We hit the road at 6.30am in horrific rain and I also managed to roll back into a wall while reversing the lorry - not a great start but fortunately there was no damage to the lorry and the further north we got, the better the weather got. Maybe the wall incident was a one off and not the way the day was going to go…….
On arrival at Kirrie things were looking good – dry and sunny, the ground was fab and the XC didn’t disappoint! I would say it wasn’t built as big as Dalkeith, but was more technical and certainly hillier! My main worries were a couple of combinations which both included a skinny part b element, a roll top straight out of the water and managing to control our speed up and down the steep hills!
I had a quick look at the SJ on the way back and it looked very straight forward, only 9 jumps and not build big either.
Feeling quietly confident we headed down to the DR – Corks warmed up well and seemed to be listening to me so all good so far. Our arena was nice with good flat ground - off we went in smiling at the judge but for some reason it just didn’t come together. We lost all impulsion (I had to click at him to move forward when out of the judge’s earshot), I couldn’t get him to work into the bridle and he had a very uneven head carriage. He didn’t actually do anything wrong, all movements/transitions where actuate we just needed more power. I thought it probably fell between our score at Eden Valley and Dalkeith so maybe a 38…….turns out the judge disagreed and gave us a 41. I was disappointed but when l I watched the video back I agreed it was a fair mark and we had lots of work to do once we got home.
No point in worrying about it now – onwards to the SJing. Aim was to improve on our last score of 8 faults. There were only 9 jumps so how many could we really knock down……..3 it turns out. It was a real shame as he didn’t touch a pole in the warm up.
Sitting on 55 (inc 1 flipping SJ time fault!) going into the XC I decided just to enjoy it, make sure I didn’t rush any of the combinations and finish on a good note. The course rode very well – I was pleased with Corks as he really came back going down the hills when I asked him allowing me to set up the line for the combinations and he really rocketed up the hills when I let him. We did have a green moment jumping the roll top out if the water – I think I trotted into the water too slowly and didn’t really set him up for it. Once he realised it was a jump he leaped over it to the right, I continued straight forward and for a moment, I thought I was going to get a dunking! Fortunately I hung on but learnt a good lesson! We then flew home over the last 3 jumps but did pick up time faults. I think there were due to me trotting into a few of the combinations but I would rather do that at our stage them go too fast and pick up the 20 pens.
Overall I was disappointed with my riding in the dressage, both of us in the SJ but pleased with the XC. The event was well run and one I would definitely go back to. We are off to Floors this weekend so have a jump lesson and a flat work lesson to try to help us get our mojo back. We are also going to a dressage schooling night – plan is to not get in the way of the proper dressage horses and copy what they do ;-)
Onwards and upwards!