Eventing Memes!

Here’s a collection of eventing memes 🙂 Just for laughs!

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Speed Work – 6 x 1 km repeats…

Just one week until our first CIC * event, so I wanted to get our speed work in with enough time for Gamble’s muscles to fully recover before the Event. After warm-up, my goal was to do 1 km at 1:55, then 1:45, 1:35, 1:35, 1:30, 1:35, with 2 minutes between each repeat. Here are our splits: 1:57 1:46 1:36 1:36 1:29 1:39 It was warm out — 25 degrees C. — so Gamble had quite the sweat on by the time we were done. We walked out for a good 25 minutes (including 3 splashes in the river and water park) plus a rinse off when we got back. I was quite happy with his response. No problem getting making the target times — other than the last lap, where I had to slow down to pass Tori and Rapport. The CIC * next weekend will have a distance of 3,120 m., so he should have no issues with that. Even a CIC *** has a maximum distance of just under 4 km, so I suspect he’d be able to handle that even today. But one step at a time.

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Dressage Lesson with Phil Parkes

Today, Phil came up to Hearthstone Farm to do a lesson with me. He does an excellent job of explaining things in a way that my non-dressage mind can understand. He reviewed my test — both the marks and the video — and we set to work on getting improvements in the various elements. Here are the main take-aways: 1. Trot down the centre line: Make it very forward. Sit up — tall and proud — in such a way that if Gamble was taken out from under me, I’d still be able to stand up in the position I’m sitting on him. So not leaning forward, not leaning back. (We shortened my stirrups one hole — my feet should not be dangling.) 2. Halt at I: Don’t rush it. Keep leg on into the halt and don’t use reins to stop him – use your seat. You don’t want it too abrupt. Once he stops, take a deep breath. Then salute. Then take another deep breath. Then onto the next movement. 3. Working trot to S: Work on getting him to go from halt to trot smoothly — no walk steps. 4. Change rein from S to F in Medium Trot: Assume it is 100% effort — extended trot. 5. Collected trot: Bring him back and get him balanced for the next movement, the shoulder-in. 6. Shoulder In from K to E: Very little neck bend. Make sure it is 3 tracks, which is a fairly significant angle (15%-ish?). Continue Reading →

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Jumping lesson with Holly Hayman: Hold mane! (Really!)

Tonight I had my first jumping lesson in a long while. Seems like roughly 5 months! And while the jumping at last week’s event at Woodwind went okay, I know that we could be doing better. The 1.2 metre fences don’t look big, which is a huge help from a confidence perspective, but we’re getting over them due to my lack of fear and Gamble’s athleticism. When I got to the arena, Holly had a surprise for me: She was warming up Loyal, a Grand Prix level jumper. Apparently his personal best was a 2.2 metre puissance wall in Austria. So this boy could jump! And she wanted me to ride him so that I could feel what it was like to have the energy of a real jumper underneath me. It was an eye opener. While I’m continually giving Gamble “encouragement” with my legs, spurs and occasionally crop, with Loyal it was all about harnessing and managing the energy. He had energy to burn and you especially had to watch it as you pointed him to a fence! Holly had me going as slowly around at a canter to approach the fences and then no later than 9 feet away from the fence, let him pick the distance and get over the fence. And once over the fences, collect him back again. It took me a while to get used to the fact that I didn’t have to give extra encouragement with my legs which would cause him to Continue Reading →

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New Speed Work / Tempo Run Hybrid

Today we did our cardio workout, but instead of doing 1 km repeats or a 6 or 8 km tempo gallop, I did a bit of a hybrid: 400 m. gallop repeats with a 100 m. canter rest in between each repeat. Here are my paces: 401 m. – 1:59/km pace 94 m. – 2:30/km pace 401 m. – 1:53/km pace 118 m. – 2:21/km pace 421 m. – 1:57/km pace 109 m. – 2:02/km pace 389 m. – 1:42/km pace 108 m. – 2:08/km pace 412 m. – 1:53/km pace 107 m. – 2:04/km pace 447 m. – 1:43/km pace 147 m. – 2:11/km pace 410 m. – 1:56/km pace 111 m. – 2:07/km pace 426 m. – 1:42/km pace 129 m. – 2:06/km pace 420 m. – 1:55/km pace 106 m. – 2:09/km pace 422 m. – 1:47/km pace 332 m. – 2:23/km pace 437 m. – 1:49/km pace In total, we did just shy of 6 km in 11:57 — an average pace of 1:56 (so, Prelim level, on average). My Intermediate level pace is to be 1:49 — but because I’ll slow down at each fence, we need to be faster than that between fences — ideally 1:40/km., in my view. It’s interesting, above, how little we seem to slow down during the 100 m. rests. That is because it takes some time for us to slow down when we stop the tempo gallop. It can easily chew up half the 100 m. rest break. So, Continue Reading →

