We braved the storm today to take both Ali and Donovan to Allens Hill for their Eventing Training class, which consists of a dressage test then show jumping and timed simulated cross country. Both horses did the BE 111 (Novice) dressage test so good practice for the coming season and also a chance to get them in a dressage arena with scary (according to Donovan anyway) boards and markers before the British Dressage Regionals next week. Donovan was on first – he was very well behaved warming up and not too spooky (always my main problem with him) but I needed him to be a little more responsive and forward to the contact, picking up to schooling whip and the occasional flick worked well! He was terribly spooky when I took him round to the arena but kept his cadence and activity well – I was just having to ensure he did not spin round!! We completed quite an obedient test with just a few tense moments for a good score of 28.5
Then for a quick swap round onto Ali for her dressage – they were both very settled being swapped round in the lorry, which is great for when I’ll be taking them out eventing together. It has been good for Ali to go to local venues jumping etc. to get used to Donovan leaving her whilst she has to stand in the lorry – she is now much better behaved than when we first started! I was surprised how relaxed she felt when we started working in, however it was much windier in the arena so she was rather tense during the test. I even struggled to keep my balance a few times the gusts were so strong so I was just pleased that she did everything where we were supposed to! We scored a very average 34.5
Back onto Donovan for the jumping – he was much more relaxed and rideable than he had been the previous week jumping at the same venue, mainly due to the extra working in from doing the dressage first. He kept a good rhythm over the 1.10m track for a double clear and to win the class! To see the video on Donovan today click here. When I got onto Ali it started pouring with rain as well as blowing a gale, it was so bad as they were changing the track for us to jump the 1.20m track and we were working her in, I almost gave up and went home! Despite the weather, as soon as we started jumping she felt quite happy! She jumped well and kept the forward rhythm throughout much better but just clipped a rail in both SJ and XC – both were on related distances from spreads to uprights and looking back on the video I think I need to ensure I sit up without interfering too much with my hand. So this is something to work on.
As long as it is not quite as windy we are off to BD regionals on Friday at Addington Manor, then on Sunday I am excited to be going to the new all-weather XC at Aston Le Walls for schooling with Donovan and a lesson with Nigel Taylor on Ali (her great prize from their event last year).