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.