So as you know I drove 3 hours away hauling Allie and squishing my daughter, niece and sister into my dual cab ute to attend an eventing clinic with Sam Lyle.
The weekend was a mixture of awful and amazing. We arrived on the Friday and set up camp, but were told that there was a massive storm rolling in just after dinner. Boy, it did not disappoint!!
We were trapped in our (luckily quite large) tent with high wind, torrential rain, lightning and thunder all around us. The rain was so heavy that we could feel the dirt turn to mud underneath the floor of the tent! It lasted a good hour or so, then hit again at about 4am. It was terrible.
I was ill prepared and had brought a basket of wet clothes to hang up to dry (because my drier at home konked out with perfect timing). Well, there was no drying of jodphurs to be had in that storm, and by morning I didn't have any pants to ride in. Thank God Natalie brought a pair of jods herself so I rode in a very tight pair of (thankfully dry) jodphurs. But my nice riding jacket was soaked so I rode in a fancy eventing clinic in a bloody zip up hoodie. Way to fit in, Lisa. I looked like a big green marshmallow.
Also, my phone battery completely died so I had no contact with the outside world except through Natalie's phone. I was bummed because I wanted to take photos of the place and of Allie while there (also I don't mind a bit of flicking through Facebook of an evening) but noooo, not allowed apparently.
Saturday was a showjumping lesson - I was in sharing a 45 minute slot with one other rider (who fell off her VERY naughty horse, twice!!). It was cold, over cast, drizzling with rain. Allie had a bee in her bonnet and was just not a happy camper and kept getting behind my leg, not picking up the correct canter lead, and even cross firing behind in the canter numerous times!!! I found it very difficult to hear Sam instructing as the wind was so loud and I missed quite a few instructions and he had to signal me in to tell me again which made me feel a bit like a numpty moron who didn't belong there. Sam was nice about it, but I still felt bad.
Allie jumped ok. Take away from that lesson was to get the canter I want from her, then just maintain it to the jump. It's the riders job to create the right canter, line and it's the horses job to jump the jump. Sam doesn't mind if the horse takes a long or short distance at this level, it's more about letting the horse figure out what she's doing but we set them up for success.
Allie had a stop/cat leap over an oxer with some picket fill and I very nearly fell off myself (only managing to scramble back on because my horse is honest and doesn't try to get you off when you become unseated, bless her heart). She wasn't sure about the fill but second go around she jumped it, and third time she jumped it perfectly, then jumped a stone wall no bloody problems! Mares.
|Omg my face 😂|
|So grace. Much skill. Wow|
|That's a bit more, well, normal.|
|A combination. Straight for the first one.|
|Not so straight for the second element. Whoops.|
It wasn't our best performance to be honest. But, I learned that I need more power in my canter, I've been cantering way too slow and I need more to get her to the bigger fences. Sam said to either fix the cross cantering if I've got enough time before the fence, or if not to just ignore it and ride through. It's just her being green and unbalanced and me being green and unbalanced. It's not been a major issue before and I wonder if she had been a little sore from traveling the day before and then standing in a tiny holding yard in a massive storm all night. I guess I'll find out next weekend at Silver Hills.
After the lesson we went into town and had lunch with some friends of mine and also visited a laundromat to dry my bloody clothes.
That night it cleared up but the temp dropped considerably. There were showers there, but we had been told they were set to ambient temperature, which I took to mean the water would be the same temp as the air around us. Natalie desperately wanted a shower so readied herself for a quick cold wash, but to her delight the shower was steaming hot!!! What a freaking awesome surprise that was, we all had been wet and freezing all through the night before and that day. A hot shower was possibly the best thing to have happened to us the whole weekend haha. Even Evie loved the shower even though it was a bit hot for her. She huddled under my legs and enjoyed the slightly cooled run off water. She was such a good girl the whole weekend, only tantruming minimally.
Next up, cross country day!!