Tuesday, December 29, 2009


1m = 3'3"
1.1m = 3'6"
1.2m = 3'9"
1.3m = 4'2"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mid-season Blues

I'm not really sure why it is, but I have definitely lost momentum this season. Having ages between shows doesn't help, and the injuries neither because you get out of the habit of working them. That and they are all full of beans like it's some sort of spring rerun. It took me an hour to get Connie going nicely the other day and to stop bucking and trying to bolt. She isn't malicious just so full of herself. I hate having to ride the snot out of them but I always ride until they are going kindly and if it takes an hour and a half so be it. Unless of course I'm struggling to keep my temper, then I just get off because there is nothing to be gained from that. It's a crappy time of year, I'm so full of food from Christmas still, motivation is low and I'm having a bout of poor health (I should go see a doctor but I'm terrified of doctors so it will be interesting to see how this goes down.)

I guess one thing that really bothered me, was realising that the chances are I wont make HOY again this year. I should put entries in soon if I'm going and so it creates a dilemma. Do I really think I will be jumping 1.20ms by the end of the season? The pessimistic side of me thinks it isn't possible- no way no how, the optimistic side of me thinks it's a possibility. The 10cms from 1.10s to 1.20s is a fairly big 10cm. Not as big as going from 1.20s to 1.30s of course but who knows. There are only 5 more NZEF shows before HOY, so it feels like not a lot of time. I know Kate has jumped that big before so it's more likely on her, but I don't know how much longer she is going to be off with this skin thing as it's not improving, though it isn't spreading any further either. The vet thought she might have a suppressed immune system but her selenium, copper and cobalt levels were all normal so he is confused.

The Daniel Meech clinic is in 5 days and I'm nervous about that. I always find going to a new instructor incredibly nervewracking. I'm always worried they will just say "you might as well give up". Of course they wont they never do because I'm paying them. Maybe I can do it though if I work really hard. I just need to get motivated again and get fired up. I sort of want to send Bill away to get her going again because I'm not sure I will ever find the time, especially now I'm working Rascal as well. I'm sure I will et back into the swing of things and I'll just have to play it by ear I guess. I'll decide about HOY after Levin.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone

And many happy tidings for the new year etc. Kyrewood is cancelled so I have a brief interlude before the clinic on the 3rd and 4th. Random pictures from the last few days to tide you over.

A painting I had to treat myself with for Christmas. It's a print of a Julie Greig painting of Catherino II who incidently is Connies sire so I couldn't pass it up.

Our JRT puppies. The one of the left is my puppy called Roger. She is my hallmark puppy she is so cute and she is hilarious.

Connie doesn't have such a high opinion of swimming really, and a really long tongue!

Yes my thighs are that white it's been a pretty bleak Summer until just recently.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Carterton Spring show

So I have been riding Connie some and she is going really well but I'm not allowed to jump her. Her chest doesn't seem to bother her at all, and looks to be healing beautifully. I do miss having her at shows though at the same time its nice to work on a little schooling and mosey around the farm bareback. I have taken to doing 10mins no stirrup work every time I ride so thats been difficult, but really I want to make sure I'm in top form for the Daniel Meech clinic in the New Year.

Kate was going awesome but when I went to ride her, two days after I had last ridden her- she wore a cover that whole time so I missed it's start- she had a dermatitis of some sort that seemed pretty aggressive. The spread has been phenomenal and it was driving the poor mare mental with how much it itched. There isn't much hair on her belly and flanks anymore and it has spread to her neck and face in places. Fingers crossed the others don't get it.

So I only had Rascal to take to the Carterton Spring Show. I was surprised how hard the ground was and it had a lot of grass cover on top so it was incredibly slippery. Rascal had lost some confidence as evidenced by her attempt to stop at the very first warm-up cross rail I did, and she was slow off the ground to the fences initially. About halfway around the 80cm course she got her confidence again and jumped a lot more like her old self. I had a run out in the double at the second element because we slipped so much coming into the first element. It was in no way a dirty runout but after we slipped so much we ended up jumping the first element on such an angle it was impossible to get to the second.

I (I say I, Kim actually did it) put studs in for the next roun and she jumped much better, though still slow off the ground to fence 3- she can't have liked that one- but jumped a double clear to get fourth. I had been in two minds about jumping her off fast against the clock but she was jumping so well and confidently by then I figured I can giver her a goo enough ride that it should be ok. So thats ok I guess I can cope with another horse.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fielding A+P is a debacle

I have to say, though it sounds mad the atmosphere at Fielding was off. Maybe it's because entries were so low or that the weather was pretty average but I just wasn't happy to be there (I need to work on my superstitiousness) Anyway, Kim had a mare. Obviously, the fall at Gladstone had spooked her horse more than we had anticipated, and Kim and the two of them couldn't get it together, and Kim has decided to take a break from competing for a while.

I got on Kate and she was unsound. Not really bad but still you don't jump a lame horse. So the plan has changed, entries for Taupo are canceled and I will go to the Carterton Spring show with Rascal in the small classes to get her going and maybe (fingers crossed) Kate in the 1m and 1.10m. Then it's Kyrewood for a day just after Christmas (Even though I pretty much hate Kyrewood, it's always big and spooky so I really need to go do it) and then the NI showjumping Champs in Danniverke so there is still plenty of showing to come.

I am freaking out about having 3 horses at shows again because I was flat out last time I had three but Kim says she will still help with grooming and keeping the horses fit so I may be able to do it and continue breaking in Bill. Kim is a phenomenal groom. Damn I wish riding was my only job!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So Connie got a nice laceration on her chest and has 6 very neat stitches on the eve of Fielding A+P show. Hitting a patch of bad luck eh! It was crazy. I had Kate on the lawn having a feed and Connie must have tried to knock the fence down with her chest as she does and caught a bolt that sticks out. I was away for 20 seconds putting up my saddle and Kim was standing right there and still it happened.

Anyway, I walked around the corner with her feed and I saw it and just went straight back inside to call the vet. I didn't do anything with it as she wasn't bleeding very much and the vet was pretty happy about that because it was a nice clean fresh wound. Uhh of course she did it just after hours so the bill will be bigger. Still generally she is my soundest horse so I can't complain too much. And it really isn't serious she will probably only miss two shows.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Gladstone Sports Day

Yesterday was the Gladstone sports day. This is the BEST local sports meeting. The weather and the ground are always excellent and the atmosphere is awesome too. They moved it forward from February to December this year and I liked it but it meant that entries were down. I was absolutely sick with nerves that whole morning even though I knew it was only a small local show, but sometimes the local ones are the worst because everyone knows you. That and the last time I competed Kate I fell off and while I was trying not to dwell on it, it was definitely on my mind.

