Well this weekend didn’t go quite as I had planned it. As I was getting Rocco ready to travel to Weston Park I noticed his knee was swollen. He had been rolling excessively the night before after his bath, so I presume he must have knocked it. I decided as Ricky was running I might as well pop him on the lorry and take him along and make a decision at the event on if I was going to run him or not when we got there. He had no heat in the leg and was sound to trot up so I decided he would at least do the dressage.
Ricky, who I have the ride on for the first half of the season, was doing his first event. To say he was happy to be out eventing again would be an understatement; he was wild in the dressage! Our trot work was fairly good, but as soon as I attempted a medium canter it got a little hairy. A few flying changes, leaps, and hops later I had wrestled the remainder of the test out of him and most importantly, we managed to stay in the arena. Ricky scored a hefty 41.5, which we expected after his antics!
Rocco warmed up for his dressage test beautifully. He remained relaxed and listening and I was really able to ride him. He started his test brilliantly, scoring 7s and 8s but once again, Rock decided to provide more entertainment than necessary in the walk- he hopped and jogged about which affected 3 movements and his collectives at the end. It’s very frustrating as when I practice my walk at home he will perform transitions in and out of medium and extended walk perfectly but I think that as it is the 3rd consecutive time I have performed that test on him, he now anticipates the trot work after the walk. Rock scored 35, better than last time out, but still lots of room for improvement. I decided as the swelling on Rocco’s knee had not gone completely, I wasn’t going to jump him. A big disappointment as the XC would have suited him perfectly, but it wasn’t worth the risk incurring a more serious injury if he knocked it.
On to the Showjumping and Ricky was extremely excited to be jumping out on grass again. It was quite difficult to keep a rhythm to fence as he was cantering sideways and plunging. I jumped him more than I normally would in the working in to try and settle him, but it wasn’t really working so kept him walking round until it was my turn. I was pretty nervous going into the ring as Ricky can be quite unreliable showjumping, the course was also causing carnage, the going was cut up and the 2 people before me had compulsory retirements due to amount of penalties they accumulated. Ricky was quite difficult to control over the first 4 fences but cleared them. On approaching fence 5 though, a treble on one short stride, he did a large leap on approach and ballooned the first element and very nearly bounced the second and third elements, knocking them both down. We were also lucky to fence 8, which he ran towards sideways, due to our poor approach he caught the back rail bring our showjumping total to 12 faults. It wasn’t pretty but we got round and we could go cross country!
Ricky only had one short XC schooling session in preparation for his first event and the course was a good novice test, so it was a good challenge for a combination that barely knows each other on their first event of the season.
The course can be seen in full here; https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/114266455984339434400/albums/5731922486588122785
Ricky, however, made it feel so easy- he flew round without a single hesitation. He was bold and straight and so much fun to ride! I didn’t really let him move on until after fence 7 so we picked up 6 or so time penalties, but i will be more willing to let him move on at our next event as I know he will come back to me before the fences.
Our day of things not going quite to plan continued on the journey home. We had a blow out on one of our tyres and had to sit in the lorry for 2 hours while we waited for someone to come and fix it. Sitting on a hard shoulder of a busy dual carriageway with two restless horses in the back was a scary experience and one I hope we don’t have to repeat again soon! I was so disappointed not to be able to run Rocco and Ricky’s dressage and showjumping need some improvement next time out, but my XC round made up for all of it!