Showjumpers go showing and dressage-ing (frillies galore!) :)

blood_magik

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We've been busy, busy, busy over the last couple of weeks and it would appear that all of our hard work is finally starting to pay off. :)

The boys dusted off their glad rags for Grand Slam the other week. I'd decided against doing the workers with Beau as he'd stopped again (!) a few days earlier (thankfully it appears to have just been a minor tweak) so thought we'd mix things up a bit and do some in-hand stuff for a change. Lenny was entered into the In-hand Sports Horse class and T in the Pre-Vet while Beau was put into the Novice Ridden and Raz in his usual Riding Horse class.

I had an early start to get them all plaited and ready, and I was still only halfway through number three when Lenny came back having won his class - granted, he was the only one in it ;) but the judge didn't have to award him anything if she felt he didn't deserve it.

Next up was big B. Our goals were to stay in the ring for the duration of the class and stand nicely in the line-up, and I'm pleased to say the big guy managed both. He got a little excited in the warm-up so we headed back outside until the class was called and he settled nicely for the go-round - he got a little worried and popped in a few unasked-for changes but overall, I was happy with how he coped. We got pulled in towards the end of the line (9th i think?), which is what I was expecting (there were some beautifully schooled horses in with us) and he stood quietly until it was our turn to do an individual show. He got a little confused and picked up the wrong canter lead on the left (unusual for him) but came back and corrected it, and he managed a square halt at the end (something we've been working on). I was surprised to be pulled up to 7th in the final line up, just behind my YM's beautifully school dressage horse so big pats for Beau. Super boy did everything I asked of him.

A rare pic of him not looking like he's been dragged backwards through a bush. ;)
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Next up was Raz. He went nicely, as always, and ended up being pulled in second. Nothing in the championship for him this time, though.

Then, finally, it was T's turn. He was in the in-hand Pre-vet class with my friend and he only went an won it. :) So it was through to the championship, which he also won. :D

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We've never had a horse through to the Supreme before so we decided to hang about and go in even though we'd been on our feet for almost 12 hours at this point. There were a HOYs champion in the ring with T and, unsurprisingly, it, as well as the rider's second horse, was pulled forwards.

So, all in all, it was a pretty successful day. Definitely worth the long day. :p
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So, onto the dressage... Fresh from our first relatively successful dressage outing I decided that we needed to make sure our 'wins' (well, win and a draw) weren't a fluke and promptly entered another two classes. This time, there wasn't an Intro class on the day we were going so I figured we may as well just have a go at the Novice to make the trip worth our while.

I'd only ever done one Novice test before so I booked in with a new trainer, who proceeded to put both Raz and I through our paces, all the while continuously correcting my appalling position and reminding me that my horse was not supposed to be mimicking a plank of wood in the corners. She's really tough on us but I've learned a lot in the last two sessions and I think we may even have improved?

video from lesson number 2 on Wednesday:
[video=youtube;DzuFMkAsi50]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzuFMkAsi50[/video]

She forbade me from doing any more practicing before my test so Raz had a quiet couple of days being lunged/let loose and doing some stretchy work. He came off the lorry standing another hand higher than when he went on so Super Groom took him for a walk in-hand while I finished getting our last minute addition, Leonard, warmed up for *his* test (more about that a little bit later). We had about half an hour to get warmed up so I concentrated on getting Raz bending around my inside leg and keeping him soft through his jaw in the canter. He did some lovely medium trot strides and then we just had time for a quick run through the canter-trot transitions across the diagonals before it was time for us to head through into the arena.

As expected, Raz was a little look-y so I let him walk round on a long rein before picking him up and, to be fair to him, he didn't spook at anything after that. He felt a little tense coming up the centre line but overall I was happy with how the test went - he tripped coming out of the first half 10m circle at E but we didn't have any unwanted flying changes across the canter-trot diagonals, which was the thing I was most worried about. He ended up coming 2nd on 66.40% - a small improvement from last time, along with not quite so many 'overbent' comments from the judge.

