The Summer of Sport is back again, yay!!!! :-D And bigger and better than ever!!! Delighted to see that it's running over two months again (July and August) and the Team element is back :-D If you like the sound of Wild Agility, Dressage and Jumping (all in hand or at liberty!) then there's also a new Eventer's Challenge Rosette to compete for! With TWENTY (!) courses to chose from this year, there's bound to be something for everyone :-)
The Horse Agility Club courses have just come out for February and there's very exciting news for anyone who is in the Southern Hemisphere, or indeed those in the Northern Hemisphere looking for Winter Fun!!!
The club has launched a Southern Summer of Sport, which will run through February and March. The original Summer of Sport has a Northern bias, as it runs through July and August, obviously that's Winter for our friends in the South! Hurrah for Equal Opportunities (and more fun for everyone :-D
The Southern Summer of Sport classes are:
Well, what a great day at yesterday's first Versatile Trec Horse competition, run by Berkshire Horse Agility on behalf of a local Riding Club. Versatile Trec is a great way to start out with Trec, as it replaces the orienteering phase with an Obedience Test. Yesterday's competition was run across 3 arenas, with the 3 phases being: 1. Control of Paces (slow canter followed by a fast walk); 2. Obedience Test (stressage without the stress! - judged on the accuracy of completing a number of movements but not the "way of going"); 3. Obstacles (10 rustic obstacles to simulate situations that you might meet out hacking).
There were classes for everybody: In Hand; Novice Walk & Trot; Novice (WTC); Intermediate and Open; with rosettes to 6th place plus Best Junior and Best Riding Club member in each class.
Although the skies were grey, the rain held off (well, until everyone had gone and I had to pack up the lorry, then the heavens opened!) and there were lots of sunny, smiling faces :-)
A huge thank you to the helpers, without whom the competition could not have run, and Well Done to everyone who took part, you were all winners :-)
Yay!!! Feeling very excited! :-D It's time for the International Horse Agility Club's (IHAC) annual Summer of Sport :-D The Summer of Sport first came about in 2012, inspired by the Olympic Games coming to London and comprises a number of Fun Agility classes, in addition to the usual monthly Online and Liberty League classes. I'm very excited that Equagility is back and even more excited that a Wild Agility class has been introduced (yay!!!! :-D If those don't appeal to you, then there's a special Junior's class; if you're sad to be too old for Juniors then there's the adult version "act your shoe size" ;-) or you could try the long reining or pairs classes. For the more athletic equines, there's jumping or dressage. And there's also a team element being introduced this year, in true IHAC style you can hook up with members from all around the world to form your team, you don't have to be in the same country, or at the same level, just enter the same 4 classes to be awarded a cumulative score.
This year, the Summer of Sport has been extended from one month to two months, so more time to have fun, play with the courses and film entries :-D So a long Summer of Sport, definitely yes. And hot? Well there's never any knowing what the summer weather will bring us, in the UK anyway, but the courses are definitely "hot" :-) Lots of variety and fun ideas to choose from :-)
The Summer of Sport results are in! I think we traded quantity for quality this time. Five competitions in 1 month, with 2 ponies, on 4 different courses!
The New Girl got to enter her first Horse Agility competitions, in fact, The New Girl had her first introduction to Horse Agility altogether! To say that she's young and very green she did really very well and took it all in her stride. A bit disappointing that she only came 5th in the Starter level competition, even after so much time competing it seems that I am not immune to making course errors, lol. When the instructions said "walk the horse along 2 hoops without stepping outside", I thought that meant don't step outside the "corridor", I didn't realise the horse wasn't supposed to stand on the hoops where they overlap either. When your feet are like soup plates that's really quite a big ask. New Girl has many positive attributes, but she is not exactly what you would call dainty :-D
Although we didn't get placed, I was especially pleased with the Equagility. In the On Line Equagility there is a 5 point deduction for tying the lead rope to make 2 reins and the standard is so high that there are plenty of people who are able to complete the course riding with just 1 rein, so we were never going to be in the running. But to say that this pony was only backed a few months ago, to ride her around a course of 5 "scary" and exacting obstacles, bareback, in just a headcollar was pretty amazing. A fantastic feeling :-D And she came a very creditable 8th place! In fact, she completed most of the obstacles perfectly, both led and ridden. We only lost 3 points on the obstacles themselves and they were all on backing up, which I know is a weak point we need to work on.
This was the first time ever that Fat Pony didn't get placed in a competition! For the Medium level he was just too hungry from his extreme diet (sadly necessary to prevent laminitis) and too distracted by the grass. However, in the Liberty, on the same course, under the same conditions, we managed to come 6th. Sounds oddly illogical, doesn't it! But that's already been written about!
And then not forgetting Fat Pony taking DD (Darling Daughter) round the Junior course as well. They did the obstacles really well and they would have come 2nd except for DD doing the obstacles in the wrong order so they ended up unplaced. Course errors a bit of a theme this month! But we had fun :-D
It's a tradition now for July to be "Summer of Sport" month at the International Horse Agility Club. There are still the usual competitive league courses, these being an On Line class for each of the 5 Levels: Starter to Advanced 1 star; plus a Liberty class for 3 levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. But, for July only, there are lots of fun and exciting "have a go" Summer of Sport classes added as well.
The Summer of Sport was first inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games and proved so popular that it has become an exciting fixture in the Horse Agility calendar ever since.
For 2014, the Summer of Sport "have a go" classes are:
With so much to chose from, its just a shame that there are only 4 weekends in the month!!!!!
I started Horse Agility as a way of making groundwork more fun. It was something I could do with my semi-retired old boy and his small, cheeky, pony companion. What amazed me was how much it improved the ponies' general confidence in the process. I compete at Advanced 1 star level on line and at liberty.