What a busy few weeks!
I have only had one horse in work for most of that time but I am still not getting home until long after it is dark.
GK had the best part of two weeks off after Gidge. I wanted to let him wind down after what happened. He also had a few cuts and scrapes which were hidden by his crazy hairy legs which I wanted to heal as they were up around his elbows and close to his girth area. I hopped on him bareback a week after Gidge and he was a bit sore over his back still as demonstrated by his impressive bucking display. Thankfully I had a neck strap on him otherwise I would have gone flying! Both GK and Bo had a Bowen treatment last Wednesday and they seemed to enjoy it.
Accross the road from where GK and Bo live there is an old racing complex complete with rundown stables, a horse swimming pool and a race track. On Saturday just gone, I decided to walk over and have a look around. The track surface is still in good shape. People have dumped rubbish on one side of it and there are some ripped up fence posts scattered around the place, the barrier has been ripped down in places but it’s still usable. I took GK over there after my exploring and took him for a bit of a canter to blow away the cobwebs before I took him up to Brookleigh for a bit of XC practice. He was a little looky but he seemed to enjoy it.
Yesterday we went up to Brookleigh (http://www.brookleigh.com.au/equestrian-introduction.html) with S, Bailey, M, Joseph, B and her beautiful mare. We have had a lot of rain recently and the ground was a little slippery but not too bad. Some of the take offs and landings were a bit cut up and slippery, but the majority of them have held up pretty well. M and Joe did some 1* lines. Joe made them look easy. It was Bailey’s first time XC training. He was a little bit scarey of the coffin and unsure of the water jump. There were a few little bucks and occasionally he tried to tank off but over all he was quite well behaved. S has decided that she will prob need a new bit on him for XC though, he got a bit strong and excited. It will be one of the only times that we will get to ride the Brookleigh course as the XC course has been sold and no more Eventing Competitions will be held there. It’s quite sad as the grounds and course are breathtaking. Oh well, hopefully here will be some dressage days in the indoor and I can take Bo when he is good enough. 🙂
GK was a legend. He only ran out at one jump which was a log at the top of a hill and that was purely my fault as I didn’t have enough left leg on. He jumped some beautiful lines and was a trooper when I popped him over the EvA65 and EvA80 jumps. He wanted to go for more of a hoon but the ground was a little slippery so I was a bit cautious as I didn’t want to have him freak out because he slipped. I really didn’t have to worry. Chevrons, banks, Trakheners, coffins, whatever – he jumped it. I am still taking him back down a grade just so I can relly focus on boosting his confidence before putting him back up but it is looking really positive.
Bo has been an angel recently. S hasn’t seen him for a few months. She can’t get over how good he is looking. His top line is building up nicely, his bum is getting bigger (yay!) and best of all he is starting to move off my leg. It’s not quite 100% yet, but it is getting better. My other instructor C has been getting me to fill out worksheets and setting goals for what I want to achieve each session with Bo. It has helped a lot having a plan rather than just jumping on and riding. I have been focusing on flexion, counter flexion, spirals in and out as well as getting Bo forward… Not as easy as it sounds.
The other night he did decide that he didn’t want to play ball and threw a little temper tantrum. Hopefully I managed to nip it in the bud quick enough and he won’t try that again for a while a Bo’s tantrums can quickly turn dangerous when not dealt with. The joys of having a horse that doesn’t have a good “go” button. Bo will be getting worked a bit this week and on 25/8 we have Peel ODE. I will be a busy little bee this weekend. I am planning on going up to Woorooloo 3DE aka Perth Horse Trials http://perthhorsetrials.org.au/, which is held at Woorooloo Prison Farm up in Woorooloo (near Gidgegannup) on Sat to have a look and maybe take up M and Joe if D can take them up in the truck. Next year, GK and I will hopefully be competing there. I need to be back for about 2pm so I can walk the course at Peel and start to get Bo ready for the following day.
I am going to set up a few little jumps for the Bomeister to practice on tonight. Hopefully all goes well! I don’t fancy having to take him over to D’s to borrow his arena. Peel is an actual ODE held over one day (not two) which is good. It means I don’t have to worry about camping or helpers. My nan is coming over to do canteen duty for the morning as she lived 15 mins down the road. We have a pretty good draw – Dressage at 9.32am, Show Jumping at 1.36pm and XC at 2.33pm. I am quite happy with that. I will keep you posted.
On a completely non horse-y note, last night I headed out to the Newport Hotel and saw a guy called Daryl Braithwaite perform. For those not familiar with him, he was in a band called Sherbert (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherbet_%28band%29) back in the 1970’s. He then went on to have a pretty successful solo career. Even though some of it is well before my time, this is the sort of stuff I grew up listening to. Here is Howzat, one of their biggest hits in Australia. Daryl is the guy in the blue jacket.
And also one of Daryl Braithwaite’s biggest songs in Aus when it was released.. A cover of the Rickie Lee Jones song called The Horses.
For an older guy, wow he can still sing amazingly well. It was a fantastic night. Hope you enjoy the clips. 🙂