14 BE Events
7 Double Clears
3 Sub 30 Dressage Scores
11 Show Jumping Clear Rounds
7 BE Points
14 Foundation Points
2nd Brooksby BE100 Open
11th Little Downham Novice
8th Prestwold Novice
10th Shelford Novice
15th Purston Intermediate- Novice
Open Working Hunter 3rd + 4th
Solihull Open UA Event - 1st
Norton Open UA Event - 2nd
First ever elementary 74%
So long 2014
We stomped round the rest of the course including the next tricky combination before the water which was a pheasant feeder to corner on a left hand curve, I was really worried about this line when we walked the course and walked it a few times, but Twizzy felt like a total pro and just locked on and off we went to the water. We had a little heart in mouth moment at the water, she jinxed to the left at the skinny triple brush coming out but somehow she still managed to jump it. We flew round the last few fences and finish our season on yet another double clear.
Of course out bugbear of time faults still hit us and to me it felt like we were flying round that course, but I must have been a little bit slow setting up for the combinations.
We ended up in 16th place, and even finishing on our dressage score would have left us out of the top 10.
Twizzy is now enjoying a very must deserved holiday, eating grass all day and hay all night, along with cuddles and kisses but no hard work, she is a total princess but isn't supporting a very grey body at the moment, she's going for the beige look.
Our winter campaign will more than likely start again the new year, with a bit of show jumping, dressage and if time permits maybe the odd bit of blood hounding.
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The season is almost over and we only have one event left in two weeks which is at Oasby. We headed down to Little Downham last week to take part in the novice. We were near the end of the day which meant we could get Twizzy ready in the morning and make the trip down south without having to rush around too much, getting stuck in traffic a little bit on the way down meant we were rushing a little bit to get ready for dressage once we got there but Twizzy warmed up ok in the little time that we had, but she produced a very nice test to come away with a 32.5.
We had a good couple of hours to walk the cross country course before it was out turn to show Jump, both the cross country and the show jumping seemed to be causing loads of problems, there was people falling off in the showjumping warm up as well as in the ring and the cross country caused refusal after refusal! It was total madness.
Twizzy was VERY keen in the show jumping warm up, but luckily we got there in a lot of time to try and calm her down a little bit so I could at least have a little bit more control of her in the ring.
Twizzy jumped an amazing clear in the showjumping which makes it her 10th BE showjumping clear this year - How ACE is she!!!
The cross country was still causing problems all over the place! Nervous was an understatement but after our good round at brooksby in the 100 I knew we could do it but I would have to attack every single question on the course. Twizzy was nice an calm in the start box which made a nice change and with only 10 seconds before it was out turn to go we were soon off. In hindsight I should have gone like a bat out of hell from the word go and not from fence 4!! but if we forget the first 4 fences were i was going far too slow Twizzy was mega and we hit everything off a fab forward stride. The tricky combinations she just flew through, she knew what i wanted and she didnt drift off to one side at all. To make things even better she was still full of running at the end of the course and would of happily gone round again :)
To finish in 11th place is a very bitter sweet place, Twizzy was ace another double clear under our belts but just need to go go go from the start box, lets hope we can put this in to practice at our last event of the season at Oasby.
So off we went, to finish off our very busy week. Brooksby is very local to us with being just the other side of Melton Mowbray, as Twizzy has BE points we are only allowed to do the open 100 sections, however, our section was full of very good 1* and Intermediate horses so I knew we would have to be on the top of our game to produce anything of merit.
Being local also seems to mean early times, and walking the XC in the dark with a head torch wasn't the easiest of tasks, working out which jumps were numbered with pink numbers rather than orange ones.Twizzy did a nice dressage test, but her 1/4 came in a little bit on the circles and the canter lacked a little bit of jump at times, but on the whole I was pleased with her and we scored a credible 33.5, which was the 3rd best in our section.
The show jumping looked rather large for a 100, I think it was all down to the fact that they were on the smaller jump wings. The jumps were lovely, almost brand new and they all had a filler or something underneath to make Twizzy back off, the sort of course that we like. We warmed up inside and apart from Twizzy spooking at the shadows she jumped ok in there and jumped even better once we were in the arena. the surface in there is very VERY nice :D Twizzy jumped another one of her very consistent clears.
As we struggle to get the time at BE Novice I just rode like I normally do at Brooksby, get into a rhythm early and stay in it. Twizzy was ace, it was nice to not be worrying about combinations on the course and to just have a fun round, of course there was jumps on the course which needed respect. A hanging log at the bottom of a hill, a corner off a left hand bed, steps, coffin combination with a skinny as C. plenty of things to keep you awake. Iv learnt the hard way before that if I just sit there she will think 'well if your not committed I wont bother' so I wasn't going to be making the same mistake again, like I said, she was wicked, we ate up the course and we were a massive 17 seconds inside the time :D
As I was early to run we had a rather long wait to see if I was placed, and we were more than delighted to see that we ended up in 2nd place, our nest EVER BE placing.
