We saw the weather forecast for the weekend and knew that a few spare clothes were needed but we were hopeful that the ground would be good as ours is pretty near to concrete atm and really could do with some heavy rain.
Got to Hutton and for once the weather man was right (I know shock horror!) Walked the XC and the first horses were only just starting as we were half way round so the ground looked very good. As for the course our thoughts were fences 1 and 2 nice fence’s 3 and 4 – well if we get over these 1st time I’ll be happy, fence 5A if I get over this at all I’ll be very happy and fence 5B we’ll worry about that one later ;) and this view was pretty much repeated at every fence on the course as every fence had some kind of aspect that poor Mr H hadn’t seen before whether it be the dressing of the fence/ the type of fence or if he’s done the type of fence before he hadn’t done it at that height/ width before (there seemed to be quite a lot of fences the BE90 shared with the 100 – or was that just me?!?)
Anyway defeatist me? Noooooo
We then sat in the lorry and tried to dry off whilst listening to the continuous downpour and thinking if we really wanted to tack up and go back out there.
Well our dressage was……interesting ;)
I’ll start with the positives
In the warm up we only spooked at 2 horse (1 was my friend’s mare who whinnied at Mr H – how barbaric! And the other was a strange thing called a pony that was warming up for its 1* test - thus most improved from Eden when every horse was an assassin out to get us!
The other positive was the start of our test up until our canter as we got mostly 7’s with a few 6’s
But then we cantered and I opened Pandora’s box or should that be Harley’s Box of tricks
And he decided that he would acknowledge the judge and his avid followers (aka taxi man) via waving at them all! We also did a fair bit of bouncing but we did stay within the white boards and I stayed on so I guess that’s a 3rd positive – sort of?
Sadly though this display is not correct in dressage so we got 2’s in 2 movements and a 3 in another
I also got very flustered and forgot my test luckily I had a understanding judge who didn’t mind getting out of her car despite the rain, but there went 4 more marks
So despite all that I was rather impressed to get 47 – yes horrifying to most of you but it does show the few movements we do he can do well
Judges comments “Started a very willing and active loose test then he lost his concentration and balance – well sat!”
So for next week we are on a search for a calmer that can knock Mr H out for the entire test not just up to the canter
ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR CALMERS?
Decided there was no point in putting him back in the box we were both soaked through and it would be more mess trying to take studs out So just a quick wash to get the mud off his legs and we went for a walk to keep warm as the SJ was running 15min behind.
Then we went in for our round:
As you can probably see it was still raining and the course was a little muddy ;)
I was a tad disappointed to have 3 down – felt he went a little green on me and wasn’t sure what to do with his legs in the mud so we went back to his comfort zone of flat and fast ;) but it’s all part of his learning curve and hopefully he has learnt from it
Then XC and you guessed it…..yes it was still raining
Walked to start box said hello and starter asked if I would mind going in 30secs which was fine with me – however taxi man was not ready and duly missed fences 1 and 2 on the camera.
I’m not going to go into too much detail but lets just say he totally made up for Skipton and the Dressage and SJ.
Felt much more confident and I was so proud to finish on a clear as the course was causing problems and I thought it was a tougher test than Skipton not just in terrain/ conditions but also jumping questions.
We did have one blunder at fence 8 which was a double of pheasant feeders on a slight angle on a one stride distance jumped part A nicely I pushed for the 1 pony decided he could squeeze an extra in so we did end up slivering over it but he did remain surprisingly balanced and at least I know he’s quick enough to get his feet out of trouble. His TRIZONE ALLSPORT BOOTS also protected him!
We also had a spook at the scary white rails beside the steeplechase fence – shouldn’t TB’s know what these are?
We gained 9 TP (times irrelevant) but working this out this is only 2 secs at each fence which will improve but the fact I trotted over road crossings and started out at a nice canter might also have had an impact ;) finished in 20th out of 40.
Mr H finished very well had stopped blowing by the time he was back at the lorry. This is something I’m always concerned with him about as he makes a noise when galloping (has a flap of skin which vets have checked out) so I do get paranoid that someone will think he’s unfit but then again he doesn’t gallop like he’s unfit.
But really wondering if we should try a Flair strip on him next time if I can find a stockist?
Was given A LIKIT TREAT last night and today he’s gone out to the field strongly looking very proud – obviously can’t wait to boast to the others!
We did buy a photo from Grossik but I forgot to ask permission to post so I’ll have to contact them about that 1st – it is worth posting as it looks like I’ve lost a tooth as I managed to get splattered by mud plus it shows just how much it was raining ;)
And finally my mum kindly bought me an early birthday present as I broke my stock pin before XC. Got one to wear with my Navy jacket/ to match my XC colours and a stock and another pin for my tweed