The ODE started off hot and muggy. I was riding 5th in my class so I didn’t have to get up REALLY early. I had gone to Taumarunui on the Friday and arrived back in Auckland on the Saturday afternoon. As soon as I got back I had a driving lesson and then I had to pick up my new car. Then it was off to the course walk which was I late for, and as a result was late finishing. It was almost dark by the time I had counted my strides for the last show jumps. Although I’m usually a stickler for doing ODE’s properly i.e. plaiting and a full grooming I opted not to plait for this one. I was too tired from the long drives and late night Friday night. I also still had to go home to get all my stuff ready so Red was just given a quick bath.
Dressage did not start well but it got better. I forgot the second movement and got a course error. I’ve done that test at a lot of other ODE’s and so I didn’t go over the test just before I entered the arena like I usually do. I thought I would be fine, but I wasn’t. So next ODE I will stick to my old ways. We did however CANTER ON THE RIGHT LEAD THE FIRST TIME. I know! Amazing isn’t it? In my opinion it more then makes up for the course error. We actually did the best test we have done (minus the course error) so I was very happy.
A sudden downpour drenched everything before show jumping. It also made the ground very slippery. We hadn’t had rain for a few weeks and the ground was very hard and couldn’t soak up the water. Our show jumping was going before Red decided to refuse at a basic upright for no apparent reason… sigh. We tried again and he flew over it without a care. He refused again at another jump a little later. This time instead of just stopping he skidded on the wet grass and fell into the jump, demolishing it in the process. I was on the ground before I knew what had happened. To the cheers of my family and friends (thanks guys) I got back on and trotted around while some helpers rebuilt the jump. We finished show jumping with no further mishaps.
Cross country was an exhilarating, heart in my mouth the whole time, blast! Red usually walks calmly into the starter box and will wait calmly in there. I knew something was up when he started jogging as we moved towards it and wouldn’t settle once we were in there. As soon as we were given the signal to go he tucked his head down, took the bit in his mouth and was off. I was a passenger and really not much else. A very scared passenger! We soon caught up with the rider in front of us. She started speeding up when she saw me coming which really bothered me because she was just going fast enough so I couldn’t over take her which meant I had to try to make him a little slower. This did not bode well with him and he fought me the whole time. Unfortunately he ran out on a jump while he was fighting and I managed to battle him down to a trot so we could turn around and try it again. After this I managed to get him into a controlled gallop and we moved along nicely. He did however refuse for no reason at a ramp he has done about a million times. I was annoyed. We finished in good time!
I was cooling Red down in the arena when my friend Sarah galloped past on her Kaimanawa pony Charlie. I was cheering for her when she turned a corner into one of the jumps. Suddenly Charlie’s legs had flown out from underneath him and they were on the ground. They went down hard and fast. I kicked Red into a canter and went straight towards her. I saw my mum standing a little way off so I got off and gave her Reds reins. Charlie was standing near Sarah who was lying on the ground with her eyes closed. People were running from all directions. She talked when people talked to her and after awhile could open her eyes. She had hit her head pretty hard and had got concussion. I held her hand the whole time the nurse talked to her. Soon she could get up, and she was walked to the clubrooms. I took Charlie and Red and walked them around until they were cooled off. I had no idea where Sarah’s float was so I tied him next to Red. Unsaddled him and gave him some water. Sarah came a little bit later to get him and take him home. Thankfully she was alright.
So that was my last ODE on Red, it was good fun. Heres a picture of us doing the show jump that Red demolished the first time around. The other one is off us doing Cross Country... goodness me my buttocks are defined. I thought I'd mention it rather then having you all think I was oblivous to the fact.