This weekend we are off to Little Downham and stepping back up to novice before ending our season at Oasby.
Twizzy does Open Working Hunter.
We live in the middle of all the ploughing matches locations and with our 'quiet' September we planned to do a couple.
First up was Collingham, we had been to Collingham to do the works before, some 4 years ago, which ended up with me sitting in the water tray! So we were hoping to not repeat this wonderful trick.
Twizzy was very spooky, she nearly had me out the side door before we had even started jumping, and then did a massive spook after fence 2 which almost had me again! little monkey!! luckily for me she contained her excitement over the rest of the course, for just one very unlucky pole, but to finish in 4th place, the best pole in the class. The judge seemed to like her, just said she was a little bit too fit and too keen for workers......!!
So off we went to cross country and this is where the mistake happens, right near the end of the course!! the less said the better really. Twizzy was great, keen, but great, she was flying, jumping out of her skin and not really looking at anything. We flew into the water and instead of running up the ramp to come out of the water we jumped up the step and over the next fence before we had chance to change it - buggar!!!! to Twizzy she has no idea it was wrong, I just have a lovely E on our record that was totally my fault and not hers.
Sorry Twizzy :O(
So to continue our 'not so busy month' We are off to Collingham Ploughing Match on Saturday to do the Open Working hunter and then if I can get a half day off work on the 25th we shall be off to Flintham ploughing match followed by the 100open at Brooksby on the 27th where I plan on jumping the right fences in the right order......
To make the day even better we finished in 8th place :)
We have a bit of a break now before we are out again.
Mum and Charlie and going to Keysoe next weekend followed by Frickley and then Twizzy and I are doing the UA at Solihull on the 14th September and then we might go back to Allerton at the end of September before Little Downham and Oasby in October to finish.
As soon as we got to Shelford we headed off to walk the course, it was odd being the first people on site, but with asked for early times and being first to go I guess its what you expect. The course seemed lovely, and like a normal Shelford course, there was a few places that could catch you out, but those fences were followed by something to give you confidence again, the sort of course we were after.
Being in the dressage warm up watching the dressage judges, farrier, more lorries arrive plus the odd loose horse is very surreal. Twizzy warmed up ok for the dressage, she wasn't swingning through her back in the canter as much as normal but after a bit of medium canter it got a lot better.
As soon as the judges all got in their places we were heading off down the centre line, I was really pleased with our test, it did have a couple of mistakes in it, I struggled to get her to come back to trot at X and she anticipated the canter for the second time so our rhythm was lost, but on the whole I was pleased to come away with a 35.
So a quick change of tack and off we went to the show jumping warm up, I was hoping Twizzy would do another one of her consistent clears for me and after a good warm up I went into the ring really confident. Being first to go I didn't really know how the course was going to ride, and iv never been that good at walking strides and sticking to them, so off we went in out nice forward stride and flew round to produce the first clear of the day in fine style.
So on to cross country, tactics? Kick? Go Fast? Get round? Have fun? normally every single one of theses is said to me in the warm up, just before I get in the start box. As many of your know if you are a regular blog reader, you will know that we haven't had the best XC rounds this year. My plan was to get in to a rhythm early on and stay in it. So off we went and we managed to find our rhythm after fence 1 :) we had a very good round, a bit of a sticky moment at the water meant a bit of vocal encouragement to get over C, and a very reminders on the way to the next fence, but after that we didn't look back. We came home just over the time to have 5.6 time faults which left us on a score of 40.6.
It was soon time to go back home to get ready to go to work........ I was keeping everything crossed that we would get a place. As soon as I got into work I had a look on the BEDE live scoring and kept an eye on where I was, the worst place I could end up was in 13th..... about and hour later I had another look and we came 10th!!!! I couldn't be happier. Our first placing of the year which has had many up and downs.
Next stop Prestwold on the 24th, lets hope for yet another placing.
Fun at Frickley
We weren't on very early in the day, which meant we didn't have to leave until 1pm, for our trip up north!
The dressage was our least favourite of the novice tests, it contains rein back, now some times our rein back is perfect and other times, we tend to go off in a very odd direction or just move two legs and do the splits - GRR!!!
However I was really pleased with our test, it wasn't the best score and left us the middle of the field, a few errors from me, not enough counter canter and I didn't go to the markers where I was meant to ( I will be paying more attention to the test plan next time)and our back was wonky, and our medium canter circles could have been bolder, rather than jumping the mud mid circle!
