Saturday, November 15, 2008

Waitemata Dressage Champs

Sorry no pics. Took Camera with a flat battery :(

The verdict on Pumpkin on the vets visit on Tuesday was no Champs for him. He still had a 0.5 lameness and although that was likely to resolve by Saturday it would leave no time for working beforehand so scratchies for him. It was going to be up to the Mighty Finn to keep up the side for us. He was still not up to his normal self so I did not hold out much hope of greatness and on Thursday both of his hindlegs were like balloons. Oh Shite I thought Looks like no horses for Champs. My suspicion of him getting too much sugar and protein from his feed and spring grass was confirmed. I had been weaning him off the sugary feed but he had been on a grassy paddock and the sugary spring grass had got him. So it was off the grass altogether now. Much to his dismay he was locked in his yard with hay and just a little pick at night on a small bare bit of grass. I iced his legs like mad and he stole the magnetic boots off Pumpkin and I spent the next two nights twirling on the rosary beads. Friday verdict was Yes I would start him but it was probably going to be hit and miss. We would do our tests and see how it went and scratch on the day if necessary. Saturday dawned and the legs were much reduced but still a bit puffy.
He warmed up like a unfulfilled employee who had been out on the booze the night before and had to drag his backside into work. He shuffled through his first test with no real mistakes but totally lacking any motivation to do anything but just get through it. A score of 57.5%. I jumped off him for a bit before my second test and
gave him a bit of a break and then climbed back on hoping for the best.
I only warmed him up again for 10 mins and hoped he would have some gas left in the tank to get through it. The wee rest had obviously lifted his spirits as he came down the centre line like the Finn I used to know! Sadly in the third movement I had a slight brain fuzz and instead of turning left at E and doing a 20 m circle at X I started my 20 m circle at E. Arrgh. We started that bit again but he had lost a bit of the joy we had from the great start. Never mind. I did not think the rest of the test was that brilliant but apparently the judge did and scored us a 66.9 %. We got 8s for the first two movements at least. That gave us 5th Place.
Back home for more leg icing and mag boots and the hope that the later start the next day would bring a bit more improvement.
First test on Sunday was a stunner. I was smiling very widely when I came out. I had my Finn back again. I have not felt him like this in weeks. Clearly being off the grass was making a huge difference. The judge liked it too and scored us 68.4% for 4th place. But seeing the score board and who we had come 4th to made it even more special for us. All the three above us were very fancily bred imported or imported semen Warmbloods. To come 4th on my carthorse was very special. :)
Last test was the Challenge and I had great hopes. I wanted to be in the line up in the prize giving! This was the only test on the grass and we were second to go.
Its the area behind the main arena and where all the X country fences are. The only time hes ever been in this area before was to jump X country. His eyes were on stalks and he was grinding his teeth so loudly I am sure everyone could hear him from 10 m away. The horse before us was going absolutely nuts and demolished the arena before retiring. Oh shit now it was our turn. The judge was in a box so she would have been able to hear his teeth from there! We did our best to hold it together but he was really really tense and it was not our best effort. He broke in his lengthen and was quarters in on one of his canters. But we made the line up for the PrizeGiving managing a 5th place. All in all I was absolutely thrilled with my boy. Hes been so erratic for the past few weeks with sugar and protein overload and I think I now have it sussed. Pity I had not twigged earlier and kept him off the fresh paddocks as well as cutting out the sugary feed. So from now on its bland food, hay and bare paddocks for this boy!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Arrgh Why Me

Its been the most disasterous week. After Pumpkins fabulous performance on the weekend I was pumped and looking forward to Champs. But what happaned? Monday night some dipshit behind us decided to let off fireworks. The next morning I found Pumpkin with a very swollen tendon. I spent the next 3 days icing it several times per day and putting a mag boot on at night but sadly it was not much improving so today had the vet out. He reckons its just the sheath. No core damage fortunately. But probably the end of the road for me for Champs. For the next 4 days its nitrofurazone sweats during the day and mag boots at night plus some heavy duty anti inflamm paste. Vet back on Tuesday to scan and give verdict. Being ever the hopeful he said I might just get to Champs anyway. If he gives the all clear on Tuesday that will leave me 3 days to get him back up to speed. I think that would be very hopeful.:)
I had a good lesson on Finn today. His contact has become very uneven and we are doing our best to get it sorted. He is going to the WAR Dressage on Sunday as a Champs Warmup.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Some more lovely pics of Tara and Rachel from the Huapai ODE

Photos by Michelle.

Woodhill Sands Dressage

Today was Pumpkins first registered competition since August. Its amazing how time goes. I was absolutely rapt with his first test. He was a bit messy in one transition from freewalk to medium walk to canter transition. He knew the canter was coming and resisted into it. His stretchy trot circle was not as good as I would have liked either but all in all a good test. The judge liked it too and placed him first. By the time the second test came around he was a bit over it. It had been a long day for him hanging around since early morning waiting for his turn and then a gap between tests. His second test was no where as good as the first one. He hopped and resisted in one 10 metre canter circle and was starting to really dive on the forehand at times. He was hot and tired and getting shitty towards the end. Not good
enough for top spot this time but still second place.
Finn unfortunately was not having a very good day. Hes been spooky and a bit over reactive for a couple of weeks. I think the batch of Asia Mix is to blame. Its really dark and looks to be so full of molasses. His white nose has become stained orange theres so much in it. I think its just one really mollassy batch and its clearly way to sugary for this soul. Time for a diet change me thinks. His first test was abysmal. He was resistant in his transitions and I really struggled to keep him straight. His second test was better and he managed to pull off 2nd place. So not a bad day all in all. Next weekend is WRC Dressage and the following is Waitemata Dressage Champs. I need to get Finn and his sugar highs sorted before Champs.