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Leah & 'Fool's Gold'
Caitlin & Hoot 'n Holler

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Leah and Natisca Rain

Natisca Rain
  • Lives: Australia
  • Age: 9
  • Breed: Thoroughbred
  • Height: 15.2hh
  • Misc: Loves carrots and showing off. Hates flies.

A bit about Leah

Update June 17th 1999

Sorry this update is so late - I've been to heaps of shows in the past two months, and I can't really remember all the details! But anyway...

Wallangarra Dressage and Showjumping Day 18th April 1999
Well, this was an awful show. I was very nervous and tense and Tisca certainly picked up on it. He was rushing and resisting badly while we were warming up - something that is normally totally uncharacteristic. Our first dressage test was the Novice 2C. I thought we had a pretty good chance at doing well in this, before our dismal warmup, but I still wanted to do okay. Tisca was very excited at the entire test was a complete disaster. He was prancing around snorting at everything and in general it was just *bad*. We ended up with the awful (and our worst ever) score of 46.08%. Yuk yuk yuk.
Fortunately I figured out before my next dressage test (10 minutes later) that I really needed to relax and lay off with my hands. The difference in Tisca was amazing - the test was respectable. Not brilliant, but so much better than the Novice. So, in the Preliminary 1F we got 56.4%. Not our best effort, but we came 5th.

The 1999 PCAWA Pony Club Festival May 8th - 9th 1999
There is a slight possibility I will transfer the following long winded explanation to it's own website, but for the moment, here it is:

We arrived at the State Equestrian Centre on Friday evening, around 6pm. It was already dark, but there are flood lights everywhere, and the indoor arena was lit up and I couldn't believe I'd actually get to ride in there. I've never ever ridden indoors so the whole deal was new to Tisca and I. Sarah and had to transfer most of our gear (we had so much stuff Dad couldn't see out of the back of the Landrover on the trip down) to the float after finding the stables we were assigned. The stables are very nice - and Red and Tisca were beside each other so they could chat - which was a bonus. It was blowing an absolute gale. Walking from the float to the stable carrying Tisca's feed bin full of chaff etc I had his feed flying everywhere and it's still stuck all over my drizabone. We shared a tent with two other Kelmscott members, sisters Connor and Courtney, and we all got hardly any sleep - partly from anticipation, partly from talking to much and mainly due to the fact that our tent was trying very hard to hurtle into orbit.

We plaited first thing Saturday morning (5.30am). Tisca looked pretty snazzy - but I wish he'd been clipped before the festival, rather than this Wednesday. Both Connor and Courtney's horses are clipped and looked amazing. Connor's horse is Bohemiam Rhapsody. He's a 16.2hh dark brown thoroughbred gelding who's done a lot of Pre-Novice eventing, but not with Connor. Courtney's horse is Bo Cheraw - a lovely 16hh grey elementary dressage horse who also has done the whole Hack of the Year thang.
My first class was Rider 16 and over, in the indoor. Tisca was very calm and soft warming up, and I entered the arena feeling confident, especially as Wendy had been coaching me on rider workouts. We were called in first, but Tisca *would not* stand still. As I said before, he's never been ridden indoors, and he didn't understand that he had to stand still while the other 20 or so riders (entries for the weekend - 130) trotted around. He was confused and backing up and going sideways - even when other horses began to be called in. We ended up being sent out with 14 other riders. The judging (not that I necessarily deserved to place) was pretty ordinary for the rider classes. Kids who sat beautifully but had horses with their noses in the air and rushing horribly - but of course they were on the right diagonal which is every so much more important - beat a lot of very decent riders. I know that rider classes focus on the rider - but it was getting quite ridiculous. I had a bit of a burn barrel racing. Never done it before, but Tisca had it all sorted out for our second run and flew around. I didn't let him go full pace around the drums as he has a tendency to panic when he loses his footing (an accident when racing maybe?) but we still came 7th of 20. Ribbons only to sixth, but it was good fun.