Me and G tearing up the practise rounds

Anyway, we arrived about 11.30 and I rode my friends very cute but very green five year old in the practise rounds because he needs some ring time. He was very cute but having been a stallion earlier in life he was quite good at setting hi neck against you so the steering was a little vague. I managed to approach some fences mostly sideways. He jumped everything though, was just a little sticky in the double, and I was very impressed with the fact he had flying changes already.

Kim and Rascal in the 90cm- Showing off her picture perfect position over fences- curse her!

Kimmy rode a beautiful 80cm round on Rascal, possible the best 80cm round I saw anyone ride that day bar doing two strides in the one stride double. She started well in the 90cm but made the fatal mistake off jumping ahead of the horse and Rascal stopped and Kimmy cleared the fence alone after spending a long time hanging around Rascals neck. I'd love a photo of tat. However, she seems to be taking it well and she has the next show to sort it out.

Connie in the 1m class

I rode Connie first in the 1m class so that she could have a breather between that and the 1.10m because unlike Kate she can't just keep going. After yesterdays performance at the arena with the arab impression I decided I would jump her in the pelham, but with two reins instead of a converter so I could keep the curb rein loose and she also has a rubber curb guard on the chain to make the aciton less sharp. She was awesome in it, I hardly had to use my reins at all, she didn't brace and when I did ask her to collect she just did rather than ignoring me. She jumped really really well and was clean in the first round, I jumped her off a little against the clocks but being first clear round I didn't get the sharpest lines on her.

Connie in the 1m

Kate coming home in the 1m Jump-off

So I got on Kate and she was the last horse in this class. She warmed up well and once we started warming up over the practice fence she got her happy face on so she was pleased to be there. I have found when I'm cantering into the first fence if I give her a very light half halt a few strides out from the first fence she locks onto the first fence better, like I'm saying hey here we go now. She also jumped awesome, though a little over exuberant in this class, she did want to zoom zoom. I had a really good day in terms of my eye, I could see my spots off of my corners wich always makes me feel more confident. So Kate was clear in the first round, and then jumped-off really well. She came second in the class and Connie was fourth. FWIW the rider that won went like a bat out of hell.

Kate over the last in the 1.10m class

I stayed on Kate and after jumping one big oxer in the warm-up went straight back into the ring to jump the bigger class. I rode first in this class knowing it would be a bit of a rush to get Connie warmed up as the class was quite small. Kate started off a little hot because she had just come off the jump off but about halfway round she was like oh this are bigger and settled down a lot more. Man she was giving the jumps some air. See how much she is clearing the fence by in the picture above. I'm really struggling to stay with her she is putting so much power to the ground. I'm going to get some boot tack which is like a resin that is tacky and helps keep your leg against the saddle. Anyway, she jumped our first clear round at this height and was going awesome in the jump-off until ITook an angle too sharp and missed my spot and she stopped because I sort of gave up. Silly goose. Still she jumped awesome and she finished the course really nicely so I can't complain.

Connie in the 1.10m class

By the time I got to Connie I was pretty tired. It was quite hot and I was batlting a bit. Anyway she warmed up awesome and jumped awesome. I was second to last to ride in this class so i knew there had only been one double clear. Anyway, Connie jumped really well and was clear in the first round which I was rapt about. If she had two rails but tried hard i would have been over the moon so to jump clear was really cool. The pelham certainly helped because it helped me keep her together more. So to the jump-off and I put down a really good round with tight but not ridiculous lines. She saved my butt in the double when I jumped in too quiet and had to ride hard to make the distance to the second fence and I went " go pony, go pony" and I'm still getting a lot of shit about that. Apparently she jumped that second fence humoungous. Such a good pony though to help me out like that. We came down to the last and I chased her a bit when I didn't need to and she hit the jump hard and I landed waiting to hear the rail fall- a little disappointed after she had done so well. but it didn't fall! And she won the class.

Little Connie won her first ever 1.10m class. Last time she was at this show which was 21 months ago, it was her second ever show and I mostly trotted her around the 80cm class. The second and third riders weren't that keen to victory lap but there was no way I was missing my chance at letting Connie have her victory gallop. Freaking awesome. Kate ended up fourth in that class as well so both my horses placed in both their classes. It was a very very good day. The best day I have had in a really long time. It's funny how once I had jumped 1.10m on Kate it was so much easier to move Connie up. Onward and upward I guess. Shit I'm lucky with my girls.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No Clinic

I didn't get it pulled off, I didn't get Kate sound enough in time and then Connie joined her with some lameness, mostly by throwing a shoe and taking a lot of foot with it. I'm still optimistic they will be right by the weekend and I'll be able to do the Gladstone sports day. Ahh Horses you do make it difficult. Still there maybe a clinic in early Jan and I'd love to get to that one.

I have continued my search for a bit for Connie because I haven't been loving the feel of the waterford lately. I tried her in a rubber pelham and she was so so soft in it but wanted to fall behind the bridle. I can see how in a few seasons time when she is stronger and hotter and jumping bigger fences I might need it but for now we are back in a bendy rubber straight bar snaffle and she is already well started on chewing through it. She just stays so much softer to the aids, though once we get out at a show she may just bolt and I'll have no brakes so time will tell on that one.

It's currently hosing down despite being the second day of Summer. I'm not sure Summer is ever coming now TBH, I'm so looking forward to this weekend and I'll do the 1m class and the 1.10m class on them both, soundness pending of course. After a bit of a break I'm really excited to get back into showing. Aiming for the 1.15championship on the 20th of December with Kate, it's exciting to be working towards another upgrade, so fingers crossed and we will see how it goes. Tough on the horses though, Saturday is Gladstone, the following Friday and Saturday is Feilding A&P and then the following Wednesday I'm heading to Taupo for the Christmas classic which runs over 4 days. Then maybe Kyrewood on the 27th and 28th though I don't like that show :(

Monday, November 23, 2009

It never fails

So I signed up for a two day clinic being held next week with a top NZ showjumper who is in the country over the summer and when I walk out to the horses, what you you know Kate has a fat leg. She has a small cut on the outside of her right fore and her whole leg has blown up but the tendon feels good and she is barely lame so here is hoping I can salvage this clinic because Kate is the one I really need to take.

