10 February 2010

Bye bye Flynny

Well it would appear my darling boy was in high demand!

He only went to Angela's Sunday night, and was gone by Thursday night... He sold to the first person to come & see him, with 2 very, very extremely good riders also wanting to come and see him.

He has gone to a really lovely young rider in Clevedon, I'm allowed to visit whenever I like and will be able to see them out and about at competitions which is very cool. She rides him very nicely and said she loves how he feels xc, so I really think they are going to make the best partnership. Can't wait to see where they get to!

25 January 2010

Update - since I suck at keeping this updated

I took Flynn home to Masterton so that we could mosey around on the farm over the Xmas, we went for big hacks with Mandy, out along the ruamahunga river, and also up the big hill at the back of the farm. We jumped streams and chased sheep and had a blast!

On the sad side of things, I have decided to sell my darling horse. I put everything I have, into what I do with him and although I do really love it & he really is my one in a million horse, I just can't do it any longer. I was lucky enough to have Richard propose to me last year, and I'd love to be in a position where we could pay for a wedding sooner rather than later, maybe have a holiday, or even just buy some clothes for a change! I am too competitive to want to just hack around at home, I know I'd go crazy and Flynn's only 7 years old and going so well, that I'd be silly not to take the opportunity to sell him. He'll be going on the market very soon, I'm hoping Angela will market him for me as I just can't do it myself, I'd cry everytime someone got out of the car! So on that note, here are some photos of Flynn over the years

First Day

6 months later

First Outing - TiPapa Winter SJing (3 years old - thought he was 4 at the time, didn't realise he was so young!!)

First Jumping Lesson - Kirstin Kelly (4 years old)

Hopuhopu SJing (5 years old)

Relaxing in the stream at Hunua (5 years old)

Tip & Out Adult Ride (6 years old)

Hunua HT (6 years old)

Taupo XC Schooling (7 Years Old)

Puhinui HT (7 years old)

Puhinui - PreNovice Champ Class

After Richfields I realised that I have spent a lot of time working on my avid dislike of dressage, however had not put any time or work into my SJ or XC. I have always been very lucky in that Flynn was talented enough to get himself out of a bad situation if I put him in it, but am learning that now we're getting to levels that I actually have to participate, he can't do it all himself, especially if I'm being a lump on his back & not riding well! So boot camp for Kristal and I spent more time with Angela working on technical lines etc. Apparently I completely suck at looking where I'm going and don't start making any turns until at least 1-2 strides after landing. Well a few weeks of lessons certainly fixed that bad habit hehehe

Trot up was fun, Ky helped me get Flynn ready & he looked a million bucks. He also thought it was a fantastic idea since everyone was watching, to power off in a really big trot nearly leaving me behind & then when we turned to come back again he got excited, did his leapy thing and then took off in big trot again. He's cute that one! Passed the trot up no worries.

Dressage was good, in fact it was great. I saluted and had tears pouring down my face, was the best dressage test I've ever done, we were accurate, he was fantastic and just felt amazing! Turns out it marked as well as it felt too, we were marked by 2 judges & we actually got the highest mark in the class (71.74%), however our second mark was lower, which averaged us out to 68.69% for second place!!! (Yeah baby!) on 31.3%.

Cross Country was again fantastic, some horrible lines and some ugly jumps, including a hideous drop over a log, 4 strides to a very skinny chevron off to the right. Flynn was a star & I have to say, I think I rode him really well too! Only unfortunate part was that we caught up with the rider in front of us at the Maori Pa & I was stuck behind her for 1km screaming at her to move over etc but she couldn't hear me and I had to keep pulling Flynn up to stop from following too closely. Very lucky I didn't get time faults, I crossed the line right as my watch went off. The good run had put us in to 1st place. Holy heck, the pressure was on!!!

Flynn lost a front shoe somewhere on the course, from looking at photos he had lost it before the water jump, so had done over half the course with just 1 front shoe. Brave pony! Farrier came out that night & put a new one on & we iced and iced and iced like nobodies business, which resulted in a sound trot up the next morning.

