02 February 2009

Mangere ODE - Pre Training


Took Flynn to Mangere for their ODE, wanted to get another run in to make sure he was still fine on the XC course. Left nice & early so that I could get a good park. Warmed up for the dressage & stupidly decided to take complete exception to the way Flynn was going. I am a terrible, terrible mother, I nitpicked & niggled & nagged & the poor pony just couldn't win. I struggled through the whole test with the concept of bending to the inside but still staying out on the track around the arena. Flynn was very patient with me and didn't get upset, which was great. Judge was very nice and we got 29.71% & some lovely comments too. The score was good enough for 5th, so I was really happy with that.

Walked the XC course & nearly had a heart attack. What a hard course! Jump 2 was a bank complex with an upright at the top, and was only about 25m from the start box! Then jump 5 was an upright, 1 stride to a ditch, then 2 strides to another upright. Then down the slight incline to another ditch. Then some nice uprights, on the way to the water. Just before the water was a nice little offset double. The water consisted of a small log on top of the ledge & then a nice ramp out, around the corner to a skinny then 3 strides to the fenceline jump, then 2 more uprights & that was it.

Went over & did the Show Jumping which I thought was going to be a disaster as the cross country course was right next to where we were warming up, and every now & then a horse would come flying past flast stick, which would excite all the horses in the warm up ring. Did our Show Jumping round & went clear which was nice as it was quite a tight course with some good twisty turns.

Then went back to the truck & dithered over whether I should scratch from the XC or not... I really didn't want Flynn to stop at anything as we'd only just got his confidence sorted... After a quick gin & tonic, I decided to just be brave & see how he goes.

Warmed up nicely, no more sliding into the first XC practice jump! They held up the XC while someone was removed from the middle of the ditch combination (EEK!!!) & then again when someone came off headfirst into one of the jumps further on in the course. Finally it was our turn to go & I was starting to feel understandably a little nervous!

Cantered out through the start box & up the nice little upright which was the first jump. Flynn did a massive leap over it & next thing we knew it we were at the bank jump. Flynn hesitated and then leapt up it & out over the upright. We cantered off and did the next few jumps nice & happily. Then it was time to start heading down the slope towards the dreaded ditch combination. I slowed him up a little as he has a tendancy to truck along with his nose out & gets a bit long and fast. Was aiming for trotting into the combination but didn't quite manage it, so had to settle for a nice waiting canter instead. He jumped over the first upright and caught sight of the ditch. Had a bit of a hesitation & then leapt over it & cantered out & jumped over the last upright really nicely. Cantered down to the bigger ditch & just popped over it.

Was starting to feel quite relieved by this stage, we'd just cleared my 2 jumps that I was most concerned about, just the water to go now! He came through the offset double just beautifully & then caught side of the crowd on the bank next to the water jump. It was like he was mesmerised by them as was cantering on to the water and not even looking at it. He just kept staring with his head turned off to the left, gawking at the people on the bank. Finally managed to get his attention away from the crowd about 2 strides before the water, where he suddenly noticed the water & then charged at it. Was the best feeling as I wasn't sure how he'd cope with the addition of the log on the edge but he didn't even seem to notice & did a spectacular leap into the water. Go Flynny!! Big pats as I gathered up my reins & headed off the skinny. Again, he just lined it up & flew over it. Did the last 2 upright fencline jumps & crossed the finish line. Was so estatic, he'd been positive the whole way round (bar the ditch & bank) but even then, never felt like he was actually going to stop, just wanted a better look at them first.

Went & looked at the scoreboard & holy bejaysus, we had won it! Quite a few people had taken rails in the Show Jumping with it being such a tight course & lots of penalty points on the XC, apparently the offset double also claimed quite a few with people going too fast & not being able to complete the turn before the second jump. I was so happy of my orange pony for going clear over such a tough course.
Papatoetoe 2 day this weekend, I hope he goes clear as I am hoping to try the Hunua Horse Trial 2 weeks after that. I think it might be time to give training another go now that we've got the bravery side of it all sorted out. Not keen on trying a PC training course as that might be a bit too hard too soon! Much prefer the easier Horse Trials courses!!