Easter weekend Eventing report!

Girlracer

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Evening, I hope you've had great Easter weekend?

So, i've found that since moving yards and going back to not having an arena my nerves over jumping have gotten worse again, but I have still managed to go out every weekend this month to jump either at my instructors yard (which I can just about hack to) or to clinics or fun rides that I've hired a box for.

King has been feeling really well, after some chiropractic work following our 'incident' when we attempted to go hunting a few months ago. We have been enjoying the local hacking, but around a full time job and without the arena and lights... well let's just say I'm glad the clocks have changed. It's been a hard slog some days, but this weekend made it totally worth it - but more on that in a minute!

I have also taken on a companion for... well my companion. So welcome to the gang, Oasis, a friends young horse who has come to accompany Major whilst I take King out and about. Major is enjoying his babysitting duties, and being a roughed off fat hairy horse.



So firstly good Friday, I ventured to my local equestrian centre for some 'Eventer Training'. A dressage test, followed by a round of jumping made up by 10 show jumps and 10 XC JAS style fences.



Despite leaving the dressage arena feeling disappointed with our test (he warms up so lovely now, but it goes to pot as soon as we enter the arena) after a pep talk from my friend, who reminded me that in fact that was his 3rd ever dressage test, the last one was in September last year and only my fifth... I didn't feel quite so bad. It's all there, I think, he just gets worried in the arena and unfortunately at 9 years old having never competed prior to meeting me his default setting is to stick his head in the air and prance. Which isn't all that conducive of a nice dressage test. I felt the judges were kind... perhaps they felt sorry for me? For a 38.





On to the 'fun' bit. As per usual, after 6 years of owning an un-genuine animal that liked to ditch me and break my limbs over 70cm fences (in fact it was a year ago last Thursday, since I broke my arm - can't believe it!) and a winter off - I was a nervous wreck before having to jump anything. But I needn't have worried, as we flew round, to a speed related 8 faults.















Link to video below...

https://www.facebook.com/cassey.watson/videos/870561036402833/?l=4391602047411813745

All in all, it was great experience for us both, and a lovely day in beautiful sunshine. And actually our first competitive outing since he officially became mine.

Next up, was what is had all been for, our first event of the season!

Again those that know me, know how long I have been desperate to go eventing, and King made that happen for me last September when we completed both of our first ODE. But it's been a while since then and a lot has happened, I entered early and gave us something to work toward... and a fairly early start to the season.

Unfortunately the weather wasn't quite so kind, and it was absolutely blowing a gale when we arrived. King thankfully remained fairly relaxed to stud and tack up - gone are the days of three of us having to pin him down as he got himself more and more wound up!

I hopped on and headed over to the dressage. There was an awful lot going on, we were in the middle of a huge field, getting absolutely blown away, in view of both the Show Jumping and XC. And he got very tense and worried, so after getting run away with warming up I walked him around, and around, and around... I just know with him that whilst he is hugely improved mentally, he just can't cope sometimes, and it's best just to keep it quiet and let him know it's okay. We went in, doing our very best prancing giraffe impression, but amazingly managed to keep a lid on it, perform all movements in the correct place and stay between the boards, with even a couple of nicer moments. Which was more than I expected - so I was in fact really pleased. It will come, I'm sure it will. We were marked very fairly to an expected 42.





On to the show jumping, maybe one of the first times in a while I've walked a course and not been worried. It was simple and not very big (coming from someone who refused to canter over a 60cm spread less than a year ago!).

However he got himself pretty hot warming up again (as per usual!) so we kept it to a minimum, and went in performing the 'prancing giraffe' (please see video, and know that that's more or less how we look in the dressage...

He was spooky entering the ring and went pretty green, but jumped the jumps which is all I tend to worry about... to another speedy 4 faults.








Right... the XC... where I am a total wuss.

I walked it, and it wasn't too bad I guess... there were a few fences I had taken a dislike to but overall not too scary. (I still can't believe I'm saying that!)

However none of that mattered, because once again I walked round the collecting ring wondering why I was putting myself through it... thinking that I could perhaps just start show jumping instead, I'm not even making it up - that's literally what I was thinking. At one point I actually considered saying he didn't feel quite right! Terrible...





