End of March/ Beginning of April saw the first official event take place at Waterford!! The committee had done a fabulous job getting the grounds perfect and building an EA accredited course up to (new) 2* level. (Ps I hate the new course names 🤦🏽♀️)
The course is fab! Making use of the hills, different types of jumps including trakheners, apexes, skinnies etc and up to height. Lots of riders were concerned about the height but the course wasn’t super technical so actually rode pretty well.
^^Jet- jumping prelim xc
One of my students Caitlin Ward (who I met a few years ago when I sold her Croydon Park Clickety Clack aka Charlie), had broken her foot and was unable to ride for 5-6 weeks at the beginning of the year!! Seems a running trend- ringing very similarly to the start of my season last year!
I therefore had jumped Charlie a few times and took him around the EvA80 at Waterford. He was super! He was a bit off for the dressage as the footing was bad after lots of rain and was a little sore in his hip but backed it up with a double clear!
✈️ Jet did his best dressage yet with a 64.5% score to be sitting in the top half of the class.
It was very wet when we went showjumping but he was bold and confident (more than I was) just having an unlucky rail and a few time penalties.
Cross-country the following morning had me wracked with nerves- since coming back from my broken foot the year before! I’m not exactly sure why- and I hope they start to settle! Jet looked after me and did exactly as I asked. We took it steadily and went around at a pace I was comfortable with. Hence we had some time penalties to keep us out of the placing this time!!
Jet finishing the prelim xc superbly!
TOOWOOMBA Horse Trials
Well the drive to Twba was definitely an adventure! I was very lucky to be able to borrow my boyfriend’s truck and gooseneck for the weekend, but I wAs frightened to drive up the range for the first time unassisted.
On the Friday afternoon we were off to a wedding in Chinchilla after we had dropped Jet at the Showgrounds. With John, my bf half an hour behind me I set off on the road. Turning in at a small servo for a toilet break and to check on Jet I then had my first dilemma! Trying to turn into a space all of a sudden the truck wouldn’t move!! It was like the brakes were on!
Oh and my phone was also not working to top it off. I wasn’t able to call out or hear anyone so I’d just restarted it! It was taking fifty million years to turn back on whilst I sat in the middle of the servo not being to move.
Finally it came on and I messaged my bf who had no idea why I couldn’t move! So I crawled the truck a little further out of the way, with the clutch stinking.
I messaged again to find out where he was (miles away!) and said again it’s like the brake is on!
“Oh!! The break away!!!” 🤦🏽♀️ well it would have been nice if we’d realised that sooner. So as I had turned, a bale of hay on the back of the truck had pulled undone the wire between the truck and gooseneck that is there to put the brakes on if they were ever to disconnect.
Ok plugged back in I got going! No check on Jet! The living was locked! And John has the key in his pocket 🤦🏽♀️🤬😂
Ok so back on the road approximately 20 mins later there was a huge bang! A true on the near side of the gooseneck had exploded!
John thought I was having him on when I messaged! I managed to pull into a side road and get into the living via the horse part to start getting the tyre changed whilst waiting for John!
Anyway we got it changed, got to the Showgrounds, dropped off Jet in his stable and got to Chinchilla 15 mins late for the wedding! We had a great time though!
I was very lucky that one of my students had offered to wash and plait Jet for me so he was ready for the morning!
I drove us back at 11pm getting back at 2am- after a midway nap- struggling to stay awake! 🤞🏼 The drive home was far less complex that the drive up 🚚
We have really been stepping up our dressage training and in the week leading up to Twba- after some xc schooling and lots of canter work Jet was a bit sore. He was struggling to maintain his canter and despite trying everything to get him feeling his best by the event he couldn’t hold it together for our test which was a shame. He broke in the canters and got a poop score! But I know that was just because of how he was feeling so not to dwell!
We were last in the dressage ring and had to do a super fast tack change to get over to the showjumping before they moved to the next class! This seemed to keep my nerves a little more at bay as I didn’t have time to get inside my head and had to crack on with it!!
Making sure I didn’t fiddle and stayed out of Jet’s way so he could do his best worked out and we jumped a clear round! He felt fantastic! I was glad to have that out of the way and only the cross-country the following day!
We enjoyed some showjumping that afternoon watching the 1*-3* classes before heading out to my favourite Thai restaurant! The Thai Royal on South St- it’s become a tradition now! It was a bit chilly as we were out outside and we weren’t overly dressed for it but it was enjoyable all the same!
I love Toowoomba’s cross-country course- it’s big and open and good for galloping. This year they have made some changes- adding in a few jumps, going in different directions etc! The prelim course was more technical than it has been in the past making it more of a challenge!
My aim for this Comp had been to ride to time cross-country after being a grandma at Waterford! So after walking the course three times, with my minute markers in my mind I prepared to get around clean and quick. Seeing as the plan for Jet is to step up a level shortly it was a good idea to see how we were going to go slightly closer to the correct pace.
Jet was fantastic! It certainly felt a bit speedy but we kept pushing along to keep the pace. I was adamant that I would only sit up to prepare for fences and not slow Jet’s momentum unnecessarily – obviously prelim speed is only 450m/min so nothing like 4* 😂
The double of skinny barrels on a curved 3 strides felt a little tricky but not too hard for Jet.
As we came between the second last and last fence I thought I was too fast and slowed down, to realise that we were actually right on time and I was now going to get a few seconds over! Dammit!
I was so proud of Jet but thought we weren’t going to move much after that. Well wasn’t I surprised to find out that we were 3rd! Jumping up from 21st after dressage! Insane!
Loads of riders had refusals and time penalties so riding to time had really been beneficial!
Now we keep training ready for TEG mid May!!