Sunday, 21 February 2010

Jeanette Brakewell lesson- Tuesday 16th Fe

On Tuesday, Team Hopalong headed down the road to our favourite local haunt, SNEC, for a SJ lesson with Jeanette Brakewell- Olympic and 4* event rider. :)

We started with a 15min 1-1 flatwork session where Jeanette spotted a good few rider weaknesses and pointed out how to correct them. This included carrying my hands higher (and stiller) in trot and lower (and still stiller! ;) ) in canter. Also need to make sure I'm using my thighs and calves and not my knees for leg contact. Another point to note is to rise up towards the middle of the saddle, not up and back. Being aware of and working on doing all of the above made a huge difference and Heidi did some really lovely work. :D

After a wee break while the rest of the group had their flatwork worked on, we did some jumping. Nothing big or fancy, but a couple of simple exercises to work on getting the approach and rythymn right. The first was a figure of eight over two crosspoles. Heidi did this really nicely, although as predicted by Jeanette, we started nicely, started to get a little bit "yee ha" and took some fliers and then steadied up and finished nicely again.

The other exercise was an upright and a spread fence on a 20m circle. Again, just working on keeping a rythymn and making the circle as symmetrical as possible. Sounds easy, but the fences seem to come up very fast when you're on a true 20m circle! ;)

Had a really good lesson and would definitely like another with Jeanette. :)

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Arena Event- Howe CC

Although Heidi managed to pick up a kick wound the other week, a wee bit of rest and antibiotics cleared it up nicely and we were able to head off to Howe as planned for Les Smith's arena event. It's combined SJ and simulated XC-style jumping. Todays course was 8 SJ fences then 8 XC fences- a long course to remember on a Sunday morning! ;)

Heidi was certainly feeling fresh and well and had a ball, flying around and giving fences plenty of air, with the only exception being the planks where we got a bit of a duff line (due to her tanking off from the previous fence!) and she just tipped it with her back toes.

Some nice photos courtesy of Bob;
Had an "eeek" moment at the bounce fence near the end of the course, she tripped on landing over the first part but somehow shuffled her feet around and cleared it- looking at the second photo below I've no idea how!
So probably no placing with the four faults, but I reckon our time would have been ok! ;) Having another attempt at Gleneagles in a couple week's time, hopefully a little calmer 2nd time around!