But then we were off, and all of that was behind me.. and I remembered what I was doing it for... all the late nights, early morning, hacking in the cold and wet...















We flew round for a super clear, our first clear round XC!

Link to video below...

https://www.facebook.com/cassey.watson/videos/872801632845440/?l=8612931606054862164

I literally cried. I can't tell you how I feel about this horse. He is so quirky and tricky and difficult, and yet so kind, genuine and wonderful. I was so lucky not only to meet him, but when I had to give him back last June after only having him on loan a few months I was so lucky that his owners asked me to ride him again later that year, and then they made it possible for me to buy him. I don't have much money, I work really hard to afford to keep my horses and put quite a lot of time and effort in (as we all do!) and the fact that finally I have a horse that can make all my dreams come true just means so much. And at the same time as doing that I can see a difficult and stressed animal blossoming and becoming more and more relaxed.

I pretty much worship the ground he walks on, and am SO grateful for him. What a great weekend.

I really hope this is the first of many positive reports this year.

 
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JennBags

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What a lovely report, and gorgeous pictures, well done you for conquering your nerves and getting back out there doing it. Gives me hope, a lot of what you said was ringing true for me too. Looking forward to lots more reports x
 

NiceNeverNaughty

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Good for you!! Id never in a million years attempt any of that stuff but I do remember your threads from last year, maybe before?? Your position looks a million times more secure!
 

only_me

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Lovely report, really nice to read :)
The pictures look great, impressed that you did it even in the midst of storm Katie! I also hope that it is the first of many positive, successful reports this year :D
 

Girlracer

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Thanks so much for all your lovely comments - so glad to finally be getting out and about. And it's great to actually be able to do a competition report of something sort of half interesting!

MRSH - they stand out don't they! Small world, and if I looked absolutely miserable know that it was only because I was considering taking up Show Jumping instead haha! How did you get on?

For anyone interested, here is the link to our highly amusing pro photos.

http://www.1stclassimages.com/p600553510
 

rachk89

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Really well done. You must be very brave to be able to do that even when nervous. Can i have some of your bravery please?! Your horse sounds awesome and he clearly loves you he kept you safe after all.
 

LeannePip

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Mega well done, and what a huge achievement! I too remember your lacking confidence posts a year or so ago so i'm really pleased this horse has made it happen for you!

You both look brilliant, Onwards and Upwards!
 

tatty_v

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What a lovely report and congratulations! I love your description of how you nearly talked yourself into taking up pure SJ - it's the same for me, although my safety net is remaining on the flat in dressage!
 

monte1

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well done, fantastic report and just love the photos, I, like you suffer dreadfully from nerves, so can totally understand your misgivings prior to the XC start. but that huge buzz you get afterwards cannot be beaten.
look forward to hearing about your next event!!
 

dixie

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Well I now do just pure SJ and every morning of the show I talk myself into just being a happy hacker and wonder why on earth I put myself through it all, that it until I get into the ring and then I'm planning my next outing !!

Very well done, he looks awesome and whilst he may be tricky he has the "can do and will do" button. Am sure there are more great things to come for you & look forward to hearing your reports.
 

Firewell

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Amazing well done! I can't say how much you sound like me with your nerves! I am exactly the same, I melt down before going in and I wonder why the hell I do it. Yet thanks to a horse that never let's me down I always cross the finish line thinking it felt far too easy and why was I worried?!
My nerves do get better the more I go, sure you will be the same.
He's a classy looking boy, so glad you have finally found *your* horse, meant for you. Here's to those horses who won't let us down or disappoint us <3.
 

Girlracer

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Thanks so much everyone.

It's been so great having all the support from HHO over the years. You guys have always been there to encourage and keep us going in some times of equine related need! And also to tell me as it is when I need it ;)

Have just done some entries, have some arena eventing and things this month, then all entered for Swalcliffe on Bank holiday Monday! Can't wait.
 

TheSylv007

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Fantastic pictures and seriously well done. Confidence is so easy to lose and so hard to get back. Looks like your bravery is paying off!
 

Mike007

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Just wanted to say that your position ,jumping is to my view ,Textbook. Everso slightly behind the action ,to allow for any eventuality ,but not enough to hamper the horse. Just my opinion.
 
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