This weekend was Gidgegannup CNC, up in the hills near Perth. It is one event spread over two weekends, with the first weekend running EvA95 – 2* and the second weekend running PCAWA E grade (45cms) – EvA80.
GK and I were in the EvA 80 B class and he did a good dressage test. It needed a bit more impulsion and slightly more flexion, but those are both a work in progress and are coming along nicely in training. It was nice to have to keep my leg on and encourage him forward instead of holding on for dear life and praying for a little bit of accuracy as per normal. After dressage we were sitting equal 15th on a score of 64.1, which isn’t stellar but the marking was fair and the comments were about impulsion, working consistently on the bit and flexion. So as I said… a work in progress 🙂 I am happy that GK is not tucking his nose under as an evasion any more. It has taken almost 12 months to get him out of that habit so now I have more to work on when schooling.
Cross Country… That wasn’t so good. We went to the warm up area and walked around for a while to get him settled. While there I witnessed a girl and her horse fall over a portable roll top. The jump flipped over and the horse caught its leg through the base. Luckily both were ok. I saw some officials go over and put the jump back, assuming they would be fixing it down whilst they were putting it back in place. *Note to self – Never assume! We went in to the jumping warm up area and I popped GK over a few smaller fences with no trouble, then we attempted the roll top. GK stopped and tried to do his catleap over it but it was too wide, so as he scrambled over it, the jump flipped under him. Luckily he is pretty good on his feed and managed to stay upright. I was not so lucky. I ate dirt. I wish someone had gotten pictures for you, but unfortunately no one did. I rolled off GK’s back onto something (?) I can’t quite remember what I landed on… My elbow has a little bit of skin off and luckily that was all. Poor GK was terrified, he was trembling as I checked him over before going over to the ambulance to be checked out myself. After receiving the all clear, I got back on GK and continued warming up. He was freaked out, he kept rushing jumps and taking off – typical GK when he’s unsure of himself.
After about 10 mins I managed to calm him a little and we set out on course. All was fine until jump 7… A roll top. He lost it and ran out. I represented him at the jump and he backed off, almost stopped but I managed to get him over it with a tap on the bum. He was a wreck after that, hesitating at the water jump (jump 8) and tried to refuse jump 9 (another roll top). I managed to get him over jump 9 by kicking and growling at him. My friend who was jump judge at the water about 100m away said she heard everything I said to GK to get him over the roll top. I must have been really loud! He cleared the Trakehner fine and then we got into trouble at 11ab, a bank with 2 strides to a skinny brush jump. He wouldn’t have a bar of it. He was hesitant, shaking and not focused. So after he ran out, I retired him then and there. As I was walking back a few people who saw my fall came running over to see what was wrong. That’s what I love about eventing, I have never met these people before but they were chatting to me and I felt like I had known them for years. Everyone I have met while competing is so friendly and welcoming. 🙂
Please when out walking the course or before warming up, make sure you check all the jumps! This weekend could have quite easily ended very badly. I have since written to Equestrian WA and the event organisers and I am very satisfied with the action they are taking to ensure it doesn’t happen again, but if I had known any better I would have checked all the fences before attempting them. Lesson learned. The Stewards and TD’s are there to help. It you are not happy with something on course, speak to them about it.
I decided not to do the show jumping, GK did well to get through as much of the XC course as he did and I didn’t want to risk pushing him too much, frying his brain and ending up with a horse who doesn’t like jumping any more. He is having a week off to gather his thoughts before I start getting him ready for Dryandra CNC on 7th & 8th September. It’s in the wheat belt near a town called Narrogin, which is where my grandmother lived when she was younger. We will be going back down to EvA65 to help GK regain some of his confidence and mojo. 🙂
Bo has gotten another Corneal Ulcer from a completely different hood. So that’s it, I am done! No more hoods for Bo. All of his hoods are in the process of being converted to neck rugs! He has rug rub something shocking and his bib is helping on his shoulders but not on his neck were his rugs sit, so the hoods were offering extra protection for the sensitive skinned chestnut. He now has a fleecy neck rug which seems to be helping a bit. His hair is slowly growing back, fingers crossed it is better for Peel ODE on 25/8. It will be Bo’s first ODE of the year and his second one ever. He is familiar with the grounds and the XC course as S lives around the corner and he has done dressage days and show jumping there before.
He has been really good under saddle lately, trying really hard. We have been working on his balance and flexibility with some help from M. She has been having a sit on him once a week and getting him moving forward and moving off the leg. It’s hard though, because he is so powerful but still unbalanced on the circle trying to to get him moving off your leg to spiral in and spiral out is a mission. It is coming a bit easier but it will take time.
Bo and GK also are on a new diet after attending the Victoria Ferguson workshop with me. They were both idiots, GK fence walked the whole time he was there and Bo would freak out when GK got taken out of the yard, even though GK was standing right in front of him. While it was a little embarrassing, it did showcase their co-dependency and what they are like when worked up. Victoria has given me some flower essences which have worked really well so far. When I took GK up to Gidge, Bo called out a little but didn’t really seem to mind that he was gone. When we got back from Gidge, it took Bo about 15 mins to realize that GK was home. He nickered and trotted over, but that’s it. Quite a nice change from him trying to climb in the float!
Their new diet is going pretty well, it is made up of Lucerne Chaff, Oaten Chaff, Flaky Wheat Bran, Black Sunflower Seeds, Rosehips, Garlic, Brewers Yeast, Dolomite, Seaweed Meal, Raw Wheat Germ, Cold Pressed Linseed Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar and a porridge made out of French White Millet and Linseed (aka Flaxseed) along with Oaten Hay. I am still integrating all the ingredients into their feed and that should take a little while but so far so good. They have been licking their feed bins clean, which is a good sign!
Hope you are all well