I arrived late for my SJing which was not a good start, Angela stayed to help warm me up which was lovely of her when she had to get ready for her next class. We warmed up well, however as I entered the ring, I had to stop & wait for the first jump to be put back up again, which completely broke my concentration. I then adopted a very fatalistic "lets get it over with" approach, as the nerves just completely took over. I didn't ride well at all, the lines were all mixed up with long strides and short strides in the related triple etc and I let him get flat down a long 6 stride line which resulted in a rail. I then gunned him at the triple which worked, however didn't bring him back enough for the short 2 stride double, which resulted in us taking out the first fence as he wouldn't slow down & I wasn't softening!!! It wouldn't have made much of a difference if I had let go, he would have cleared the first one and taken the second one anyway as the stride was so short and he is such a long striding horse and was going at a good speed LOL, so I still feel better that I was my choice and not his.

So the 2 rails put us back to 7th place however was good enough to give us the highest place amateur award, so we won a lovely rug sponsored by Horse & Pony Magazine. YAY! Big thank to Ky for constantly primping & cleaning Flynn, he looked fantastic all weekend and big thanks for Mel for the XC Photos! Also thanks to my cooling down team for the XC, Richard, Ky, Lynette & Emma, you guys rock and have iced water throwing down to a fine art!!

Richfields - PreNovice Champ Class

Well I got all ambitious & entered the champ class at Richfields... Yes, yes, I know, I've only done 2 Pre Novices & 1 Open PC but still! LOL

Dressage was actually really good after a very tense warmup, he was more interested in what the broodmares were doing a few paddocks over, they were running around when we were walking over for our dressage. Lucky he likes to show off in the dressage arena and put on a really good test for for 39.71 penalty points, which put us just 7points behind the leaders who were on 32.9. Good start and shows that my least favourite phase is getting stronger! He did however feel like he was a fraction too fit and could easily have gone for another hour... hmmm not good for XC day LOL

Cross Country unfortunately was a bit of a difference in opinion between us. His version is that you should go as fast as possible and not slow down at any stage. However this did mean that we had 2 run outs, one when I dropped my reins when he did a big leap over a roll top which was 5 strides to a skinny on a curve (totally my fault!) but then we had our second run out at the bottom of the hill when he landed after the roll top & tried to take off again, however there was only 3 strides before an ugly palisade which he literally slid into as he was just going to fast and it completely caught him by surprise. I think for next time I will make sure I am sitting up in combinations and NOT letting him run on, he wasn't even remotely prepared for it, so again, my fault but not helped by over cocky horse! He sailed through the water which was the most technical we've ever had, so was super proud of him. I made sure I kept my reins over the rest of the curved lines and we did them all no worries. Shame it took so long to get into our stride on the course, I think I got a bit frantic and shut down when I couldn't get him to slow up. Time for a new bit me thinks!!

Show Jumping was ok, very tight tough course that they had run the earlier 2 non champ prenovice classes over, which had then lead it to be completely cut up by the time it was our classes turn. There were slide marks everywhere! Flynn was clear up until the liverpool, 3 strides out he was fine, 2 strides out he saw the cut up ground & just hesitated for a second, which was enough to start us sliding as I didn't have front studs in. Unfortunately we had that stop & we had 1 rail at the planks which were off a tight corner. I could have ridden the corner a lot better, all in all Richfields gave us lots to work on which is always good when you know you can fix those mistakes! :)

No photos, I can't find where I've downloaded them to!

