Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Sydney @ SIEC pro photo

One last photo. :)

Monday, 22 February 2016

The Plan

Ok guys, here's the plan.

Allie and I are headed to Silver Hills hunter trials on Easter Monday (that's the 28th March) to try out the 80cm course. Before then I'll take her to silver hills with a friends, Debbi (she events prelim level) to school over the scarier fences.

Then, THEN, I'm going to enter Equestriad on my birthday weekend (16th/17th April) in the 80cm class. We are jumping 80cm at home confidently so hopefully with a couple of xc schools and the hunter trial we will be happily jumping intro level.

After that event, she can have 4 weeks off, as I'll be in Hawaii for two weeks at the end of April/early May. Then we will see what's happening around the time I bring her back into work.

That's it!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sydney @ SIEC Photos

This is going to be a bit of a massive photo dump. Some of them are rather funny!


This is where the juge asked me to stop because there was a loose horse.


Cross Country:

Checking my watch, I was super late by this stage.

Ok, this is heading toward the brush where she nearly stopped. This series of photos is hilarious!


After a whack and a kick, she went for it.

This was just as comfortable as it looks.

After the finish line! So happy.

So pooped.


Sydney @ SIEC Eventing 20.02.16

Oh my gosh, yesterday was a HUGE day.
Evie woke up at 5am for a feed and I was way too excited/nervous to go back to sleep. I got ready and left early, getting Allie to SIEC about 4 hours too early lol.
Dressage warm up went well, but my test was stopped halfway through because of a loose horse (I didn't even notice!). The right canter was great, transitions were good, but she broke out of the left canter into a trot for one stride (my fault entirely, I was nagging). And the medium walk was a bit sticky. Still, we got a 67.71% and were coming 4th after dressage!
Show jumping was up next. All my phases only had about a half hour between them so I was super stressed while trying not to be. Natalie and a friend were invaluable help. The show jumping was running late which was a bit annoying but oh well, you get that. She warmed up OK, I think we both found it hard to switch between dressage and jumping. I should have had a longer rein. We went clear in the round, but I felt awful - every jump felt like crap and Allie saved it every time, I kept getting in her way. I'm waiting on the video for that to see if it looked as bad as it felt, but everyone else said it looked ok.
I zoomed back to the float with the girls and we swapped boots and took her mane out and then I zoomed up to the cross country. They were pretty much waiting for me so I jumped two warm up jumps then hopped into the jump box. She stood calmly and after the countdown we were off!
The first half of the course was pretty straightforward. Mainly just logs, but there was some hills to go up and down too. The second half I knew (from the course walk) would be a bit more intimidating. Twists and turns and some scary jumps (for me). We had one stop at the garden bed, which was wedged between two trees and I had to swerve around other jumps to get to it. Allie was looking at the huge 3* jump on the left of it, and by the time I got her attention on the correct jump (which I was already scared of), it was a bit too late and I should have used more leg and my crop, but I didn't and she stopped. I turned her around and came at the jump again with super string leg and a tap with the crop and over she went.
A few of the jumps she jumped huge because she was a bit looky and I had to slip my reins and I was a bit loud and was having fun and was whooping and laughing while being scared at the same time.
At the second last jump, the "getting it done" brush, she thought about stopping again. I was like "NO YOU DON'T" and gave her a kick and a whack and she leapt over it - Natalie got a good set of photos of the whole thing, I'll share it with you guys when I get them.
The last jump was OK and there were some people at the end and they whooped and cheered and clapped for me and yelled "you did it!!" - I didn't know them at all but their cheers made me emotional. As I galloped through the finish I was laugh-crying and as I pulled her up I was cuddling and kissing her gross sweaty neck and crying and saying "we did it we did it". I can't believe how emotional I was.
Cross country especially was harder and scarier than I thought it would be. After our stop we were running late and had the penalties from both which dropped us to 25th, which was a bummer, we would have been third if we hadn't had a stop. I was tired and didn't feel well after my tiny amount of sleep and not eating and drinking enough, so I think that contributed. Each jump except for the easy low logs had me steeling myself to go over, even though I jump way bigger at home. I want to go cross country schooling before going to another comp again.
I'm happy we turned up early, because we got a good parking spot and we chilled out. Next time I'm bringing an Esky with wine and cheese lol. I'm also happy with my organisation of all the tack and that I brought friends to strap for me. I'm super happy with our dressage, especially seeing as it's the first time in about 3 years that we trotted down the centerline.
Next time I want to have a SJ and a xc lesson the week or two leading up to it. I'm most disappointed in my riding during the sj because I just got in her way. I'm a bit proud of my riding in cross country because I was scared, but I put my leg on and rode forward anyway.
My first event was a mixture of emotions - nervous and excited, tired and a bit ill, calm and focused and exhilarated and proud. My mare saved my butt no less than 15 times yesterday. I hope I can become the rider she needs me to be.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Realisation of a dream

Did I tell you guys that we entered our first official event? I don't think I told you guys!

Well, this Saturday, Allie and I are competing in the eva60 at the Sydney (@SIEC) Eventing summer classic!

I'm nervous and excited. Our dressage is going to be a bit sketchy as our transitions aren't always what they should be but hopefully she's got a bit of forward on the day and I can get her to relax.

I think mainly I've got to make sure that I don't panic and that I leave plenty of time to get ready for each phase!

So excited

Friday, 5 February 2016

Pro photo

Just a quick one today to show you guys this photo.

Damn those pro photographers! I wanted to buy all three shits he took but at $35 a pop I reined it in to just this one.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Equestriad Hunter Trials

Sunday morning dawned foggy and soggy after a tyorrential storm the afternoon before. The dressage competition held at Camden was cancelled due to the footing - but not the hunter trials!

As I was pulling in with Allie in the float, I saw how busy it was. The grounds were PACKED and I saw all the beautiful horses heading over to the cross country phase. Instantly I started to feel the sadness and jealousy that I've always felt since Allie broke her leg - but after a moment it turned to happiness and nervousness and excitement because today, I was going to be one of those riders.

Natalie came with her camera and she got some great shots.

First up was cross country.

Just before warming up

First warm up log. We ended up jumping the big log on the left of this one too, no photographic evidence of this though!

She looked awesome

Apparently this fence bites?

I was a little intimidated by this fence but it was near the end so she was really happy to jump anything by this stage.

Through the water, no problems there!

Aaaaaand the last log.
Cross country was an absolute blast!! I got so lost because I didn't have time to walk the course, and poor Allie ended up galloping up the hill and then had to come straight back down again. Whoops!

She didnt refuse or stop at anything, and we even did the intro stairs (whoops again) which was super fun. It was too sloppy to do more than a slow trot down hill and I rode around a slightly scary brush jump that had a downhill after it. Other than that, it was a great ride.

After a cool down and a bit of a rest, was 2 showjumping rounds. Here's video of the first round.

It was a 60cm course and she took it all in her stride, no problems. The second round we had one rail down, she put in an extra stride and got too close to the jump, plus I think she was tired by this point (I know I was!!!).

Warm up jump

This fence was probably the most intimidating, but she wasn't worried at all.

So, the whole day was a dream come true.

Lessons learned:

  • Be more organised!
  • Leave myself more time especially to walk the xc so I know where the hell I'm going
  • Work on my own fitness
  • Bring carrots for the superstar horse next time!
So, we have entered an eva60 at Sydney International Equestrian Centre on the 20th February. I can't wait!