So she was cold hosed and given penicillin and herbal anti-inflammatories and poulticed and wrapped all day and it has improved marginally, there is less swelling. More anti-inflammatories tonight (It's Devils claw and yucca, sold in NZ as BLS, and I think as Buteless in America? I love the stuff) and I have left the wraps off and will wash and wrap again tomorrow. But curses! The timing sucks, thats so typical of horses.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ride the horse you have

I'm really lucky you know. My family set out to breed a horse and after losing the Hanoverian X colt that we had to a growth plate injury we breed Connies mum to the Andalusian stallion down the road. And yes he was a nice stallion but lets be honest Andy TB crosses can come out pretty funky looking. We got lucky with Connie she is a very attractive mare with her greatest flaw being slightly back at the knee which means I'm always careful what surfaces I jump her on. She was an ugly duckling I have to say and she still has this tiny petite pretty little head which is a surprise, but she is a nicely balanced functional sort of horse.

The biggest problem I'm having with Connie is that every so often I chase her to a ridiculous spot and it comes from the fact that last season before she went out we had very little collection. We either moved up to a fence or stalled and did an awkward jump. I'm riding a different horse now to the horse I had last year and it's me that has to make the adjustment t ride the horse I have. She is so much stronger, to the point that she is sometimes a strong ride (hence the change to the waterford- it is a lot better than the rubber snaffle I think I would have no horse in that once I got in the ring) But she can collect and hold herself together and it's time I got a little tougher about her doing what I ask of her instead of bringing her along baby slow. She is seven after all but it is still only her second season of jumping and she only did half a season last year before she got put out by injury.

The other problem was me. It's not until I just upgraded with Kate that I even really thought of doing it with Connie, and after her confident performance in the 1.05m championship which she took completely in her stride I realise Connie is ready for way more now. So I'm really looking forward to her first 1.10m classes. Had a little jump play in the paddock today and she popped over a 1.20m upright just as easy as anything and I was like wow I have to stop treating her like the awkward ugly duckling she used to be and really ride this very nice little horse I have here. I have so much to work on though I really need to practice jumping now because just showing gets me in bad habits really quickly, mostly in terms of chasing spots. I'm trying to substitute aggression and speed for the bravery I'm lacking to the bigger fences and I just need to chill out and stop dropping out a stride to the fences while maintaining a confident powerful canter. Man you guys riding is complicated!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Plan

Never got out of the gate on Sunday, I had too much farm work to do so that was a bit lame. I have a bit of a break now with the next show being Gladstone Sports day where I'll do the 1m and the 1.10m on both of them and then it's Fielding A+P show and finally the Christmas Classic at Taupo to finish off the preChristmas year. I may go to Kyrewood after Christmas and then thats all the shows on this side of the year. Mad eh, it's going past unbelievably quickly.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh Bum!

I do believe I'm getting sick. i have been feeling rather crappy all day and it's only getting worse which is rather inconvenient because my Dad is away on a trip so i'm running the farm and so can't get sick. I went to ride Kate yesterday and Kim was going to help me do a bit of jumping- the first jumping since my dive last weekend, and my only chance to jump before the show on Sunday. Now Kate has been really really angry when I have been getting on her, but I haven't been able to find any back or muscle pain. Yesterday however, as soon as I started trotting for my warm-up I knew she was lame and she is off on the corners in her right fore. I'm hoping it's related to her feet as she needs her shoes reset and I'm hoping that as soon as that happens she will be fine again. Her legs are all cool and dry and tight so I don't think it's soft tissue.

So tomorrow only Connie will be going to the show, but I suspect the ground will be hard and she isn't great on hard ground. If he feels ouchy I will definitely scratch her. She can do her first 1.10m class elsewhere I'm in no rush. After this show I have a break until the 6th of December I think show wise and it will be nice to have a wee break and to get some schooling/hacking adventures into them. I don't know if I have stated this before but my goal for the season for Kate is the basic amatuer class at horse of the year over 1.10m-1.20m. It would be really awesme to have Connie ready for this class too. If she can jump this high of course bahaha!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Waikato Showjumping at Kihikihi

Kate in the 1.10m class on Saturday- photo taken by Rons Photos

Another big trip but I have to say Kihikihi was an awesome show. It was a three star show so the grand prixs and series classes were all maximum height so there was plenty of exciting classes to watch. Kate was in 1.10m classes on the friday and Saturday while Connie was in the 1m on the firday and then 1.05m on saturday. On the sunday they were both in the 1.05m championship class.

Anyway, all of the rings had plenty going on in them. Even ring three which often has no fill at all had a liverpool and bushes in the double and a few walls, pickets and the like. Connie had a rail in the 1m class after I made her hot by chasing her to a spot. Oops. I have to stop leaving strides out from the corner. I have gotten too agressive about chasing distances on both of them. Kate had one rail in the 1.10m class, I need to keep her together more.

Saturday same deal- Connie had 1 rail in her first 1.05m class but my goodness I was glad to feel her try a little and actually get off of the ground so that was really cool. Kate jumped awesome and I rode her better- a lot more together and contained but had a circle before the third fence when I chickened out in front of a big oxer. Of course she jumped it awesome once I grew some testicles.

She warmed up amazing for the 1.05m championship I was riding her really well and I got well a little complacent. Cantered in way to quietly to the first, not enough leg or enthusiasum of anything. I was way to casual and so Kate left me at the base of fence one and then booked it (I obviously gave her a real fright) out over the tape around the edge of the arena and back to Connie.

After I caught back up with Kate I decided not to get back on and go to the practise fence because Kates old enough to know her job and Connies turn in the same class was quickly looming. That and we would have done the practise fence fine. I'll have a jump during the week at home and then I have another start at a small local show so I have to just put it behind me and move on which I will do from now.

Getting on Connie and going ou to jump sucked because it was a big (For 1.05) track- lots of maximum sized oxers and spooky spooky with a few tricky distances. Now Connie isn't green anymore but she has never felt particularily scopey so you can never tell if she will make the step up. Anyway, she jumped awesome despite the shocking ride I gave her (especially to the first) after being shaken up by my fall. The rail was my fault because my corner sucked! Anyway check out how nice she jumps over fence three the pink oxer. Gooo Connie. So a really mixed bag but mostly good I feel.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wairarapa A+P Show Sunday- 1.10m class

It's safe to say that the thought of doing this class had me fretting all day. I have this mental block about moving up I swear. Everytime I sort of moved up with Fred or connie last year it was a disaster of sorts, though Fred did have one decent 1.10m round to his name. I don't feel like a rider who is good enough to ride the bigger classes. It may be ridiculous, 1.10m (3'6") being not that big, but I really do struggle with my feelings of inadequacy as a rider. I have always been a bit like this, but Having Fred last year really brought these feelings to the forefront. It was hard with Fred because while I acknowledge that anytime something went wrong it was because I made a mistake, he had no generosity and would take instant advantage. It's strange now to have Connie and Kate both of whom will pick up some of the slack if you will, leaving me free to make mistakes and not get hurt for them. It's a real relief I have to say and it will help me get my confidence back.