[video=youtube;Ym5M7-F9hWY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym5M7-F9hWY[/video]

We only had about five minutes between finishing the Prelim and being called back in for our Novice so didn't get much done in terms of work. My main aim going in was to get over 60% and actually remember the test - not too much of a stretch, really.

I thought Raz felt better in the second test but the judge was, fairly, a little harsher and not quite as forgiving. We had a few moments where he broke into a jog in the medium walk sections and the judge felt we didn't show a 'true' medium across one of the diagonals, and that Raz had gone back to being over bent (I'm not disputing this - he had). Marks ranged from a nice solid 7 to a not-so-good 4.5 for the final half 10m circle (comments - overshot, unbalanced and something else I can't quite make out) so there's plenty for us to work on for next time. We ended up second (out of two ;)) on 60.58%.

The classes were being run alongside BD so I'm assuming the scoring will be in line with the affiliated classes? I.e; slightly harsher than you would find at UA?

Video here:
[video=youtube;W8z9bZobbsc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8z9bZobbsc[/video]

And if you can't be bothered watching the video, some pictures:
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And Leonard... Well, he was a bit of a last minute addition. My friend pulled out at short notice and since I'd already paid the entry, I decided to ask if I could substitute Lenny for her horse. The lovely show secretary agreed so off Lenny and I tootled to the warm-up to start working in. It took a little while but I eventually got him to relax and start to soften, all of which went out of the door the minute we stepped through the tunnel into the arena.

To be fair, he was a lot better than he has been previously and I got some decent trot work out of him. When we got to the canter section, however, it all went a little bit 'toys out the pram'.

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This happened more than once. :eek:

But we persevered and managed to finish the test with me still firmly on board. To be honest, I'm surprised we weren't asked to leave the ring - that's how bad it felt. :eek:
Just to prove that he can, in fact, work semi-nicely (i.e; with all four feet firmly on terra firma):
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He managed an okay 59.4%. There were a couple of sevens (centre line, paces and first rein change) but also a four (canter circle at B, which was pretty much non-existent) and the comments were 'Three nice paces - started well but got tenser and more wound up as he went along. Pity'. :eek:

But you know what? We had a go... And we're going to have another try in a few weeks' time - just an intro this time, I think, to try to make it a better experience for him. I'm determined to break the 60% barrier next time. :)

Thanks for reading. :)
 
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HufflyPuffly

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Fantastic, really well done! Not watched the video yet, but the pictures look great and secretly love Lenny's misdemeanours :eek: very well sat. I have every faith you will break that 60% next time!
 

JennBags

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AH said exactly what I'm feeling, and to still get 59.4 after those antics means the good bits must have been very good. Well done to the other boys, and for the showing, you have been busy indeed.
 

blood_magik

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Thanks guys. :)

Well, Leonard's halo well and truly slipped this morning so I think he may be heading to bootcamp shortly to sort his manners out before he ends up getting any worse. On a more positive note, I put on my big girl pants and jumped Beau for the first time since the middle of Feb - he was a little cocky but jumped everything I put in front of him. Just need to up the jumping now to get him fit again.
 

Firewell

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I love reading your reports. You seem to have lots of fun with your horses and I like how their different personalities come across in your writing. I also like how you aren't afraid to try new things and make the most of them, it makes for enjoyable reading! Well done, love the bucking pic made me giggle!
 

blood_magik

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Thank you both. 😊

I do like to try different things with them - It keeps them interested and me on my toes. Next up I'm thinking XC. Maybe... If I can find my body protector and somewhere wth teeny tiny fences. 😳😁

Ah, Leonard... It's a good job he's so cute I can never stay mad at him, huh? Cheeky monkey... The photographer got some great shots of him bucking away - his tail is straight up in the air in one of them, like a lightning strike. I think I'm going to buy it so I can look back and hopefully laugh instead of crying with embarrassment. 😂
 

blood_magik

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Really? :eek:

I've just checked the results for that class and it turns out that Lenny was actually 7th. He was out of the placings by 0.7%, so not as bad as I had originally thought. ;)
 
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