So the fortnightly winter league is back! Our attempt two weeks ago got us eliminated due to not being balanced through the second double.
I wasn’t holding my breath for a successful round tonight as we have had a quiet week of groundwork for reasons explained in my previous post. Rather than expecting the world from Patches I decided it would be best to have a go at the 45 before taking on the 55 as I hadn’t finished work in time to sneak a ‘clear round’ in and the warm-up arena always blows our brains.
After realising the time and realising I was running rather behind I got the rushing shakes whilst trying to adjust his new bridle that I had put together the night before but stupidly not tried on for size as I had presumed I would have plenty of time (wrong as per). It was super worth it however once his new bridle was on as he looking fantastic with his turquoise trim.
Our names were announced, “next we have Danielle on Aladdin the half clipped horse”.
We went in the 45 open minded and I had in my head we would aim to complete to course in a confident trot and not push for canter so that Patches could take everything in. However once over the first fence we landed in a superb bouncy canter and followed this through over fence two. I got rather giddy rather quick- until Aladdin after fence three decided he was a green giant with a fear of fences and all things in the arena. We managed to keep our canter as I decided rather than letting him ‘think’ we now just needed to go forward and time for thinking meant time for spooking. Somehow this worked and we got a very snakey clear round.. What a good baby!!
Before the 55 we kept warm in the small outdoor with the galloping ponies, Aladdins eyes were on stalks in the warm up as per but he managed to contain himself from running out the gate again, (we will let him off for this incident after all he did get another riders crop to the bum). The class seemed to be running rather quickly and I heard a couple of times that riders had jumped the wrong course, this is something I have been worrying about as even when I stand at the sidelines I forget the course. How you riders do different courses one after the other is beyond me, I can’t even begin to imagine what my brain would do if I had to do an ODE. Hopefully these extra cells will come to me one day.
Aladdin had the same mind set as I had in the first class and this was that the course would be done in a confident canter. I asked for canter in between jumps but didn’t push him as he was snaking and wobbling like a baby again. He hesitated and went to refuse the first part of the dreaded double but with a little nudge took it and just slightly off centre. Towards the end of the course we got our canter back but perhaps a little flat as we took a pole with us and ended up with four faults.
Once again I could not be happier with him, as this week we mastered the horse eating double without a week of ‘hard’ work. Tonight I also felt him listening to me as I reassured him when he was doing his wobbly unsure snake pace and still took to the jumps.