However, since this event not a lot has been happening as Harley has had to have an impromptu break in hope of gaining some more meat on his bones aka condition. Sadly we have the same issue every year, he’s healthy but just doesn’t switch off from competition mode when in the field and just ends up burning up all the fat on him! However, we’re hoping that we’re finally dealing with it now as we are currently trialling him on new feed (he has surprised us in that he is quite fussy when I always thought he was an equine dustbin!). So fingers crossed he’ll be a rather plump fellow in a few months time (annoyingly its going to take much longer and much more money to put it back on than it was for him to loose it in the first place but that’s horses for you!).
But two weeks ago we did compete in the Riding Club Area Horse Trials. The day before saw non stop rain, friends had walked the course the night before and were unable to see the jumps it was that bad! We were convinced it would be cancelled but in the end it somehow went ahead. The show jumping had to be moved to a small arena and we had to wait to be towed in (although we did managed to park on a lane in the end but it was interesting as it meant we couldn’t leave until everyone behind us went!).
Before I start my mini round up I would like to thank the owners, organisers and volunteers for running it. I’m not sure if it was the right decision, we felt an obligation to run due to being on a team and if an individual like in BE might not have started but circumstances like the weather experienced make decisions hard to judge.
The dressage arena’s were horrid. Every other horse was being beeped due to being ‘lame’ but the truth was the arenas were that saturated that they became bottomless so the poor horses were just trying to keep above ground. I was so happy with how H coped, he pretended he was a cob and not a full TB and just got on with it as best he could to score 33 (and lead the arena).
In the video you can see how horrid the arena was- we were trying to keep off the already deepened track but the inside line was just as bad and he was just getting stuck in the mud - literally! You can also see the puddles we splash through! The halt at the end is horrendous but it looks like he slipped and then thought - "I'm not moving another inch just in case I slide all the way down the hill mum!"
Then it was time to go XC. The XC course’s ground was actually very good and only bad in one or two areas where the different classes all ran over. I felt the course was fair, with my only concern being that the water had a drop in with no alternative (something you don’t get at BE90 level and something H hadn’t practiced in nearly over a year!). However, I pleased to say it didn’t phase him and he stormed around clear.
Annoyingly our team would have won but one member had an unfortunate technical elimination. But non the less I was absolutely chuffed with my own pony's result and his attitude to want to do the job even in the most extreme conditions I’ve ever asked him to go in (and hopefully will never have to ask him to go in again!). Needless to say he got a Likit treat after that performance!