Rightio, it has been wayyy too long since I have posted. So much has happened, so this will probably be a long one.
Alcoa International Horse Trials, was a BLAST! I had a great time staying down at Liz’s place with the boys and Ruby. Bo and GK went a whole week without a hard feed… Not from my lack of trying though! I would put out feed for them but they were too busy stuffing their faces with grass in their paddock that they wouldn’t come up for breakfast or dinner and as a result they also went naked… not super ideal as it was still getting a bit chilly at night, but it didn’t hurt them at all.
Meek Meek sulking behind my legs
Ruby driving the Polaris
Finished for the day…
The event…. I had both boys in the EvA80B class which was kindly sponsored by Anitone. GK had dressage first and I had been working on getting GK super calm and relaxed in his dressage… I got a calm and relaxed test out of him, but as a result, he was a little too quiet and not forward enough and we scored a super disappointing 62 which I was pretty bummed about, but there were some really good parts to the test which were a step in the right direction.
Bo… Bo was a dick. I normally get him into warm up about an hour early and spend a lot of time walking him around and letting him take in everything before asking him to work. Well, he was not having that at all. Every time I went to walk him, he would rear…. So I had to keep him in front of my leg and going forward, so Bo got the best an hour of trot and canter work as his warm up. He just didn’t want to play ball. Our test had some lovely comments, but as a result of Bo’s acrobatics he was pretty tired by the time we entered the arena and one of the comments was, “needs to be more forward…” Poor Bo was so tired, but I didn’t feel too sorry for him.
Show Jumping was later that afternoon. I ran GK early as there was only about 20 mins between my horses in my actual draw time, which wasn’t enough time for me to change horses and warm up. GK was a superstar! Shanay though he had been abducted by aliens as he was so calm and responsive to my aids. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a course walk and had to wing it. As a result I went the wrong way after jump 3 and we incurred 2 time penalties.
Bo had decided that temper tantrums were probably not the best way to approach things and warmed up pretty well for Show Jumping. He jumped well and finished with one rail down.
Cross country was great on GK. I completely spaced and forgot my watch and I just gave GK his head. He flew around the course and after one little disagreement as to which way we were going between jump 3 and 4, he felt amazing. We came home double clear and he felt like he could take on that course again with no problems.
Bo was on after GK and was a good boy. He is still a little unsure about some of the cross country questions and he had one jump penalty and as a result of that, a little time. But over all it was a good effort from him.
Bo finished in 25th place and GK just missed out on a rosette and came in 10th place… (My silly little error in Show Jumping cost us). The pack up at Fairbridge was good, most people took their rubbish and cleaned up after themselves. I spend the morning spreading manure and hay out in the parking paddock and packing the flags and numbers into the trailer… I lost quite a bit of skin off my knuckles from that one.
The next event was Brigadoon CNC 2. Due to the State Equestrian Centre’s new rule that horses must be in the stables or in the permanent yards after 6pm, I decided to head up early morning on Friday to get a nice, shady spot and good yards. Lucky for GK, one of the local equine massage schools needed horsey guinea pigs for their students to practice on, so Bo and GK got volunteered. Bo thought it was great, he got massaged all weekend and didn’t have to do any of that dressage and jumpy stuff. GK on the other hand was less impressed as he isn’t a super big fan of massages.
As October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, my colours changed from the normal blue and green, to pink. GK channeled his inner show horse and sported a blingy ribbon browband for all 3 phases, I borrowed Grace’s bright pink show jacket for show jumping and GK was sporting a bright pink glittery awareness ribbon on both sides of his butt for Show Jumping and Cross Country.
Dressage day for GK was good, I can get him calm and relaxed in his tests, so now we are working on the forward and impulsion. The work paid off and there was a definite improvement from Fairbridge with GK scoring a 57. I also got to walk the SJ course this time and pony flew over everything.
Cross Country was awesome. I borrowed Sophie’s watch, but again just let GK go. I checked my watch a bit too late to realise we were going way too fast and ended up 15 seconds under the time allowed with 6 penalties. Oops.
Grace took GK to Harvey CNC2, as I promised her earlier in the year, that if GK behaved on XC for a whole season, she could take him to the last event of the year.
