Back to being busy - Summer recess over!!
Will Rawlin Academy Filming
We did something a little different and spent a day filming training videos for my Academy that will be available on my website in due course. We did a mixture of dressage movements and show jumping exercises. As has been the norm it was a boiling hot day and quite exhausting. There is a lot of thought process that has to go into this and you have to repeat or tweak if it doesn’t seem right, at the same time making sure the horses are not over ridden, which is easily done if you are not careful. It’ll be interesting to see how the videos come out and my voice over matches in!!! - I really hope you'll find the Academy helpful.
Back out competing
Ballycoog Breaker Boy was out for the first time this season and also this was his first novice competition. The ground was firm enough which made it difficult for him to stay balanced in the small arena as he is a big horse and very extravagant. He lost his balance occasionally but I was pleased over all and good to get a test in the 20’s. Show Jumping was a real surprise as he had warmed up so well and has been jumping well in training. He only had 2 poles down all last year and we had 4 down in this competition. Not quite sure whether he got distracted on just switched off. XC we took steadily which was always the plan and he coped very well although he dropped behind the leg a couple of times. In certain situations he finds it hard to maintain balance after galloping between fences as he has so much more strength to come. Over all I was pleased with him and feel that once he has had a few outings he will be better for it.
We took Dom with us for experience and what an experience it was. He behaved very well in the lorry and coped with William being taken away from him. Whilst tacking up he was good but very aware of everything going on around him. We took him to the dressage warm up and managed to find a quiet corner which was just as well. He was very tense to start with and had a few bronking moments and head between his legs which was entertaining and I was pleased the neck strap was there!!!!! The more he worked the more he settled and more rideable he became. He grew up a lot and we look forward to taking him out and about in the coming weeks.
Wilton we planned to have 3 out but actually only ran two in the end. Ballycoog Breaker Boy didn’t go as he has grown an unexpected amount of foot which has unbalanced his front feet so we didn’t want to run, as the ground would break them up and also cause extra strain in the wrong areas. The Partner did his first run since Houghton and ran in the Intermediate class. It rained and it rained and we all got soaked through - can’t believe I am saying this!!!! Great to have the rain and it made such a huge difference to the ground which I had ridden on the day before. Unfortunately The Partner was inconsistent in the dressage as his tension increased as the test went on. He can perform a decent test but everything has to be perfect for him to do it. Show jumping he rolled a pole - first one since his first competition this season and generally didn’t jump to his usual standard which followed through to his XC so I jumped some technical fences and then decided to retire and save for another day. V.I.P. Vino had a great run at Wilton and general was much improved and feels much stronger. He did a decent test although having been very relaxed warming up he thought the wind in the trees and the river beside his arena were very spooky so went a little tense. He then did a great double clear to come 3rd.
Vinnie is generally working very well and is in full training mode back on the gallops and plenty of dressage - in his last lesson he was the best he has ever been and not to be out done Vino was also the best ever. We were working on a fantastic surface which is so different from the hard ground but really helps to develop them and gives them confidence. Ballycoog Breaker Boy has also been on the gallops as part of his strengthening programme - he doesn’t get worked fast but the hill is a great way to help strengthen over the back and teach him to adjust in canter - he feels a big lump but this won’t take long to change. We are using Boomerang new Show jumping arena a lot - it is a great surface whereas the arena at the yard is so dry and deep we don’t like jumping on it at the moment. Hopefully, this rain will make a difference even if it is just for a few days.
Hickstead Eventers Challenge
It was great to be invited to compete in this competition and I really wanted to do well. However, it didn’t go to plan as The Partner tensed up as we went into the arena which I should have adjusted my riding and taken this into account. I rode too fast and he wasn’t comfortable doing this in that arena so having had 2 run outs I decided to retire and hope that we may be back another year. It is such great fun and nice to do something different, but I must remember to stick to my training principles and not get caught up in the moment. Lots learnt - onwards and upwards.
Second part of the season is not in full swing and lots of big competitions coming up.