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Amanda Ross Prepares for MI3DE

Firstly, excuse me for this disjointed piece of brain leakage… its taken me 10 days to write this piece, & I’ve had to erase several of these – ‘mmmm,,,,,,,,,,,,,……l;klk,,,,,;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;zzzzzz’ which is the signature of someone falling asleep at the computer! There are exciting times ahead as everyone gets into the buzz as Melbourne 3DE approaches…


Let’s begin when I started this blog, on the 18.5.13


I know the eventing season is in full swing when I spend Thursdays on a hill in sideways rain! This week, Willy & I even copped hail to the face… There was no tree that could shelter us from that storm! It’s now 3 weeks until Melbourne 3DE, & the winter jackets, explorer socks & scarves have crept out of hibernation, & I seem to be on an eternal hunt for more stable rugs, extra polarfleece neckrugs, & another dry paddock rug!


Since my last blog, Team Ross have enjoyed a good season – Camperdown was a super successful weekend, with Forest winning the CIC** & Willy coming 2nd, & Hammer winning his first pre-novice! I must say the newly renovated pre-novice course terrified the daylights out of most of us! Fence 2 was a max height steeplechase fence with hedge on top, facing downhill, which meant there was an extremely high chance of being unseated within the first 30 seconds! A combination of apex’s, lots of skinnies, & a wiggly line through the water all adorned pink numbers… I swear they were a great warm up for the Olympics! All of the boys beetled around their XC courses, so I felt confident they were ready for Melbourne.


As is with horses, you can never guarantee a smooth preparation… Forest stood on his coronet band with a stud at Camperdown, & William developed thrush in his hoof. This has been an ongoing joke…’my Willy has thrush’!! All jokes aside, these ailments have caused a week off & missing Ballarat CNC** for both boys! This is always super stressful with Melbourne CCI approaching, however a sore horse isn’t going to get to Melbourne at all, so I opted to get the boys right with a month to go. Hammer, however, held up the fort at Ballarat, placing 3rd in the PN – he really has been contributing to the prize pool! My Ballarat family, the McNabbs, treat me like one of their own, allowing Ringo (my staffy puppy) to cut laps around the house & chew their dustpan brush, & welcoming Hammer with a lovely stable! I’m off to Woady Yaloak this weekend with the three boys, & looking forward to staying with my Ballarat family again!


Team Ross has a new sponsor to introduce – Flexible Fit Equestrian. I’m wrapped to be involved with this local company, who create bridles to fit any horse, & are made in anatomically comfortable designs. The idea is that each bridle can be made with individually sized pieces – for example, Forest has a full sized headpiece, pony sized cheek pieces & a cob sized browband! Hammer will be looking posh in his patent leather nose & browband, Willy is doing the V-sparkle browband with wide crank noseband, & Forest is also sporting a patent noseband, as well as breastplates, stud & dressage girths! These bridles are very affordable, & take looking smart & feeling comfortable to a new level!



It’s now the Sunday evening of Woady Yaloak, & I’m amazed at the power of a 6pm coffee…home at 7:15pm, horses iced, fed, rugs changed, float cleaned, tack unpacked, whites sprayed, 3 loads of horse washing & 2 loads of human washing, dogs fed, dinner, & now watching the F1 Monaco GP whilst I type away!! We had an interesting competition… Willy & Foz were perhaps not as tunes as I’d like due to their ailments, but with one week until pre-M3DE state squad, I’ve just been given a definite list of things I need to do & work on! I cannot tell you how important the power of mental preparation is, on your ability to focus amidst the less than perfect preparation. I know I can ride a good test, & the boys are capable of scoring well; its flat at Werribee & I train hills a lot, & their heart rates dropped quickly after todays XC; they have schooled lots of lines & jump bigger fences at home, so they can jump a good SJ round… it’s now up to me to make a plan for each phase, & the necessary things to do in the lead up to competition.


Forest has become attached to Willy & Hammer now they’re all stabled at night. This created the worlds most annoying problem – Forest being obsessed with the whereabouts of his two BBF’s! We’re talking, whinnying the whole way through his test… I wanted to throttle him! I felt like stuffing explorer socks down his ears, blinkers on his face, & playing mindfulness meditation through headphones over & over to him! He scored 15 marks worse than normal & was relegated to 3rd favourite child… he did however SJ & XC clear, so he was lucky to redeem himself somewhat!


Hammer did a cute test & is fast becoming a very consistent performer. He is starting to loosen over the back, & is already scoring in the top 3 almost every start, so tonight he has been crowned favourite child, & first to be fed/put outside! He placed 2nd in the pre-novice today, dropping a rail which cost him the win!


Willy is a fairly rideable creature, & did everything he was asked in the test, albeit with some rusty stuff. He had a rail in the SJ, just a little slack I say, but XC was easy & he jumped into the water relatively happily… he hates cold water! If water jumps were like spas I’m sure he’d jump in voluntarily! 


Ringo (my 3.5 month old staffy pup) completed his first XC course walk - back to back 2* & PN, without being carried… he then crashed in the car absolutely dead to the world for all his efforts! He has discovered a liking for hot chocolate & hoof grease, attacked & killed two sponges, & found out how float boots can be arranged into a very comfortable nest! So much fun to be had in the float!       



Day 3 of my blog… I’m about to go out & teach, & have a spare 20 minutes! I managed to get a few jobs done on Monday – buy a tarp, rubber sheets for the stable floors at Werribee, new clips for when the boys next break their leadropes, electrolyte pastes, etc, but unfortunately no stable rugs with neck rugs. Apparently they don’t exist any more?! If anyone can direct me to the whereabouts of a thick, warm, wee/poo proof stable rug with a belly warmer, & a neck rug, please let me know! I don’t want to be putting 43 rugs on, & everything is so thin!


Forest had some treatment from Dr Lindsay Elliott today, so he scored an RDO, & Willy jumped some short 1 stride verticals with a curving 3 to another vertical, in both directions, working on power off the ground & keeping up off the forehand. I’m focusing on shapes & corners for the test. I love a repetitive 10m circle… I’m going for accuracy, which creates through-ness, then up into a higher frame, then transitions keeping all the previous stuff still happening. Hopefully!


OK I’m off to teach, catch you soon with more pre-during & post M3DE madness!!   

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