I left you off on my last blog with an update of how our first go at a 1m course competitively went, and at the end mentioned I should’ve known something was up (you can read that blog by clicking here).
We set off on Wednesday, August 16th and headed up to stable at Maddybenny in time to settle for the Eventing Ireland on Saturday. Having been there several times this year, it was like going home as the entire yard, the liveries and staff are so lovely and welcoming. We had a great ride on Wednesday and Thursday and were looking forward to a lesson with my amazing instructor on Friday morning at 9am (maybe not so much the time of the lesson!).
Nevertheless I was tacked up and ready, albeit a tad sleepy, but we ended up having an amazing lesson including mastering 15m circles. Of course none of this was apparent in the actual test – but she was foot perfect in our lesson.
Bonnie then went into turnout for the rest of Friday and we brought her in and fed her and left her to sleep and gets lots of energy for the next day.
Our dressage time was 11:34am, and so mum plaited Bonnie up early on Saturday morning leaving me to get myself ready. I was on Bonnie and in the dressage field at 11:00am, and was promptly told that there was 2 to go and then me. Panic stations started. This being my first ever event, I had no idea I could refuse to go in until my time. I rushed my warmup and Bonnie, on grass and wanting to go as she had seen the 1* XC going on whilst walking to the dressage field, was wanting to do absolutely anything but dressage. I did get her relaxed, but of course then a horn of the car sounded for the arena beside mine when she was at the same end as the car and this was right before she went in. She was on her toes again – even more so this time.
Dressage not being a strong phase for either of us, the test went as well as it could’ve considering her energy levels and inexperience. She only did her first Prelim tests in the middle of July, I wasn’t expecting much anyway. I as a rider then let her down by completely just learning the test wrong at the very last movement – I was convinced, and had practised in my lesson, trot down the centre line “AX and halt immobility salute at G”. It was in fact “AKX and halt immobility salute at G”. Bonnie did a beautiful halt first time round, but the judge insisted I redo the movement and my final halt ended up being facing the judge in the other arena. All in all our dressage earned us 53.7% or 46.3 penalties.
We then untacked Bonnie and went up to the SJ field and got a burger (yum) but with such a short distance inbetween, there wasn’t much else to do but to go back down and tack up for the showjumping. I got Bonnie’s boots on (the beautiful Veredus colour carbon gel tendon and fetlock boots) and then got myself changed into a stock and my showjacket on. I then opened our new Le Mieux saddle pad and put the rest of her tack on and we headed up to the showjumping fields.
As the EI90 runs after both the 1* and the EI100 classes, the warm up was very boggy and hadn’t been rolled yet. I warmed Bonnie up and jumped a few xpoles, uprights and eventually into a 1m spread. She jumped it sticky, and landed sticky, but thinking it was the ground I continued on. She didn’t feel at all lame, but when I took her back around she refused to jump the spread. We put it down to 60cm, and still she refused to jump. Thinking it was just because the ground was boggy, I rode her into some more uprights (at about 1m also) and she soared over them.
When I took her into her round, third to go, she spooked at a spectator who had pulled over to the side of the road and was blending into the hedge. I rode her on and at this point, you can see she is lame on her back right leg, though she didn’t feel it. She soared over the first fence but when I brought her around to the second, she wouldn’t jump at all. Long story short, we had 3 refusals and got eliminated at fence 2.
I took her back down to the yard. I thought she had been spooking at the man in the hedge and so I took her into the jumping ring but she wouldn’t even jump an xpole. I then cooled her off (in tears, of both disappointment and frustration) and took her back to her stable, where I untacked and began to brush her down. When I got to her back right leg, she missed my head by inches as she kicked out whilst I was leaning down. I knew something was up immediately – as she has never tried to kick me before. Carefully standing no where near legs, I again brushed the same spot and again she tried to kick me.
I then trotted her up – about 45 minutes after our elimination at this point – and she was lame.
We had her booked in with our chiropractor before the event for August 21st – but I’ll make another post on what we’ve done since discovering that she is lame.
Of course I am so gutted that her eventing record has began with a bad start, an elimination on her record, but most of all I am concerned for my amazing little horse who clearly knew she wouldn’t make it – and I’d rather she stopped and refused to jump than try and perhaps have us both fall. She’s always keeping me safe, and I will do my best to keep her safe too.
Until next time…
Eventing Vlogs – Days 1 & 2:
Eventing Vlogs – Days 3 & 4:
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