Anyway, all day I was saying I couldn't do it. And I genuinely thought I would pull out for most ofthe day. So I rode my metre and there were a few horses to go in the 1.10m class. My friend who watched the 1m class was just like you can't jump her that height anymore because it's ridiculous (and he is right). It just seem like a huge mind bend that a horse would jump bigger fences for me. Especially because it was spooky! Black planks, a liverpool and a big filler compared to ring three that had no fill. Still my logical brain could see tha 1. It was a nice looking flowing course, 2. The jumps weren't that big even at 1.10m and 3.Kate is a really good horse. In the end my friend was lied to me (I think anyway mostly because the fences were definitely 10cm bigger than the 1m) And said that it hadn't gone up from the 1.05 class before and I was happy to latch onto this lie and I went down to warm up.

It was so weird though, she got into the warm-up for the bigger classes and she changed I swear. the canter was different. I don't know if I got serious and she felt it or what but she had this really rhythymical powerful canter that i haven't ever had before. So over the cross, then the 1.05m upright and then the 1.05m oxer and I was hitting my spots and she felt amazing. (I was secretly hoping for an excuse to pull out). Oxer went up to like 1.10-1.15m range and I cantered in and the spot was there and she boomed over it. Such a good horse. I did nearly crash into someone two strides on landing but thats warm up arenas.

I cannot describe how sick I felt waiting to go in. Anyway, give the judge my name show her the fill and the planks and the liverpool, which she spooked at of course. Reassuring. Anyway, the bell goes and I canter into the first and it just sort of happened. The spot was there and we went over. I was a little amazed I think haha. And it was good. The canter being so good helped and having an actual jump in front of her, made Kate better too, actually more confident and more willing to listen. She did back off the fill but not eve so you could see it, just a little bit that I could feel and I just put my legs on her and she boomed over it. Same to the liverpool. Bold as into the double. The spot was a little long into the double but I backed her and she is clever as so it wasn't a problem. She did the little are you sure at the planks as well but she just wants leg to reassure her. She finished well I just let her travel too much down the related distance. I need to remember that her stride is longer than the standard stride and so needs to be always checked. So she got close to the last and had a rail but I was over the moon with her. And me too, I guess for getting some testicles and getting it done. Looking at the video it looks like a really smooth round on both of our behalves. It felt so good eh I hope it feels that good next time :) Not bad I think considering we have only done 7 classes together previously and only 4 of them 1m classes. Anyway, enjoy the video I guess.

Wairarapa A+P Show- Sunday the 1m class

So after milking I trundled down to Clareville for the last day of the Wairarapa A+ P show. For those of you that aren't in New Zealand, the A and P stands for agricultural and pastoral and basically it's a big fair with donkey classes, and western classes and english disciplines and cattle showing and pig showing and sheep showing and home crafts etc I have no idea what the equivalent overseas would be. They are quite good because they have a lot of atmosphere so that gives the horses plenty to look at.

Anyway, I arrived at midday, got bitched at for parking to close and I pointed out there was plenty of room and I want to point out shehad no trouble getting out despite it not being within her stated driving abilities. I so would have moved the truck if she hadn't been so rude especially when I'm exhausted for having just worked 5 hours straight you know. Anyway, I rode Connie in the 1m first and she was double clear. Fun times the class was a TAM5 so instead of everyone who jumps double clear getting a ribbon and the "win" we jumped off against the clock. It's good practise at these smaller heights. Anyways, she jumped super cute as she does but still have to get onto this bit issue. I'm thinking waterford or back to the rubber snaffle and we will see what happens. she is a lot stronger and more up than last season so I might struggle to hold her in a rubber snaffle now. Regardless, below are the videos of her rounds. She didn't place in this class. It's interesting watching her, she really doesn't cover a lot of ground so she isn't particularily quick. I also want to point out that this was the second weirdest jumpoff I have ever done- so many loopy turns and both the doubles?! Unheard of.

Because I had Kate in the 1.1m class I really wanted to ride her last so I could do the 1m and then go straight to my 1.1m and as it worked out that worked beautifully. I was hoping for a beefy 1m class but it was tiny eh which was a bit lame. Both Connie and Kate shouldn't be in the 1m classes anymore. Luckily, Connie has some 1.05m classes at Kihikihi next weekend so we can see how that goes. Ahh back to the point! Kate just skipped around as she does and I put some gas on for the jump-off and she was fourth which I was rapt with. First time really riding her against the clock. Everytime I jump her we get a little bit better eh. (Sad story- A girl came up to Kate patted her on the neck and went " Back in the 1ms eh Kate" and walked off. I felt stink!)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wairarapa A+P Show

Connie and Kate both jumped gorgeous clear rounds. Kate seemed a little dull today very relaxed compared to Te Teko show which I found really odd it was like riding a different horse. Had a complete miss to the last because I took a pull on the corner but Kate saved my ass so it's all good. Anyway, here is a video of Kate- again advice and critiques are welcome. I promise not to throw my toys.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wairarapa Showjumping and Showhunter Championships - the Results

I apologise in advance for the lack of photos but as I'm no longer with my phototaking guy, I'm kind of sunk in that regard. So anyway, the show ran Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (labour day woo!) and I had a lovely night at the pub friday evening with my horsey friends. Anyway, on the Saturday I had both Kate and Connie in the 95cm and kim had rascal in the same class. Connie jumped super cute and was double clear for the "win". A1 class wghich means everyone that jumps a double clear is tied for he win. It's to encourage people to not jump-off like maniacs against the clock in the smaller classes.Kate jumped ok- a little hot- and had a lazy rail but still it was pretty good. Rascal was also double clear and one of my friends watching said it was hard to tell who was had the biggest smile as they went around, Kim with her big grin or Radscal with her pricked as ears.

The Sunday Connie was in the Welcome hunter, the first year registered, and the amateur hunter. She was jumping awesome in the Welcome hunter but then took a rail in the double. She was even better in the first year registered but crossfired the canter on the last corner- Nooo! Showhunter is hard and I should stop doing it until she has all of her leads solid. The amateur was the same, she jumped really well but crossfired. She did pout her tongue over thebit which caused some hilarity. I could see her tongue swirling around outside her mouth after I jumped a practise fence and said "Kim, is her tongue over the bit?" Kim was just like "yup" and turned away content that what I had said was correct. And then she was like "ooohh! Thats not right!" and fixed it for me. I'm going to try Connie in a waterford bit because she likes bendy bits and she is too bracy in the mullen mouth and so she is loosing her shape over the fences sometimes. If Connie doesn't get bracey she has a beautiful shape over a jump. And I know you are thinking hmm it takes two to brace and that is correct so it's something I have to work on too, it's just the natural respoonse when horses start running you at fences.