Katrina (another Kelmscott person) and I teamed up for the 2'6" Rescue Relay. Due partly to a less than firm grasp of the rules other than that if Katrina hits a pole I jump the next jump, or that if she refuses I jump that jump (or vice versa) we majorly stuffed this up. Actually, *I* stuffed it up - with two stops. Sorry, Katrina.

My confidence with jumping that is at most fragile, totally disintergrated - look, I feel pretty pathetic when I can't get over 2'6" piddly things - when I competed at that level most of last year. I hadn't realised how nervous I was until I actually got in the ring. So I did the 2 foot AM7 that night (indoors) and scratched from the 2'6". I had a stop at the third jump, got angry and we flew around the rest of the course. Tisca felt like his old self - bringing me into the jumps rather than me having to push and harass every step of the way.

Sometime on Saturday I did the 3 mug race which I've never done. Tisca galloped straight past the posts and didn't understand all the starting and stopping - it was pretty funny and we came last. Tisca loved it - he was snorting and prancing around everywhere. I think the starting line reminds him of racing, as he *will not* stand still - he walks around agitatedly and swings his butt around a bit. Nothing really silly - like rearing or anything - just very excited. First thing Sunday morning we did the Ride and Lead (gallop to drum, jump off and lead the horse back). Tisca was facing the wrong way due to his refusal to stand still and we never caught up (I mean - he caught up in the gallop bit but we over shot the drum by about 10 metres....).

Sarah, Fiona (a girl I met from Pingelly PC) and I walked the Eventing Grand Prix course. The way that worked is that first you would do the a dressage test (the Prelim 1C in my case) and then later do the showjumping course (nine jumps) immediately followed by the cross country - you'd canter straight to the first cross country jump after the last show jump. Something I found hard about the festival is that for whatever height available, the entire course was at that height. So the 2'6" was all 2'6" - no cross or nice easy jumps - and always a spread to start the course. I know 2'6" is tiny, but wow it seems huge when your horse keeps crashing into it (which I know is my fault).

Tisca was still bouncy - he isn't used to being stable all the time and was oozing excess energy. I had to walk Tisca in circles beside the judges car while she asked my name, club etc. The test went very well, although it was only in a 40 x 20 which is really tiny. We got mostly 7s and a few 6s - but our halt at X and later at C was just dismal. Tisca would not stand still at all. So we got two 4s for those and a 5 for one canter (which I had thought was better than the canter I got a 7 for - goes to show what my judgement is like!). We ended up with 62% and a 'very tactfully ridden' among some other nice comments. What surprised me is that our long rein walk was just great. He stretched down into the longer reins and really strode out. He was like that all day - wouldn't halt but didn't try and go any faster than I wanted at other paces. He was trying to lengthen his frame during all the trot work - he wanted to go long and low and stride out, but a couple of half halts really got his butt under him and he felt lovely. (we were coming 5th of 26 or so)

While the jump course was raised to 2'6" I popped over to the indoor and did the 2'6" Take Your Own Line. We went clear and fast but some stupid person cantered through the wrong side of the finish flags, didn't notice, and stuffed any chance of placing up. Well done Leah.

There was an hour or so break for lunch, then off to the Eventing Grand Prix. As I was coming fifth after the dressage I really felt I had a chance of placing. Tisca felt good and we were clear over the showjumping, and then over the first nine cross country jumps (there were only 13 - it was a shortened course). He felt wonderful - very bold and safe. The next jump was on a downhill slope, with a spread, then one long or two short strides and a vertical. I slowed to a trot but didn't get Tisca collected enough and we landed way too close to the second element and Tisca couldn't get over it. We tried again but stuffed it up (my fault), but got over third time. I'd gotten Tisca frazzled by now, and he kept doing flying changes and wobbled into the next jump before sticking on the brakes. It was so frustrating - I would have loved to have placed - I was so proud of how Tisca was going! Oh well, it was only my second try at 2'6" cross country.

