Fun at Frickley
What a lovely event Frickley is, it will be on my hit list of events from now on.
The course were lovely and the set up as beautiful, even if you did have to go on a bit of a muddy hack to find the dressage, but with the amount of rain they had on Saturday they did well to run two full days.
So Frickley was our first run back since our crash at Buckminster and with some XC schooling behind us and some SJ schooling at home I was really looking forward to it.
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.
So off we went to cross country, and the closer it got to my time to go, the sicker I felt. I didn't even feel this sick when I did our first ever intermediate at Oasby last year!
Mum kept asking me if I felt ok and I kept saying yes to try and trick myself into thinking I was ok.
Before long it was our turn to enter the start box!
The course was lovey, it really really was and it was the sort of course you would want for your first novice run, or like me, a run after going splat!
Of course there was big jumps, but all the bigger fences were nice and straight forward and the more complex fences were slightly smaller. Even with all the rain they had, the going on the course was wonderful, and you really couldn't complain, but once again the warm up wasn't the most fun place I the world.
So off we went, we had the worst jump over the first, stupid jockey here got far to deep into the bottom of it, the next few fences we jumped much better, and got to them out of a nice stride.
We had a bit of an unlucky blip at fence 6, the drop palisade, round a right hand bend to another palisade coming back out, we skidded in the bottom and slightly missed the turn and Twizzy just ducked out, I did a bit of a loop back through the trees and she popped over it fine the 2nd time with no bother.
So now the pressure was off with no need to chase the time to get placed, so I just found a nice rhythm that I was comfortable with and that I knew I would be able to see a stride and off we went to the next lot of fences, we flew over everything without even batting an eyelid, some of those hedges really were massive, but Twizzy found them all easy. The next combination was two VERY offset pheasant feeders, we got lined up as we had walked it and she had no problems with it at all.
The next combination that I knew I would have to pay attention at was the hedges towards the end of the course, but she stayed on a lovely line and kept travelling forward with no bother and the same with the water, no problems for Twizzy. It felt that once I had relaxed and was enjoying myself everything felt easy, very slow, but easy.
Im hoping it was the run that we needed to get our foot back down on that peddle and get kicking at Shelford, I just need to remember to stay relaxed and enjoy myself the same way I did at Purston and hopefully we will get all our mojo back and start being a force to be reckoned with.