5am alarm, plaiting in the lorry, 2x sets of tack and my favourite green and white xc gear it’s eventing time again!
We set off to the BE80 at Crown Farm, Ascot under Wychwood for D’s 2nd ODE and what a mega day we had. Things didn’t start too well though we got there nice and early so we could walk the course and on my portaloo pit stop before setting off round the xc I managed to drop my apple (breakfast!) down the portaloo, I flushed it goodbye and off we set round the course. The course seemed very fair, quite short at just 17 fences but the testing hilly terrain made it a good challenge.
Warming up for the dressage we had a few excitable moments, but he did settle and produce some lovely work in the warm up. In the test he got a little bit more tense and I didn’t use all the space as best I could but I was pleased with the test which was mainly 7’s. We lost a couple of valuable marks in the free walk which he usually gets 7 or 8 for because he decided to fling his head up which earned us a 5!
Back to the lorry to un-tack and chill for a bit until our time to SJ. The SJ warm up seemed very busy, and even though they were taking numbers I decided to wait and get ready to go on my time hoping that it would be a little less frantic! Lots of people were slipping and I saw a few skid/fall over during their round, that does NOT help the nerves! Big studs in, martingale and boots on and off to warm up. D was very keen to be jumping and warmed up beautifully. I popped the x, upright, then spread then retreated to the outside of the warm up until it was our time to go in. His SJing has come on so much and this was probably his best round to date, it still got a little scrappy in places but the good bits felt very good so I was super pleased with just 4 faults for 1 down.
All togged up for the XC we set off to the warm up, I popped the warm up fences then concentrated on keeping D relaxed and kept well away from the warm up fences and other horses until it was our time to go. He came out of the start box really well none of the green, wobbly babyish zig zag cantering that we had in his 1st event. Confidently over fence 1 and 2 we approached 3. There was a man standing right in front of fence 3 and D baulked, went stiff legged and bounced to the left, thankfully the man quickly got out of the way, I stuck my leg on and he bounded forwards and over the wall. This really disrupted our nice forwards straight canter and D went really gawky and wobbly into fence 4, I tried up the hill to 5 to get him straight in the neck, but he had cocked his head and there was very little I could do to correct the appraoch as he fell out of the left shoulder on the way to 5a and b. Over 5a he simply ran past 5b. I turned and represented and he flew them both. Whip in left hand now (when will I learn I need to carry it in that hand!?) and a quick smack down the shoulder to straighten him up and over 6 we went.
Into the woods I kicked on and really asked him to up the speed, he motored on out of the woods and was fab over 7, 8, the open ditch at 9, 10, 11 and stormed through the water and off the step back into the woods.
We whizzed home over the remaining few fences and was very happy to have finished so confidently, I think he’s getting the idea! The round was miles better than his last event, so much more grown up, and bold. I think if I concentrate on really setting the tone over the first few fences clear rounds xc will be coming soon.
So after all that fun and excitement here are the stats:
35 dressage placed us 10th/39 after phase one. Our 20 pens XC cost us 6th place, and we ended up 17th overall.
I am super chuffed with this considering it is only his 2nd event, the improvement from his debut eventing attempt last month is fab! We’ll be working on our SJing now, possibly popping along to some local showing, continuing our quest for BD Winter Regional qualification and looking out for another event to enter next month!