I ended up catchriding a friends horse- very tall narrow chestnut horse with Irish ancestry in the 90cm and he jumped a double clear and was quite fun. He is a bit of a dork but a decent horse to ride, still pretty green but wants to do the job just likes lots and lots of leg. Then Kate was in the 1m class and she was double clear in that and she jumpoed awesome as but I got a bit too noisy with the hand to some of the fences. On the Monday Kate, Connie, and Patrick were all in the 1m class and Patrick was double clear and I got down there late on Connie and Kate. I was warming up Kate and I rushed her too much and chased a stupid spot and had a hard refusal which I deserved for being late in the first place, for rushing Kates warm-up, and for chasing spots. It just knocks the confidence some. And so then I gave up on rushing and retired them both from the class. I was pretty gutted about that to be honest but being disorganised is pretty lame. I need to get my act together more.

Anyway, it was mostly a good show and the weather was stunning for 3 days and that NEVER happens at this show. Last year it was an absolute bog. My next show was going to be Kihikihi in a fortnights time, but instead I'm going to do the Saturday and the Sunday of the Wairarapa A&P show and Do 1m on Saturday on Connie and Kate and the same on Connie the next day and perhaps the 1.10m on Kate on the Sunday. Good times.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Looking to Wairarpa SJ and SH Championships

Thats my next show and it's on this weekend coming. Should be a different one because Kim and I are also doing the showhunters as well as the jumpers. Fun times. It has been really frustrating lately because things aren't coming together that well. The weather has been sucky lately and none of the horses are getting enough work. Kate needs so much schooling to build strength and Connie is locking up in front of the fences and running me a bit deep. I managed to have a tiny jump school yesterday over a small crossbar where I just circled her away from the fence whenever she got strong and once she popped over she actually jumped in a pretty nice shape. Mostly because she didn't poke her nose at in front of the fence and run down to it.

Connie is probably still a little unhappy about me changing her bit from a rubber straight bar to a metal eggbutt mullen mouth, but she was chewing through a bit a month and it was costing me a small fortune. She does brace against this one a little more when she is cross but then works very softly and evenly in it when she isn't. So it can stay for now. The bracing in front of the fence would probably happen in either bit anyway. I'm glad she is excited about getting to the fence and doing her job but it bugs me that I haven't had the opportunity to school this issue out and it's the end of October. I want to move her up at some point but she wont move up until her jump improves. She really isn't that fit so she only has 4 starts in the upcoming show. I really wanted to maybe do 1.10m on Kate here but I just haven't had enough saddle time on her. Still they are both lovely girls so i can't really complain.

Oh and the very worst thing is that i have discovered I have gotten really crooked in my riding. Way to much weight in right hand side. I think it's from when I sprained my left ankle last December and i have been "protecting" it ever since but it's getting worse and worse. It's most apparent on Connie because of her flat round back- the saddle slips- but now I know i'm doing it i can feel myself trying to do it on everything I ride. Bad Becky. Still now I know I can fix it and already Connie i much much straighter and picking up the right lead better so thats something I guess. It's just frustrating that It got this bad before I noticed. The curse of no lessons.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Te Teko Show- The long road home

So having heard numerous reports from different sources that several roads were closed we were trying to find out how we could get home. My friend was keen for home and wasn't keen to stay and I had to be home to work in the morning. National Park was still open so we headed off. Thankfully, my friend had pulled out of the Grand Prix so we left a couple of hours earlier than we otherwise would have and had we stayed for it we wouldn't have gotten through National Park. We left the gates at Te Teko about 2.30pm.

It was actually quite fun initially once we hit the snow because it's pretty unusual for us and so we all had a play in it and took lots of pictures. It continued to get worse and if I said I wasn't a little worried about how much snow was falling I would be lying. We knew it was going to be a hell of a trip because we were heading for Wanganui. At Raetihi there was a turn back to Waiouru and there were no signs saying the road was closed ahead so we thought we would give it a whack.

My cousin Bridie rocking the jandals

We hit Ohakune for more snow and so more photos. At this point I climbed in the back with the ponies and climbed over the black horse and walking down on top of the chest bins and in front of the horses heads to see how my girls were. They were all side by side and I was surprised how cold they were because it's very rare for horses to be cold in the box. So then I had to go all the way down the box closing the windows which made the horses roll their eyes at me.

Ohakune with Kim

We struck out for Waiouru but were turned back about 5kms out of Ohakune. Lame! Update your signs guys! You added an hour to our trip. So we turned around and headed for Wanganui again. Now I'm not going to lie I was asleep for this part, but Kim said there was a sign 56kms to Wanganui and she was like yup ok not so far. Then they drove for ages, really up and down and lots of slow corners. And then they saw a sign that was like 46 kms to Wanganui and Kim was like on lame. Then they drove for ages and ages again and the next sign said Wanganui 36kms and Kim was like noooooo! It turned into a hell of a mission.

We rolled into my house after some very quiet final hours of desperately trying to stay awake and make conversation. It was 12.15 and the horses were desperate to get off of the truck poor ponies. I would have loved to have put the mares into warm stables when we arrived but they got thrown out into the paddock with a very bitter win. Poor girls. After packing I rolled into bed at 1am and then was back up at 5.30 to go to work. Lame! I was like a Zombie all day and the girls were pretty stiff.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Te Teko Show- Video

Here is video of Kate jumping the first part of the 1m class. Feel free to offer any advice.

Te Teko Show- Part 2

See the difference in weather between Saturday and sunday?? Brr! Also isn't Rascal a really nice looking horse

Another early sort of a start but 6am felt like a great sleep-in to me so I was bouncing of the walls all morning! This didn't last, the greyer the day got, the greyer I got. I took one look at the 90cm class and went "OMG it's huge" and went green. This of course cracked my sister up and to be honest it was a really nice course. I just lose all perspective overnight, and turn into a big wussy.

Connie over fence one. I am amused how it looks like we both have duck butts. and as you can see it wasn't big at all I just have an overactive imagination.

