Thursday, August 22, 2013

Chris Chugg Clinic

There is always a little bit of anxiety when you clinic with someone new. You never know quite what they are going to be like. Thats why I always put Connie up for new clinicians because our partnership runs pretty deep and she is a lovely pony. This time it was Chris Chugg a top Australian Showjumper. Yea we are going international! I did investigate on the internet to find out what the general consensus was about him and i found he was tough but fair and made people cry. Awesome. That's good considered after three years I have only just come off my anti-depressant drugs. Here comes the weepy train! For added excitement I was in a group with 2 grand prix riders and a 1.30m rider. Add to that the fact the weather was so awful but only mostly when my group was riding :/.

Of course I give neither myself or my horse enough credit. Connie was a super star and jumped everything in front of her. The main things I need to focus on are keeping my hands together and my reins organized and short (Guess who got a knot in her reins! On both days) Chris was very very good. He missed nothing and so you had to be so tidy.As long as you listened and did as you told he was very very nice. He said I had a nice feel (Yesss!) that Connie had a good rhythm and canter. Because Chris had turned out to be so good I rode Butch the second day in the same group. Butch can be a bit of a delicate flower and throw his toys when expected to do the same exercise to many times off of the left rein so I'm careful about whom I train him with.

Anyway it was much the same. I find it a bit harder on Butch to find my distances because he is more adjustable and i just don't know him like I know Connie, but that will come. Certainly since riding full time I'm a quieter, more effective and accurate rider. Apparently, Chris said I was an ok rider. Swoon! It was awesome just to hold my own in the company I was in. I had a few errors. With Butch I can't turn him up to a fence like I can with Connie because his brain is slower so on my roll backs I have to give him more room to sight up the fence. And I just have to trust my eye more and keep the faith and keep counting my strides. Like Chris said with our group we could all ride it was just putting the finesse on. It was all basic stuff but the more I learn the more I learn it's all about the basics. Go straight to the fence, land straight, keep your hands together maintain a good canter and LOOK where you are going.

First show tomorrow with Connie and Butch so lets hope the clinic has helped! I think I will leave the knot in my reins lol. The knot made a huge difference in helping keep the horses straight through the turns and just in keeping me organised. I'm not as bad on Connie but with Butch who is quicker and more extravagant I have a lot of trouble keeping him organised.
Anyway, snippets of Butch

Thursday, August 15, 2013

XC schooling video.

I'm so sorry , not much has been happening but we have Chris Chugg coming to this weekend from Australia to hold a clinic. I hear he is tough but fair so safe to say I'm shitting myself. I'm such a sensitive little flower. So easily reduced to a quivering mess of nerves. I am for the first time in like 3 years off of my antidepressants and I'm holding steady. A bit more emotional but still chipper and doing well. I have been running and have lost a lot of the weight I piled on last year so that's good. The weekend after that we have the last of the winter shows at Manfeild and I have 3 or 4 horses to ride depending on owners and things.

Anyway her are some clips from the first of the XC schoolings we have done this winter. The pictures of Butch were from the second one, so this other one would be over a month old. Which is interesting because I can see I have definitely lost weight since then so yay for me. Body protectors are so uncomfortable! I had forgotten but was quickly reminded! I think we did a few fences around 1.05m and Connie loved it. She got bolder as she went and isn't her dishy andalusian movement so adorable! She is such a good little horse. Not orthodox or super talented and a little bit spoilt and so hard to get slim but she just tries so hard for me. I'm so happy she is currently feeling sound and good, though still too fat. She is like a small pony to keep the weight off.

This is all the more impressive because beyond a small hickstead day 4 years ago and the derby I jumped at Taupo last December the pony has never jumped any XC fences. Love her.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Horses man :( :)

We have been really nice to our horses lately. They have gotten to go on lots of adventure rides. Last week we took a truckload out to a huge hill farm for hillwork and yesterday we took  truckload over the hill for cross country training. The hill work was mostly to tone up some fatties and put some fitness and go forward on some lazier versions. Connie naturally being a fatty needed the hill work! She was the slowest horse up the hill all day. I swear the hill was probably eroding down to her faster than she was climbing up it. That being said she has spent the last five months on a hill.

Now as a recap Connie was turned out for being lame. We never knew 100% what it was but she nerve blocked in her foot and was sound, and she had some balance issues with her shoeing. She does have a somewhat club foot that isn't easy to keep balanced. A course of Bute and two weeks off and she should have been sweet however the low grade niggly offness lingered. She would be less than a 1 out of 5. so i just turned her away until July, knowing that most likely it would be something that needed time. Also her x-rays were beautiful and her joints pristine. Roll on July and she has been feeling fantastic. However, after the hill ride it was back. Massive sad face. Huge massive sad face. That being said she was ready to be pushed a bit more, I have to know if she will hold up. Anyway at this point in time I will see what she looks like tomorrow and go from there. I am thinking perhaps of putting her in foal. Now while you all recoil in horror because she has a slightly clubby foot I would like to point out that if I knew then what I knew now it would have been a lot better and I would have gotten on top of it earlier and she is a proven jumper whom is otherwise a stunning horse and has a neat nature.

Yesterday was the bomb. I rode Willis and Butch. Cross country is very very scary. Willis was a good boy just very very green which he is, having never jumped any cross country fences ever before in his life. He got quite bold by the end but then he went past that and got over tired and adrenaline brained. Babies. They are such babies. So he had a paddle in the water jump and dropped off the bank into it and was in general a very good boy. He hesitated at the ditch in the coffin so hard that I saw spit fly out of my mouth but I didn't fall and he still went which is pretty much the goal! Horse stayed between me and the ground at all times.

Butch. Now Butch was a boss. He loves it! He jumped everything, never faltered, even jumped some pretty big fences and every time we pulled up he would flap his lips with happiness. Ditches, water, palisades, ski jumps, coffins, nothing was an issue. He was just the most fun. And then after like 4 hours of riding I was exhausted. Some pictures!

I love this last one! Anyone of the whole day these are the only pictures of Butch despite a million photographers being there. Just my luck. 

Full photo credit to Ella Bussell- Gallery here 

Here is Willis looking oh so cute. You can see how in the second picture he is has a full stress sweat going. That was one of the last fences he jumped before going for a play in the water jump and then walking home.