Brand Hall BE90 Event Report

Ambers Echo

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So I knew I was in trouble when I walked the course. The jumping looked fairly straight forward but navigation was a nightmare! I couldn’t find the jumps without a horse never mind at speed with one! 12 seemed to be followed by 14. Where did 13 go??!! :rolleyes:

My pre XC prep consisted of trying to memorise all the twists and turns and reciting the bonkers mantra (180 degree turn behind the trees to the Womble after 6/ through a gap and hard right down a hill to 10 etc etc).

But anyway back to the start of the day…. Amber was lovely and calm again in the dressage and we finally saw a shift in scores. Having been consistently round about 38 all season (and last season), Amber scored a 35. Still not good enough to be competitive but a huge step in the right direction. I rode her with more hand and more leg and she seemed to go better. I don’t much like how it feels but I think I need to trust my RI and persevere. We lost needless marks in a few places too so we can improve on that further too which is encouraging.

Then onto SJ and rideable Amber was back. So we had another calm, controlled clear. :D:D
Hopefully this is now the new normal for her.

Then onto XC – the best bit! Will this finally be the day ALL THREE phases come together for a DC, within the time to finish on a reasonable dressage?? Sadly not….. Amber had a very uncharacteristic stop at 3. Just a straightforward roll top. Even the commentator said ‘that’s a surprise as she was jumping very confidently’. She flew the rest of the course including all the harder questions. So that was very frustrating. She just seemed a bit distracted so the jump took her by surprise. My fault for not getting her attention back on me quickly enough when I could tell she had not locked on. But as she was travelling nicely I assumed she’d jump it anyway. Repeat after self: Be a RIDER not a PASSENGER!

And then I compounded that mistake by forgetting one of the counter-intuitive turns off the main track and picked up time penalties too. :oops:

But I am thrilled with her and very excited now about the rest of the season. Somerford was my first DC but it was a wild ride and felt like a fluke. I could just have easily have fallen off or had run outs. This felt like a much better performance. I was not just being towed around by her.

Video edit of our day. She is an absolute joy to ride when she is moving freely and jumping out of her stride. Love her so, so much.

 

ScampiBigMan

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20 April 2011
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Well done, video looks really great. Annoying about the 20 but is good to be reminded of the need not to take too much for granted - can be hard when they do it so well and easily

We swerved Brand Hall with both this year for different reasons

Completely appreciate what you mean about the twistiness and counterintuitiveness at some points on the course! Seems to be quite common lately with this course design team for at least two of their venues. They usually build really nice fences though.

Where next? We're giving Warwick Hall a go for the first time, new venue is always exciting. Got to be away working for a few weeks in the next couple of months which has disrupted eventing plans....
 

Ambers Echo

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Completely appreciate what you mean about the twistiness and counterintuitiveness at some points on the course! Seems to be quite common lately with this course design team for at least two of their venues. They usually build really nice fences though.

Where next? We're giving Warwick Hall a go for the first time, new venue is always exciting. Got to be away working for a few weeks in the next couple of months which has disrupted eventing plans....
Yes the fences were lovely. The course overall was annoyingly twisty for a navigationally challenged numpty like me!

Next up is Stafford in about 6 weeks. Have fun at Warwick Hall. x
 

Wheels

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She loves her cross country doesn't she? Looks like an easy natural thing for her to do.

Your dressage will come, it would help if you could get her more forward. More hand and more leg can be counter-productive, too much of both can cause confusion, you are asking for go and stop simultaneously which can result in neither. If you don't like how it feels then its probable that Amber doesn't either. Sorry, I don't want to hijack your thread!
 

Ambers Echo

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Thanks Wheels. There is a bit more dressage/contact chat on the Tik Maynard thread. Amber is lazy behind so she needs a lot of leg to activate her back end. But she also needs to be ridden into a firm contact or she just goes faster and stays strung out with her back legs trailing behind. She needs to be more concertinaed, hence both hand and leg working together. According to my last 2 dressage instructors anyway! But i am keeping open minded about ways forward too.
 

Wheels

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The problem is that too much of a firm contact can hinder the hind leg really stepping under and on viewing your video above she isn't stepping under far enough. It's just not logical to me that a horse who is behind the leg will suddenly move forward by blocking the front end. Obviously I'm only going on a very short clip of you and your horse!!

Do you really feel in your heart that this way of riding is working well for you? I think from your other posts that you don't feel it's the right way and you are looking for something else but you are unsure of what that is. I have been there! I was working with a trainer who had me riding in the same manner, I was exhausted, the horse was tense - she shouted across the arena that it looked amazing and effortless and it felt the complete opposite. Time for a change :)
 

Chippers1

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11 February 2017
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Well done! She looks nice and calm in both the SJ and XC 🙂
I am the same when I get complacent that he'll go over a straight forward jump and stop riding, he often doesn't! Have to remember to ride every stride...
 

DressageCob

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30 December 2011
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I thought the Brand Hall course must be confusing, since they posted on Facebook telling people to make sure they followed the right path to number 13, rather than the 1* course which cut off that corner.

She makes those fences look tiny 😄
 

Ambers Echo

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13 October 2017
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I thought the Brand Hall course must be confusing, since they posted on Facebook telling people to make sure they followed the right path to number 13, rather than the 1* course which cut off that corner.

She makes those fences look tiny 😄
Haha I had no chance navigating round there!

She does make jumps look and feel small which is annoying for photos but nice IRL!!
 

Ambers Echo

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Do you really feel in your heart that this way of riding is working well for you? I think from your other posts that you don't feel it's the right way and you are looking for something else but you are unsure of what that is. I have been there! I was working with a trainer who had me riding in the same manner, I was exhausted, the horse was tense - she shouted across the arena that it looked amazing and effortless and it felt the complete opposite. Time for a change :)
Thanks for your suggestions/advice. I do understand where you are coming from! I'm interested in what you are saying but I am going to post further thoughts about dressage on the Tik Maynard thread where the main discussion was as a lot of other posts were also very interesting.
 
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