Monday, September 10, 2012

Horsey Weekend

Sorry for the lack of a weekend update. I was a bit exhausted after a very busy weekend. Next week looks like it will be just as busy, with a One Day Event on Sunday. The most important thing to do is to make time for my darling girl Zanny. Look how cute she is! 
 Of course, a good wash and groom is required, but at this time of year we are battling vast amounts of mud, pollen and shedding fur. Zanny would take hours to dry, so we just take her as she comes. I am amazed that I am still riding her with less than three months to go until her foal is born, but she really loves getting out with her friend Frank, so I am happy to oblige. It was horribly windy on Saturday, so we walked along next to the pine tree hedge on the opposite side from our usual walking track. Amazingly neither horse spotted any creepy nasties to spook at in the trees, so I was very impressed. Zanny is a bit stroppier with Frank than usual, and if he gets his face close to hers she gives him a mean look. Not like her at all so it must be hormones!

Johnny came out and got a lovely load of poo. My garden is very pleased.

On Sunday I had a special day. I was given a ticket to the Jeremy Steinberg Dressage Masterclass by Emily Cammock. Lucky me! Jeremy is the youth coach of the USA dressage team and he was a very engaging and entertaining coach and speaker. Some of the upcoming and top level dressage riders from the South Island had lessons with him as a part of the masterclass. No, Zanny and I were not invited to demonstrate. Most special for me was seeing my dear horse friend Oscar (Dambala) on show. He was the only specialist eventing horse there. He looked absolutely stunning, and was such a good boy for his first visit to the indoor RDA arena. Oscar naturally holds his head with his chin tucked in tight when he is feeling tense, so he needs to work on relaxing and bringing his face forward a little more so that he can see where he is going. Some riders believe in forcing their horses to hold their heads with their chins pulled right in to their bodies, which is very cruel and stressful. That includes some of the top international dressage riders.

Emily was very pleased with the progress Oscar made after a private lesson with Jeremy, plus the masterclass. He in in training for the 4* event in Adelaide later in the year.

 I think Jeremy was stepping over the rail in this photo, so he looks a bit funny. I love the expression on Oscar's face.
I also enjoyed watching some big dramas with one of the horses. I love a bit of drama when I'm not on board, and the rider looks super competent. There was bucking and rearing and all sorts of naughtiness, all because the horse was wanting his mate. When they brought his little friend in, the wee fellow started being bad too, also rearing and running away, so they brought another very quiet pony in to keep the paddock mate company. Crazy. That's one great think about Zanny. She doesn't care about leaving other horses and going off quietly on her own.

I saw two Grand Prix level horses in action too. They were so clever and beautiful.

I guess I realised that although dressage is the most suitable competitive equestrian activity for me, I don't think Zanny would enjoy the training, and I'd really need an expensive dressage schoolmaster, lots of money, and lots of time. Not likely!


Anonymous said...

Glad you had a lovely horsey weekend...not long til school holidays.

Love you guys,
Meg xx

Anonymous said...

Good to hear the horsey news - wish I was there too, watched a lot of the Olympics dressage and loved it. It is thundering like mad tonight, very freezing outside. The house is shaking. I hope it doesn't hail! Love to all Mum. xxxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...


I was in urgent need of an image of the south island NEC for the ESNZ website and found these on your blog - do you object if I use these for the time being??


Anonymous said...

Apologies - forgot to include a link: