Our first event of the season didn’t quite go as planned but many positives to bring away from the day…
We were first into the dressage in our section and she had worked in beautifully. I was pleased with how relaxed she stayed and was amazed with the fabulous score of 25.2, especially as we were first in when I always find judges to be slightly less brave/generous with their marking. I’m so happy with how she is going on the flat at the moment, she’s really starting to find it easier to carry herself and use her shoulder… so I hope it continues!! See a video of our test here.
We then had a long wait before show jumping but I kept busy walking the XC course and watching some SJ rounds. I worked in quickly for show jumping as she felt good so I didn’t want to over jump her and there were no others waiting to jump. She felt lovely for the whole round, keeping a brilliant rhythm but occasionally not quite covering the ground as much as I would like (but still made the time). She made a huge effort at the first fence where she got rather “stuck in the mud” on take off. This didn’t put her off though and she flew through the treble with ease. She just clipped the first part of the double for 4 faults, I think maybe she noticed the 2nd part of the double and possibly the tent behind mid-air and just slightly backed off so touched it behind. See a video of our SJ round here.
Onto the cross country (see course pics here) and she felt really up for it, I had to be careful we didn’t head off before the “GO” from the starter!! She felt great over the first 3 straight forward fences and although keen was easily controllable and listening. At fence 4 there was a rail after an uphill, a few of strides down to 2 decent steps, with a logs on them and then a left turn to a skinny box (fence 5).
She was almost over bold at the rail then shuffled down the bank but was bold again at the first step, rather over jumping but staying balanced for the second then listening really well to fly the box on 3 strides. She felt a little green but I was thrilled with how well she answered this question so early in the course. Looking back however I feel she may have slightly scared herself, which when we had a similar question at the water meant she thought this was too much. I’m not sure it was the water itself, more maybe having a jump on a bank down to a step again… I’m not totally sure but just frustrating not to have been able to jump the rest of the course, which was nicer and more flowing in the second half.
So back XC schooling this week before our next event… Which I am excited to tell you that (thanks to Nick Gauntlett Eventing) will be at Fontainebleau in France! We will be doing the CIC**. It is also the venue of the first leg of this years Nations Cup so I am excited to be able to watch the teams and competition at this level. It is a fantastic opportunity and should be a fabulous experience, I hope Ali goes well too!