Jimmy first ever event
Jimmy well and truly got chucked in at the deep end when it came to testing the water at eventing, If you follow us on Facebook (link down there if you don't) you will be fully aware that we had planned to run him at the Belvoir Pony Club ODE on the 6th April, but it was sadly cancelled due to being too wet and with Norton on the 11th there wasn't any time to re route him to another UA event.
So the morning came and so did the rain, it chucked it down for most of the morning while we were getting ready, but thankfully the rain stopped as I left the yard to go home fro breakfast and didn't make another appearance for the remainder of the day.
Jimmy wasn't overly impressed that he was still in the stable now it was so sunny and while I was skipping out the stable he managed to slip his head collar over his ears and go trotting out to the field!! luckily he is a typical boy and me shaking a scoop full of feed soon made him come trotting on back to me. So off we went, not much later than we had planned.
Jimmy took everything in his stride, he wasn't phased by anything that was going on around him, and he settled down to warm up for the dressage a lot quicker than he has settle in the past, which I was really pleased with, especially as the XC was within ear and shot of the warm up. I think I could have reduced the time I warmed him up for, and watching the video back I need to shorten my reins up A LOT to keep everything still and to help balance him round the corners a lot more with him only being a baby and very green. I knew our test wouldn't be great and with our few unbalanced moment our paces really struggled to stay regular. However, I was really pleased with his attitude and he did everything where and when he was asked :)
Video below, you might want to watch it on mute as it was very windy
The show jumping was very twisty and I knew we were both going to have our work cut out to get round clear, or with only a few poles down. We decided that we would just try and get round over the fences and give Jimmy as much chance as we could to jump them. Jimmy warmed up amazingly well, I think he really enjoyed jumping on grass rather than our rubber school at home, he felt really good. In hindsight, if I was to ride the SJ course again right now I would be doing a few things differently, Fence 1 to 2 was a very sharp right hand turn and I should have jumped fence one and drifted left to give Jimmy more chance to get hi balance round the corner, but I didn't I cut in to close and he couldn't get his legs in the right order to jump fence 2, he still jumped it but bought it down, I got in to the corner before fence 3 and he jumped this one and the next 3 without fault as I managed to give him lots of time and keep him traveling in balance. fence 7 was after yet another turn back on ourselves which we had down and then fence 8 we knocked as well, which was very unlucky as we hardly touched it, he cleared the last double of uprights which I was really pleased with, as I thought this fence would catch us out. Fence 7 coming down was 100% my fault as we got far to close to it, and fence 8 was just unlucky, but again, Jimmy felt like he had been doing this for years so I couldn't be happier.
As we had so much fun the past couple of times we have been cross countrying, I wasn't at all nervous for the XC, I was actually excited. The course was causing problems all over, and a lots of people where missing out fence 12!!! I was frantically running through the course in my head trying to make sure I had all of them, and luckily I did. it was soon our turn to go, but the person in front of us was also having problems with stopping at every fence before getting over it, the starter said he would let me go when she got a bit further on, and after a quick canter round I was ready for off. I was determined to get over fence 1 where a lot of people were stopping and Jimmy didn't even think twice about stopping, he flew round the course, we sort of fell over fence 6b, but I slipped my reins and he stood up on landing, and after that little blip he didn't hit another fence at all :) He finished full of running and with a clear round.
So no prizes were won, but Jimmy was a total saint and a pleasure to have there. We have a lot of things to work on before Keysoe and we have a lesson with Tina booked before hand to hopefully help with the SJ. I will keep plugging away at the dressage and get those reins shorter to help balance him.
Don't forget you can follow his progress on our Facebook Page, just search for RHP Eventing.