I walked the course the day before and it was a long one at 2miles! Or so I thought......
We started our day with loading perfectly, then unloaded well and gave them a while to settle down and eat some grass. Once they were ready it was Rosie's turn first....I had hoped it would be Skye first as I have been working with her longer, but oh well too late now! So we did our warm up over the practice show jump, Rosie settled well and was very calm and focused...we had none of the usual gymnastics we get at home ! All going well so far....
Then it was our turn to go, they counted us down and off we went...I decided on a steady canter...Rosie was speedy but felt like a good pace so we carried on, it was quite a way to the first fence and when we got there she had a look but I gave her a squeeze and encouraging words and we were off!! No stopping us now....I don't remember her even looking at any jumps that followed! Rosie is bold over solid fences. Even the water, straight in, out and up the steps perfectly! We even over took someone (after asking of course). We then came to a jump into a field, up a slight mound, tyres at the top, down mound, turn right and a tight double with another tight turn to make the next fence in good time....well Rosie was listening and we managed it with ease! We were flying!
Oh and I forgot to mention at about fence 5 my neck strap came undone....but it was a Stubben stirrup leather so I held onto it all the way round!
So we carried on through various fields, over more fences including logs. Then round by the pond....Rosie spooked at a mask (Halloween theme) and we very nearly ended up swimming as it was narrow...however we recovered and on we went. Down to the home straight where her owners were watching and cheering us on! Big smile on my face and feeling confident we pushed on over the finish line....Excellent round! So proud of her!
So after sorting Rosie out as she was a tad warm!! I grabbed a cup of tea and sorted Skye out ready for her turn...I thought an hour between was loads of time...nope, it flew by!! Oh and in this time someone had gone to watch the action with the keys to the car full of Skyes tack, slight panic but all sorted in time!
So I get on Skye and do our warm up again....talking her through it all of course! She jumps well but I don't feel we need to do too much as we need the stamina for the course. We wander through to be counted down....couple of horses in front so we have a wait on our hands....Skye got a bit anxious but nothing too bad, understandable really!
The count down begins and off we go....however Skye is not convinced she wants to go, so have to push her on more than Rosie....now Skye is more of a thinker than Rosie so study's her fences....which can feel unnerving on cross country...however we work well as a team and a few encouraging words and pushing her on does the trick! On we go and lovely people shouting good luck to us as we pass helped.
We jumped a coffin in to the woods and over a step, out through a stream...well Skye didn't know what to do....jump, paddle or leap....so she decided to leap at it, land in it, splash herself and spook! Oh well still in good time so carry on to a straight with brushes (her favourite) Skye tries to jump the bigger side haha!! Little reluctant to go forward but we have a nice wobbly canter....when we got to the hedge to go back over the stream and into the water...people are walking behind the hedge and talking so Skye stops and doesn't want to go through!!! Argh!
So I calm her down, do a small circle as she has gone on strike, then we carry on beautifully through the water, jump out up the steps and on. We take on the barrels up hill with a zig zag approach...but we got there and on we went....Skye loved the mound with tyres and the double....jumped the fence on the turn huge! Then we push on over a field and onto the next section....over a skinny, round the pond, jump final fence there and again off we go.....down the home straight and again see the owners....loads of smiles and them asking how she's going - I shout excellent! And we push on over the finish line and nearly stop in the secretaries tent!
Well massive pats for Skye, what a star!
I am over the moon with them both, they have both exceeded all expectations. Both were brave, trusting and agile....it was such an amazing feeling and I cannot wait for our next adventure together! I was so proud of how they behaved and the hard work has well and truly paid off!
And following that we had the wait for the results.....I would have liked a rosette but did think its a very long shot on our first outing as well as competing in a class of 42!!
However, we have all been bowled over by the result...Rosie only got placed!! 5th place for the clever girl!! ANd we have now got the gorgeous rosette to prove it. Skye came 11th, so with a bit more practice she'll be catching Rosie up shortly......the mission is to now get Skye her first rosette....Dressage next potentially until next season!