Champs for me was a very mixed bag. We had an absolutely terrible journey to the grounds through very high volume Auckland traffic with bumper to bumper traffic in places from roadworks and trucks roaring up behind us the whole way. Finn was in a lather when we arrived at the grounds. When we arrived we found the new grounds for the Auckland/Manukau Dressage Group still very raw and scary. Rock hard packed clay from all the recent earthworks, lots of machinery still around, open drains with water in them having to be crossed to get to the arenas,and rattling generators just made things just a little more trying. Its going to be great when its finally all done but in the meantime its makes for a distracting environment. Finn was very tense and due to the ground being so hard I had a 8 minute warmup for my first test. He actually warmed up nicely but when it got to our first canter in his test he spent the whole time handstanding. 61%. Finn did not want to load for another journey in the traffic so we had a little altercation before he finally decided to load. Fortunately the traffic although busy was not as bad as the morning. Saturday we had a 10am start and the traffic was nice and easy. On the hard clay this morning and with a judge who hates Finn. Finn was still tense and after our counter canter had a little disagreement where he actually thought he might like to leave the arena. A very harsh and undeserved 59.5% but I have come to expect this from this judge. The afternoon test was on the grass again and this time judged by UK judge Mary Robbins who does not miss a trick. I was a bit freaked to say the least. He was a pretty flat and was really feeling the ground by this time but Mary saw the good and rewarded is with 4th place and 64% with the deserved comments of a little earthbound! :) Sunday just the one test and for this one finally on the Cushionride. Finn was finally calmer today but a bit tired. I was pretty happy with the test. His second canter was hollow but overall it wasn't a bad test. The scores were pretty close and we were not far off a placing on 62%. So overall not the results we would have liked but Finn being a suspicious beast and not being good on hardground (Being a clumper) it was as good as it was going to get. Next weekend its back to Woodhill Sands and a soft surface so hopefully we will have a better result.
And the big news is that Tara has been sold. The great thing is that she is staying local and will have a home for life. She could not be in better hands and will have a life of Riley so I am thrilled.
Well its been 4 months but today was the day we dipped our toe back into the competition arena. Finn is still a bit ouchy from his very deep abscess so it was Pumpkin only going to the WRC day at Woodhill Sands. I must say it was with some trepidation as I have no strength in my lower legs and two ankles that are pretty immobile so sitting to the trot is not easy. Murphy being himself on our debut it was absolutely peeing down with rain and we arrived at the warmup area with just 10 minutes to go before our test because of my reluctance to leave dry land. But Pumpkin was very chilled and despite my bouncing around like a lump of lard in the trot we did a very conservative test to finish in 2nd place 3/4 of a percentage point behind Henton Attorney General. I did try to at least get a bit more medium for our second test but with me bouncing around it just caused Pumpkin to tighten up. Still another 2nd behind H.A.G again. So no excuse now. I must admit I was knackered riding 2 tests so was pleased that I did not have to ride Finn as well. But now excuses now that the toe is dipped theres no looking back.
Just some old pics I found in my camera of Tika at 4 months. She does not look this sleek at the moment. More like a hairy fat yak. The couple of pics of her in the yard was the first day of her weaning where Babe was in the stable and her in the yard for a few hours. She was not amused at the milkbar being closed.
Yay I am now riding again. I have had my boot off for nearly two weeks now and although I am still pretty lame I can at least ride. The break had healed nicely but the ligament which had been torn was taking alot longer to repair and will still be sore for some time yet. So with the Achilles on the other leg still also sore I am still shuffling around. I have lost alot of riding fitness so its going to take some time to get back on form though so it will be a while before I tackle any competitions. The horses at least have kept up some level of fitness with the odd ride when I could co-erce someone to ride them. I took the time out as an opportunity to send Pumpkin to Lisa Coupe for 11 days to get a jumping refresher. At the end of the time there he went to a Showhunter training day at WHS. He was very tired and grumpy after his extensive schooling with Lisa and did not jump that well so did not place in any classes.
I got my left leg plaster off on Friday and its a real releif to be in a moonboot. Its not great I admit but just being able to take it off to shower and go to bed is a blessing. Its a whole lot easier to get around. I have my appointment with my Achilles Specialist this week and will then be in two moon boots. As bad as it sounds I will be even and if I get some big stirrups I think I will even be able to ride. Sssshhhh Don't tell the specialists I will be shot. Really its not that much worse than wearing top boots. Clumpy yes and no heel but hey any sort of riding would be great even if its a bit of a hack. The horses have now really had a month off. Just the odd bit off a hack by anyone I can rope in for a ride and for the past 2 weekends Zoe has come and done a riding marathon riding all 3. Henry had already had 2 months off so it was a real airing for him. Of course he was a perfect Gentleman even after all that time off. Pics show his 12th ever ride.
