Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Jumping at Elms Farm

We took AJ out in the trailer to Elms Farm Equestrian Centre at Claythorpe last Sunday to take part in some jumping.  It was an early start (not good), but luckily with the clocks going back it did give us an extra hour in bed, although it didn't feel like it, rising at 5.30 a.m.!
Katie and AJ, Elms Farm
This is the second trip in the new trailer for AJ.  Last time he was perfectly happy to travel in it, even though it is a slightly smaller model than the one he is used to.  This time, he seemed fine getting in and, as always, fine for most of the journey until the last 5 minutes when he really started kicking up a fuss.  It's not pleasant pulling a trailer that periodically bumps around!  We weren't able to stop and check on him as the road was very narrow with no passing places.  We hoped he was just have a bit of a paddy as we'd decided not to give him any hay for his journey as he'd had quite a lot before the trip and he would be going straight into the first class without much hanging around.  When we got to Elms Farm and opened the jockey door to check on him, he was quite het up and had completely wrecked one of his back travelling boots - shredded to bits - and in the process had managed to cut his leg.  After using several small bottles of water to wash the wound, and a quick phone call to his owner (and also giving him the hay to calm him down!), we decided he was still OK to enter the jumping classes.  Needless to say, without his travelling boots on to go home (which he's always disliked), just his normal jumping ones, he was perfectly OK (oh, and he also had his hay).  Two lessons learnt I think: (1) take some kind of basic horse first aid - you never know when it may be needed and  (2) always give the chap some hay for his journey!
Katie and AJ, Elms Farm
The classes were good.  Clear Round was successful (Katie enters these as a warm up) and they also cleared the 65cm class meaning Katie and AJ were able to go onto the second, jump-off, round, which they also cleared (at a not very speedy 52 seconds!).  She and AJ came 5th which means, as this class is a UK Riders Qualifer, they'll go on to the next round, the Regional Finals, which takes place in June next year.  Lots of time to get his speed up - we hope!

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