I headed over to SNEC on Wed night for their schooling night. Although I have been having lots of lessons, I haven’t actually been out jumping full courses. It was lovely and quiet, we had a nice warm up and went in for the 85 – Corks didn’t put a foot wrong, I got a little lost and tried to miss out number four. We therefore came in at a bit of an angled so rolled it but that was definitely rider error! The 95 went better; we flew round and Corks made it feel easy. Unfortunately the last pole went but I let him get a little flat. Overall it was our best jumping in ages and we both enjoyed it.
Thursday night we headed over to Rockrose with the South East Scotland Dressage Group to their schooling night. We spent 45 mins working in their lovely indoor school. Wasn’t perfect but I was pleased with him and it felt like he was trying hard. Also met some lovely new people. The SESDG have lots of training and events planned which we’ll be attending to help beat the stressage!
Friday night we had a short lesson at home which went well, just some final prep before the 4.30am start for Floors the next day.
We arrived at Floors with plenty of time to spare. I walked the SJ which looked like the perfect course for Corks – lots of fillers to back him off and probably about 95 – big enough that he would respect the jumps hopefully. Next was the XC walk, I had left enough time to walk twice after almost getting lost over the back hill at Kirrie – lesson learnt! The course was lovely, flat and flowing. There were a few questions (a trakehner earlier on at number 4, a tricky skinny before the water and a log to ditch to log combination near the end). It was a much easier route to follow than Kirrie through, just out to the water and back basically.
Feeling good about both jumping phases we tacked up and hacked over through the woods to the DR. I thought the hack over to the dressage would help chill Corks out but unfortunately it did the opposite. He was not a happy boy – he would not accept the contact at all so we rode a horrific dressage. I was so disappointed as we’ve been working so hard but it just wasn’t to be. I think I might pop him out on the lunge before getting on in future to see if that helps. I’m also going to ride in my jump saddle as a few people have suggested I’ll be able to get my leg on better and have a softer seat than in my Wintec DR saddle. May be time for a saddle upgrade!
No point in worrying about it though, it was done. Onwards to the jumping which didn’t disappoint! The show jumping was very quiet so I had a short warm up, popped a few fences and went straight in. C was a star, jumped his wee socks off and only took the last pole. I turned a little sharply in hindsight and it came on us a bit quicker than I expected but after last week I was over the moon. XC was next and I was determined not to pick up any time faults this week. We set off well but were almost caught out by the trakehner at 4 – he chipped in as just wasn’t quite in his flow yet. After that he was flying, everything came quite easily apart for a nice grand national style brush which he chipped too. This left me a little worried as there were three quite substantial box style jumps on the home straight which I needed him to stand off a bit. I decided to ride quite positively from there – he happy listened. Over the tricky skinny and into the water. We trotted in but picked up canter while in the water this week to save on time. I didn’t need to worry about the larger jumps on the way back – he was super confident and flying by then. I really had to work hard to get him back for the log to ditch to log – thankfully there was a kindly added ground line for the ditch which helped him back off a bit. We came in 20 secs under the time and clear. I do think the time was much easier to get on this flat course than the hilly one at Kirrie. We are off to Belsey next which I’m told is a tricky XC course so it’ll be interesting to see how we fair for time there.
All in all I was so please with the jumping, but so disappointed by the dressage. To give me a little perception on our performance, I proceeded to fly over Lucas’ head when I rode him in the afternoon so I then quickly forgave Corky for the bad dressage as at least he looks after me!
Off for a week of R&R in Tenerife now and will start a fresh in June……..when we will nail the dressage!!!