We had fancy dress next (after cooling Tisca down - he was very very sweaty). Sarah and I were a pair of Zorros which sounds pretty dodgy but looked great, as our capes covered out horses saddles, sides and hindquarters totally. There was a biggish class and we came fourth - so we got a ribbon! Ended up being my only one for the weekend, but there you go.

And finally we had the clear round showjumping - 2'6". Tisca went clear first round - but I thought we'd had a fault so left the arena. We'd knocked a pole, but it was actually a 'filler' pole, beneath the height of the jump, so it isn't counted as a knockdown. We asked the judge if I could go again (two clear rounds = a blue ribbon - there are no places) but it was two riders later and Tisca was a bit cold and tired, and we knocked two poles, but were otherwise clear. I was so very proud of him!! He tried very hard and was just wonderful. I was also proud of me for doing 2'6" all Sunday and being clear three times, having two knockdowns in that last round, and then the three refusals cross country.

All in all, it was a great weekend. I think that the camping and preparation was almost more fun then the competing. The Kelmscott members are really great people and I've got heaps of photos. Everyone watched everyone else and there was a troop of parents who'd follow KPC people around so we'd have a cheer squad.

Peel H & PC Hack Show 16th May 1999
This show didn't happen as Tisca went lame the day before at Pony Club.

Canning Districts Hack Show 31st May 1999
Not a particularly successful show. The girl I was to float down with couldn't get her horse on the float, so after two hours of trying (and eventually leaving the mare behind) I was very late to the show and missed the first three classes. Of the classes I did compete in I didn't even get called in despite Tisca going *beautifully*. I was so proud of him. We ended up winning the consolation hack and the judge said he was lovely, just too skinny. Which isn't true - he just isn't fat. There's a difference.

Baldivis Horse and Pony Club Dressage 6th June 1999
While we were warming up Tisca got a stone bruise and went dead lame. I was very upset and was in the middle of leading him back to the float when I realised he was sound on grass, so although I couldn't warm up (ground too soft) I did compete. We came third in both the Preliminary 1B and the Novice 2D, although neither were our best efforts as Tisca was a bit uneven. He did try very very hard though, so I was proud of him.

Update April 9th 1999

I've only been to one 'proper' show in the past month, at Orange Grove. Orange Grove Showjumping Spectacular Under Lights March 20th 1999
This show can be described in two words: a disaster. No, I didn't fall off, and nobody died, so that is probably a bit melodramatic, but following the training ODE two weeks earlier (see below) it was a huge shock to get eliminated in (wait for it) both my 2'9" classes. We (Tisca and I) both had a huge confidence crisis and nothing went right. I've now had to totally reassess my plans in regard to showjumping this year, but I'll see what happens.
Kelmscott PC Closed ODE Training Day March 6th 1999
So, Tisca and I ventured out into our first 2'6" One Day Event. The day before had been a pony club rally which hadn't gone well, and so I'd had visions of being galloped off with into the distance. But Tisca was absolutely wonderful. We were leading after the dressage, with what would have been 64.8% if it hadn't been altered to eventing penalties (I don't understand how they work at all!). We had two stops in the cross country - both totally my fault as they were easy jumps that I didn't respect enough. And we got lost, as I walked the course incorrectly - not that it mattered as it was training day, with no eliminations (or ribbons), but it was a lesson well learnt. I felt unbelieveably stupid!! As Tisca was jumping well, I decided to pop over the 3 foot course for showjumping, rather than the 2'6". As it was a training day the emphasis was on gaining experience, so that's what I did. Tisca flew over it like they were poles on the ground, and we were clear. And this was the some horse and rider that couldn't get over 2'9" two weeks later. Goes to show what confidence does (my confidence I mean - without it Tisca and I collapse in a heap). My next show is in mid April - a dressage show.

