Marty at Shelford - An Alien-Free Report

Baydale

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Sorry for the delay and no, I haven't been abducted by aliens - and they certainly wouldn't have put up with me for a whole 48 hours
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- I've just been busy.

So NickyNoMates got up at another ungodly hour to go to Shelford with Marty The Naughty Fat Hunter, the only comfort being that a) it's not that far b) TableDancer would be there (shameless creeping there
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) and c) Marty is normally v civilised to take on his own (unlike other ponies I could mention....ahem.....Arthur
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). I got front row parking so am now officially a ringside expert on dressage
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, and so many people sheltered from the wind in front of the Big Blue Baydale Bus that I was thinking of giving them seats inside and coffee for £5 a go - now there's a thought.

I power-walked the course before my stressage and thought it was ok, plenty to do for a green second-timer, but I'd already heard of problem fences, namely 4, drop to palisade, 6, corner and 11, hedge to triple brush. Decided I'd worry about them one at a time as I rode round, "seat of the (parachute) pants" stylie, just in case my tiny brain imploded with too much information.
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Marty and I mooched around the dressage warm-up, gawping at the other fat and shiny ponies (one or two were shinier but his fatness was definitely rosette-worthy
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), then did some very low-key stuff with the theme being "chilled". We soon got bored of that so rode round earwigging on someone's mother berating the dressage steward and reducing her to tears, very bad form I thought
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, then went down to do our test. I was really pleased with him as although it wasn't sparkling and stunning,he didn't once threaten to take off in canter or take my front teeth out with his head; actually, he's on his forehand enough he's likely to take his own front teeth out by tripping over, but that didn't happen either
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and I was just happy we were more together than at Keysoe.

Quick change and over to the showjumping: I managed to grab an unsuspecting passer-by to put fences up for me, but went in fairly quickly as Marty was on the look-out for aliens by then, with much left, right and upward head-swinging.
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Even though the spaceship had landed it hadn't inflated fully, so the scariest thing - apart from our motorbiking round the corners on the wrong leg
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- was the banner by fence 7 and then fence 7 itself. However, 17hh of big-striding Irish yob that's somehow forgotten how to do changes overnight doesn't make for the best of approaches, or not with his alien-searching head-swinging added to the mix, so I think we were lucky to only have the first part of the double down.
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Mind you, I was pleased to hear I'd got 33.5 for our on-the-forehand stressage so I was fairly upbeat.

Another quick change and I got myself psyched up for cross country - I'm trying the JP technique where you mooch around lots, chatting to people, then out of the start box looking really casual yet purposeful.....however, my version was more panic-stricken as Marty was head-swinging checking for aliens two strides out from the practice fence, my steering wasn't overly good, anyone I tried to talk to looked at me like I was the village idiot, and even my chat with the starter as I left the box was cut short as casual turned into ultra-purposeful within about 10 metres as he clocked the monsters under the first fence.
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He ballooned that and I fastened my seatbelt ready for a similar aerial take-off at the sheep feeder at 2 and then hedge at 3. He trotted off the step cutely at 4 and popped the palisade, then did another monster alert at 5 - it was bamboo poles with stones under (stones are not to be trusted
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), v funny photo of that which I'll post the link to later, then on a big sweeping turn to the corner at 6. I'm sure they were trying to be helpful by putting a round bale to the left but ahead of it, but that combined with the orange shavings bales on the corner completely confused Marty.
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Bless him, he stayed straight and was considering going over it one leg at a time in true bog pony fashion, but I stopped him, came round again and he jumped it really nicely. Onto the step up to the skinny house (fab), log pile and then hedge into a hollow under some trees to a triple brush skinny - I got a good spot to the hedge so him backing-off a touch didn't result in us wearing it (whew
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), and he was soooo straight and genuine to the triple brush, so big pats there. Onto the keyhole, his first one, with a short approach and he was fab, triple bar with ground falling away after, again bold as brass, hedge, water in fine, water out we trotted (v cute photo there too), then tyres, big angled hedges which I swear he jumped best of all with them being bigger, then a log to finish. I was so pleased with him, even with the inattentive baby stop, as he was 100% better than at Keysoe and really rideable. He loved it too and just met everything on a good stride from a lovely rhythm, not much more you can ask for really.....oh, other than a 22 dressage, clear showjumping and no monster-concealing round bales or orange shavings bales.
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If he improves that much again the next couple of times out I think I may have to plan a novice soon.
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Tea and oat crunchies from our charity box for anyone who's not still stuffed from lunch. Credit for any alien references must go the marauding welsh contingent, TableDancer.
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kerilli

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sounds like a fab day for a big babby, i've heard that the course caused lots of problems and that there was lots to look at, so great to get that one under your belt! even bigger congrats for not encountering any alienspacemonsters or the ground.
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meardsall_millie

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Yay - go Marty (who, I believe, will be changing his name to Smarty soon
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).

