Monday, 19 September 2011

Last Diamond Horse Show of the Year!

Showing season has sadly ended for me now as yesterday's Diamond Horse Show was the last one of the year and I can't get to any other shows due to lack of transport- it's dressage and clear round jumping shows at the stable down the lane from me now for the rest of winter. It's too bad as I really like showing too, just dressage and clear round jumping can get a bit boring but at least I can do them all side saddle!

Hattie was a STAR yesterday during our 14 mile round trip hack to and from the show, especially coming back as we had heavy traffic. She didn't bat an eye despite cars beside her, big rumbling trucks, having to go over motorway bridges...

All that and spending all day at the show with her still looking like a million bucks...

She truly is a super horse!

We did Best Turned Out where we got 1st place, got 2nd in Best condition (an inhand class), 3rd in Riding Club Horse and Pony and 1st in Prettiest Mare (a ridden class). I had packed the fleece girth cover but couldn't use it for Best Turned Out and didn't end up using it for the rest of the classes either, as Hattie's girth gall was unaffected by the girth since I had cut that lumpy bit out of it. The hair is growing back on it as so it was the lumpy bit of leather that rubbed her!

Here is us waiting to be inspected by the judge in Best Condition...

The judge was the same from the last show and we had positive comments. He said that Hattie was going more forward and working much better now that I was being more strict with her. He watched us during our warm up for the Riding Club as we were going to have to jump and he said that our jump was more fluid and we presented a graceful image.

When we were in the class and did our individual show which had to include the jump, I messed up a bit and did not collect Hattie enough at the canter (we were on the left rein). She got a little on the forehand and took our jump slightly too long. It wasn't TOO bad and a LOT better than before but was just annoyed at myself that we messed it up. I didn't get left behind either which was good as that class gathered quite an audience, everyone wanted to see the only side saddler rider at the show jump. No pressure!!

I'm starting to really enjoy jumping side saddle as I can feel what Hattie is going to do. I can feel her start to gather up so I don't get left behind, it's wonderful! So much better than jumping astride!!

Gary took an action shot of the jump. Unfortunately, Gary took it a tiny bit too early as our camera has an annoying delay. You can see that I wasn't going to get left behind though! I don't know what height the fence was set at, but it was bigger than what we did at home. Looks about 2' to me as it was more "imposing" than my jump set at 1'9" at home.

The judge came up to us afterwards at the end of the show to say goodbye and said that he was talking with the show organizers of having a Championship show in next year's show schedule so hopefully they will do it as it will give Hattie and me something to aim for!

Well, until then, it's dressage season for me now! I dropped off my entry form for next Sunday's dressage show and it seems that I will be doing the Intro B test AND the Prelim 4 test, eek!
I've given Hattie the day off today to rest and then tomorrow is practice time as I only have 5 days to practice two tests!!


  1. You both look great. I really admire your hacking out all those distances to compete. And as you've discovered, once you've got the timing down jumping aside is no problem.

  2. Well done! That jump looks huge to me :)

  3. You always sound so happy after a show. Well done in your placings at your last of the season!

  4. Don't show jumps always look huge? :)

    After all that hacking, Hattie ought to do well in Best Condition! I am impressed how far you'll hack to go to a show, I can't imagine doing it.

  5. Hi Leila,
    Can you comment on this saddle?
    I'm wondering if the seat is too dipped to be good for riding in these days?


  6. Hi Lexie, sorry not been around much- been busy trying to move all of hattie's things and then today, her, to our new barn! :)

    There is nothing wrong with the seat on this saddle, it's got the same dippiness as my 1898 Beck-Morrow which is actually quite comfy! The problem with the saddle though, is that it will need ALOT of work and with lacking the cutback, probably won't fit a lot of horses.

  7. Isn't your girth too forward?

  8. Nope, not for her it isn't. That is where Hattie's girths end up on every saddle (astride and aside) due to her peculiar conformation.

    I've had a number of saddlers look at her and they all say the same thing- she has a mare shape with a wide barrel, narrow shoulders, built slightly croup high and with a VERY forward girth groove.

    This is why I have to have to have point straps put on all my saddles so that the girth is sitting in the correct groove for her build or else the saddle get pulled forward onto her shoulders by her conformation and she bucks.

    This is also why I have to make sure I only use super soft three fold leather girths which curl back and keep her weight below 470kgs.