Update February 26th 1999

Well, once again I've gotten behind on my updates! Unbelievably, it's already the show season proper again, and I've been to two shows in the past month.
Orange Grove Twilight Hack Day January 16th 1999
This was the first show of the year, and *everyone* turned up. The horses in the official rings were pretty much the best - Royal Show champions etc etc. Although, of course, I wasn't competing against them! The standard in the unofficial ring was relatively high, and the judge liked Tisca and he worked really well. Until he decided he hated a white sign he could see (during our workout for hack 15-15.2hh - and we'd been called in second of 16) in the distance and started going sideways and upwards and backwards. Just not forwards! It wasn't too bad, a couple of half rears but it was enough to move us down a place to third. After that blip the judge didn't seem to like us so much, and me doing an awful canter transition in front of her nose didn't help either. We ended up with a second (turnout), a first (rider 17-21), and two thirds (the hack class, as well as the working hunter over 14hh). See us working on the ring in the hack class here , and this is the lineup for the working hunter class.

Two days after that show we went on a three day clinic at my new instructor's property, Ellis Brook. My instructor, Wendy Barker, is a really fantastic rider herself (competed FEI dressage) and is a 'B' (up to Inter I) Level dressage judge. She has made a huge difference in our performance, and the camp really improved us rapidly. We did a lot of jumping as well at the camp, and Tisca was so good I'm lining up 2'6" ODEs for this year. There were some really nice people at the camp, and I had a great time!

Wallangarra Twilight Dressage and Showjumping Day 20th February 1999
I was really really looking forward to this show. It was to be our first ever attempt at Novice (first level), as well as entering two Preliminary tests (Training Level) tests that for the first time I thought I had a good chance of winning. But, after madly memorizing the tests and Tisca just going beautifully in the arena at home, he suddenly went lame last Thursday from a stone bruise. We floated him down to the show anyway, just in case, but he pulled up lame after only a minute of trotting. So I had to scratch from most of my classes, except the Novice test which my friend Sarah (who I floated down with) very generously let me ride her horse Red in. Sarah herself did brilliantly, coming third in the Prelim 1A (64%) and Red (who knows his stuff) gave me a great ride in the Novice 2A to get 66% and we came fifth. So although it was disappointing, the show was definitely still worth going too.

Update January 7th 1999

Sorry this update is so late, my last show was over a month ago. I've actually been to two since my last update, so here they are:
Peel PC Unofficial Hack Show November 28th 1998
This show went very very well. Tisca worked beautifully, and the no plaits, no jackets casual atmosphere really is great for us. We entered five classes, all with decent turn outs (up to 12), and here's how we did:
Smartest on Parade 17-21: 2nd
Rider 17-21:1st
Med/Heavyweight Hack over 15hh: 3rd
Open Hack 7-12years (that's the horse!): 2nd
Best Educated 15-15.2hh: 2nd

Riverside Riding Club Hack Show December 6th 1998
After the success of the week before I was feeling pretty confident going into this show - and what an anti climax it was! Tisca was very silly and excited in my first class (Rider) and we were 3rd of three. We went much better in our other two classes, but the judge didn't seem to consider Tisca the right 'type', despite our quite nice workouts. Oh well. Tisca pulled a shoe in my third class, so we had to go home early.

I'm now on holidays, and have spent my time with Tisca doing lots of work on our dressage, and have started lessons with a new instructor. To see some photos from our last lesson, visit the Photo Gallery . The first four photos are all from that lesson. In a week and a bit I'm going on a three day clinic with Tisca, which I'm really looking forward too.

