25 January 2010

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!!

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