Monday, February 24, 2014

Change of Code

Well last Tuesday I moved home and I have time now to figure out what to do next. I honestly have no idea what direction I want to go in next, but I'm definitely pretty burnt out on showjumping for now. I can already hear the hunting horn calling me but that wont start until the end of next month. It's hard because I just cant get consistently good rounds on Butch I find that really frustrating. Its hard also because I have lost some life confidence and it has flowed over into my riding.

Anyway, this weekend for the first time in 9 yrs I'm going to go eventing. It's a pony club event and I'm only running in the training height which is 95cm which should be a doddle on my good 1.20m Showjumper right. OMG I am freaking out. There is a water jump and ditches and actually thats all that really worries me. I have always enjoyed banks. I used to be a really gangster eventer even qualifying a horse for 1* before I ruined him by putting him through a showjump. ( years is a long time though.

I have done three XC practice days on the great giant goatface and he loves it, though I suspct I will have trouble with the water which can back him off and make him fire left. At the last practice day I managed to be first out on the course and after warming up I went around like it as an event though at the first two fences I jumped the smaller option and then cantered back an jumped the training option. I ran into trouble at a bullfinch fence which is a fence with brush out the top and it was blotched in grey white and black blotches. Most horses seem to back off of these and Butch had two run outs before I was like "Bex you are eventing, stop being so feeble!" And he actually jumped it ok though took another couple of fences to settle. He was fantastic to the trakhner and then had a bobble at the water but jumped in really confidently after he had done it once. He has no actual eventing miles only training day miles, but it seemed ridiculous to do the 80cm height class on him. 

The other major issue I have found is going to be in the dressage in that I haven't done it for ages. Of course I like my horses to be well schooled but I tend to focus on the canter because I'm riding jumpers and use the trot for lateral work and softness. I also tend to go ok he is soft now so I will ask for a transition rather than asking for transitions at points in the arena. I have no idea if his trot is a working trot and it lacks cadence, and his walk is barely existant because he keeps wanting to trot again. Though he does a good stretchy circle so that's something. Cross training is important, I have gotten way to one minded, so at least this is showing up some holes in my training.

And if that isn't enough I'm also entered in the training on the horse above which is Ike and I have jumped him once at the practice day above. But he s very cool, providing you keep your leg on and keep him hustling. Very scopey and will jump from any distance though a touch spooky. Good times. I'm a mad woman.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We suck as breeders

Of the four times we have had mares scanned in foal, only one of those foals has made it to beyond 10 years and that was Connie. I got the really sad news today that Bill has had some form of OCD/bone cyst type drama, (I didn't really get the full jist) where a ligament or cartilage that was meant to harden into bone hasn't in her stifle/pelvis and she needs to be put down. After 9 sound years, and a full seasons hunting, she was only being hacked through the summer when it fractured. She can't carry the weight of a foal and so that's all. Massive condolences to her owner who just loved her to pieces and gave her the most fantastic home. She has had a fantastic life ts just been far far to short.

No more breeding a 25% attrition rate isn't good.

Monday, February 3, 2014

What now?

This year has been something of a bust really. Big ambitions, not very much follow through on my part. I fear I will never have the courage to be a good showjumper or even jump the heights I want to. I'm just not really really brave. I should be jumping 1.25m/1.30m tracks, but I'm still 1.15m/1.20m tracks. We did a day trip to a show the other day and Butch was fantastic in the 1.20m class and jumped our first clear round without time faults, and then in the amateur (which is smaller) had 2 stops at a combination, got him through the combination and retired him.

He was really tired after some hillwork earlier in the week, so he has some excuse but it's just so frustrating. Especially having sold Connie who is Miss consistency. I wish I had been able to keep her and sell him but she was worth twice him and as far as jumpers go he is the superior animal. I just miss Connie so badly, worse than I thought. He is lovely though, I need to just step up and suit him.

Only four shows left to go in the season and then it's all over rover until next September. I don't know, I'm tired, I'm sick of being sweaty, poor and I'm sick of horses. It's all very well doing what you love, but you certainly turn what you love into work. It's actually quite nice as a hobby. That being said with no time off schedule I end up working day after day and I am certainly burnt out. Once the season is over I'm going to go to my parents place with my pony and spend a week just hill riding. There isn't much cellphone signal out there so in my head it seems very serene.

I don't know what comes next though. No idea what I want to do or if I should retrain. I will definitely be going back to riding as more of a hobby. I think. I have loved it! I might take on a schooler. It's hard. I ran into trouble with my relationship and it blew my confidence out of the water in all aspects of my life and I started struggling in the ring again.

Sometimes with Butch I feel like I click in and its so easy but if that doesn't happen, it really doesn't happen. I just wish I was a better braver rider. I just want to jump a grand prix so bad but it seems so far away. Lucky mine is a sport you can keep doing until you are ancient. Meanwhile this winter I will hunt the big guy and may even do a horse trial or two. I just don't know where I will end up yet. After Horse of the Year my future is a very blank page.