Update November 26th 1998

I just uploaded photos from my recent shows. You can see them here .
Kelmscott PC Unofficial Hack and Dressage Day November 22nd 1998
Tisca and my second hack day went pretty well. The standard was higher than that at the one I competed at two weeks back (no plaits, no jackets show - this one you needed both), and the class sizes were bigger.
Funnily enough, we were running late (how unusual!!) and so I walked into my turnout class without having warmed up. Not surprisingly I wasn't called in. Not a prob. We were ready for my riders class, and ended up 3rd of 7 or so. I was called in last (fourth) and so at least I moved up a place after the workout, although the judge said I rode like I was pushing a shopping trolley, although my seat was good. How true! My horrible habit is turned my wrists down, so I wasn't offended or anything, as I know I have to improve.
There was a gap before my next class, so I went and did my dressage test. This went relatively okay, all 6s and 5s up until half way when something startled Tisca and he took off across the diagonal. I got him under control but we got a 3 for that movement and a 4 for the next as he was still agitated. Ended up with 53.9% which is far from brilliant, but very okay for us. Tisca was on the bit nearly the whole test, although we lost marks for falling in for a few circles. Oops.
Okay, next was lightweight hack over 15hh (BTW I got Tisca officially measured -he's 15.2hh exactly) and there were 11 or 12 people in this class. Our workout was the best we've done, and we came *second*! Woohoo! Some of the horses there were just gorgeous, I heard one girl say how she went in the Royal Show, so some of the horses were pretty special and it was lovely to beat them! The had first and second place getters in the champion class, so I got to ride off for that, although I didn't expect to get either reserve or champion, and didn't. But it was nice to even be in that class.
We then had pleasure hack which was a huge laugh as Tisca took off in both his loose rein trot and canter and were unplaced. Not to worry. We entered one other hack class and came third in that.
I went down with Sarah and her horse horse Red, and they also had a great day, coming home with two seconds and a third! So we had a pretty great day in the end.

Update November 8th 1998

Sorry this update is so late! I've actually been to two shows since the last update (Sept. 21st) so I'll update both. The first show was:
Kelmscott Agricultural Show 17th October 1998
This show was probably the biggest of the year for me. It was also our first 2'9" class. Our first class was the 2'9" AM3. As we had jumped 3'3" easily the day before at my lesson, I felt quite confident approaching the first jump. Shows how wrong I could be. We had a stop at the first, second and third jumps - elimination. I've never been eliminated before and was pretty upset about it. Tisca was excited, not concentrating and was bucking and rearing in the warm up arena, so I took him away to lunge him. Fortunately, by the time our second class started I was back in charge and so in the 2'9" Take Your Own Line we were clear excluding one pole down. So I was happy with the day, despite not placing - there's always next year!
Peel H&PC Unofficial Hack Show - 7th November 1998
Tisca and I have never hacked before, so this was something different. It was a twilight show, with no jackets and no plaits, so nice and low key for our first attempt. Hacking, for those who have never heard it before, is judged a lot on a horse's appearance (they have to be 'show quality' - pretty) and movement. Turnout is very important. A hack class works like this: You enter (along with other competitors) and walk around the working area. The judge will ask everyone to trot, then canter as a group. The best 5 or so are then called in and the remainder dismissed. The riders called in then do an individual workout, normally decided upon by the judge (eg. Trot away from judge diagonally, turn right and trot showing some extension, canter a three quarter circle right, simple change of lead, canter a circle left, trot a half circle before trotting directly back to the judge, halt, then salute).
My first class was 'Smartest on Parade....17-21 years'. We came second, although there were only three people in this class! Our second class was 'Rider...17-21 years', and we were once again second, against the same horses as the previous class. An hour or so later was 'Hack...15-15.2hh'. There were 12 horses in this class. We were called in fourth, but I initially didn't hear it and started to leave when the judge dismissed the people not called in - she then called out to me - and told me to come back! Oops. After the workout we didn't move up the placings and remained fourth. My second last class was 'Lightweight Hack...Over 15hh'. We weren't called in in this class. This surprised me, as I thought Tisca worked best of all in this class, compared to our other classes. Although I think maybe we should have gone in the Middleweight class, I'm not sure. Finally we had the 'Pairs...Over 15hh'. I asked a girl (Jade) with a chestnut horse is she would like to pair up with me, and our horses worked beautifully together (apparantly their legs were synchronized, and we were even rising together at the same time at a trot!), and we won! (out of 8 pairs [16 horses]). The judge didn't believe we'd never met before. So I finally got a first!