What was really nice was that I only had Connie in the first class so it was a leisurely saddle up for me and I gave her a really good warm up. She started off really resistant but once she softened she worked really well. Over the warm up fence she was blowing off my half halt though and racing to the fence as we were jum[ping towards the truck. Once in the ring she jumped well. Neighed/Screamed all the way to fence 1 and I'm not sure she really saw it, but we cleared it. Went well from there until a jump in the middle that I took a ridiculously long take off spot too. What happened is I lost my canter in the corner and sort of hesistated to see my spot (bad habit of mine) so then had to (shouldn't had- could have added a stride) chase to the fence. Had I ridden her all the way round the corner it would have been a good spot. Le sigh. Also got insanely deep to the last fence- you can see the awkwardness of her jump in the picture. I really need to jump this horse a little more- doing crossrails and ground poles like I did with Kate to train the canter and my eye. Unfortunately, Connie is so much fun I tend to not take her seriously enough.

Connie over the last. Check out her near foreleg. How can her foot go that far to the side?? She is an andalusian thats how she moves, haha!

Then Kim rode Rascal in this class. This was a smart move because she missed a lot of the bad weather. I had already decided to pull connie out of the 95cm as she had jumped well enough and there wasn't really anything to gain from another class. If she had been looky at the fences then sure, but she jumped well enough that I was happy to leave it.

Rascal showing great use of head and neck over a fence and Kim showing an enviable position (what you can see of her)

Kim and Rascal definitely improved an incredible amount over the show. Kim needs to learn to trust her nnew horse and give her a slightly more positive ride to the fences, while maintaining the canter and not making her run. It's a difficult task. She used roller spurs in this round and the two of them put in a really nice smooth round that she should be very proud of. She just a had a rail at the last fence.

Rascal and Kim over the last

Then Kim and I ended up late again for the 95cm which Kate and Rascal were both still in. It was awful cold by now and raining, and again we were helping my friend who put in an excellent round in the 1.25m class. So we scratched from the 95cm and my friend pulled out of the GP and we started to look at pacing up and going home. But then we had to wait for my cousin to do her 1.10m class and so I decided to warm up Kate for the 1m class and see how she handled the rapidly worsening ground conditions. I was concerned because the day before one of her studs had literally sheared off and she had slipped abit in that afternoon. I couldn't remove the thread of the stud so I only had an inside stud on that foot. I ahte only having one stud ina foot because I feel it adds torsion to the leg and especially the inside because they so easily stud themselves.

Kates shorn off stud, with her large inside pointy stud for the bad conditions.

Anyway she warmed up really well though I was so nervous eh. Jumped a big oxer in the warm-up of about 1.05m which didn't make me feel any better but hey. It sucked that they hadn't moved the jumps for a few rounds so it was well chopped up in front of the fences.

Kate over the last fence in the first round

Anyway, she jumped amazingly despite being handicapped by me. I was clear in the first round and then in the jump-off (Proper jump-off for money this time) which went well over the first but then at the wall I saw a short stride she went for the jump (she is better at this than me) and I did a bit of an aerial. Landed in the saddle and continued but I had my stirrup backwards and they are one directional stirrups. So stopped, got my stirrup the right way round, and jumped the last three fences really well.

Kate over the last in the jump-off

Poor Kate I let her down really, but I think I got a bit excited by being in the jump-off. Still I was super pleased with her considering the average conditions.

Apparently this picture does not reveal the full extent of how bad the rain was haha!

So we started to pack up and then the first reports of snow started to come in. I was sent a PXT of the snow on the Napier-Taupo road, and then conformation that our most direct route home was closed. Curses!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Te Teko Show- Part 1

Packing up to leave for the racecourse in the morning- Dan holding Rascal with Kate in the background and Connie obscured

Gosh the whole weekend rather turned into an adventure. It went up and down like you wouldn't believe and it quite the tale as those readers who also have my facebook must now know. Anyway, we left about 1 oclock from my house and arrived at my Aunties about 8 o'clock so it was a hell of a trip. I managed to convince my friend who has a 7 horse truck that seeing as Taranaki was cancelled she should go to Hawera. And thank goodness I did because when we struck out it was windy as and Truckie isn't as good in the wind (or anything really....sorry Truckie) as her truck is. I'm not sure she is so pleased I talked her into it after the weekend but at the time it seemed like a great idea.

Kim and the lap dog

We picked up my Cousin in Ashurst so we had four people and a staffy dog in the cab which made for an interesting journey. Not the comfiest but we survived. There was some complaining about how we were going to a show where it was forecast to rain, but hey it happens right- it is spring in NZ.So anyways, we arrived at my Aunties and then we all got up bright and early to feed horses and load out to head of to day parking. We got an awesome park next to the fence which meant we could could Kim and my girls away from Anna's boys, especially because one of hers thinks he is pretty studly and two of the girls are pretty boy friendly. It was also insanely warm. The day started with a chilly breeze but was amazingly hot by the end of the day.

Connie with Kate in the background

The thing I love about Te Teko show is that they have a huge range of classes starting at 80cm on the first day and lots and lots of smaller classes .90-1.10m classes. They also have a wall in every ring. Being able to jump a wall in competition at the smallest heights makes it a lot easier than if you don't see them until you are doing 1.10m classes. The courses all weekend were young horse friendly also. So as you do, we wandered around the showgrounds, watched a few rounds, pulled a few manes, And when we got back to the truck we found that Rascal, without having done a lick of work found herself to exhausted to go on and so she laid down for a lovely sleep. She did this at Te Teko last year also only she had a saddle on then so it was a lot less cute.

So there aren't any photos from the jumping on the saturday because Dan was at cricket. The first class was the 90cm and they were all in it. Rode connie first and she was a dick to start of with and screamed the entire time. I know she will get past this as the season goes on but for now it is quite annoying. Still she jumped well for a double clear with out hesitation at the wall and she did a very cute cute over the picket. She is so bold and happy in her job it's time to start doing more with her. I do have a wee problem with her canter, mostly that it's at an in between stage and I need to work more on developing the "perfect canter" and doing more small feces on her for my eye when I'm riding her because between her and Kate there is quite a difference. Kim and Rascal were also double clear and so was Kate. It was a A1 class so basically everyone that gets a clear round "wins".

The 95cm was a bit of a debacle because I was helping my friend in ring 1 and Kim and I were the last three people to ride in the class. I jumped on Kate and she jumped clear but I turned the wrong way once and after I overshot nine I retired. She jumped really well but I didn't know my course well enough. Kim I think had a rail (I was rapidly saddling up horse two and didn't see it) and then on Connie who had one practise fence- poor mare I hate doing that- I had a rail in the double but the round was a little speedy. The is a bit of a ctach 22 in that I need to keep her forward without her getting speedy but she tends to break so some work needs to be done. And she really isn't that fit after the puncture wound in her foot so I was pleased with her.

Rascal, Kate and Connie having dinner in the yards before being put in their paddock for the night.

