Taking “Dusting off the Cobwebs” Literally
Wind wind and more wind
This week has been a real battle with the weather.
The wind seems to have been constant apart from a short reprieve on Tuesday afternoon. The horses have generally been very good in it, even Ted who has been recently backed.
On Friday we had a last jump before competing at the weekend. Despite fences falling down at times the horses all jumped very well and were remarkable cool.
The only one to be a bit spooky was Vinnie - but then as top dog he thinks he is allowed to be.
It’s amazing how much a young horse can change in a week.
Since being back this week he has really taken on board what has been asked off him with a real mixture of hacking, pole work and jumping.
His canter has definitely come on and he has definitely got a jump in him.
Journey to Lincoln A429 oil spill
When we entered Lincoln Stardom was competing on Saturday so we booked stables to stay over as V.I.P Vinnie and The Partner were competing on Sunday.
Unfortunately due to slipping behind we decided not to take Stardom letting him recover fully. We decided to still go up on Saturday and work the other 2 at Lincoln on Saturday afternoon. Hoping it would settle them down before their first competition!
We set off at 8am and decided to go up the A429 and then the A46 - however our journey soon changed direction. At Fossebridge there is a steep hill down and a very steep hill up. We had got part way down the hill to find the traffic stopped. It turned out that a lorry had spilt oil down the hill (luckily the other side) but up the hill the other side it was across the whole road.
Lorries were getting stuck half way up as they were losing traction on the oil. We decided our only way out of it was to reverse back up the hill we had come down and turn around once back on the flat and beyond where the oil spill started. As the police had not arrived yet to sort the traffic Mum and Dad spoke to all the cars behind to ask them to either turn around or pull right over so we could do this.
Everyone was very understanding and that is what we did. Definitely a first!! We were hoping the competition itself would be better!!!
Not a lot better than the journey!!
Our plans to settle The Partner the day before may have helped the test but his work on Saturday was so tense as the wind was getting stronger by the minute.
Poor chap was so wound up it took him a while to settle once I had stopped riding. V.I.P Vinnie on the other hand worked really nicely and was just very happy to be back out competing.
Sunday’s weather improved although a bit colder except for the hail storm at lunch time - we were so lucky to be in the lorry having lunch with friends as the ground soon became white. I can’t imagine how bad it must have been for those on the course.
The showground is so open there wouldn’t have been anywhere for them to get out of the weather.
The Partner actually performed better than we expected in the dressage as being his first competition and windy we were expecting a lot of tension. Although he was a little tense we can forgive him for that as he did do some very nice work but seemed to come above the bit 2 or 3 times just as he had done some nice work, so that affected the movement scores.
His show jumping we had the classic first fence situation - we both coasted into it and paid the price!! The rest of the round was great and in fact was jumping in a more relaxed manner than last season. XC I was really chuffed with as he jumped so well and made it very easy. A great round to have under our belt before heading off to Belton CCI***S in 2 weeks time.
V.I.P Vinnie performed a very pleasing test for 1st of the season. He had been quite put out in the morning while The Partner was competing and all he wanted to do was get going. He warmed up very well and the test just needed to be slicker - test practice will provide this. He jumped very well but had an annoying pole as we had ridden down a line and then rather coasted round a turn to a fence.
The designer set this up specifically for this to happen and we fell into the trap!! XC we got the big E.
We were both having such a fun round and really enjoying ourselves but me being me got a bit complacent and forgot to use my legs on a left handed combination fence. - Vinnie couldn’t make it on 3 but there wasn’t enough room for 4 strides, being too close Vinnie took evasive action and I went out the side door.
Needless to say neither Vinnie or I were amused but nothing worse than 2 dented prides. I must learn to ride every fence on every XC round as I did a similar thing the other year - Hopefully this will sharpen me up before Belton in 2 weeks.
The winter work has definitely paid off but the full improvements were not demonstrated this weekend.
We truly dusted off the winter cobwebs - A big thank you to all the people involved in organising the event at Lincoln - they certainly had their work cut out. Roll on Belton!