Update September 21st 1998

Our last show was just over a week ago, at Kelmscott (again). We entered the 2 foot One Day Event class which, as it was the series final, was a bit harder than normal 2 foot cross country courses. A couple of the jumps were a bit bigger than 2 foot, but that wasn't a problem really. Eventually I'll write a page to stick the long version of this event update on, but as I can't be bothered right now ;-) I'll just stick it here...

The big day!!
I get so stressed it's unbelievable. We were up at 5.45am to feed the horses and get their travelling gear on. Sarah's Dad rocked up at my paddock by 6.45am with Sarah and Red and we had the horse's down at Pony Club by 7.15ish.
As it was the series final the grounds were just chaotic. By 9am people had to park their cars a kilometre down the road and lead their horses up. There just wasn't any room.
Sarah's dressage test went really well for her first effort, although she doesn't take advantage of Red's two years of Novice dressage and lets him plod around a bit. She was coming about 19th out of 26 after the dressage. My dressage wasn't until 10.46, but my class was running 30 minutes early which had us panicking as we had to do all of Tisca's plaiting super quick.
I always get so much more stressed before dressage then any other event. I don't know what it is! I had a minor mishap. Although I used my dressage saddle last week, Tisca decided that he didn't like the surcingle thingy that Wintec Pro's have and insisted on kicking at it every second stride (with his hind legs). So I had to change saddles and get re-gearchecked.
Our dressage was just dismal. Tisca must feel the dressage arena surface and just decide that he has to show off. He had his nose miles in the air and his stride was horrible and short. He insisted on staring fixedly at everything going on around him and our long rein walk was a jog trot. It was so much that I was annoyed with him, but I was more embaressed - we can do so much better and we have worked so hard on our dressage.
However, it mustn't have looked as bad as it felt as we were coming fifth after the dressage (out of 13 - I'm in the adults class) but the leaders were 30 points ahead of me in the low 40s. Going from a 46 at our last ODE to a 76 is just pathetic. We ended up with 15 5s and 4 4s, so it wasn't quite as bad as I thought.

A few hours later was the showjumping. We had a great time with this! We flew over it in the equal fastest time - 57seconds for 10 jumps, including a double (84seconds was the time before you got penalities). Sarah unfortunately go eliminated with a one stop at one dazzle board and two at one later in the course. Luckily even if you get eliminated you can still do the cross country, which I think is a really nice thing to do.

Cross country was so much fun! I got a bit nervous in the start box, but Tisca felt really solid beneath me and I had my act together after the first jump.
We cantered out of the start box to the first jump, the steps. Due to a lapse in concentration I couldn't remember which steps we were supposed to jump. I am so stupid! Although we wavered at the second step (I did find the correct ones in the end) Tisca didn't step backwards, and after that we were okay. After the steps we turned left and galloped up a lovely straight bit of track before going right and over a tiny little log. There is a big gap between that jump and the next and Tisca pulled faces at the massive 3 foot jumps that we passed. He is such a dag. Next up was the wall, and this one had been worrying me. It's very solid brick, and wide, but I shouldn't have worried as we just flew over it and Tisca finally figured out what we were doing (it's his first proper x-country course - the 18 inch one we did at a trot so that doesn't count) and got into a fast steady canter and we finally had something resembling a rhythm! A turn left and we had a simple double, made harder as you had to do a quick turn two strides after landing and go down a slope. The next jump was a really inviting log but by now we were pelting along (jumping tiny dips in the ground - Tisca was excited by now) and we almost over shot it and jumped the three foot beside it while almost taking a tree out in the process. I span Tisca in a circle after that jump to get him listening before cantering towards the next jump. Two simple two foot logs before the sand pit which would be hard in the 2'6" class, but nor for us as we only had to do the second element - jumping out of the sand pit onto higher ground. We had to do a loop before flying over a gate and next was the helicopter pad. This was pretty much a drop jump for 2 footers like me, but for other classes you actually jump on then off. As Tisca felt looser reins when he landed - I had to give him his head so he could pop down from a trot he tried to take off but I did another circle and yelled at him and we were back in business. A solid pine fence was next, followed by a simple ditch and then the lattice jump (this was taken at a pony club rally BTW - not at the ODE). Next was a fence with a ditch on the take off but Tisca was having too much fun to pull faces at it and before I knew it we were in and out of the water complex(although the bit Tisca and I jumped in the pic isn't what we jumped at the ODE. We had to jump in at the part on the far left of the photo) and over a rustic rail. We then cantered along the top of a hill and passed the girl ahead of us who'd had a refusal and a fall (sorted out by the time we got there, but her horse refused again) and went over a white fence which was on the hill slope down and then a big loop to go over the last jump, the house jump. (It's really cool - you know at the Atlanta Olympics how they jumped that jump which had a roof and stuff? We've got a scaled down version).
So we were clear! Yay Tisca! We ended up being 30 seconds or so (16.4 penalties) over time, but that was due to the circles I did more than anything else. Sarah went shortly after me but knocked up a pretty good cricket score with 11 refusals. She'll be heaps better next season though. The lady who had been leading after the showjumping was eliminated x-country so I ended up 4th! I was so proud of Tisca! When our dressage gets sorted out we will be so much better as well.
I got a real groovy medal - and most importantly it isn't a second! Yay! I've finally got a bit of colour among my ribbons. This time next year I want to be doing 2'6" eventing.

