Monday, 17 June 2013

[Competition Report] Sissons Farm 16.6.13

Yesterday, we ventured over to Sissons Farm, a local equestrian centre, to do dressage again. We entered the Prelim 1 and Prelim 14 (getting slightly fed up of Prelim 14 now!). Overall we came 6th and 9th and got rather rubbish percentages so I'm a bit disheartened, especially for the Prelim 14 as I felt we were harshly marked but ah well. However, they seem to have marked it a bit weird as for Prelim 14 they split it into two arenas and therefore did it as two classes but they were the same, ie not open/restricted or anything which seemed a bit weird. Furthermore, in my first class the person who won had BD class ticket next to her name which seems weird seeing as it was an unaffiliated event so surely she shouldn't have been in it, or at least been H/C? But oh well! 

Prelim 1:
I thought the test went quite well, especially as in the warm-up he properly tried to deck me in canter so I got quite apprehensive about cantering in the test, plus he spooked just before we started our test so took a bit to settle down and I thought our centre line was rather wobbly, however our sheet states otherwise! I thought the rest of the test went better, a few wrong bends which we are working on and he is getting better, but I also thought his canter was a lot better and he didn't buck! However, the judge clearly didn't agree and it turns out that on the left rein he was actually on the incorrect canter lead although he didn't feel it otherwise I would have changed it! We have been having issues again with canter as sometimes he can feel like he's on the wrong lead when he isn't and vice versa so I'm getting him a massage later on this week as he falls in a lot on the left and things so think there could be an underlying problem. Overall we got 57.9% and 6th with comments saying: "very willing horse, now needs to be more connected to help balance and impulsion. Lots of potential." The video can be seen here

Prelim 14:
I felt this test was rather harshly marked and we got a lot of comments saying 'muddled' so I think this is a test to, not so much forget, but just move on from. I felt that he was actually okay, normally in the second test he goes a bit funny but he actually went alright in this. Again we had an unsettled start but I think that this is also partly due to the fact that at Sissons they run two arenas at the same time right next to each other and for this both went in virtually at the same time so trying to do the bit at the end is quite hard! We had an issue in canter where I felt he was on the wrong leg and losing it so broke to trot and picked canter up again but not sure if we were on the wrong leg in the end. We also had a slightly miscommunication coming out of canter as he tried to keep going forward in canter, but we had to trot between F&A which he found difficult and ended up trampling over the board! oops! Our halt went mishap again as usual but fingers crossed the massage will help improve that as well! Overall we only got 51.3% so I'm quite disheartened as I felt it went a lot better than some other tests we've done where we've got higher percentages! The judge wrote: "a nice pony but needs to be more forward and at present lacks suppleness so finds it difficult. Well tried." The video can be seen here

Overall I'm quite disheartened as I felt he went nicely in places so deserved higher marks, but you can't win them all! Were off to Vale View at the end of the month and fingers crossed we do better there! 

Thanks for reading, 
Laura & Pea x

Sunday, 9 June 2013

[Monthly Review] April and May 2013

Woaah, time sure flies when you're busy/having fun! I have just realised that I missed doing April's round-up and now we're well into June and I haven't done May's round up either! If I'm honest, not a lot happened and Pea's work took a bit of a back seat due to exams/assignments/etc. 

In April we took Pea to the saddlers as we figured his saddle wasn't fitting too great due to him changing shape and gaining more muscle, which we thought could be why he was struggling in the canter. The saddler compared his shape to the last time and stated he was a lot leaner and that the saddle was slightly wide so she changed the gullet and it fitted a lot better, however he was still refusing to canter. She suggested doing the girth up using the 1st and 2nd straps as opposed to the 1st and 3rd as he is quite compact and so spreading the girth out could be causing him a bit of discomfort. He was still iffy though slightly better so she suggested to stick with it for a bit but if nothing improved after a couple of months then maybe take him back and try a different saddle - something my dad and I were not too keen on hearing! He was still a bit in canter for the next few days and during a lesson I asked my instructor whether to get the physio, chiro or a massage out for him. I also mentioned that when grooming his hind-quarters, especially at the back, he would sometimes get a bit grumpy and flinch. She took a look at him and found that he was quite tight in his muscles and that this was most probably due to the cold weather we had been experiencing and as he was standing with his bum to the cold weather, he tightened his muscles. My instructor suggested waiting for a week before calling anyone out as warmer weather was due so it would probably relax his muscles and save the need for calling someone out. True to her word, just a week later I was lunging him and he went mental! He randomly started cantering when I asked for trot and refused to stop for a good few laps, very different from the norm where I'm normally trying to push for him to canter even one lap! Since then he has just been getting better and better! 

I didn't take him out competing in April to just focus on his canter and getting him stronger and better. His schooling was really coming along nicely and the canter is getting better and better! In May I took him to a dressage and did two prelims which he did very nicely, especially considering being unable to canter in the warm-up as he likes space to canter, especially initially as he can still be a bit tight about it, and the warm-up arena was quite small so I left it to chance and just cantered him in the test. He was so good, had a few moments but got nice comments from the judges and showed a lot of potential. (There's a report about it here). I was especially pleased as his canter on the second test got 7's, well the second canter did. The first canter originally got a 7 but Pea being Pea decided to buck so dropped them to 4's for the first canter! 

His canter is getting stronger and stronger each time I school him and we're currently working on him not getting too strong and leaning and also he tends to try and rush and then buck in one particular corner so I'm working on keeping him in the same rhythm but keeping my leg on to prevent him from bucking. It's a bit tricky but he soon gets the idea when he realises he has to keep cantering the corner until he stops! 

I'm hoping to get him out in the next few weeks with a definite outing planned at the end of the month so fingers crossed his canter is much improved and the marks show for it! 

Thanks for reading, 
Laura & Pea x