Fresh as... or not!

We have our first event of the season on the horizon finally, and it's time to start gearing up for the handful of events we will get to run at this  year. Henry  and I have been training hard and it's been nice to ride without any sort  of competition goals so it's been hard to switch my mindset  into a more competition focus. Entries for the next comp open next  weekend so I had another jumping lesson to try and work out what grade to enter. My original plan for the year was to do one event at  65 then go up to 80 for the season, so when covid happened I figured I'd go right out at 80. However as the year progressed I have been feeling less confident about that decision and I needed a confidence boost and reality check.

Henry had another easy week that week. It was wet again and so he got hacked out twice. I wasn't sure how fresh he'd be and then he galloped around the paddock like a lunatic right before we left so it could have gone either way. He ended up being very quiet  though so I had my  work cut out for me getting him off my leg enough. It was bloody cold too!

We warmed up by trotting over some poles, working again to keep Henry lifted through his back properly. I was pleased to feel that it was much easier this time. We lifted the poles into three bounces and again it was much easier to keep Henry straight and let him work his own feet out. Off the right rein I needed to set him up better and get him really around my outside leg. I need to really start insisting about these things.  His go  to evasion on the right rein is to fall  in and throw his head up and it can take me too long to get  organised enough to fix it and get  him round and straight again. 
Andrew and I went hiking a few weekends ago, it was amazing!

We progressed onto course work after we got the bounces right, jumping an upright then turning sharply off both reins to another upright. The left was ok, but to the right I needed to land from the jump and leg yield over to set us up for the turn. When I landed, sat up and yielded quickly we had plenty of time to get to the jump, but when I was a bit slow the wheels fell off and he would land the worn lead, or we wouldn't get to a good spot to the fence and Henry would feel a bit like he was climbing over. The exercise needed me to be quick off the mark and it was really hard to react as fast as I needed to but I did feel like I got faster as the lesson progressed. 
Very few new pictures, it's dark all the time!

From the second upright we added in an oxer off the right rein then another upright ion the left. Again I needed it be faster at keeping him around my inside leg in the right and then it was even harder to land on the left lead. I also needed to be faster about asking for the turn in the air too. I have gotten used to leaving Henry alone completely but now we are upping the ante and I need to start turning before we land. 
Chickens not quite in the garden, naughty chickens!

We finished with a  nice smooth round, but I need to start asking Hen to step up and I need to react faster. Always plenty to work on but I can feel us slowly improving. 


  1. He really looks wonderful! Honestly I don’t know if you have a wrong choice between the 65 and 80. If it were me, I’d try to figure out what would bug me worse: going 80 and having a green mistake(s), or going 65 and feeling like it was too puny. Either way - have fun!

    1. There isn't much in it really, both levels are suitable and only really the size of the jumps that change! The biggest issue is with me rather than the horse, he doesn't care as long as I ride him properly. I really just needed a kick up the backside to pull my head in and get on with it, I have made a decision now!

  2. So exciting that you have some shows on the books! Sounds like you've got a solid plan and are having fun working out the kinks in the meantime! still looks pretty nice there even in winter!

    1. It's nice having something solid to look forward to, but it has been so nice to ride without competition goals too.

      Winter here is a breeze, it rains a bit but we also get sunshine. Today is cold, getting up to 16C! Summer is when things get tougher for us.


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