I Oiled The Bank… Well Helped At Least.

Fairbridge (or Alcoa International Horse Trials as it is more formally known) is fast approaching… If anyone wants to follow the action, we are on Facebook… feel free to like us!

We had a committee members Busy Bee a couple of weeks ago, which consisted of us mowing the paddocks so we have a nice dressage and show jump area, gathering a big pile of firewood for those who will be camping for the weekend, spraying weed killer in the water jump, attacking the trakehners/ditches/sunken roads with a whipper snipper (line trimmer) and oiling jumps… All before the heavens opened and we got drenched.

Alcoa sign

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looking back up the hill

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Kate with the whipper snipper

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Lisa and I got stuck into oiling the bank. It was a new jump that was installed as part of our major course upgrades last year. The poles were still reasonably new, so they weren’t soaking up a heap of the oil, but it’s easier to maintain the jump rather than letting it fall into disrepair and having to build a whole new one in a few years. The Apex’s also got a bit of love (oil). It was a bit of a wild ride over to them, as rather than walk, we took the utes… Lisa’s being a 4×4 handled the drains a lot easier than my little rear wheel drive beast (although she did hit one wrong due to the long grass and got a little air-born). Luckily I was behind her and took a longer way around.

After a bit of weeding, and wood collecting, we headed up to the storage shed and got stuck into lunch which was yummy roast beef and gravy rolls with chocolate brownies that were still warm from the oven. Once that was over, we all headed home and I took Bo out for a ride with Sophie and her new, fresh off the track Thoroughbred, Charlie. Charlie was a very brave boy, he saw alpacas, sheep, ditches and puddles on the ride and he didn’t flip out. Once he had a little look, he was more then happy to do whatever Sophie asked of him. Bo was amazing as always. 🙂

Ginger ears

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Wattle among the blackboys

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Charlie’s bum

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The view

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This weekend just gone, I took Bo to a clinic run by Touchstone Farm and Off The Track (which is an initiative set up by Racing and Wagering WA to support retired racehorses). Bo was to most experienced horse in our class, but nonetheless I left with a few tips and tricks for when he has chestnut Thoroughbred moments, and also some tricks to help with his lateral flexibility. It was a great afternoon, a huge thanks to all the coaches and organisers and I really, sincerely hope that more clinics are run in 2016.

Saturday night, I went down to Pippa’s place in Pinjarra where we had a lovely BBQ dinner and later Brent and Sam lit the burn pile – which as been slowly growing for the last 2 years. It was so warm sitting out in the paddock watching the fire. It was an early night, I tried to watch a bit of Burghley TV. I saw Michael Jung fall off and I tried to watch Oliver Townend on Dromgurrihy Blue, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open and fell asleep half way through.

FIRE!!

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I managed to watch the XC on Sunday… I might have watched all the Aussies and Kiwi’s first before watching all the rest of the rounds. Burghley’s XC was a true test and very influential, I enjoyed watching it and I am surprised that my cheers did not wake everyone up on the other side of the world. It was great to see Chris Burton finish 3rd and 4th on TS Jamaimo and Haruzac, two awesome Australian Thoroughbreds. I was especially cheering on Sam Griffiths (honestly, who doesn’t love Paulank Brockagh and Happy Times??), Paul Tapner and Kilronan and also Murray Lamperd and Under the Clocks (aka Ninja) as well as Oliver Townend and Armada (that horse always looks like he is having a blast at competitions). Well done to everyone who completed, it was an awesome competition.

I took GK, Bo and Joe to Rachael’s place on Sunday, as I was feeling quite ambitious. I jumped GK, who was amazing. I had the jumps set at 95cm-1m and ather than a few hairy distances, he was pinging over them. EvA95 for next season is looking pretty good! Bo was jumping 70-80cm and going quite well, he’s just so behind the leg and lazy!! Once I got him moving forwards, we practiced going down a line with 6 strides between fences, doing a sharp 180 degree turn (whilest keeping the canter) and jumping over the first jump again. It was made more difficult by the fact I had no spurs on Bo, but we managed to get there. After that I hopped on Joe. As he has been out of work for a few months, he doesn’t have great topline, so I focused on sending him forward into the bridle while putting his head down and coming over the back, especially when warming him up and cooling him off. He was awesome. Such a good boy. Mel’s saddle is a tiny bit small for me, but it wasn’t too bad. I just need to focus on keeping my legs still and squeezing more with my calf, rather than kicking with my heel, such a bad habit I get from riding GK…

Joseph

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This week, it’s going to be quite busy… I have lessons with Deon (who is fresh off winning the 2015 New South Wales Advanced Champion on Don Dancier on the weekend – my favourite stallion ever!) tonight on Bo and tomorrow night with GK. I am also going to be packing for Fairbridge (What’s that? It’s a week early you say?? Patience grasshopper, all will be revealed…) as Bo, GK, Ruby and I are moving down to Liz’s place in Pinjarra for the week as I really don’t want to be spending 3 hours a day driving back and forth from my place to Fairbridge, back to Mel’s to ride GK and Bo before heading home again for the week… I would be spending a small fortune in fuel alone!! So the boys are going to be agisted/boarded (depending on where you live) in a lovely green paddock for the week. They are going to be paddock whales by the time they come home! Luckily, Liz has a show jump arena, gallop track, large arena and 600-odd acres for just to play in… Bo might actually lose some of the belly… maybe?

Then this weekend is the last busy bee for Fairbridge. We have about 26 committee members and people who are doing their event helper duty descending on the xc course to tidy up, sort numbers, mow, chop wood and just generally help with getting the place looking amazing for the event. And typical of Fairbridge, we have rain forecast… But that’s ok. I can rain all it likes before the event, we have ordered nice weather for the actual event.

Weather gods take note… we want none of this… (Photo credit Glenys Davies)

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Rainbows are ok though… (photo credit JG Photographics)

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Here is a link to some video from 2012 from Redfoto.TV featuring head cam footage from Liz herself on Ellesmere Cailin in the 2**

http://www.redfoto.com.au/RedFoto-TV/RedFotoTV-Productions/RedFotoTV/i-D8zwqX4

I will try and get some video or pics from my lessons and from the busy bee.

Until next time,

Take Care

C xx

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