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Woodwind Horse Trials – May 4, 2014

Today’s event went pretty well. Not in terms of our score or placement, though: We were dead last, which is exactly where I expected we’d be. But we got through all of the elements and did some pretty substantial fences in the process. My dressage mark sucked: 49.3%. But I didn’t think the test itself was that bad. Here it is: And here is a link to the dressage test results. Anyhow, we clearly need lots of work on this element. (One contributing factor that I don’t think actually was an issue, was that Gamble didn’t want to leave his stall (low ceiling, skinny aisles) so we only had 15 minutes of warmup.) For Stadium Jumping, Gamble did lots of fences from up close — almost stalling out. But we got over everything with just one knock-down, so I’m happy(-ish). But then came XC: Lots of big fences, although a lot of them I’d already done at the Prelim division last year. I’d say 30% of them I’d done previously. The biggest one was the Barn — 3’8″ high x 6′ wide. Quite a few were max height — 3’9″. Anyhow, Gamble did them all and by the end, he was doing everything with confidence. While I screwed up and didn’t have my helmetCam going (no battery power), Kate got some video of a lot of the fences: Some things to remember: 1) ALWAYS review the video. I got 20 penalty points and a few time faults for missing fence Continue Reading →

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Pre-Event XC Gymnastics…

Tonight I just wanted to get out and do each of the tricky questions in the valley at least once so we could go into our first Intermediate event with confidence. Here is the video: We did a bunch of verticals and oxers — first at a trot then working up to a canter — and then the line of vertical-oxer-coop-rails-corner. Then we did the large table is where we just about had an issue. Gamble did a bit of a stutter-step with this front feet before taking off so we didn’t have the velocity to get over the fence cleanly. He almost pushed off with his hind legs on the top of the fence, and then stumbled when he hit the other side. I lost my balance when he stumbled and actually pulled my left stirrup leather right off the saddle so I had to stop and reattach it. Anyhow, we were both no worse for wear, so we continued on. We then did a coop into the water, which was no issue. Then the bench on the other side of the ditch. He looked at it but really didn’t give it any respect when he went over it, so he banged it with his hind legs. Then to the steps up and drops down — including the big drop — and he had no issues with that either. Finally to Rapport’s water park — which I’d mostly emptied so there was between 6 and 12 inches of water. Continue Reading →

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Dressage Lesson – Ready for the Event

Tracy came out today to give me a dressage lesson. It went very well. Lots of little things on which to work, but we ran through the ** Test A a couple of times and it was not terrible. Enough to get me to Stadium!

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Stadium Practice Test: Con Brio Show Jumping Development League

Tonight, Kate and Oz and Gamble and I went to the Show Jumping Development League at Con Brio. It went amazingly well. I started with the 1.0 m. division where Gamble got around fine other than knocking one pole on fence #2. Then we went to the 1.1 m. division, where Gamble went clear, and Kate and Oz only had one “unlucky” rail. We were waiting to do the 1.15 m. division when Holly came over with some news. Someone had been schooling in the arena the night before and had raise a bunch of fences before they left. So, in fact, some of the fences were 1.2 m. I’m not sure if most of the other fences were 1.15 m. or 1.1 m. — but at least 3 fences were 1.2 m. which is what we have to do this weekend. So, I’m comfortable that Gamble won’t have a problem this weekend at my first Intermediate event at Woodwind. And I’m super happy that Holly runs the SJDL. Its an opportunity of which more London area riders should take advantage. Kate and Oz are definitely ready for Prelim eventing — although she’s going to start with Training level in a couple of weeks.

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Tempo Gallop – 6.5 km with 4 at Intermediate Pace

We galloped along the side of the field to the west of the stables today, rather than out on the road. The ground is firm, but definitely softer than the roadway. I started with 1/2 km of trot, and then worked into a slow canter and then finally into a gallop. Here are my splits. 4:34 (pace, for 500 m., at a trot) 2:31 (pace, for 500 m., at a canter) 2:00 (aiming for 2:15) 1:55 (aiming for 1:55) 1:46 (aiming for 1:49) 1:46 (aiming for 1:49) 1:49 (aiming for 1:49) 1:47 (aiming for 1:49) We trotted out for about 400 m. and then walked back through the trails (about 1.5 km). He was totally cooled off by the time we got back. I’m definitely comfortable that we’ll be able to hit the XC target times this summer.

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