07 January 2010

Papatoetoe PC - Open 6th & 7th November

Well at least we provided the entertainment in the SJ!
Dressage test was nice, for 6th place, then I got completely & utterly lost twice in the SJing. So lost I had to halt and look around and find the next jump as my 2 big circles hadn't helped me out LOL Then Flynn got confused and thought I was going to circle when I wasn't and took a rail. Complete disaster and I started laughing and couldn't stop. Not a good look :D Cross country was great though and he flew into the water both times, including over our first log into water. Over the big ugly trakhener too, so I was very happy with him. Good to have another clear XC before Richfields. Finished 9th :)

Whangarei Pre Novice 24th & 25th October

Made the hike up to Whangarei and happily, my little truck made it too! Bit slow but we got there :D

Flynn's dressage was good, he even got an 8 from Judith Mathews for his lengthened trot! 31.3%, good pony! 6th after the dressage

Clear SJing which was a relief as again there was carnage in the SJ, 7 clear rounds this time though, but had us sitting 3rd place going into the XC.

Cross country - the course was a nice course, there was just the 1 jump out the back that I really didn't like, log on ground, with just 1 more raised full height log a metre out & you could see through both of them to the short sharp downhill on the other side. Angela cheered me up by saying that 12 year olds do it all the time. Well that worked! PMSL Flynn went clear which was fantastic, exactly what we both needed. Such a nice feeling having both of us feel confident! LOL

Not sure how, but we ended up winning! YAY!

Taupo Pre Novice - 17th & 18th October

So I bit the bullet and we upgraded to Pre Novice at Taupo. Took the day off work and headed down late morning so that I could have a leisurely drive down and even have a ride down there Friday afternoon. Arrived about 2 and had plenty of time to just slowly organise myself. Had a great ride, so was looking forward to the dressage part anyway! Had a look at some of the XC fences and OMG, they were massive!! I'd only ever jumped Pre Novice/Novice fences while out schooling, if I had had to walk up to them on foot before hand, I'd have never have done them! The course looked to be full height, with the majority of the fences being newly made which made them all look bigger and 10x more scarey!

Dressage on Saturday went well, Flynn was the best behaved he'd ever been in a dressage test but at the same time felt quite flat. I was really stoked with him, as it was my first time trying to do the new version of A3 & I didn't need to be dealing with and avoiding any naughty displays on his part hehehe Only got 58.5% in dressage which put us 15th after the dressage.

Show Jumping was complete carnage, there were rails being taken left, right & centre and Flynn didn't have the most inspiring warm up, knocking the practice rail for a 6 and shoving it about 3m away from the jump. Fantastic, that will help my nerves!! I was quite worried that Flynn having done a lot of training, would not be ready for the jumps to be 1.05m instead of 95cm and surely enough, he took out the first rail. On the plus side though, he did clear everything else really well. Only 2 people in our whole class of 26 went clear in the SJ, so we moved up to 6th equal going in the XC.

Cross Country was honestly petrifing, the jumps were massive, with some pretty good questions. They had an elephant trap on the edge of a slight incline right next to the truck carpark that caused a few problems with horses just deciding it was easier to head to the truck park and not take the right hand turn going into the jump. Flynn was good for this jump, he just looked at it & leaped over, which was good! He did however start to run on a bit down the hill and shied at the gateway (great idea in the mud!) We then had to gallop down the back of the pine trees to a tricky little combination of 3 offset logs, which had a tree in the middle of the third log, you could go down 1 side for 2 strides each, or down the other side and get 3 strides. I opted for the 2 strides which was a little silly as Flynn came round the corner and spotted the spectators, didn't see the jump, fell over the first one, I smacked him, we scrabbled over the second one & then I just took my leg off and he jumped out to the left of the third one. Quick circle & cleared it & carried on. Our next fence was a ramp in the trees with a tree being about 3 strides in front of it, so no clear line in, he was spooky for it but jumped it anyway & I think he found his stride after that as was just super for the rest of the course, including our first ever keyhole! We finished in 12th place with our stop, so proud of my boy, once he clicked on, he just became a machine, ended up really enjoying ourselves on the XC & thats a first! LOL

Luckily Taupo counted as a qualifying round for Richfields & Puhinui, so just needed 1 more with a double clear & I'd be in. Photos to come

