South West Horse Trials, Harvey – Doing it on a hill

It is now Monday afternoon, my car is still not unpacked and I am sitting at work dreaming about my warm, cozy bed… and hating the fact at it will be roughly another 6 and a half hours until I can climb into it.

Harvey was a brilliant event. Well run, well organised and really fun. The cross country course offered something that GK and I haven’t tackled much – HILLS, or rather THE hill. It was pretty epic, but I will get back to that later.

My new shirt

We left at about 11.30 on Friday and arrived at about 13.30. My first experience of the hill was trying to get my car and the horse float up it. I remember thinking, “thank god it hasn’t rained” as the bloody thing was steep and made up of clay with a coating of gravel on top. We managed to get a good spot – close to the club house, toilets, showers, Show Jumping, XC, food and we were about as close to the dressage area as anoyone could get… but more of that in a second. We had shade and heaps of space, so we set the yards up and unloaded GK and Angel, got them settled and headed off with Ruby to do some exploring.

The car and float 🙂

We then got the float scrubbed out, and started to set up camp as my friend E and her friend A arrived with their horses Lynx and Ash. S and I took Angel and GK out for a bit of work in the SJ warm up area. Wow, just wow. GK was an absolute asshat! He was prancing, did some really nice steps of Passage and Piaffe (if only I could get that on cue!) as well as throwing in a few bucks and spins. I took him over to the other side of the XC warm up and rode him in there for a bit until he settled down. I was quite happy how well D’s lesson’s from the other week worked and he was soon working a lot better. Friday night was bad for S, she is a light sleeper and GK and Angel kept remodelling their yards and squeeling. I slept through it, but S said she was up a few times because of them.

Saturday went well, we walked down to dressage which was a casual 15 min walk down the hill to Yarrahdale Stud ( who kindly let us use a few of their paddocks to do dressage in to watch E and Lynx do their test. We then borrowed S’s mums car to go back up the hill and get GK, Angel and Ash ready for their dressage tests. GK decided to be a prat again with some bucking and prancing as we once again made the trek down to dressage for our tests. Once we got into warm up S and I split up… She was on one side of the massive paddock and I was on the other. GK settled and pulled out a decent dressage score of 57.6 penalites, we then had to haul butt back up the hill for SJ.

SJ was a disaster. GK could hear Angel screaming at the flaot and he wouldn’t focus on what I was asking him to do. He keps rushing the jumps, getting in too deep and having to leap the jumps in warm up. In the ring however, he had other ideas. He knocked a rail on the first jump then refused the 4th jump – knocking down 1/2 of it in the process. They re-set it and he cleared it by heaps, we got over 5 and 6 before he decided to stop at 7a – twice. That earnt us the big E. I was a bit upset, especially as Gk does not stop at jumps. Ever. Not trying to jump something is not in his vocabulary. It was so uncharacteristic of him, so i took him back into warm up and had a friend watch him jump a few times. She said he looked fine and to me he felt fine. GK just decided to be a tool.

Jump 4 (after it was rebuilt)

Jump 5

We were placed 10th after dressage, which was annoying but as neither GK nor I fell, the TD said we could still do XC. (yay) After cooling him off, I went back down the hill to help M with her two boys Joe and Monarch, She had Mon in his test 45 mins after Joe did his. My helper D (another D) came and watched M with her test on Monarch before she drove me back to watch S and Angel Show Jump. Angel went around clear and was sitting in 5th place. I walked the XC course with E, A, S, D, G and Ruby (who had a great time swimming in the water jump and jumping some of the 1* fences). After the riders forum we went out and got Pizza, some ice and visited the bottle shop to pick up some red wine for D and some Tawny Port for S and I. GK and Angel had been split up by now and Angel was screaming every few minutes for GK… He called back for about an hour and then got over it. We were also looking after Joe and Mon for M as she drove home for the night.

The beautiful Joe

Sunday morning E had XC first up. Lynx did well, he just had one stop at the 4th jump. Not bad for his first ever XC round! A and Ash were in my class, so we got ready together. Ash had 2 stops at 6a (which apparently caused problems for a few combinations). GK and I went around fine, we were a bit slow but we had no refusals which I was happy about. There are a few things to work on for Gidge at the start of August, but nothing too major.

Jump 6ab… didn’t look too bad to me

Before Jump 7

over Jump 7
harvey jump7

S came in double clear and finished 2nd over all in Junior EvA80. M finished 3rd in Junior EvA95 on Joe and 5th in EvA105 on Mon. D (instructor not helper) finished 1st in the 1* on Woody and 1st in the 2* on Gary. Poor Ruby was exhausted by Sunday afternoon. She fell asleep on my lap while we watched the 2* SJ and cheered D and Gary on.

Tired Ruby

Tyson – just chillin with my girls…

We left Harvey just as the heavens opened and it bucketed down. Both GK and Angel were happy to be home. Bo certainly missed GK and spent a good 10 mins following him around the paddock. I got home at 20.00 and slept like a log, apparently the Harvey Hill does that to people. I think I walked up and down the bloody thing at least 20 times over the course of 3 days. My legs are starting to hate me.

Tonight Bo is getting ridden, I am going home to do some washing and maybe attempt to unpack the car…

Hope you are well


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