering into the last I was so excited but she bludged the last rail. Bless her. I was rapt with that though.

Thank jeebers that after 6 weeks with a show every weekend I have a fortnight before the next one, so will have some time to do some actual training/schooling which I'm sorely in need of now. Next is Central Hawkes Bay and Wanganui.