Te Rapa Training 3rd & 4th October

Well, for our first start back, we really did have the worst weather! Flynn went through 3 covers that turned out to be no longer waterproof & I went through 3 jackets, also no longer waterproof. They ended up having commercial tractors in towing people out as their tractor was also getting stuck. Flynn was good in the dressage, Louise videod it for me and apart from one minor athletic moment in the left rein canter, he was an angel. However didn't mark very well at all and ended up 18th after the dressage. I quickly went & did the show jumping so that we could be over & done with before the weather packed in big time, so glad I did! Clear SJing and Flynn was just lovely to ride, we had the perfect canter and it was adjustable! Completely stoked with my boy, this put us into 8th place after the SJ. It poured down all night, never seen the grounds look so wet, thick mud everywhere. The one saving grace with the WEC being on the side of the Waikato river, the ground under the mud was holding up really well. Flynn went clear XC, however we were held up halfway round the course as the ground had come away on the side of one of the crossings. This incurred us time faults, so we finished 6th. Got a nice brush and a lovely rosette, was a lovely finish to the weekend

05 September 2009

Schooling at Home

Asked Richard to come out and fix my truck, so figured might as well get a couple of flatwork photos for the blog.

Taupo for XC Schooling


Went with Ky and Kylee to Taupo to go schooling for the weekend. With the last trip to Taupo being a little disappointing with me ending up in the water jump, I was understandably a little nervous about what sort of horse I had taken down with me. The old Flynn was so whimpy about XC jumps that he'd slide to a stop at an intro log if he hadn't seen an xc jump in a little while. Well thankfully the old Flynn has long gone, we started off over some PreTraining logs which he flew over, then straight into a PreTraining chevron, which he just lined up and went at it. Ok, cool, scrap the baby jumps then, lets just go for the training ones, which he did without a single hesitation, including over the logs into the water where we had parted company 2 years ago. Gosh I love the new Flynn, feels so confident, he really just takes you into the jumps without the slightest feel of doubt. No photos from day one as we all rode together.

Day two was a bit wet by the time I rode, but on the plus side, got heaps of photos! Started jumping anything and everything in front of us, including a big intermediate roll top and quite a few Novice jumps. Then remembered that I was just there to practice over the PreNovice stuff in preparation for our PN start at Taupo in October, so settled down and just did them instead. Figured that I am planning on having Flynn for a long time, so no point pounding him over the bigger jumps when I really just want a nice PreNovice horse for the time being :)

Flynn's baaaaack

So Flynn was turned out on the 3rd of May for 3 months holiday at his aunty Louise's place. No feed and only 1 bale of hay was consumed and he came back in FAT!! Like heavily pregnant broodmare fat! And with the joys of being a hairy stationbred, he also came back in looking like a red yeti!

First things first, Ky came out & clipped him for me, so that he look 10x more presentable. Sadly, didn't change how fat he looked LOL He was great for his first ride, not even needing to be lunged, just hopped on and went for a wander around the PC grounds. Day 2 and even Jannine rode him, he was such a good boy. Day 7 however did end up with a very fresh athletic horse LOL luckily it was just for the 1 ride and we haven't seen any more of that behaviour.

As I was away for the weekend with friends in Ohakune and we were going to Taupo for schooling the weekend after, I needed him kept fit and fed, so he got sent to Angela's for exercise. Very handy! Apparently he was a joy to have around and is allowed back any time :)

So back into it, have moved to a new grazing that has a 60x20 arena with floodlight at one end, stables, 13 acres with 4 horses on it, feed room, tack room, concrete hosedown etc... goal for the season is to do training at Te Rapa 3/4 October, then hit PreNovice at Taupo 17/18 October, with the aim to be ready for the big classes at Richfields end of November and Puhinui in December.