They did a great job in dressage considering the air was thick with flies and despite using half a bottle of fly repellent on the pair of them, nothing seemed to help. They pulled a reasonable dressage score of 57.25 and were sitting in 7th place.
They had SJ on Saturday afternoon and GK jumped well and went clear. This moved them up into 4th place. Grace was so excited.
Champ and Charlie (and Mel and Sophie)
We walked the XC course and made sure she knew exactly where her minute markers were and I hammered into her that she would have to let GK go faster than she had personally ever let him go. Under no circumstances was she to touch his mouth, unless she was way in front of time when she hit her 4th and 5th minute markers. We looked at short cuts and lines that GK, being so small and agile, could take so she could save time if needed…. She didn’t have to worry about time it turn out. GK hit the spot where is first minute marker should have been, at 40 seconds. His second minute marker was between jump 6 and 7… Grace’s watch beeped 2 minutes at jump 8! They were flying! Grace’s mum and I saw GK doing a lovely collected canter out in the back paddock after jump 13, she went down the storm drain and over jump 14 at a super leisurely pace… I was biting my nails and hoping she was sticking to the game plan and GK hadn’t scared her. She came up to the bridge and let GK go, he flattened out and at that moment, I swear he would have given Black Caviar a run for her money. He stormed home up the hill and the grin on Grace’s face was huge.
Mel, Champ, Sophie, Charlie, Grace and GK
It was a nervous wait for the scores to be posted. Grace wasn’t sure if she had gone clear or not, as she forgot to hit the watch over the finish line. We know she had 1.6 penalties up her sleeve after SJ and were sure she had placed, but had no clue as to what she had come.
The scores we FINALLY posted and Grace went to check her score. She had gone clear, GK had finished on his dressage score (one of only 2 in the class to do so) and they had come 3rd. Proud does not even begin to describe how I was feeling. I was so happy for the pair of them. GK got to stand as rent-a-pony for Sophie’s friend Harper, who won the PC80 class, but her dad had taken her pony home. GK was an angel and totally loved the attention he got. There were rosettes fluttering and rugs being draped over him. He was in heaven.
Sophie has a new horse. His name is Charlie and he is the most cruisy OTTB ever. He finished racing in August and has been to 3 ODE’s and even placed 3rd in the EvA65 at Harvey, finishing on his dressage score too! Sophie and Charlie will be GK and I’s camping buddies at Serpy this weekend with Charlie competing in his first Open 80 class, along with Harper and her pony Filo. Shanay and Angel will be there as well in the PC80.
Bo is on holidays, while I focus on GK and bringing Mel’s horse Joe back into work. Mel has said I can compete him next year until he sells, so my goal at this stage is to get Bo and Joe ready for Capel. I have said to Grace that she can take GK to Capel as it is the Interschool eventing competiton, but she has to do 80cms… no more 65cms! Hopefully I will have Joe at 80 for Capel and will see how we got. If things are promising, I will put him up to 95 at Moora, along with GK. Depending on how we go, I will try and get Joe qualified to compete in Eventing in the Park next year. Mel has said if he is qualified and not sold, I can take him there too which is quite cool.
What’s up Joe?
ugh, grids – go on Joe, tell me what you really think…
I had a lesson with Deon on GK and Joe on Friday. GK is doing really well with his shoulder in and leg yield. Deon gave us some exercises to get GK’s lengthened trot developing and also some walk to canter excercises too. I am happy to say I am heading in the right direction with Joe. He is pretty lazy, but also quite sensitive and he easily takes offence to things… But he is starting to develop more muscle and is working correctly, so once GK goes on holiday over Christmas, I can work a lot with Joe, take him out and have a play with him and see what I have to work with.
I went to a symposium last weekend at the State Equestrian Centre called Masters of Dressage. The guests there were FEI dressage judge Stephen Clarke and also Brett Parbery who is one of Australia’s best riders. Wow. It was fantastic to watch and I learnt so much. If you get the chance to listen to Stephen Clarke, do so. He is so knowledgeable and lovely. He gives very good constructive criticism and also pointers on how to improve.
Ok so I think that is all caught up… Enjoy the videos and pics!
I will get the Serpy blog up next week, I promise. Wish me luck!!!!!