Both Heidi and I are having a quiet day recovering from completing our first PN (BE100) yesterday at Scotsburn, north of Inverness. My friend kindly offered us a lift up in her nice big lorry so Team Hopalong travelled in much more style than normal!
We went up on Friday afternoon and got settled into the on site stabling and went to walk the course. It all looked quite nice, plenty of them up to height and the only ones really making me feel a little worried were two big steps up a hill and a very wide ditch at the half coffin.
Plaited up in the evening and enjoyed a BBQ then off to bed with an early alarm set- dressage test was at 8.24am!
Lots of rain overnight but luckily dry in the morning when I got up. Had a bit of a stress warming up as had left Bob to go get my number from the secretary's tent for me and he still hadn't appeared when they were shouting for the rider two to go in front of me! This meant we didn't have an ideal warm up and were both far too tense. :( Felt a really horrible test, with the exception of the free walk on a long rein and the judge agreed- score of 44 with 6s/5s and a solitary 8 for the free walk. Not the worst, but not as good a score as we could have hoped for.
So on to the SJ. Didn't warm up very well (I never do, tend to get a little nervous!) but went in and had a decent clear round. :) Saw a few long ones and chipped in a little close to some, but she was as careful as ever and made sure to keep them all up. :)
Then on to the real fun bit- XC! She was very keen and bounced over to the start box. :) Headed out over rails at no.1 and wall at no.2 fine;
And then onto a roll top with brush at no.3, the plan being to aim for the right hand "half moon" of brush. However, Heidi jinked left on the last stride and ended up taking on the middle (highest!) part!!! Bob very happy to capture my expression over this fence! Just goes to show height is not a problem for Hopalong! ;)
Kicked on to no.4 after laughing with Bob "what did you say about not jumping the highest part?!", over the palisade to drop and then super over the skinny brush at no.5. Then on up the hill to the scary steps at no.6, although she did these really nicely. Fab jump over straightforward roll top at no.7 and over the wall at no.8. A corner (that wasn't really a corner, more like an angled box fence!) at no.9 then down the hill to the ski jump at no.10, she was a little spooky but went;
Then down a very steep hill trying to get my reins back to no.11, another drop fence!
No 12 was a half coffin with a hanging log (could see daylight under it!) as part a and a ditch at part b. I was worried that the ditch was very wide, but turns out I should have worried about the spooky log- she backed off it and I wasn't quick enough/firm enough to do anything about it, so we picked up our first XC pens. :( Quite annoyed with myself as I should have reacted quicker. We weren't alone though, that fence was causing a lot of problems! Over it 2nd time around and popped the ditch no bother.
Up the hill to 13ab (small step up to a house fence) then along to 14ab (big, square log pile to a roll top on an angle) all fab, then around over another house fence at 15 and down the hill to a step down at 16, another step down at 17a and a step into the water at 17b- lots of steps! She was very bold at the first step, backed off at the water, but went in ok and then had a nice canter along the water (with a spook at the novice fence on the way through!) to jump out over the "lock" at no.18;
Out of the water, around the last corner and over the last fence;
And then home over the finish line to complete our first PN! :D
So although I'm annoyed that our dressage could have been better and I should have been more "grrrr" at the 1st attempt of 12a, there were a lot of good points- the other XC fences she jumped fab and a clear SJ to be happy about.
Heidi cooled off and travelled home fine and was happy to be out mooching with her field pals again yesterday evening. :) Next up is a XC training day with David Gatherer at Oatridge on 13th June and then Hopetoun BE on 3rd July. I think I'll be brave and enter the PN for Hopetoun! :)