07 July 2009

Adult Riding Club Prizegiving

WOW. So it appears all the blood, sweat, tears and unwillingness to give up, have paid off! Flynn won the Hyde Dressage Cup, the Show Jumping Cup and to finish off the night, also took out the coveted Tele-Ho Eventing Trophy. The Tele-Ho eventing trophy is run by Angela Burrill, who gives you points for every entry, every top 10 dressage placing, clear SJ round, etc, etc. She also gives upgrade points each time you move up a grade. She was top of the leaderboard herself over the spring season, however we managed to pip her at the post with 91 points to her 64 at the end. She has worked tirelessly to score/provide prizes etc and without her generosity, this trophy wouldn't exist. The picture in the trophy is of Ange & Tele-ho jumping into the water at Kihikihi. Lovely trophy too, very cleverly done. Came away with a free Allan Goodall lesson so that should be intersting, will make sure I have photos from that one!!

Flynn also got a certificate for being "Party Popper of the Year" as he popped all the balloons on the joker fence at Pony Club camp in January "for putting his body on the line and saving everyone from the evil balloons". Unfortunately we were 2nd to go and nobody had spare balloons to redo the jump. Suffice to say everyone found the joker so much easier after that LOL

14 May 2009

Te Rapa HT - Training - 2/3 May

Hmmmm... interesting weekend actually...

Went down Friday night and rode in the sand arena as wanted him to be as acclimatised as possible. Was silly for 20 minutes and then bingo, he all of a sudden settled and started to work quite nicely.

Saturday morning dawned, weather was crap, day consisted of pretty much constant drizzle. Tacked up & rode to the sand arena to warm up and he was just beautiful to ride, lovely and soft and straight and was listening & was even soft across the top of his poll, which is always the last place to soften on him. Went over to ride up the bank to the grass arena's and he didn't want to go up there, get up the arena and then he decides to be an acrobatic idiot in front of the spectators. We even got a few giggles as I was just saying "Don't even THINK about it" when he promptly launched & leapt into the air. Did a 4 foot plant in front of the judges car, where we then promptly had our bell rang. He pulled out an amazing lengthened trot going down the long side away from the judges car & I just knew the test was going to go to custard LOL

He powered up the centreline, however managed to stay really straight, so that was a good start. Unfortunately he just got more and more energetic as the test went on and by the time came to canter, he did his elevated canter on both reins, and every single step, instead of his normal "left rein only & only the second step after transition"
Pulled him out of canter as early as possible on each rein, however I do have to say he did some really nice trot work and a lovely free rein walk (no idea how he was so relaxed when he was a such a shyite for everything else!!) After our test, I went and worked him in the sand arena again for 10 minutes. Funnily enough, he was straight back to being super nice & polite. In fact a friend who didn't realise we hadn't gone, even commented, "Gosh he's going super, I bet you hope your test is soon!" LOL oh well, never mind, its the second time he's gotten a bit tense at the grass arena's at WEC, wonder if he remembers the jet boat from last time?

Went back to the truck and changed gear for the SJing as just wanted to get it over & done with and try & get him back in his warm covers before the weather got too much worse. Thank goodness for studs, footing was pretty grotty, so jumped hard up the right side of all the practice jumps to try and get a clean track in. Went into the ring and decided with all the yuck corners that perhaps our Show Hunter "expertise" could possibly put us in good stead. Turns out it really helped, except for a small slip coming into jump 6 which resulted in our one and only rail.

Got both of us dried and changed into warm clothing before we could freeze any further.

Lucky I have all my rugs in the truck, it was so cold down there that I ended up with the woollen show rug on my bed with hot water bottle and he was wearing everything else!

Cross Country day - luckily the weather cleared up for it, as was quite an interesting track, making the most of the little steep hills. We had to do a sharp turn onto a steep short downhill to a ditch in front of a log upright. It was just like a palisade but without the solid back wall, quite weird being able to see straight through LOL I had my whip out and legs on and everything and unfortunately we had a stop there, I can honestly, hand on heart, say that it wasn't for lack of riding on my part, we even slid in to the ditch as I was so committed. After he finishing shaking & overreacting about the jump, I turned a tight circle, gave him a good smack half a stride out & he leapt over it like it was going to burn him. Had to sit up & get him controlled again as 6 strides later was a drop fence on the edge of a very steep hill. He hesitated momentarily before leaping over it, I'm sure the butt paddling he got going in to helped as well LOL
He went the rest of the way around the course clear, including jumping the big log into the water and doing all the harder options, straight through the bounce etc. Very proud of my boy by the end, he is just turning into such a machine, I am really looking forward to giving pre novice a good crack next season!!