My next show is the Kelmscott Agricultural Show. I'm doing the up to 2'9" classes - AM3, Take your own line and the Scurry class.

Update August 18th 1998

Tisca seems to have come back better after his time-off due to his illness. We had a show on Sunday, Kelmscott Pony Club Fun Showjumping Day. They had classes from 18 inch to 3'6" but I just stuck to the 2'3" (one class) and the 2'6" (another class). As describing *everything* that happened would make this update amazingly long, you can read the long version here .
I entered four classes - the 2'3" AM3 (first round you just have to go clear, if you do you then jump-off (speed comes into it now) for the placings). We were clear in this (and the jump-off) but due to the HUGE class (33!) we weren't fast enough to place. Next was the 2'6" AM3 and we had a stop at a simple upright due to me being unbalanced on the approach. Tisca pulled faces and went sideways for a bit approaching one of the dazzle boards but was otherwise excellent. After a short break we had the 2'6" Take Your Own Line which we were clear in once again, but still not fast enough to place (places only the 3rd). Finally we had the 2'6" Optimum Time which we were clear in, and we must have been close to the correct speed (350 metres a minute) as we came second!
Tisca was so good - I am so proud of him!
I don't have any pics of this show (camera died) but I do have some from my last show that I just got scanned. This is us in the 2 foot class we stuffed up at Serpentine Show. And here is Sarah on Red receiving their ribbon, and again in the the 18 inch class.

Update August 3rd 1998

Unfortunately, Tisca has been sick (nothing major) so I haven't been riding for the past two weeks. However, as Tisca is healthy again, I've now got to get ready for my next show, a showjumping day at Kelmscott Pony Club on the 16th of August. I'm planning on entering the 2 foot, 2 foot 3 and 2 foot 6 classes, and possibly a novelty jumping event (like take your own line) if they have one. I won't know until I get there as it is an 'entries on day' show. I've also discovered that Tisca likes to gallop flat out towards other horses when ridden in the open, and we are working on correcting the problem. Unfortunately it looks like his hollow mouth loose ring snaffle (although great for dressage) is just not enough to pull him up cross-country. I'm thinking about trying a pelham, although I'd stick to the snaffle for dressage and show jumping.