Then we packed up and we took everyone back to my Aunties and we enjoyed some bourbons in my Aunties incredible garden listening to some tunes and yarning. It was good times all round.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Posty posty.

Haha Sharon you are a litte premature. Te Teko show is the weekend coming. Am I organised. Ahh no. Do i have two horses each missing a shoe. Ahh yes. I'm I starting to get a little stressed?? Ahh yess. Last weekend on the sunday Kim and I went cross country schooling with Rascal and connie. Connie has never jumped a XC fence but once she go the idea she was excellent. Just a few dramas with the ditch haha! And she nearly rolled in the water jump, her knees buckled and I was like " Nooo!". sorry it will be a short update I have a million thins to do but yea in three days I will be in/have complated the first clss for the new season and thats exciting.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Solway Practise Day

Sigh I have to say having had a little much fun this weekend I was pretty tired going to this but havin Truckie on the road again with Kim in the passenger seat and nice horses in the back was amazing. Rascal was very cute but then went amazing once Kim figured out the canter she wanted and they both jumped really well. Kim just neds to learn to trust her because really Rascal doesn't stop.

Kate was also excellent. Required a lot of leg to the liverpool and I have one miscommunication with her about when we should take off and I landed rather heavily on her back and that upset her a little. Thankfully for me she didn't just bury me but it tok me the rest of the ride to get the balls to jump that line again and she did it nice as, I just needed to dogleg more to the liverpool and ride on to it. But basically I'm feeling more and more confident on her, she adores her job and I love her to pieces. When I think of all the fun I missed out on riding Fred wen I could have had something like Kate I kick myself, but then it worked out so I did learn a lot and so that I ended up with Kate who suits me well. I wont ever take that long to pass a horse in again though. Just not worth it. So I guess feeling happy and excited about the first show in a fortnight, just need to go kick Connies ass into gear now.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Entries are out

Okey dokey. Entries to the first show are out. We are starting at Te Teko in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. My Aunty lives 5 mins from the showgrounds and it was such a nice show and it's far far away from anyone we know! haha excellent plan. I plan to stat conservatively even though I think I'm lame for doing so. Better to start low and find it easy and move up. The conundrum is that Kate is experienced as but then as a combination we are pretty green I have no idea what she will be like once we are out, or in the ring.

So all three Connie, Kate and rascal are in the 90 and 95cm the first day and then Kate and Rascal do the 95-1m. Though if it goes really well with Kate I may do the 1m and then the 1.05m so there are options. Connie does another 90cm and 95cm on the Sunday. She isn't fit at all and has hardly any work so I'm heading for a cruisy start to the season. I'm riding her again, she is about 99% now but I wont be jumping her for a while longer yet. The cause of her lameness was a puncture wound in her sole but thats mostly resolved now, I was too late finding it to help much.

Practise day at solway on Sunday so will jump Kate, Kim will jump Rascal and I'll school connie there so at least they have all had an outing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

More gridwork

So we did gridwork again, but this time it was my turn. We did similar grids to what I discussed earlier when Kim jumped Rascal. Started with rails on the ground and cantered throughthem and Kate was just as happy as a kid hunting Easter eggs. She was initially sticky when I first got on because she didn't like the feel of the stud girth but once she had had a canter she was fine.

Then did crossrail to an upright to a small oxer. Built the oxer bigger and bigger and she stayed bold as through it, at one point jumping the first ground rail and the crossrail- a jump of 9 feet across! What was she thinking! But smooth as, I had to ask Kim what had happened. Built the oxer up until it was 1.20m at it's highest point and about the same across. The first time I did a 1.10m oxer she just powered off of the gorund and I was like Damn Kim you have to try this. So Kim went down the grid on her a few times and we both agreed she is a powerhouse. The problems we did come up with are that I unfold too fast and Kate pulls left over the big fences, so there is plenty to work on there because I really have to stay forward to encourage her to loosen up behind.

Then we went to a big Cross behind, and as I said before they back horses off and Kate stopped the first time because I didn't put enough leg on her. After she had been over it once she was good as gold. As you can see from the photos it encourages her to loosen up behind (she still doesn't have a nice trail though I think I should get a chiropracter to her because she has an inflexible back) and made her knees super cute and tight in front.

You can see her power off the ground here, she really springs off of those back legs.

Ah love! What a good horse.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The latest post

Oh man oh man, I am living groundhog day and i'm having trouble with my registrations. I do believe I will be sending of my third check to ESNZ tomorrow for forty dollars owing to Kim's horse, for a reason I don't understand but joy oh joy they wont register Kate until it is done. I'm getting really tired of being financially pillaged to fund our high performance programs which seem to achieve sweet F all. Money seems to just fly away from me, sigh. I'm sure I shouldn't be this broke. Perhaps I need a better job, but that would mean sacrificing alot. Such as free grazing, help with costs,time to ride in the middle of the day.

Connie is still lame. It's really mild but still there. I think it's in her foot but can realy find not alot wrong with her feet. Treated a bit of trush but it shouldn't have been bad enough to make her lame especially as she was totally unreactive when I stabbed at her foot with my hoofpck so who knows. The farrier comes on tuesday so will be interesting to see what he says. I wonder is perhaps it is muscular and related to changing the angles in that foot which is clubby?? But that is also very expensive especially because I will get an epic lecture about how her saddle doesn't fit perfectly. It doesn't and I know this but she needs a custom saddle and I'm poor. It fits her about as well as any non custom saddle could and she has never had any back pain so What can you do?

And Kate?? Oh my word I love Kate, what a cool horse. She has been packing me around so nicely. Has gallops the other days on the hills and she was a lot faster than I thought considering she never even trialled as a racehorse. I love how sensitive she is. Riding rather behind the leg steady types has made me a bit of a blunt tool as a rider and she is making me regain some finesse.She is picking up the schooling super fast so it's mostly about building strength and going forward more now. She can be a bit backwards when I first start working her and I have to get her more forward off of the leg.

I had a good play today just jumping crossrails (So as not to kill us both when I missed) and trying to figure her out. She likes to run to her fences, but not if I stay really quiet, and I can steady her in front of the fence but I have to do it very smoothly and quietly. If I can steady her she doesn't get so deep and jumps much nicer. She felt really good though and I love how she is a grumpy old mare until you put a fence in front of her or have a gallop. She is all about the fun parts of being ridden thats for sure. And she is a hungry little pig. She lost some condition over the winter which I'm kicking myself about but she is picking up quickly despite the reasonably heavy workload.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weather and Gridwork.

