Fresh from our awful appearance at Hartpury’s JAS (show-jumping and simulated cross-country) competition last Saturday, and fully recovered from all of the aches and pains that go with being soundly dumped (though, since the bang, I have been farting up a storm on an all too regular basis!), the weekend is almost upon us, when we try it all again.
On Saturday Tom and I are off to William’s for some additional show-jumping practice.
On Sunday we’ll trundle up to Solihull for a crack at another of British Eventing’s JAS competitions.
And, at this stage, if not as confident of success as I was before Hartpury, at least I’m not thinking this could be another disaster.
So what’s changed to instil the confidence?
I’ve reconfigured Tom’s bridle with the Snaffle piece, removing the nathe French Gag I tried at Hartpury.
I might be proved wrong in my logic, but after thinking long and hard about what went wrong, and after talking to a couple of very learned people, it’s entirely possible that Tom is such a sensitive soul (!) that the way the French Gag works could have upset him, even a Happy Mouth nathe gag.
The change back to the Snaffle will sacrifice a large portion of braking for forward-goingness, but at this stage of the game I want Tom jumping forward and freely and without being sensitive in his mouth.
I want to educate Tom not to tank off with me, rather than muck about with gadgets.Â I realise that education is a longer-term objective, but I think implementing a quick fix will only bring more problems, not fewer. Although I will add in mitigation, I do know I need to use a Bit with a little more edge for the cross-country phase – a Snaffle isn’t going to cut it!
Anyway, Saturday is the ideal time to try my ‘back to square one’ plan and see how it pans out, William will, I know, test the pair of us quite hard.
Sunday is the time to make it all work ‘on the day’. At least we’ll be well ‘jumped in’ after Saturday!
We schooled on Tuesday evening and Tom felt fine; a little forward (keen!) but nicely balanced on his turns and working really well in to his transitions.
Didn’t ride last night, by the time I got home from work I was so ridiculously tired that we had a quick tea and were in bed by 9pm.
I’m going to make every effort to ride today. I would like a crack over the show-jumps in the outdoor arena if I can get my act together, otherwise we’ll have to jump indoors – though going by the weather forecast, jumping indoors might keep our bottoms dry; jumping outdoors probably won’t!
So that’s this weekend.
Next weekend we’re back at Allenshill for another Eventer Challenge; the following weekend we’re cross-country schooling at home.
Four weeks after that it’s our first BE Intro.