Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Taupo Christmas Classic

Epiphanies are funny things, they can spring on you when you least expect it. The last time Connie jumped really really well was Te Teko and the last time I felt really confident was around then to. So I'm warming up for the amateur class on the Friday when my friend turns around and says " Get your hands out of your fanny and keep them still". Not polite of course, but typical of this friend. And there is was, the root cause of all my issues was noisy low heavy hands. These are the things that get slack without lessons. See I have arms and Connie doesn't so it's really my responsibility to carry my own hands. The other statement was not touch her mouth around the corner at all. I've been trying to organise the canter from the front and it just doesn't work.

Anyway, with softer hands and letting the corners balance her canter and counting my strides, I got my flow back and had a good smooth clear round in the amateur. She did look at the wall a little because I got a really good deal on 60kgs of race mix which has oats and she doesn't cope with oats apparently because she was a hot little number. She was trotting around the warm-up really fast and it was funny because her little legs were flailing but she still wasn't really moving any faster. I had a rail in the jump-off at the second fence because we were motoring around, I then slowed right down to make sure we had a nice smooth easy round after the sort of trouble we have been having. Because we had such a good ride I stayed in the 1.20m class the next day.

Again with the smooth hands and riding around my corners and counting I had a wicked round. She was awesome and confident and I was getting into the zone. In the jump-off I took a real nifty inside line and nearly fell off when she landed going left and I was heading right. Still a few monkey genes left and I stayed with her. I didn't push that hard for the rest of the jump-off but she was clear and that was good enough for third. I was so happy because there were about 70 odd horses in it.

Stinky jumped a clear round on the first day and was awesome, jumping from deep and from long and really working to leave the rails up for our first clear in the 1.10m class. The next day in the 1.10m she had two rails and in the 1.05-1.1m class she had another two. Not from bad distances or anything, but she starts to run through the bridle on the second day. The third day she was impossible to hold , like a steam train despite the polo gag she was in. 4 rails in the 1.15m championship from reasonable distances.

Though in watching the video another time I can see she is pretty hurried and stressed looking. I just don't think she is a showjumper in all honesty, she just doesn't try hard enough to be clean. I'm tempted to try her over some really big fences but I'm not sure really, I don't think it's worthwhile. She is tidy with her front end but she isn't getting her body in the air.

I ended up riding my friends horse because she was really hung over. I got eliminated on him in the 1.10m! He canters in happy as and then he chickens out at the base of the oxers. I was a little annoyed and I cantered out to the practice fence and hit him at the base. I then went to the 1.05m-1.10m class and used my stick at the first fence and the third fence and all thoughts of stopping left him and he was suddenly game for anything. Wicked cool horse just like riding a pony- any distnce is ok and you can just spin him even though he has a good dollop of clydesdale in there somewhere. We were second in that class out of like 80 people so that was pretty cool.

The Sunday on Connie I was entered into the 1.20m Open Horse Derby. I have never done a derby before so needless to say I was very very nervous. Fence 5 which we just pop over I was quite intimidated by, it seemed rather large to the likes of me. And it was the first fence with a cross country jump under it. Connie was awesome seeing as she has never really jumped cross country fences at all. I had a rail about halfway round the track- which was a kilometer long and had twenty fences!!- I lost her focus as we left the arena and she was a bit surpised by the jump. She wobbled down the hill to the fence and cleared that one, and then struggled up the hill and over the cross country fence. The very last fence you can't see well is our first water jump with water in it. She didn't care she just rocked up and popped over. Love this horse man, that was such a buzz and she just cruised round so easily.


  1. love the video's they were really fun to watch, its always good to ride other horses and figure out how they work as well as how your own works!

  2. Way to get your groove back! :) You look great.

  3. That derby course looks wicked and you two look very at home on it!