Well if I thought it was hot during my lesson on Saturday, we were in for a shock doing Prelim 7 on Sunday at Codham! Having given ourselves a bench mark last time, I was aiming for more relaxation and less tension from Saf, and for me to keep my hands softer. After a boiling hack there, Saf was on her best behaviour and stood happily tied to a tree eating her haynet. It was amazing for all of us to be ‘hands free’, without one of us having to hold onto her. Simple things! After a half hour rest we headed down to the warm up, which seemed less busy compared to last time.
Saf started out tense and looky, but we had a happy canter on each rein which seemed to get it out of her system. She then worked really rather well. Wanted to keep the warm up to a minimum due to the heat, and we were soon called.
I was so pleased with her, I remembered to relax my hips and kept my hands light rather than the usual ninja grip I develop when I feel like she’s going to run off during the test. She was understandably happier and aside from a bit of nose poking at times and ducking in on a few corners in canter I was really pleased. Came out with a grin which is always good 🙂 61% which I was happy with and felt about right from where I was sitting and particularly pleased since it’s only our second time at this venue.
First competition at Codham Park on Saturday. Approx 1 hour 20 minute hack, which involved wading through a flood! This was our first time at Codham, and Saf was Tense with a capital T. We arrived an hour before my time, gave Saf a break after her hack, got changed and on to the warm up. Saf’s eyes were on stalks and the warm up was rather busier than we’ve encountered at Bluegate. There were more lorries, horses and people milling about in general but there was a nice atmosphere and it didn’t feel busy, if you know what I mean. I couldn’t really get any sense out of Saf in the warm up, she just refused to listen and I ran out of ideas after a while. Eventually I managed to gain some of her attention but wasn’t too hopeful as I was called.
You can see from the pix that she was just a ball of tension the whole time. I know it’s a new venue and we’ve not been out since September last year but it was really hard work and I felt like I’d been down the gym by the end of the test. She just kind of fixed her neck and I couldn’t get her to move it. In hindsight I probably should have tried letting her go a bit more but I’m convinced she’d have just shot off at 100mph! Never mind, it was a lovely place and we’ll definitely be back next time. Good points: Well I remembered the test, and she basically did everything she was asked (albeit fast!) and our halt was good.