The past couple of weeks the weather has been absolutely revolting but its not stopped us getting out and about. Last week we went to the Riding Clubs CTR in Woodhill Forest. Unfortunately we got horribly lost so ended up just having a bimble around the forest. On Saturday Vanessa our current HelpXer from the UK rode Finn at the Woodhill Sands Mini ODE. She'd not jumped him until a few days before so it was a bit of a baptism of fire but they both handled it very well. The course was all portable jumps set up on the sand as the grass areas resembled a paddy feild. First up was the dressage test and apart from a couple of minor oopsies it was a good test to end up in second place. Then the showjumping which was clear and straight into the Crosscountry. There were 8 jumps set up and you had to jump the compulsory 8 numbered fences and then 2 of choice. The bigger the jump the higher the score. Vanessa started out on a the little Intro option for the first fence and then was away jumping the Training options. She was very pleased to finish 1st overall. Finny is such a star. His coat has come right now and hes put on heaps of weight but this weeks Pumpkins turn to be 'off' Hes been a bit shortstriding for the past week and I thought there was an abscess brewing. Despite poulticing what I thought was the offending foot nothing appeared and there was no heat anyway. Baffling. Today James came to reshoe him and upon taking off the shoe found a teeny tiny little blackhead under the shoe. I was on the right side but it was the back foot not the front one I had been poulticing Doh! There was just a teeny bit of liquid coming out so it was soaked while the other shoes were put on. He then put on some Keratex Nail hole disenfectant onto the hole and reshod him and presto no more shortstriding. Instant success. This weekend is Woodhill Sands Dressage Again. Pray for a nice day for us. We have been drenched on for all but one of the days thus far. Pics of the ODE will be posted once my Handy Dandy Picture poster person comes back from a business trip. Silly me relys on him so much that I still don't know how to put them on the 'puter!
Finn has been suffering from a case of the 'Winter Blues'. He pulled back a couple of weeks ago and was still suffering from some tightness in his neck and back. Then he inexplicably lost alot of weight and developed a skin condition. He was miserable and manky looking and hardly fit to be seen in public. So out came the lotions and potions and he had the right royal treatment of daily massages, extra feed and even a worming to try and restore him to his former Star self ! He was responding well and starting to look like his former self again but still had some residual back tightness and was tending to twist in the neck.
Pumpkin has been feeling the effects of the new grass growth and has been a monumental prat. Hes been like a madman on speed with no brakes. Efforts to restore some regularity and rythmn tended to end up with him getting extremely tense and pulling like a train. We had a lesson the day before the competition and he did his absolute worst. For 45 minutes he pulled,leaned, threw himself on the forehand in transistions and kicked out at the leg. I was in absolute dispair. I was aching and exhausted. Had it not been a lesson I would have just given up and thrown him back in the paddock! Bastard!!!!
So competition day dawns with me feeling not so confident. First up was Finn. He had been fabulous in his lesson the day before but he had left his best work at home. It was a very mediocre test with me just teasing him along. We finished in 5th place. The second test was pretty much the same as the first with a 4th placing. Pretty ordinary but expected.
I joked that because Finn has obviously done his best at his lesson the day before and done pretty ordinary tests that Pumpkin who had been a prat needed to pull it out of the bag and do well. I did not really believe my own spin but Hey You gotta Keep the spirits up some how. Well Blow me down if he did not pull one out of the bag! It was the best test he has ever done. Soft and completely on the aids. Where did that complete Prat from yesterday go?? I was smiling from ear to ear. The judges comments said it all ' Horse seems to be enjoying showing off what he can do" 2nd Place! Unfortunately I blew the second test. I did not know the test and as a result was tense which made Pumpkin tense too. I was so mad at myself that he had done such a great first test and now I had let him down badly. We managed 5th place.