Well the bad news from me is that I am now in plaster! After 4 weeks of hobbling around and still barely able to put weight on my left foot to rise to the trot I decided I had better go see the Dr about it. I came out in plaster. It seems that when Finn jumped on my foot he managed to break two bones. No wonder its been so painful! So now I am completely out of action. I am still able to get around enough to lunge both horses a few days a week but thats about it for them for a while. Sadly my achilles specialist is thinking I may need be put in a moon boot for a month on that leg too so when my next appointment comes up in 2 weeks I may be in plaster on one leg and a moon boot on the other. Now won't that be a pretty look! Good thing is that its winter. I was tossing up about doing the winter series anyway so now the decision has been taken out of my hands. My achilles has been giving me a lot of pain since January and has really affected my riding so maybe its time to get it sorted properly. Sadly Pumpkin was really only starting to work well again after his long break and now will be off again! Not what he needed.
Finn has almost recovered from his clipping ordeal. Hes been tight and tense in the back for the days after but by comp day he was nearly 100% again after 3 daily massages. This was to be his first reg Novice start and we decided to do the Prelim 1.5 as our last prelim and as a leadup to the relatively easy Novice 2.1. Don Diego the reigning Prelim Horse of the Year had the same plan so we were up against some stiff competition. I was pretty pleased with the Prelim test. He was just a little heavier in the hand than I would have liked but good enough for 3rd place. The Novice test had some seasoned Novice horses in it as well as a few newcomers like us and Don Diego. It was a pretty pleasing test with him still getting a bit heavy and tense and we were very happy to finish in 4th place. We just have to get some more strength in his trot and we will be away. Because Finns tests were running late I had to really fly to unsaddle Finn and saddle up Pumpkin to be ready for being first up in the Elementary. Pumpkin does not like rush and our hurried half hour warmup told in our tests. My leg was also really starting to give me hell and sitting trot was murder. He was 3rd in the 3.5 but with only a 56.4 %. 5th in the 3.1 with 57.2 Horrible percentages! Theres still lots of ground to make up with Pumpkin to get him back up to speed again. Hes still tending to dive on the forehand as hes still not regained his strength. The plan is to get him out to do some Showhunter so hopefully that will help out with his restrengthening.
I seem to be having a real run of bad luck when it comes to injuries. First it was Pumpkin having nearly 4 months off after his run in with fireworks and then the week he was due back to work I tore my archilles. So its been a slow rehab for me and has really slowed me down and made using of my right leg painful. And if that was not enough Finn decided that he did not like the clippers and jumped on the other foot leaving me crippled on 2 legs. Its been two weeks now and I am shuffling around like I pooed my pants. Riding is not good. I can only trot for a few minutes at a time before it becomes too sore and I need to walk again. I have both horses entered in a comp this weekend and am not sure how I am going to get through 4 tests let alone getting through the trot in just one. I had a specialists visit this week for my achilles and the Dr looked at me in dismay as I hobbled in with one black and blue foot and a very bowed archilles on the other! Next week a MRI which will hopefully shed some light on why my achilles is so sore. The bad news is that the Specialist says I might have to be in a moon boot! That will mean no riding at all. Not good at all and I will be fighting that one if I can.
Last Sunday I took Finn and Pumpkin to the Waitemata Dressage Day at Woodhill Sands. It was Pumpkins first outing in 5 months and Finns in 3. I did not expect much from Pumpkin as hes only really been back in work less than a month and had yet to regain the required strength for an Elementary test. What I did not count on was his excitement at being out again! His tests were exciting to say the least. The collected trots were non existant but the mediums were stong and huge. The medium canters bought about sproinging all down the long side! It was all a bit of a laugh really and he scored the worst scores hes ever had. Oh well. To be expected really.
But Finny really excelled himself. He got the best score hes ever acheived 81.7%. I was pretty excited with the 75% he got at Auckland Champs but never have we got 81 in a registered competition. Move over Anky! :) His first test was pretty ok but he was a bit tense and tight in the poll. We scored 66% for third place. He had relaxed more for the second test for the huge score. We even beat the horse that was 3rd Overall at HOTY. Granted that one did win the first test though but we were not that far behind him!
Finn has continued to amaze me this week. I decided to run through one of the Elementary tests that Pumpkin had done last weekend and he nailed it. I reckon he would have got a better score than Pumpkin. Not that it would have been hard with Pumpkins yehaa antics! So its onwards and upwards from here. Next comp will be his debut at Novice. Unfortunately they have the 2.5 scheduled which is a bitch of a test so I will just do the easier Novice and the harder Prelim on the day.
Sorry its been such a long time since an update. Things have been rather crazed for the past few months. News is...
Pumpkin came back into work late Jan after his lengthy break due to the fireworks injury. A week after I had started hacking him I was out of work as I tore my achilles tendon. So then I was on crutches for the next 10 days and am still hobbling. Things are not healing as they should and I have to go to a specialist in the next couple of weeks. Riding is not too bad now although I can't use my right leg as well as I should as it hurts.
On the 12th Feb I took a team of 4 kids to compete at the Barastoc Horse of the Year in Victoria to compete against the Aussie Showmanship team. It was a great event and the kids all had a wonderful time. The Team consisted of Kristie Hill,Brenda Kelly,Mark Weedon and Sophie Sills. I was very proud of the kids who did a great job. Kristie won the In Hand, Mark won the Dressage, Sophie was third in the Jumping with Brenda and Kristie 3rd = and Mark 4th. The Aussies took out the Team Competition this time.