Firstly, if you needed a mate - why didn't you let me know??
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I'd happily have come along to be be nagged at all morning. All I did was have a nice lie-in, a leisurely brekky with OH, then took Poppy up to Elms Farm to school her in their big menage.....
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Secondly, the dressage was bound to be better than Keysoe as Marty wasn't awe-struck by me & Arn's in the next arena
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Seriously though, good result. I thought the XC was a bit twisty and ungenerous for the babies (I think you're being kind by saying there was 'plenty to do'!)

Shout up if you need another groom for Saturday.
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Sarah_Jane

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Pleased you survived another competition in one piece. He sounds promising but again at that size it does take them a while to work everything out! Looking forward to seeing the pictures.
 

louisesb

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Great report - really made me smile at my desk this afternoon. Will happily take the tea and oat crunchies - thank you!! Onwards and upwards to the next event and hopefully no aliens
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TableDancer

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Glad to hear that Marty managed to successfully multi-task, performing beautifully as a soon-to-be Smartypants potential event horse while also assisting Dylan in his important alien-busting mission. I feel he will soon need to make a career choice, though, so let's hope he makes the right one and doesn't follow his big ginger friend down the X Files route
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Baydale

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kerilli - he is a big babby but so much nicer a person now than before....of course he won't be ready for OH to hunt for ages.
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m_m, yeah thanks for rubbing it in about the lie-in and leisurely breakfast, by the time I got to the bacon van there was a queue a mile long and I'd have fainted before I got some sustenance.
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And Marty soooo doesn't give a s**t about the other horses doing fancy stressage, he was probably worried about he and Arnie having a Battle of the Bulge if we'd been passing each other up the long side.
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Will let you know about Saturday as the Huge One may or may not be off-colour - it's not easy being that big you know.
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Bloods back tomorrow.

S_J - Marty has the "yeah yeah I know what I'm doing" then gets there and forgets which leg goes in which order.
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Thankfully he's scopey and careful enough to not crash us both, as the photos will show.

louiseb - Lt Downham next and the only monsters there are the fen monsters lurking in the dykes.
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Saratoga

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Sounds like a fab day out with a big baby at his second party! Where next?

Just seen your post above....so ignore!!
 

Gamebird

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No oat crunchies for me ta. 1) someone's left a big box of Thornton's in the office, 2) still stuffed from lunch and 3) got to get fit for a long-format 3DE don't ya know
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I think Marty needs AT LEAST another eventing season before you let OH loose on him. I also think that Aske would be a good Nov to aim him at, then we can go and get drunk at the EHOA's expense
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. I also think (yes, it does hurt!) that the huge one should pull his blooming big girly socks up and get on with it
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. Doesn't he know how good Scottish parties are?
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Bubblegum

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Great report, made me chuckle.
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My friend had her first xc faults of the season at that corner...so I can tell her she is in very good company!!!
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wizoz

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I get confused (no sarky comments thankyou
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) you have too many horses
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It sounds like you have yet another superstar in the making, well done you. Can't wait to see the photo's
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kirstyhen

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[ QUOTE ]
Will let you know about Saturday as the Huge One may or may not be off-colour - it's not easy being that big you know.
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Bloods back tomorrow.

