Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Eventing Wellington ODE

                                     So cute with his braids in!
Clearly the eventing bug has had a little nibble at me because I was at it again last weekend. Last weekend it was a local pony club event so the field wasn't that large. This week it was a proper sanctioned horse trial so the field was 26 strong, and the dressage test was a lot more difficult. Butchly is a big long horse and trying to show lengthenings in a 20mx40m arena is really hard if I'm going to get him recollected and not jump out.

He tries but the lack of dressage specific schooling shows. He had a better shape this test and worked rounder and his canter work was much better but he broke in nearly every movement in the trot. His answer to every question is to canter. Still thats on me and not him and its something we can work on. I'm way behind in this sense, it's a bit odd to have the dressage as my weakest phase.

The XC course was pretty solid, had a few questions and some steep descents which scare me a little because he is much like a baby giraffe to ride. He was so excited warming up for the XC, he kept doing these groans and flagging his rather thing tail. When he is really excited he sounds like he is a bit constipated groaning away, it's the weirdest thing, but I'm happy that just warming up over solid fences has him this happy.

So the first three fences were straight forward- rolltop, oxer and a hanging log. I'm always scared starting but once I'm going I'm a lot better. Then it was a up a steep rise to jump an upright followed immediately by a steep descent. He didn't like this part that much and then we were on narrow tracks through the scrub. Five was a ramp with a steep landing. If you jumped to the right you landed on a flat bit before the hill so I jumped there but he still stumbled at the bottom of the hill! I am no man from snowy river! Another oxer and then a table top and then we rolled down to the coffin which you can see in the background of the skinny picture below. Now this is our first ditch in competition and I didn't know how it would go but I rocked him back on his hocks and got the quiet jump in, and he popped through perfectly. Go Butch he is a cross country machine. Then around to the narrow in the picture below which he jumped perfectly.

Then on to the palisade below. It was a good one because with a slightly uphill approach you never see the ditch, though it did cause one elimination. It looked much bigger from the other side! He just jumped it, never looked at all. Once he starts rolling I don't know that anything will stop him now! Then we turned left over a fence with a slightly downhill landing and then up a steep hill with a long steep descent which I started at the trot because of the baby giraffe thing. I let him pick up the canter as we went and we rolled down to fences twelve and thirteen which were two strides apart. This is were my next issue will come up. He jumps in so bold it's hard to get my strides, the two was quite tight. I need to start getting a quieter jump in. With his big rolling stride and he jumps the straightforward fences out of his rhythm so I should be ok for time. Always with the the time with this horse!

14 and 15 was a skinny to a sharks tooth on two strides again. Again it was a little tight. 16 was a corner with an option where you turned over the wings over the corner. I put him back on his hocks and when straight through. Too easy. He locks onto his fences so well even when they are narrow. Then the water was 17abc, so it was a black A frame shaped fence, two strides to the water, and then out up a bank. Now because it was the water I collected and rode quite aggressively because he did back off the water the previous weekend. Not so much this time! He landed one stride, shuffle (we were running out of room) and pow straight into the water. I was like huh ok. I can start a quieter ride to the water now! then two log houses to finish full of running and very happy.

The SJing had started for my class but I took the time to walk him out, wash him off and let him dry because saddling up to go jump. He was quite tired and it took sometime to get my SJing eye back in! I wanted to take the big distances but I made sure I kept him collected and got to the base of my fences. He felt ordinary in the warm-up but then jumped super in the ring for a clear round. All of this meant he ended up 8th! At his first horse trial! Yea this is his forte. So four weeks until the next one and there is a lot of dressage work to do. Now the question is do I move up to Pre-Novice which is 1.05m? He is cruising around the courses and if I get the quieter rides into my combinations I should be all good because 1.05m is nothing to a horse with this much jump.  But I'm such a coward. Food for thought!


  1. Butch is so cute! You both look great!

  2. :D So glad you are having fun!! The dressage is totally fixable. Best of luck!

  3. "he is much like a baby giraffe to ride" Hilarious! So glad you two are having fun and doing so great!

  4. Awesome! Go you and Butch! You two are rockstars!!!

  5. To me, it might be good to go another round where you are at, get it dialed in, and scores up, then go bigger. Butch is adorable and such a beast, I am sure he will do great at 1.05m too, or bigger lol