Sunday, March 16, 2008

Timberlands ODE - Sunday 16th March

Well my first Pre-Training went great. Not result wise at all but I had a whole heap of fun.

We went to Taupo on Saturday for Dressage lessons with Linley. The horses were groomed to perfection, with their tails silky smooth and their manes pulled. Linley makes a big effort to keep the horses on her property looking great.

After a broken nights sleep on Saturday, mostly due to thinking about show jumping, we were up early on Sunday morning. While we were booting up the horses, Ghost got her lead rope caught on the hinge of the gate and went absolutely nuts. She hit her face a bunch of times and by the time I managed to calm her down she was bleeding from half a dozen places on her face. She also had a bleeding nose. Thankfully it was all superficial and she went back to eating almost immediately. It shook me up a bit though.

We arrived at the show in good time, I went off to walk the cross country course by myself which wasn’t ideal but couldn’t be helped since Sarah-Anne’s course went the opposite way. Most of the jumps looked fairly simple except for a corner, which I and Ghost have never done, and a big hedge at the end. I was also worried about a large, but narrow roll top jump down a bank because I’ve never been taught how to jump onto a downhill slope. I discussed the corner with Sarah-Anne when I got back and we figured out the best course of action.

First up was Dressage. I was riding 22nd so I had a while to wait. I went into the arena feeling totally at ease and not worried at all. We did an adequate test in my view. But ended up coming first at the wrong end i.e. we came last. I laughed when I heard that. Our score wasn’t even incredibly bad, everyone else was just better. I also got comments about my nice position which made me happy.

I went almost immediately into show jumping. I repeated my affirmation over and over again as I cantered around the ring waiting for the bell. We flew around the course like it was nothing, Ghost was amazing. Unfortunately we did have a run out at jump 6 because the ends of the reins kept getting caught under the saddle and I was trying to pull them out as we were coming around the corner into the jump. I was a bit angry at myself for that. We finished the rest of the course off with ease; even the large double which I thought was going to be a problem. Ghost barely batted an eyelid at it. I was ecstatic as we trotted out of the ring. My confidence was back.

We had a while to wait for Cross Country. Ghost sailed over the first 5 jumps and then refused at the double. I badly needed a whip to give her that extra push when she started backing off. Next time I’ll have one. A couple more jumps and then came to the roll top. As I cantered into it I remembered the picture in my cross country book of a similar jump so I copied the position of the rider and we landed and went beautifully, it was truly my favourite jump in the course. Straight after that was the corner. I did everything Sarah-Anne told me to do, but unfortunately I needed the whip again. My legs just couldn’t get her to move when she backed off. I tried again and she refused again. Another rider on a grey pony about Ghosts size had caught up to me by then so I had to let her pass. Her horse refused also but she got her over the second time. I decided to do the option and then we were on our way again. Next it was the ditch. The rider who had over taken me was having trouble with it and had to stand aside to let me pass. Ghost was reluctant to go over it (I needed to whip again) but I was not having her stop again and so kicked my little legs as hard as I could and she over she went. The rest of the course was going well until we got to a raised log just before the water. Ghost refused and ducked out, I tried again and she did the same. Soon the rider caught up to me and her horse refused too. We had a quick chat about playing leap frog and then I tried again, and got another refusal. I was well and truly eliminated. The girl on the grey tried again and also got another refusal. It was quite funny. Another rider had caught up to us by then and also got a two refusals before she was over. In the end there were about 5 of us at the jump with only one getting over the first time. I finally got Ghost over and down the bank into the water. Straight after the water was the large hedge I was worried about. We had no impulsion as we trotted into it (I reallllly need a whip) but somehow my super little pony jumped it. We then cantered into the last jump and were finished. Even though it was a truly bad ride, I didn’t feel devastated as I had before. I thought we had done alright on our first cross country, with little practice and at a higher level then I had competed at before.

We left soon after as we had all finished the day and none of us were getting prizes. The trip home was good, we were all tired and thirsty though since we had run out of human consumable water. We found a little gas station in the middle of no where and each got a drink and an ice cream. Then it was off home. We unloaded the horses and cleaned out the cab off the truck. I was exhausted so had a quick shower and was off to bed by 9.30.

I had a great day and can’t wait for the show jumping competition this weekend. Its going to be a lot of fun.


misha said...

That's awesome that you have so much fun riding! Don't you ever worry that you'll fall? When I go trail riding the thought of falling barely enters my mind, but I've never jumped before. I would like to learn how to jump someday, though. That sounds like a really super ultra amazingly awesome day! lol-that's alot of adjectives!

Beckz said...

That sounds like you had a good day, especially for not having had the time to develop a real relationship with Ghost. Sounds like she will be very good for your confidence :)

dressagemom said...

At least show jumping went better for you! I hope you'll do better next time with your whip in hand.

Katie said...

thanks guys! I've got 2 easter shows this weekend where I'll be doing some show jumping rounds. Im very excited since SJ went so well at the ODE!