Wednesday, 21 July 2010

It's nearly time for the first foal of the season to arrive ...

Glencree Liberty High (Libby) who is kindly on lease to us from Springdale Pony Stud will be at 342 days from last date of service on 23 August so foal watch is approaching. Libby is the first pony mare I have bred to Hamish and I am very excited to see what they will produce. As you will see from today's photos, Libby enjoys a good roll ...

Monday, 19 July 2010

Living the life of Reilly

Today I brought Reilly in and gave him a bath in preparation for bringing him back into work. I figured that now Meg is turned out, it would help keep me out of trouble if I started doing some quiet work with Reilly before he heads back to Wellington to be with Kim. I am not sure I have a bridle that fits him here so that is my next mission (rifle through my tack to see what I can find) and hopefully I will be able to pack the flat seat out to fit.

I popped him in the 'arena' for a bit of a run around so I could take some photos so he is today's model. He is very hairy! It's quite amazing the difference that testosterone makes to a horse's coat. This time last year he was looking pretty sleek whereas today he looks like a yeti!

You win some, you lose some ...

and, at the end of the day we really are winners because I have a truly beautiful homebred mare with wonderful potential who, at only three years of age, has really done me proud. It's just a bit of a shame that a stupid mistake in the last test of the series wiped any chance we had of the top finish I was dreaming about and which in turn meant that all I could focus on yesterday was what we had NOT achieved rather than what we HAD achieved and consequently I am feeling really quite guilty about that.

I suppose I should probably give myself a bit of a pat on the back too as what we have achieved, we have managed with no trainer and absolutely no lessons or eyes on the ground on a homebred three year old horse who, quite frankly, is not built for dressage. Everywhere I looked yesterday there seemed to be riders with instructors/trainers giving guidance and offering support - I wonder just how much better we might have done with some lessons? Hopefully next year I will get to find out! I have been lucky enough however to have somebody to video/photograph one test from each of the three days for me and that is invaluable as I get to be my own eyes on the ground and critique what we do well and what we need to work on and there is lots to work on!

Meg was unusually uptight yesterday. Her warm up for the first test was incredibly tense and I was barely able to trot her as she felt like she was about to explode. Consequently our walk trot test was disappointing as I didn't really get the opportunity to ride her forward in a nice relaxed outline. We managed a score of 60% and 4th highest score (6th place as there were a couple of riders on = percentages). There were 17 starters. So, not as bad as I thought but very disappointing as I know she is capable of much better!

I got on a bit earlier before the second test and Meg was still incredibly wired. I am not sure if it was the new location (the arenas were set up in a different area because of the ground conditions) or the fact that there were so many horses around warming up in such close vicinity to each other. She really needs to get a handle on things like that though so, no excuses. Nick said she looked very tall yesterday and I have to say, she felt it!! Fortunately by the time we were working in around the arena she had settled considerably and by the time the bell rang, we were ready. I was so pleased with her entry and first 20 metre circle that I relaxed into the ride feeling like we might possibly be about to do the best test we had all series and then, it happened. Meg darted out of the arena as we passed 'A' taking the arena chain with her and we were eliminated! I just couldn't believe it. And, as it turned out, if we had got the percentage I know we were heading for, we would have taken home the reserve championship. Such is life, we live and learn, and you can be sure that I will be doing my utmost to to ensure that we never ever do THAT again! I was very grateful to the judge who let us return to the arena and complete the test and Meg, whilst quite unsettled, went on to do a pretty acceptable test (including ok canters - our tougest challenge) which you can judge for yourselves when you watch the video.

So, I guess the moral of the story here is that it doesn't really pay to get your hopes up because if you do, when they are dashed it can take all the gloss from an achievement that you have a lot to be proud of! A friend picked up my test sheet (I went straight home after the test) and says there are some very good comments on it so I look forward to reading that and hope it helps cheer me up and get me out of the slump I feel I am in right now.