While not competing we have had some really good lessons – one flatwork lesson with Corky’s old owner Olivia Wilmot – she certainly put us though our paces but it has made such a difference to our flatwork already. We have to practice lots of sitting trot to stop him (and me) anticipation transitions; I also need to correct the imbalance in my contact. As I have an old injury in my left hand and find it harder to hold the reins I have been hanging onto it so tight I have been very uneven in the contact. By thinking more about the contact in my right hand things seem to be improving and our overall contact is more consistent. Off to dressage this Wed evening so we’ll see if it makes a difference to our marks!
We also had our regular jumping lesson with David Harland– it seemed to go well, David said I just need more consistency now – probably going out to the schooling nights practicing courses and more lessons.
Anyway – back to the Eventers Trial. I was very excited to find out we were parked in beside the stabling for all of the wonderful horses competing in the CIC*, CIC**, CIC***, CCI* and CCI**. We saw lots of famous riders and some beautiful horses. When we headed down to walk the course the trot up was in full flow which distracted us a bit as they were warning up in the middle of our show jumping lol. I wasn’t sure what to expect for the eventer trial – it ended up to be a course of show jumps which were set up round the outside of a dressage arena, and then straight out onto the XC. The XC was all in one large hilly field – all portable jumps so very different from the course at Belsay. Most jumps looks absolutely fine, there were two very chucky brush fences which would require lots of leg and then a combination of two skinny barrels on the angle second to last to watch out for. All in all it looked like a fun event – just what we both needed.
Corky warmed up well, really listening and coming back as soon as I asked. We headed in to start – the show jumping area was surrounded by spooky tents, caravans and a TV van with satellite dishes on top. Fortunately Corky didn’t seem to care! We jumped a nice round and only knocked one pole – lazy back leg on one of the smaller uprights L That done, we headed out onto the XC and he seemed to gain confidence with each jump. Nothing caused us any problems which was great and Corky was super keen. The commentator said it was a shame about our one pole as we rode one of the fastest times. I didn’t care though, I was pleased with such a positive and confident round.
To finish the day we walked round the proper XC course – wow, some of the jumps were crazy, so big!! Others strangely looked like we could jump them – pity the don’t offer a pick a fence option J We spotted some skinny logs like the ones we have a home but they had poles added on the top to make them a bit more inviting to jump. I took a photo, showed them to Bryan back at the yard, and hey presto on Friday morning our logs looked them same, a little bit of Hopetoun for us at home :-)
This week it’s all about flatwork! I have my regular lesson at home with Aimee on Tue, then off to ride a prelim at the SDG op on Wed night. On Saturday I’m being brave and am going to learn up to ride a text in the long arena! The ESDG are running a clinic with Gwyneth Lewis, she is going to spend 30 mins coaching in the long arena. As I’ve never ridden in one I think we’ll probably spend time learning how to ride them movements and then run through the test at the end. Fingers crossed Corky is in the mood!