I’ve had a very busy week this week! Mum and I practised our grid jumping on Tuesday to try and get me straight, and improve my agility. Mum has her go-to grid which she sets up- we start with a pole to a cross pole, this is set up with 3 yards in between them. Then once we have jumped that off both reins, dad adds in another pole the other side of the cross pole, once we have jumped that he adds in a bounce for me. This is set up about 3 1/2 yards from the cross pole (this suits me but your horse might need more room) We had some V poles on the ground this week to keep me central, and it really helped guide me where I need to be.
Once I was confident through the bounce dad added in a vertical after the bounce- this was 7 1/2 yards away, one of my strides, (again your horse might need more, or less room) We progressed up to an oxer with v poles guiding me to stay in the middle. Mum says the key to this grid is building my confidence through combinations, whilst teaching me to shorten and sit back on my hindquarters, instead of going to the side to give myself more room. I can definitely say I feel a lot more confident about my combination jumping, and ready for the show at the weekend.
It was then time for water treadmill session 3- I was first to go again- mum decided not to try and put me back with the monsters in the last partition of the lorry, and as Vinnie doesn’t mind them everyone is happy! The water went quite high this time, and it was really hard work, the girls gave me some yummy treats at the end so I must have done really well. Here is a link to my third session:
Mum let me graze outside the stables whilst Vinnie had his go. He has got really attached to me, and hates it when he can’t see me, so I was meant to stay in site of him but all the good grass was just out of reach! I did manage to pull mum over to it a few times! Vinnie’s mum (Sarah) took a photo of us while mum was putting on my travel boots, and she couldn’t believe how I was ready every time- it’s just natural to me, I see a camera and strike a pose!
We headed off to Bicton in Devon, for a three day show on Friday morning- apparently it is one of mum’s favourite shows. I can see why, although it was super busy none of the collecting rings were crazy, and it had such a lovely relaxed feel about it. Oh and the most amazing huge field where I could go for grass. We had a great start, I jumped double clear in both my classes on the first day, and placed in both. In the 1.05m open I was only 2.5 seconds off the winners time, mum was very proud of me. The next two days didn’t quite go to plan, we had a miscommunication in the 1m open, where mum turned me up to the most horrifying zebra fence I have ever seen with 2 strides to go,and I was so shocked I ran out to the left, when I had a little more time to think about it I was happy to jump it- I just made sure I gave it plenty of room!!
Then in the newcomers, I had a silly fence down- it was coming off a corner and I didn’t change my leg when mum asked, so just tapped it in front. I can see now why mum is working so hard for me to get my changes nailed, it is going to really help when we go against the clock.
Then on the final day I just had the one class, back in the main arena. I jumped amazing all the way round until the penultimate fence where I just breathed on the pole and it fell- mum said I was really unlucky, and I guess I was. You can’t jump clear every time. So I’ll write this weekend off down to experience, and get working on those changes before my next show! Here are a few of the photos from the weekend- as always photo ready in every shot!!