Photos from the weekend here: http://www.takethemoment.co.nz/photos/v/events/TeRapa/Mattingley_N7324.JPG.html

26 April 2009

Adult Ride Dressage and Show Jumping Comp

Papatoetoe Adult Ride has 3 dressage and 3 show jumping comps per season, and lately we have been starting to hold them together on a Saturday to make better use of our time/people available to help set up etc. I decided to be brave/dumb and entered Flynn in the 2.4 test as although we weren't ready for that sort of test, the whole idea of the comp is to give it a go in a more laid back setting. So entered 2.4 and started to pray LOL Also, in the week leading up to the comp, our lengthened trot button decided to break. It was nowhere in sight, he would just run along, even if I balanced him right back in the corner. Not looking good LOL

Saturday came & thank goodness, as we were warming up, I discovered that our lengthen button had been reinstalled. YAY! Flynn actually ended up doing a really super test and good grief, he even won his class on 74%! he got 8s & 7s and only 1x 6 in the whole test. Even got an 8 for one of his lengthened trot movements. Ended winning not only his class, but also got the highest test score over the whole day to win the dressage part overall. Go the jumper!!

We then had the Show Jumping part of the competition. Unfortunately I was only one in my 1.05m class, ooo, guess who won? LOL but our jump off time was good enough to actually win overall in the Show Jumping, so took out that as well. I was so proud of my boy!!

Best part of the Show Jumping comp is that we encourage people to have a play at the end, so got them to put some of the jumps up. Yes well, I thought one of them looked pretty decent& sure enough, got the measuring stick out, big oxer, 1.25m high and 1.20wide. He didn't even feel laboured by it, just flew over it no worries. Got to love the orange pony! We even did it a few times to prove it wasn't a once off LOL

Then stupidity set in & I was dared to do the 1.10m upright without reins, so knotted them on his neck and dropped them a stride out to do a flying angel. Hmmm stupid much? Had a sudden thought as I flung my arms out including whip (can you see where I am going here?) that it was potentially a really dumb thing to do if he happened to catch sight of the whip out the side of his eye. Luckily he didn't even bat an eyelid and just jumped it nicely & cantered off nicely on the other side. Thank god he has more sense than I do!! Won't be doing that again in a hurry LOL

Consolidating what we've learnt

I've been having lessons with Angela every fortnight since the last week of January and I have to say, what a difference!! I no longer wiggle my hands around and they are starting to get a lot more even, I even have a photo of me riding flatwork on my friends horse & OMG and they are level! I am also getting less naggy with my legs, which means that Flynn listens when I use them, which is always nice!

Angela is really quite taken with Flynn and I've promised her I'll go to her first if I ever decide to sell him. My main problem is that I just couldn't replace him! I've even upped my bravery levels and am going to go out and do Pre Novice next season after a Training start, as we have been schooling at that level with Angela and I am not longer petrified at the thought! I have even quite happily done a few novice roll tops, so the future is definitely looking brighter.

First weekend of April I took Flynn down to PC & practiced an exercise that Angela taught me, which involes a low but heinously wide oxer and a jump 1 stride on either side of it. Jannine very nicely took photos for me
Shame he knocked this one

Then it was off to play on the XC course. I really want him to be comfortable over trakheners as that was our biggest problem at Te Rapa HT last year, so have been practicing them heaps and he's not even remotely fussed about them now! Jannine had done up a new jump for horses to be scared of, so put him over both of those. So cute over the bags they were going to eat his tootsies dontcha know!!

Not even fazed by the big hole in the ground!