Finally our 2010 BE season has started! :D We made our furthest trek to date up to Kirriemuir to do the BE90 event on Sunday 11th April. As we were on fairly early (just before 10am dressage time), with a fair way to drive, no time to walk XC between phases, we decided to go up the day before and "camp" overnight. Heidi had a temporary stable booked and I managed to get a bed in my friend's lorry. :) Arrived Sat dinner time and Heidi settled into her stable quite the thing, very happy to go in and carry on munching her haynet.
I was able to walk the XC, get back and plait Heidi's mane and then do another lap od the XC before it got dark. Then dinner for Heidi (and me!) and off to bed.
Was really nice getting up and no having to worry about travelling! Was nice just having plaits to roll up, tail to plait and then a quick groom and we were ready! Heidi was very excited in the warm up (you could see the XC from it!) but we managed to survive the test with a little more accuracy than previous attempts, even though we still struggled with the "pokey nose"! Free walk was really good though with no jogging, so that was an improvement. Got a mix of 6s and 7s with a few 5s to end up with 38.5pen (61.5%) which is our best BE dressage score to date, hooray! Some photos below, as usual, the nicest is of the halt/relief of the dressage being over! ;)
Quick addition of boots and breastplate and onto the SJ. Arena was right in front of tents/tradestands, so was hoping she wouldn't be too spooky. Fairly hyper warming up, didn't do too much as she was still plenty warm enough from dressage and she knows what SJ is all about. Had a really nice round, getting nice strides to all the fences with no horrible short or long strides but sadly just tipped the upright before the double with her back legs, we were on a nice stride/pace, so think it was just complacency/laziness there, as you can see in the 3rd photo, she was certainly giving other fences on course plenty of air! ;)
No.8- the offending fence that gave us 4 faults!;
So then cursing the 4 faults SJ (usually our strong phase!) when we had our best ever dressage (typical!) we had a quick tack/clothing change at the stables and headed over to the XC. Course was really nice but quite hilly so I was hoping we were both fit enough! Had a really good ride, first 4 fences up the first hill a little wiggly (not sure if she was trying to head for the PN/Novice fences or the other horses in the warm up?!) but jumping nicely.
Then down the hill, sharp turn and over the double of roll tops fine and then the Helsinki step at no.6;
A sharp 180deg turn and gallop up the hill and over the chair on a slight angle at no.7;
And then a gallop up a really steep hill to no.8;
We then cleared the palisade, drop, shark's teeth, wall, half coffin, log, corner, brush fence, water and another wall with only a slight hesitation on her way down towards the water! (Princess Heidi does not particularly like getting her feet wet/muddy!) However we did get canter rather than trot once in and got a nice jump out over the roll top.
Back in the main field and a gallop towards the penultimate table fence;
Then over the last fence to finish clear, yay! :D Hoped I'd remembered to kick on after the fences and not dilly dally too much as we had time pens at both BE90s last year. Took ages for XC times to go up, but was thrilled when they did to find out were were inside the optimum time... by a whole 20s! Very pleased as she didn't feel like she was struggling at all, even with all the hills. :)
Got our hopes up when the commentator announced a provisional top 10 for our section with us in 10th place, but it turned out we ended up 11th, very frustrating with BE rosettes going to 10th place! Without the pole down SJ we'd have been 5th! But very pleased for our first ODE of the year, hopefully we can keep improving the dressage and get back to clear SJ/keep the clear, fast XCs, not asking for much really?! ;)
Thanks to my Mum for coming down to watch and cheer us on (and bring mini eggs, yum!) and Bob for sprinting around the XC taking lots of photos. :D
Next event is Scone BE90 on Sat 24th April, can't wait, definitely got the bug back! :D