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First BE ODE next month, any advice welcome!

460 replies

Rollingdinosaur · 18/04/2016 13:37

I am finally taking the plunge, and having a go at a proper affiliated ODE next month, if I don't get balloted out. I am excited, and somewhat terrified. I have done several unaffiliated ones, and not made a complete tit of myself, so this seems like the logical next step.

I would be interested to hear any tips, or ideas of what to expect, from those in the know. Will the standard be a lot higher? Will I look a prat, as a lot of my gear is on the cheap side, and I will be turning up in 4WD and trailer, rather than a swanky lorry. I am also not sure on the hat standard required, it mentions PAS 015, and kitemark. Does that mean it needs both? My hat has the kite mark, but not the other bit. I suspect that means I need a new hat, but I don't want to fork out for one if I don't need to. Any tips will be gratefully accepted, thanks.

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Jonsnowsghost · 07/05/2017 12:01

I watched Badminton on tv yesterday, that course was terrifying! Really felt for the woman who fell off after the last fence.
Inspired me today and here is me and my new one jumping 1m!!! I don't know what came over me but I've re discovered canter poles and how nicely you can get a rhythm to a fence without having to worry about striding and I just kept putting it up, he's so brilliant. He looks likes he's pretty close but it's just the angle of the photo Grin

First BE ODE next month, any advice welcome!
frostyfingers · 07/05/2017 16:08

Great pic, Badminton next?! The last fence fall was, I feel, avoidable. She should have been pulled up by the Ground Jury as it was obvious the horse was on it's last legs at least 4 fences from the end and it's a shame she didn't pull it up. She has had an FEI yellow card and apologised so I'm sure she's learned her lesson. Pulling up must be the hardest thing to do but horrible things happen when horses are exhausted so she's lucky that it looks like they escaped unhurt.

Jonsnowsghost · 07/05/2017 16:37

Ha i wish! Ah i didnt see the rest of her round, was out the room then came back to see her fall. I guess then I don't feel so bad as she should've pulled up. There were a few who pulled up so I'm glad some riders realised that their horses had had enough.

Rollingdinosaur · 08/05/2017 10:47

Well done Jon. That looks like great progress!

Badminton was amazing. I definitely want to go again! I can't believe its taken me until now to get there. We did end up walking round most of the course, and saw one or two horses come through each fence. The atmosphere was really friendly. The day went in a flash. I saw the bit of the showjumping that was on BBC. Lovely for Andrew Nicholson, but I felt for the German lady when it all went wrong for her.

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tootsietoo · 08/05/2017 15:24

I was sitting in the arena grandstand watching the finish when Simply Priceless fell. It was horrible, he barely managed to canter into the arena and I was heart in mouth as they came to the last fence. He couldn't pick his legs up properly but he didn't hit it hard, just couldn't correct himself from it and crumpled on the other side when he landed. He got straight up but had jelly legs and could barely walk. I have to say the rider looked as tired as the horse and didn't seem to be helping him much. She has said on a blog post that she made a big mistake that she will never make again, but it looked like her competitiveness completely overrode any horse sense she has and it's barely forgivable! The children were with me and I hope they learnt a good lesson from it. The course was so tough that I almost felt uncomfortable watching some horses, but there is no doubt that the experienced ones made it look straightforward, and plenty of less experienced horses were coached through by good riders. And it was the most brilliant result in the end! Was a great week altogether!

Thank you frosty fingers, no eventing for me this weekend, but I will report back after next weekend! Nice pic Jonsnow!

Jonsnowsghost · 11/05/2017 20:25

Right I have set the ball rolling and entered my first show with Buzz Grin it's Working Hunter M&M and is a 75cm class (although I'm told the jumps aren't up to height) and the course will be 6 to 9 jumps so not too many. Better get practicing!

