Posted by Georgie Wood on
15 September 2013
The weather has closed in which is a little depressing, especially as the evenings are getting darker too, however the horses are going better than ever, which cheers up even the rainiest of days!
We were off to Hickstead and the first day we were there didn't exactly go to plan.. It was one of those days where the horses went really well but it just didn't work out. Coco jumped the 1.10m on the surface, he jumped beautifully all the way round except where we ended up too deep to the planks which were the first fence of the jump off, so had them down, but he felt really confident and found it tiny which is great! Then Lily jumped in the 1meter on grass. She had lost her confidence on grass a little bit so it was great that she felt so confident. However she was a little too confident and ended up rolling the 2nd last in the first round which was a pain as it was a silly fence to have down, the most important thing is she was happy and not ever thinking of stopping. I then jumped her in the 1.10m on the surface. With the jumps a big bigger she switched on and was really jumping, she felt probably the best she has done ever! I got into the jump off and got a little too competitive, seeing a stride that was never there and then proceeding to get fired head first over her head - poor thing!
The second day and the weather was foul, driving rain for most of the day, but that didn't bother my super ponies! Lily and I put the antics of the day before behind us for a great double clear in the 1 meter on the surface. She finished up 17th out of 279 which wasn't bad going seeing as I wasn't going as fast as I could have done (wanting no repeats of the previous day!) Coco was also a superstar, he jumped a good round in the 1.10m but was unlucky to role 2 poles in the jump off. However he more than made up for that with an amazing double clear in the 1.20m and it was a really decent track too! He was awesome and finished 17th.. one place out of the placings and one place away from qualifying to jump in the main arena, however I couldn't have asked any more of him!
On Monday I had a flatwork lesson on Coco with Jenny Watson, working on some of the movements for our test at Gatcombe, he was a bit tense at times but also did some really promising work. This was cemented at combined training today at Felbridge where he did a really fab test for 31, including receiving a couple of 8s - one of which was for our simple change which we have really been working on! He then rolled 2 poles in the show jumping, but it was a really decent track. The second fence had two poles up to 2 foot then a huge gap before the top pole at 4 foot, and he just misjudged it I think. He also had the back rail of the oxer in the middle of the combination which was just where he got a bit tight behind. It was a shame to say he had 8 faults as he was jumping amazingly and I am really proud over just how much we have come on as a partnership in the last couple of outings.
Wednesday I had a flat lesson on Lily with Tracey Brown, Lily hasn't had a flat lesson in ages so was great that Tracey thought she looked so fit and that she has improved a lot. We did leg yeilds and counter canter and she really feels like she is starting to be strong enough to work from behind to create an elastic contact, where as until now she hasn't had the strength to sit, so the contact has been rather inconsistent at times. We then went to the Pony Club eventers challenge at Blenhiem on Friday where Lily yet again proved to me that she is all grown up. It was a very busy arena with lots going on both inside and outside and it had got quite slippery too, but none of it phased her at all and she just popped round for a really confident clear. Our clear helped our team to 5th place out of 40 teams!
Yesterday I had lessons on both horses with Ernest Dillon, which are always really useful at cementing where we are at and then making the step to the next level. Coco felt absolutely amazing, for the first time in training I felt I was really able to ride him into the contact without him becoming tense which is a real breakthrough. It showed in his jump too as he was really flying and fills me with confidence. Lily was also seriously mega. Jumping the majority of a 1.20m/1.25m course really well until she hesitated and frightened herself into a double of oxers and then didn't want to have another go, so we took it right back and built it up again, and she was fine then continued and jumped the last two big fences beautifully so it was a shame about the little blip, but being very careful and being a mare she is sensitive so any little scare really puts her off, however the problem was fixed straight away and she is none the worse for it. If these things don't happen in training then you can't work out how to fix it! Its all go this week as I am taking my A test on Wednesday (fingers crossed) then at Gatcombe 2* with Coco, dressage on Friday and jumping on Sunday, but in between on Saturday I am moving into uni - crazy I know but where there is a will there is a way!
Thats all for now!