Friday, May 29, 2015

Courage the Cowardly Dog

Right so we are on the lead up to the my first jumping show (its a local level no pressure recycled ribbon day starting at 40cm so show is overstating it) since November and I gotta say I have jumped a couple of times and I'm feeling decidedly ordinary. What happened!! And yea the muscle strength is missing, an the eye is rusty with a capital R. But where the hell is the courage!! Honestly, its little aggravating when I used to have the look of eagles. And I used to  jump big an now a 2'6" oxer is looking a little monstrous. I didn't think I would lose it that quickly.

The picture above shows not much in the way of position but for a maxed out 1.30m oxer from a longish distance, look at the commitment. Man that horse tried for me, because she was not scopey, Anyway, I started this yesterday and I really cant remember what my point was going to be but look pictures of me doing jumpies on different horses!!

 I guess the premise is even though I'm only entered up to 90cm I'm pretty much freaking out. Awesome!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wairarapa Dressage Ribbon Day

So neither of the horses I'm riding had been out since the new year and it that sort of a situation you never really know what you are going to get except that I knew that Tsar would be naughty. Because he just is. The last time I rode at a dressage day would have been around 10 years ago and I remember being totally bewildered by the marking, in that the test when my horse was electric and tense he marked a lot better than when he was relaxed and workmanlike. Obviously, I have improved in my riding in general since then because the marking was still a little bewildering but in a much better way. Charlie was in level 0 and Tsar in level 1.

It started poorly when Charlie stood halfway in the float and dug his toes in and we had a twenty minute stand off while I waited for reinforcements, then he got bored and walked on which was good. I need to spend a day on this, because Tsar basically self loads. Charlie is used to an angle load and not so comfortable in the straight load. Then I landed chasing my tail so that I only got on Charlie just as the rider before me was starting. He had no warm-up and so was quite tense but it was only a walk trot test so it wasn't too bad. By the last corner he had relaxed some and did a lovely halt.

I then had an hour to get Tsar up and by the time he had a lunge and I got on and went down to the arenas I had about 7 minutes warming up time, he was quite tense and we bronced across the warm up at one point. I  had put a drop noseband on him so I had more control and it made him stiller in his head carriage but more inclined to buck and not go forward in protest. Still he did a relatively good test, though my expectations weren't that high. I was happy though that he gave me a few moments that felt really good, when I could really sit into his canter and just be soft and I knew he would stay with me. For a horse that can be a bit smart, that hadn't been out in public since November, and who didnt get enough warm up he was spectacular. So the morning results were a 54% for Charlie which was more than expected and a 60% for Tsar (about 6th place) which I was really surprised by, but then he is a bit of a swanky dude.

Then I had to wait for like four days (that is 2 1/2 hours) until the afternoon tests. Tsar had a decent warm up and was happier in is standard caversson noseband and I could put a spur on. He was awesome, warmed up really nicely, though was a little unsteady in the contact which was my fault because I got tense, trying to not upset him when he felt so good, instead of actually riding. And I forgot to give the rein for 3-5 strides in one movement, but he has a good free walk which always helps. I was thnking he would score similar to the morning and he did under one judge, but was 68% under the second judge, so I ended up with 64% and second place!! OMG at dressage! Go Tsar you little beauty! He even got a seven for paces, and a nine for his centerline! Loving it. Did I mention it absolutely poured in our warm up and we were both absolutely soaked to the skin? Good pony!

Charlie was the last ride and got on with about twenty minutes to warm in and he disgraced himself in the warm up, shying, reefing and bucking so I put him to work until a mother came over and told me to go away while her kid did her test because she was nervous and only ten. Cue walking for seven minutes which actually helped him relax some and I figured out it was the loud speaker freaking him out, causing the tucked tail scoot and buck. Once he got into the arena and had a job he was much better, he was late in both his canter transitions but started to show some work of the quality I get at home from him so thats good. His owner was rapt with some of the work he did, despite his warm-up. He scored a 58% and ended up 6th so I culdn't be happier because at the end of the day both horses gave me moments of good feeling and they both improved and you cant get better than that

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Still Alive

Charlie horse

Sorry for the huge length of time since I last updated this. So much has happened since last time, mostly personally because actually nothing else has changed. I am finally starting to get back my will to ride. Helped by the return of Charlie who showed up for a while last Winter. And seeing as I'm down there working him with financial incentives, my own horse is getting ridden as well. I was pretty convinced I was going to sell him, but then I start riding Tsar and I remember that he is a really nice horse and he can really operate and then I'm in two minds again. There is a lot of unregistered lower level dressage and showjumping this Winter just down the road, and Charlie is on the market and needs exposure. That should help with some goal setting. 

Kimmy riding Tsar
So the first thing coming up is Dressage, Charlie can do a training test and one level 1 test and Tsar can do both the level 1 tests. I see that as a local rider I have to provide some man power which always niggles me a bit. I'm not affiliated with the group at all and I feel that to be forced into helping is a little offputting. I understand that these days run on volunterrs and blah blah blah but at least let me get a taste for it before putting me to work?? I'm so bad at dressage anyway, I get in the ring and ride like a monkey. 

So much fail in this video?!!! Blah, what are my hands doing. Shorten your reins Bex for the love of jeebers, Cocked  wrists low hands, round shoulders, its all pretty unattractive, but then I haven't had a lesson since last Winter. At least my back and seat are still quite supple. How cute is Tsar!? He feels so good now the drought has broken and some of the sting has gone out of the ground. Pretty excited/nervous to do some jumping again. Now that the financial pressure has eased some we should be able to have a really good time this Winter. So yea I'm back, and I'll blog more.