Jonsnowsghost · 11/05/2017 20:26

Oh and it's on the 9th of July so have some time to practice!

tootsietoo · 11/05/2017 22:17

Oh! I would love to do M&M WH but I have chopped all my Buzz's mane and feathers off and I am told that the showing people won't have him with no hair! That sounds like a perfect first goal. My top tip learned over the past 18 months is POLES. Lots of them. Lines of canter poles, 4 poles on a 20m circle, poles set out like a SJ course. etc. So that you can canter over and round them in balance all the time without tripping over them or falling in a heap. It's definitely harder than it sounds.

Jonsnowsghost · 12/05/2017 06:10

Good ideas, we've been doing lines of canter poles but I hadn't thought about circles etc. We're lucky enough on our yard to have a course of rustic jumps, they just need putting out for the summer so that's my job this weekend! I'll start with the poles on the floor I think.

Butkin1 · 12/05/2017 12:10

We enjoyed watching Badminton on TV - took DD to the Guineas on Saturday but watched loads before and after. Unfortunately her first ODE was a bit of a disaster in that he went well in dressage but didn't fancy one of the show jumps and was eliminated before we could get to the cross country. On the plus side we've now bought her a new 5yo Connemara gelding which we got home on Sunday and hopefully he'll be a smasher. He is very green but they jump well together and we'll start taking him places - flat to start with - once his vaccinations are done. We're at Windsor and South Suffolk this weekend - lots of nervous tension as DD is still trying to get her RIHS tickets!

Rollingdinosaur · 15/05/2017 07:05

That is a good idea tootsie. I have done a few little courses of canter poles, as we still couldn't manage a balanced canter if our lives depended on it. I am not entirely sure of what the distances should be between poles though. Does anyone know? When I google it seems to vary.

We had a go at dressage yesterday. He was as good as gold, despite being in a new place, but it did not go particularly well. I don't think I warmed him up enough, and he was a bit distracted and resistant. Lots more work to do!

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Jonsnowsghost · 15/05/2017 08:12

That's a shame about the dressage :( Buzz can get a bit distracted so I have to keep reminding him that he's supposed to be working!
I attempted to put a working Hunter course out this weekend (permission given by yard owner) to be told by the yard owners brother that I wasn't supposed to as the grass needed mowing HmmHmm lack of communication is a problem on our yard! I did put 4 out though as I said I'd put them away again so did a mini course (jumps about 30cm crosses) and he was very good. It's the first time I've put a string of jumps together and they were quite spaced out and although he was excited I could still check him a few strides out and he'd come back to me and jump nicely. I've always had a bit of difficulty judging take off strides with my old pony as his strides were so short and he would jump off any stride but luckily with Buzz having longer and more defined strides I've been finding it easier to tell.
The grass has now been mowed so I've been told "if you want to build the rest of the course go ahead" yeah great I definitely want to now! (I will do as I need a course though ha ha)

tootsietoo · 16/05/2017 20:31

I do three human strides between canter poles, approx 3 metres, obviously slightly shorter or longer depending on your horse's length of stride or whether you want to work on shortening or lengthening.

Warming up for dressage is an art that I think you only work out after a lot of competition outings. My plan usually is to walk trot and canter on a long rein for about 5 minutes, cantering standing up in my stirrups to let him go long and loose, as his neck can be quite tight. Then relax on a long rein for a few minutes then pick him up into what trainer calls "show frame" and do loads of transitions, particularly trot to canter and back again every half of a 20 m circle and direct transitions from trot to halt and back again, until he's really sharp.

It's great to be able to jump on grass Jonsnow, but it's a palaver to be putting jumps in and out!

Jonsnowsghost · 16/05/2017 20:44

They're proper solid rustic fences too so are really heavy and awkward to carry! It's going to be Sunday's job and I've managed to rope someone in to help me.

I've done canter poles by foot steps so I did 10 steps between the poles for a longer stride, 9 and a half for normal and 9 for short..however my feet are a size 3 Grin

Toostie your warm up sounds really good, because my old pony was such a show veteran I could just ride him around a bit as he knew his job but I think something like that will be good for Buzz 👍

rollingdinosaur · 18/05/2017 12:49

Thanks for the tips! It's one step forward two back here at the moment. He's been really good mostly, and is jumping lovely, but now we are having issues with transition into canter. He strikes off disunited, on the correct lead in front and wrong behind, then "corrects" in front to match the back. I'm not sure why he's started doing that but hopefully it won't last long.

