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