Our first BE of the year was at Eden Valley on Sunday – we were very fortunately as they had to abandon the Saturday due to heavy rain during the week but they managed to run the Sunday sections.
We got all or our prep done on the Saturday – Corks has is first bath of the year and his rubbed mane had grown enough to manage to get some decent looking plaits in thankfully and even my old lorry got a clean out!
My super groom Bella was back too after spending the winter renovating her new house so we were all set!
My times were good – DR12.15, SJ 2.30 and XC 3.08.
It meant we didn’t need to leave the yard till 8 which was great. It also meant I could walk the XC after the DR as we had time to kill.
We arrived and the ground looked good (little deep in the DR warm up but not too bad). I felt very focused for the DR, probably as I hadn’t even seen the SJ or XC yet. We had a great warm-up following the plan we had agreed with Aimee. Lots of canter to loosen him off, trot leg yield circles, changes of speed in the trot and transitions. We had spent lots of time in the week running through the test which I think made a big difference. In we went to the arena – Corky was fabulous (for our standards). He listened to me, did what he was asked and there was no BIF (blaze in face). Our canter transitions were still poor but better than they have been. Belle videoed it http://youtu.be/8DiZgRvUSfM
We ended up with a 33 – I was over the moon! We even got our first 8 (centre line walk and halt). The canter was a consistent 6, and trot and walk were 7s. All going in the right direction and the first test I’ve ridden with no 5s. It left us sitting 13th in the class.
Corky then went for a snooze in the lorry and we walked the SJ and XC. The SJ at Eden is on a surface. The course looked simple enough – there were two little uprights which I knew would cause us problems as C don’t really respect them but nothing else to worry about. The XC looked great too – there was a new corner added which seemed to be causing problems but after practicing them with Diana on Thursday I chose my line so knew how I wanted to approach it (positively between hand and leg).
We then went and warmed up for the SJ – I always find this hard as Corky gets more forward and strong the more jumps we do. I popped each of the warm up jumps and as usual the one he knocked was the upright. This was going to be a theme, we went into the ring, took out the two little uprights I was worried about and also back bar on the second part of the double – this was my fault as we were on the wrong leg coming into it and a duff stride!
Not to worry – we’ll put the SJing to the side just now as we haven’t really been doing too much work on it – will be now though!
Onto the fun bit! The XC start was quiet so I manage to get off early. He was a wee superstar – clear all the way with 0.4 time pen. We had a couple of ‘oh sh*t’ moments when I think I dropped the contact and he chipped in but fortunately he knows how to keep his little legs out of the way and I sat back and kept myself out of the way too! He felt strong and fit all of the way round to the end – even while galloping up the very steep hill after the corner (which went to pan – she photo below).
So – over all we ended up 32nd which is our worse BE placing to date – but I think it was out most successful outing to date! I was so so pleased with this dressage and XC. I’m now turning the attention to SJing this week with a lesson with ‘aimee on Friday night and then back to dressage on Sunday (Lothian’s spring dressage comp).
Entries are in the for 90 at Dalkeith and then Kirriemuir.