|Posted by Stephanie Calvert on February 21, 2011 at 9:59 AM|
So, I've now completed our second event down here in Ocala, Florida, Rocking Horse Winter II event. I’m happy with Red’s performance but a little disappointed in Denver.
I’m feeling a bit frustrated about dressage. My goal at this event was to try and have both horses relaxed and swinging through their tests. Red managed to start relaxing through his test which was good, but then we weren’t showing off his spectacular movement. So, next time I’m going to continue to try and get him more relaxed in the ring, but I’m going to ask for a bit more from him so that we can have a more competitive test. Denver was distracted, tense and totally behind the leg. He just sucked right back. I’m discouraged because I feel like my test this weekend was worse than previous competitions! I’m going backwards. I need more dressage practice with both horses I think.
Both Stadium rounds were good. I always enjoy the stadium phase. I let Denver get a bit too flat at the last jump (a vertical) and we took down a rail on the last jump! How annoying! Red was awesome through stadium – I definitely noticed the difference in size over a solid prelim course & noticed I got a bit behind the motion a couple of times but all in all it felt great. Unfortunately he got one rail over an oxer with a back leg – Joan (who was watching) said it looked like he kicked out a bit over the fence & knocked it. But all in all both stadium rounds were good.
Red was just FANTASTIC around the pre-lim X-C course. I have to admit I was quite nervous Saturday afternoon while waiting to do X-C. The jumps looked huge to me and there were some combinations that were new to me – such as a jump and then a double bank down (with no strides in between), and a tougher water combination on the 2nd water complex. But Red was eager to go the whole course felt just fantastic with only maybe 1 or 2 awkward jumps – the rest was just great! I didn’t have to push Red up to the speed – I just got off his back gave him his head and he was off! Until of course the 2nd to last combo on the course …….. I think I was a bit too exited and miscalculated how much I needed to slow down. We steadied up but not enough and it was a bending line to a skinny and we weren’t able to make the turn tight enough and glanced of to the left of the skinny. So that was a disappointing stupid mistake on my part – but all in all it was a great first prelim course with Red!
Denver on the other hand – is still not sure enough of himself and was not as bold around the course. I can definitely feel that he’s not ready for prelim yet :(. He was very good to all the big gallopy jumps (which looked small to me now), but the first combination of the course was a coffin (which Denver does not like!). Unfortunately it was up a bit of an incline to the first jump and then down a bit to the ditch so Denver only saw the ditch at the last moment & it scared him and he slammed on the brakes. I re-approached and rode him aggressively through the combination and he went through. I had to ride him very firmly but he went. Of course there was only one jump and then the water but I was crystal clear with Denver that he WAS GOING THROUGH. He slowed down but went & I told him good boy. I was a bit mad after the stop at the coffin and since I knew we’d wasted a lot of time at the coffin – we flew around the rest of the course at top speed with no more problems and still made the time! So, all in all Denver needs more practice with ditches and water – but was good for everything else
So now I have a couple of weeks before the next event and hopefully I can improve before then so that we have a better performance on both horses!
I’m now going to move into the RV with Karen which is close to the barn. It’ll be better than driving back and forth from the B&B. Not sure how much internet access I’ll have so I’ll see if I can continue posting.
Hope everything is going well at the farm – keep emailing me to let me know what’s going on – it’s great to hear from all of you!