Sigh the weather has just bombed the last two days. Today it was so windy my parents had to hold onto the quad bike to keep from being blown down the hill. Being literally blown off of your feet as I have been a couple of times in the last two days is a truely odd feeling. i don't think I have ever been out in winds like this. It makes working an absolute mare, it feels like when you are walking into it it's pulling the air out of your mouth and it makes everything more tiring. So if there are more spelling mistakes in the post (Than normal of course, I am aware my spelling blows) blame the wind.

So anyway, a couple of days ago Kim and I built a grid for Rascal. I was pottering around bareback- getting some really nice lateral work and Connie is really starting to free up her neck from her shoulders but I'm losing some of the forward without the security of my saddle to really drive her up into the bridle. Incidently, Connie is lame now with a suspected foot abcess so that is a complete blowout. Anyway, I didn't ride for long because helping Kim was more interesting. And of course there are no photos so I'll try to use lots of describing words.

Anyway the grid looked like this to start of with- 6 rails 9 feet apart. Got Rascal walking and trotting through this- the stridings don't quite work at these gaits but it's really good to get her comfortable with the grid. It was a fairly short striding grid- I opened the last combination out about another foot later on once the fences went up to allow for the bigger landing distance. It doesn't seem like muh but with ascending fences it makes a difference. Anyway, it was a short striding grid because we were looking to get her really powering off of her hocks.

Eventually you build up the grid to
groundrail- 9ft- crossbar- 9ft- rail- 9ft- crossbar- 9ft- rail- 9ft- small oxer

The problem that arose was this firstly that Rascal was basically ignoring the first cross and making a hash of it because she was more focused on the fences to come. So I put a little wall under the first cross and though Kim had to use more leg we achieved the ideal in that she actually looked at it and jumped it well. Then we changed it up (It's important to change grids often, if they get repetitive the point is lost)

groundrail- 9ft- crossbar- 9ft- rail- 9ft- upright- 9ft- rail- 10ft- ascending oxer

We gradually built up the oxer to about 1.10m high and 1.10m wide which would be bigger than Rascal has ever jumped having had most of last season of and being only 6. She actually started to really jump which was nice to see, and to open up behind which was even better. This brought up another issue which was Kimbles (Sorry love haha making an example of you). Basically the bigger fence was making Kim change her riding, she wanted to both really drive Rascal to the oxer and to unfold to early and in doing so catching Rascal's mouth as she came down.

My theory on gridwork is it's about training the horse so ideally the rider stays very quiet and in two point, allowing with the hand over the fence and lots of leg on take-off but basically letting the horse do the job for it's self. In that way you train the horse to think for itself as well as training it's strength and agility. Once Kim could trust Rascal and stayed quiet she got some beautiful jumping out of the little horse.

Then I built this grid
groundrail- 9ft- crossbar- 9ft- rail- 9ft- upright- 9ft- rail- 10ft- steep cross

Now steep crosses are just that steep crosses- I'm talking on the top holes of the stands. Steep crosses will make your horse get his knees up around his ears but they will also back him off a lot so if your horse is really chicken to fences I don't suggest it until he is bolder. Rascal took a lot of riding to it and when she got there she jumped over the shoulder and folded her legs underneath her. Gross! So I pushed the cross back so the face of it sloped and the next time down she nearly boomed Kim out the saddle and really got those knees up! Nice!

Final grid
groundrail- 9ft- crossbar- 9ft- rail- 9ft- 1.15m upright- 9ft- rail- 9ft- oxer~90cm

Just chucked up a big upright in the middle to see how she would cope and she jumped it really nicely so we called it a day. A successful jumping session all round. I think bounce grid for this horse next time but we are severely restricted in the jumping equipment we have so the grids tend to be pretty simple.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Hey guys, I'm really sorry I haven't been posting much. it's calving on the farm and I literally have no time to myself apart from the time my bosses very kindly give me to ride. Connie's saddle is shit on the shop so I'm even road riding bareback. It's doing wonders for my balance and position but lordy does it make me tired. Kate is a gem and i adore her. I think i might even have to withdraw from the Chris chugg clinic becaus Kim will be on holiday and there will be no one to do my jobs. Still we probably lookign at 3rd and 4th of october for your first show at Te Teko, unless there is something more local before then I guess. I hope everyone is well and that your horses are going good. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dealing with nerves at shows

Ask anyone who hs been with me at a show and they will tell you that I'm generally a wreck. I have been so nervous that I have cried and/or thrown up. I find the whole affair quite stressful. Saddling up I always feel really ill, and waiting to go into the ring most of the time I'm shaking and trying really hard not to chicken out. So possibly I'm not the best person to write a post about coping with nerves.

I have gotten worse recently, with dear old Fred where sometimes he would be good and other times (Like Kyrewood) I would fall off in every class (Thats enough to make you pretty nervous). I'm about 50% less nervous on Connie than I was on Fred. But still very very nervous haha! I will be absolutely terrified for Kates first class I guarantee it. Possibly paralyticly nervous and I'll probably duff up the practise fence 6 times at least.

It doesn't matter what height, even if it's tiny- 60cm, I will be nervous. I'm optimistic I would be ok in a ground rail class but I would still feel the pressure and so be nervous because really I should do well in a groundrail class. Man the fact that groundrail classes exist in America blows my mind. I'd so enter those. If the fences are bigger- ie step up in height on that horse, difficult course, one ugly jump, then forget about it, I'm an absolute wreck. I'm not too bad when I'm actually warming up and riding because I have something else to think about. The real kicker is that if i'm not nervous, i'm going to have a mare. It means i'm exhausted or not in the right head space. If I'm not nervous I might as well pack up and go home. And often the more nervous I am, the better I'll ride, it's like the adrenaline makes me sharper.

I try to visualise my riding my class before I go in, but normally I end up visualising crashes and things so it's often best not to. I do like to have a plan, ie ride up to this one, short five here so sit up early etc, but I also like to be flexible on it so that I don't freeze if the plan falls apart. I think some people get to caught up in the exact way their ride is going to go and thats just not horses, you have to be able to adapt and ultimately once you are in the ring all that matters is getting from one set of flags to the finishing flags. Though it is nice to look good doing it haha!

Ultimately I go into the ring, give my name and the bell goes and I pick up my canter and all of that energy thats been buzzing around as nerves gets focussed into my ride. I try to shut out everything but my cnater and the path I have to take. The more I can focus and trust my canter the better ride I will have. If ground crew talk to me once i have started cantering it goes out the window. It also does if the judge is yelling " ride Rebecca ride" on the loudspeaker (Thanks aunty Linda!). I have to try to get into the zone if you will and then I should be ok. Just stay soft and get that canter. And then I finish and I'm elated, right before I have to dash off and get the next horse.