Update July 12th 1998

I did end up going to the show at Serpentine Pony Club I mentioned in my last update. A friend (Sarah) decided to go at the last moment, and so her Dad was able to take both Tisca, and Red (Simply Redmond, Sarah's horse) down to the show. Sarah did brilliantly (at her first show as well) and won the 18 inch and came second in the 2 foot. I suppose I should have realised I was having a bit of an 'off' day as we had three refusals over the warm-up fence, and so not surprisingly we had a stop in the 2 foot at a jump which had hay bales as fillers. All the classes were large so you had to go clear in the first round to place. In the 2 foot 6 (and all the jumps were full height - one of the spreads seemed huge...brave huh?) Tisca was brilliant. It was our first attempt at 2'6" so all I wanted was not to be eliminated. He was going really nicely, and I was so happy that he cleared the (bigger this time) hay bales that I was so busy telling him what a good boy he was that I stuffed up the line into the double (next jump) and we got tangled up between parts A and B. Second time round he jumped it beautifully, but of course the pole down (part A) and the refusal (part B) at the double put us out of the ribbons. I've got Pony Club again next weekend, but my next show could be a while away as there are no good shows nearby for a couple of weeks.

Update June 23rd 1998

Not a lot has been happening with Tisca since my last update due to my exams (which are finally over). We had pony club on Saturday and although Tisca was pretty stupid we got some good photos. Here's one here (jumping into the water complex). We may be going to a show this weekend but our car may have died (so we can't tow the float) so I'm not sure what's happening with that.

Update May 31st 1998

Last weekend was our showjumping day, and although for some unknown reason the show was running early (and so we were in a mad rush - more so than usual), everything went really well and we had a great time. The 18 inch AM7 (which means that if you clear in your first round you keep on cantering, go through the start flags again and do the jump-off straight away) was first, and we came second out of about 14. I was very happy with that and won't be entering 18 inch classes any more as they are much too easy for Tisca. We then had the 2 foot and we were clear in both rounds, but as the competition was a lot stiffer, and I didn't ride him that fast in the jump-off, we came fifth out of 18. I was very proud of Tisca and our next show is another jumping day (At Serpentine), but this time we will do the 2 foot, 2 foot 3 and 2 foot 6 classes.

Update May 15th 1998

Our next show is a Dressage and Show-jumping day on May 24th, although I am going to skip the dressage and just do the 18 inch and 2 foot AM7 classes. Tisca should find these heights easy (we have been jumping much higher at Pony Club) but I wanted to start easy for our first proper SJ day. Our next ODE (read all about the last one here )is two weeks after the showjumping day, so we have a busy couple of weeks coming up!
I have also finally decided on Tisca's colours - navy, black and a bit of white. I got his saddle blanket embroidered and will be picking it up tomorrow - hopefully it will look okay.

Update April 10th 1998

Just a quick note - Tisca and I managed to come second in our first ever One Day Event - although it was only the 18 inch class! We were clear over the showjumping and had been leading (equal with someone else) after the dressage, but had a stop at the water and time penalties. Next time we will definitely do the two foot! Click here for the (very!) detailed version of our ODE.

Update 4th March 1998

Last weekend Tisca and I attended our first ever show, a walk-trot dressage test at Wallangarra Riding and Pony Club. Tisca behaved brilliantly, after his initial excitement (but he has been to Pony Club rallies with me recently, so he is used to having lots of horses around him), and we came sixth overall (out of about 17 riders) and placed in the young riders. We joined Kelmscott Pony Club a month ago, and I am thinking about attending a Jumping Equitation class in a month's time. Since my last update (below) cantering (and jumping!) out in the bush has become a regular thing, and we went for a real gallop only a few days ago.

Update 13th January 1998

A few days ago I cantered Tisca for the first time out in the bush for about eight months - I hadn't been confident enough to for all that time. I considered it to be a huge step for us, especially as everything went really well. Today Tisca actually began to round up! For the last few weeks or so my instructor and I have been encouraging Tisca to round up and come 'on the bit', but he kept setting his jaw and ignoring my aids, or at least appearing too. Anyway, today he finally seemed to figure out what I wanted him to do, and that it was actually easier for him if he did it! Obviously we are a long way from Tisca staying in the correct outline for long periods of time - today I was ecstatic when he softened for about three strides.