The show jumping was causing so many problems, we just missed the chance to walk the course, so we watched a few jump round and we didn't see anyone jump clear, everybody seemed to be having 2 or more down. Having looked at the course and which fences were falling it was a upright after a spread on the down hill and then an upright going back up the hill the other way, along with one or both of the doubles.
Now I know Im very lucky with Twizzy, she is one of the most careful jumpers I have ever sat on, she really does not like to tap a pole, never mind give it a good enough wack for it to come down, the sj warm arenas had suffered a lot on the Saturday and with the mud drying, it did make it hard to find enough grip where everyone had been riding to warm up. Luckily there was enough room to move the jumps and the jumps had perfect footing. In normal Twizzy style she pinged round the course without tapping anything to be one of only 8 to show jump clear in our section.
Going bump at Buckminster :(
Buckminster Novice - A day of two halves.
The above statement seems to be a little bit of a record stuck on repeat, there always seems to be something that is getting in the way of us achieving what we work towards every day, a top 10 placing or even a win at novice.
So lets start at the beginning, Buckminster, our local event, it really is on the door step at just over 20mintues away, you couldn't really get any closer. We have been to Buckminster for the past few years and it really is one of our favourite events and it still is, even with what happened this year
Twizzy was amazing once again the dressage, as a team I feel our dressage has come on in leaps and bounds this year. We score a 31.5 with a error in the middle of our test, when our trot strides were muddled which scored us a 4, or we could have been on route to our 4th sub 30 score this year!!
The show jumping always causes problems here, I'm not sure what it is, but there never seems to be that many clears.
Twizzy warmed up in the normally fashion and off we went into the ring, we tapped the double which, in turn made her pick her feet up even higher over the 2nd part of the course to finish on a fab year, Twizzy was pinging and we were well on our way to a top 5 placing - EXCITING or WHAT!!
Off to cross country, the course wasn't hugely different to what we have had here before, the bounce on the top of the hill at been replaced with a double of hedges, one was a skinny brush, and the bounce had been moved to 5 from home. Twizzy warmed up well, and we left the start box full of confidence after our fab run at Purston only last week. We flew over the first 3 fences out of a nice forward stride and we were soon over the double at 4 heading down to fence 5, the trailer.....what happened...... to be honest Im still not 100% sure, I remember hearing Twizzy hit the fence, and then land and gallop, I was hanging out the back door and clinging on as hard as I could, sadly as soon as she spotted me, doing a bit of freestyle off the side she spooked and shot to the left, I had no chance, I came out the back door, foot still in the peddle, hit the deck and got flicked over and kicked for good measure as Twizzy carried on without me up the hill! It wasn't long until Mum + Mark had run over to me and the ambulance where with me, while I was being checked out Mum went to collect Twizzy who seemed to be none the worse apart from a little graze on her near hind thanks to my wonderful XC boots from NEW she didn't have any other marks on her.
I decided that I would get back on and jump the next fence but then I would retire. Im pleased to say that Twizzy pinged over the next fence as if nothing had happened and if I could of bent my thumb I would have carried on, but I put my hand up and cantered back down the hill and walked her home.
Id like to say a massive thankyou to the team at Buckminster and everyone on Facebook and Twitter that have asked how I am since.
Twizzy and I, Mum and Charlie are all off XC schooling tonight now my knee and thumb seem to be a lot better, before we head off to Frickley next weekend and Mum goes to Eland on Sunday.
Mum and Charlie go... EVENTING
That's right, you read it right, they have now officially got the eventing bug.
After their successful outing at Arena UK a few weeks ago in the combined training Mum picked up the courage an entered the pony club event at Hackthorn Hall run by the Burton branch, its an event that we try to support every year as its really rather lovely.
I cant actually remember the last time mum evented was, I bet its getting on for a good 4 years, Im not too sure who was more nervous, me or her!!
We had a lovely day in the sun and I managed to hobble along quick enough to keep up with her and mark.
They did a lovely dressage test together, and even with Mum going wrong in the middle of it, they kept in together to score 32.8
The show jumping was causing a lot of problems, with poles falling down all over the place, Mum and Charlie sadly knocked one down and then had an unlucky stop to add 8 faults to their dressage score, but still they had a very good round together as it was the first round on grass for them both.
So on to the cross country, after me hitting the deck on Saturday I didn't really have any more advice other than, don't come off!!
Im pleased to say she took my advice and managed to stay in the plate, even after this sticky moment early on in the course http://www.equestrianphotography.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1591_5303_5305_5314&products_id=367474 (<<hopefully that will work.)
They had a fab time together and to top it off they were also 2nd!!
So off we head to Eland on Sunday for the 85cm.