Ok it’s officially freezing, seriously where has spring gone?!
Although we have avoided (mostly) the latest wave of snow we certainly haven’t avoided the cold weather. I have taken when hacking out to putting on my large thermatex which I then wrap round my legs to keep warm!
So the last two weeks have plenty of hacking and a little bit of schooling for Oki. She is hacking out really well on her own which is a breath of fresh air compared to Flirt who took a long time to persuade to hack willingly. She is being so good that her reaction to three deer bounding out of the trees behind her and across the open field next door was a bit of a jog. Had I been on Flirt I may have been in the next county 😉 she has even been hacking in the snow! Her trot and walk work is coming on very nicely and we are building up the canter. I had actually considered putting in a last minute entry to the local EC for some low key dressage to give her a first quiet outing but plans changed when I was called in to my RC combined training team at the last minute due to a withdrawal.
Flirt has actually been suffering with some mudfever which had resulted in a few days off work last week when at it’s sorest and I had been unable to put boots on that leg. Thankfully it is now healing up fast but it had put paid slightly to our plans as I had been hacking only to prevent the school surface from irritating the healing skin.
So Sunday was the area Combined training at Moreton. It was a very long cold day but a good atmosphere and friendly teams and thankfully a good canteen pumping out hot food and drink kept us going.
Due to the weather the dressage was moved from the grass to the arena to ensure it could run, but this meant the showjumping couldn’t start until the dressage had finished as obviously using the same arena.
Because we hadn’t been able to do any schooling work (I’m not counting my attempts out hacking in driving wind and rain!) we were somewhat out of match practice especially with her last dressage tests having been in October! I was though really pleased with her, the trot work at times (in my humble opinion) was fantastic and about the best she has ever given me but the canter lacked some engagement but she didn’t flinch a muscle in either give or retake of rein. I wasn’t the only of the above view but the opinion that counts the judges wasn’t as positive as we had hoped. The comments all fitted but we maybe thought that some of the 7s actually deserved to be 8s. But that is dressage for you and we accept the Judge’s opinion accordingly. The important thing is that I was really pleased with the test all things considered and am hoping that we can replicate it in our first BE outing of the year in 2 weeks (If it runs!)
As it was combined training we also had to showjump, now I hadn’t originally put ourselves down for teams as although eligible the showjumping is only 85cm which I wasn’t sure Flirt would respect even though she is normally very careful. Thankfully after bashing the first practice fence she didn’t get close to touching another pole and popped round nicely to save any embarrassment on our parts 😉
Due to some showjumping penalties and a very very close novice sectio
n (half the section were within 4 marks or 1.3%!) our teams did ok with some rosettes but no qualifying results. Despite all feeling like icicles by the end it was a good day and I’m glad I made the trek even if i did leave home at 6:30am and not return till past 8pm!
Looking forward Goring is now confirmed cancelled due to the weather although I had technically withdrawn due to Flirt’s mudfever anyway. The Easter weekend will most likely be spent eventer SJing and XC schooling if we can find a course that is open. We will then head to Larkhill where thankfully we survived the ballot although only if the weather stays at least a bit drier as although Larkhill can survive almost all weathers there is only quite so much rain it can take!
Also thinking about a quiet outing for Oki in a few weeks for some dressage and we might even try some small jumps at home in a fortnight’s time. I also have to get my super organised hat on as in addition to horses, work, e-Venting and another project I have on the go, as part of the RC committee that I am a member I am in charge of organising the upcoming dressage competition in mid April. So yes busy busy busy but wouldn’t have it another way at the moment. Ask me again in a month though and I will probably be begging for a day off and a lie in!