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Jonsnowsghost · 18/05/2017 19:39

Buzz came in lame today :-( I'm so gutted. Vet is coming tomorrow but from scaring myself googling I really think it could be peroneus tertius rupture as I watched some videos on YouTube and they're moving the same as he was. The treatment is 3 to 6 months box rest then strict walking work for a few months.
I had to deal with years of a laminitic pony with various periods of box rest and constant watching for lameness that I hoped I'd be able to relax for a bit with a new one, I'm so upset I've been in tears most of the evening. Obviously I knew that he would never get lame but I didn't expect it 3 months in before I'd even managed to go anywhere :-(

Rollingdinosaur · 18/05/2017 20:49

Oh no, sorry to hear that. Don't Google though, most likely it will turn out to be something simple, like a knock, or something else minor. Every time I've had a lame horse I've managed to convince myself they've done a tendon, or something else awful, but there are an awful lot of other reasons that horses go lame. Fingers are crossed for you, that it is nothing drastic!!

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Jonsnowsghost · 19/05/2017 16:07

It is what I thought it was :( probably will be at least 8 months until I'm back on board. Gutted doesn't even cover it.

Rollingdinosaur · 19/05/2017 16:36

Oh no, I was so hoping it would not turn out to be that. That is such incredibly bad luck! Bloody horses!

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Jonsnowsghost · 20/05/2017 15:43

I know, who'd have horses! He's settled in his new stable for the foreseeable, luckily it's next door to my old pony's so I they can chat to each other of an evening. It also gives him a view of the whole yard so he can see what's going on. Been out to get all sorts of boredom breakers today!

I'll look forward to everyones updates about on competitions over the summer to keep me going Smile

IsItTimeForGinYet · 21/05/2017 20:55

So sorry to hear about your horse Jon. They are such heartbreakers aren't they? They bring such pleasure but such misery too. Hope he mends quickly and copes with the boredom of box rest.

My chap has had an easy couple of weeks. Due to the hard ground I used the local all weather gallop last Sunday which was brilliant. A couple of good trots and canters and he was knackered. And then yesterday I took a last minute slot in a polework clinic. It was fab and so nice to do something like that again. First clinic in 20 years. It was fun! Now want to do more....!

Jonsnowsghost · 21/05/2017 21:17

That sounds so much fun! I like clinics too but haven't done one for years, I'm more likely to do stuff with an audience so they always did wonders for my confidence.

Here's Buzz saying hello to Misty (mine as well) in their adjacent stables. Luckily they get on and Buzz was not to pleased when Misty went out this morning but he is able to see others on the yard so wasn't too stressed. I'm sure he'll settle down, he's just not used to being stabled down that end of the yard.

First BE ODE next month, any advice welcome!
IsItTimeForGinYet · 21/05/2017 21:31

Sweet photo! Lovely ponies and lovely stables too that they can talk to each other.

Clinic was great. Especially as it got more complicated and we could then have a break whilst the others were doing it. Will definitely be looking out for more.

frostyfingers · 21/05/2017 22:13

That's so disappointing Jon, what a pain. Dhorse has been out for 1 hack since his team chase and was very perky but I've had no chance to do anything as yet. I need to start getting him fit soon.... Today was spent fence judging (2 fences, 2 stopwatches, very complicated) from 8.30 until 6.00pm and I'm knackered!

Rollingdinosaur · 22/05/2017 07:34

Lovely pic Jon!

I've had an amazing weekend. After our distinctly ropey attempt at dressage last week, we decided to have a go at show jumping this weekend. It seems to come a lot more naturally to him than the dressage! We did a 50cm class, then a 60cm class, and he was absolutely perfect! There were scary fillers, and coloured planks and all sorts, but he was not remotely bothered. We managed a nice calm canter round all of it, and he can even do a nice flying change it seems, when he is distracted by jumps, and not thinking too much about what his legs are doing!

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