zondag 21 februari 2010

What do you know, its snowing (again)!

The temperature went above freezing this week, and we were lulled into a false sense that the winter was moving into a new pre-spring phase - yesterday morning as we drove to Volendam Jolanda and I felt the air to be warmer, and there was a hint of sunshine peeping between the clouds.

Half an hour later a snow encrusted car passed us heading south, and we wondered where he had come from. Five minutes after that the blizzard hit, and we battled along the slippery roads towards the stables, knowing that the Land Rover would have been a more appropriate vehicle for the job.

heres a picture to remind me that snow is pretty - BUT I'M SICK TO DEATH OF IT!

zondag 14 februari 2010

First official dressage competition

No I was not hiberating; I guess the mid winter blues are one of the reasons I have not posted to the blog in the whole of 2010, but also because we have had a few setbacks this year, and its easier to post the "fun stuff" than trying to be cheerful about illness, car repairs that cost way too much money, or central heating that breaks down in the middle of the coldest winter for - how many years?

Today Jolanda took part in her first official dressage competition, at a venue close to our home stall. Ulo was great, really performed well at the strange place, Jolanda rode both proefjes well, and we came home with her 1st winstpunt!

To explain, Each rider rides two five minute excercises (proefs). There is a set format to each excercise and you are judged on each element of the excercise. The maximum you can score is 300 points, but if you score over 180 you get an official placing (winstpunt). for the first excercise Jolanda and Ulo scored 186, and for the second they score 176. Good for 1 official place and a great start to her competition career.

We had loads of help from our friends at our stable, getting a lift in someones trailer (Ulo did not score well on loading and unloading!) having someone else read the first proef for me, so I could video (and stay calm), then having another friend video the second proef whilst I read the instructions. We also had masses of help from the woman who gives Jolanda private lessons, especially Saturday evening, when she gave Jolanda such a boost in confidence.

As you can see from the photo, the only thing working against us was the weather, as it was snowing hard, and although the excercises took place indoors, Jolanda had to wait her turn in the snow!