[/ QUOTE ]

Tell the big one that (restraining order allowing
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) I have polos if he pulls himself together
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Well done Marty, sounds like he is coming on brill! I would love to send my bay boy to Baydale bootcamp, unfortunately it's not up to me
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(Plus you'd have to hitch your stirrups up, he's only small
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)
 

MysteryGirl

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Very amusing, thanks for cheering up my mediocre afternoon. And well done to you and Marty, sounds like it's all coming together nicely, looking forward to having a nosey at your pics. Good luck on your next outing
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Baydale

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[ QUOTE ]
No oat crunchies for me ta. 1) someone's left a big box of Thornton's in the office, 2) still stuffed from lunch and 3) got to get fit for a long-format 3DE don't ya know
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I think Marty needs AT LEAST another eventing season before you let OH loose on him. I also think that Aske would be a good Nov to aim him at, then we can go and get drunk at the EHOA's expense
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. I also think (yes, it does hurt!) that the huge one should pull his blooming big girly socks up and get on with it
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. Doesn't he know how good Scottish parties are?
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[/ QUOTE ]

Thorntons, they're slow release energy as long as you wait 5 minutes inbetween each one - glad you're taking your nutrition and fitness serious, much like myself (oat crunchies are nearly all gone
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).
 

KatB

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Arent oats "Quick release"?! Therefore the more you eat, the more instant energy you'll have?!
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Smarty sounds like he is working hard towards girly swot-ness
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bless him... and HUGE haybales must be confusing to these bog ponies... Goddy thought it was time for a snack break
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Baydale

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Bubblegum - there were lots of us had problems there, I'd rather have just had the orange shavings bales to cope with tbh.
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wizoz - tis a bit early in the day to be "confused", or have you been to the pub at lunchtime? Too many horses?
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Nope, don't think I understand that concept.

T_H - pulling himself together may just exhaust him even more, as it takes quite some doing.
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Anyway, I'm now a fan of small horses since having Ralph at bootcamp for 5 days: look out for me in the 5yo's at Milton Keynes BYEH (he's like AutumnRose's pony, but smaller).
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Thanks MysteryGirl, photos are just uploading now.
 

k9h

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Fab fun report as usual! Made the last 30min bareable her!

THough now I realize what hard work I have ahead with my pone! Give us 10yrs we might be up to where Marty is now!

I think D should stay away from him for another season at least just be certain you have trained him correctly enough! lol!

Tell big one to sort his act out! Need to know whether to get the mint supply in or not!!
 

KatB

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[ QUOTE ]


T_H - pulling himself together may just exhaust him even more, as it takes quite some doing.
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Anyway, I'm now a fan of small horses since having Ralph at bootcamp for 5 days: look out for me in the 5yo's at Milton Keynes BYEH (he's like AutumnRose's pony, but smaller).
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[/ QUOTE ]

How many are you aiming to have at Burghley?!
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Baydale

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k9h - if something's worth having, it's worth working for (that's my version that normally has "waiting" in).
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I only need one to qualify to get the free lorry pass (thanks Jupiter
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), but one in each class would be good.
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KatB

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Lol! Sounds good to me...
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Do you get two lorry passes if you qualify 2?! One for you and the horses, and one for your "hangers on"
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kirstyhen

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[ QUOTE ]
Anyway, I'm now a fan of small horses since having Ralph at bootcamp for 5 days: look out for me in the 5yo's at Milton Keynes BYEH (he's like AutumnRose's pony, but smaller).
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[/ QUOTE ]

Perhaps I should post him up to you now, whilst his other owner is away
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He won't cost much in stamps he's small and skinny, definately fit through a letterbox!
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Fiona

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Great report!
Glad the aliens didn't get you.
WIsh I could get 33 for a 'bad' test though.
Sounds like you need to keep Marty for ages, and he will definitely not be ready to be your OH's hunter for two seasons at least.

Fiona
 

Gamebird

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[ QUOTE ]
k9h - if something's worth having, it's worth working for (that's my version that normally has "waiting" in).
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I only need one to qualify to get the free lorry pass (thanks Jupiter
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), but one in each class would be good.
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[/ QUOTE ]

Well if you end up with multiple entries and need spare bums on saddles for the final go-round bit I have performed in this capactiy for various pro's before for a very reasonable fee....
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alwaysbroke

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Great report, also wish I could get a 33 for a bad dressage!

Wonder if the dressage steward was upset by the same woman who had a go at OH and myself in the SJ collecting ring, we couldnt believe how rude some people can be! The minority can really spoil it for the majority, to cut a long story short we wont be SJ stewarding agian.

On the other hand it was great to meet Thistle and to have a chat with Baydale, hope to see you both again soon.
 
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