CTHJA Year End – Sunday

CTHJA Year End – Sunday

Sunday was the second and final day of the horse show… also, the best day! I woke up with an agenda that terrified me – show a 2’6″ division for the first time in my life. I know for a lot of seasoned horse showers, this isn’t a big deal. People at my barn tell me that it’s not a big deal. My horse still practically canters over the 2’6″… but for me, it’s a really big deal. It’s the division I always thought was attainable for me, but never could make it happen. So I was a ball of nerves Sunday morning both because the large oxers kind of terrified me and I was attempting (and this is cheesy) to fulfill a showing dream.

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I signed up for the 2’6″ Modified Equitation and Hunter II course. I warmed on the flat by myself while my trainer finished with the jumpers, and waited for her to pop over some warm-up fences. It was the end of the division so the warm-up ring wasn’t very crowded – therefore I could tell her (and anyone else who would listen to me ride) that I was terrified.

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And it’s true, I was.

I knew Simon could do it, but I worried about making a total fuck up of the entire thing because I was so worried. After cantering a smallish vertical she asked me to jump the 2’6″ (aka gigantic) oxer in the warm-up ring… which I might of made a face about. She said that my horse was a 12 foot long animal (he is not so small) and that he could stand over the entire oxer with all four feet on the ground. Hmm, she has a point about that doesn’t she? I cantered it a few times, took a deep breath and went in.

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I’d like to tell you that it was beautiful, but it wasn’t. In both rounds I was nervous and I made some nasty spots and some good spots. What I did a good job of though, was keeping a forward momentum. If I want to jump bigger fences, I can’t ask my horse to crawl can I? We were good at that. I was also doing a lot better at breaking at the hip. My trainer’s advice before I went in was to press down over ever fence, and gallop away. I tried to do that, and for the most part it was okay.

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Our eq course was just “nervous” and I imagined looked like it. Our hunter course started off kind of awful. Simon took off long once (the right choice) and I wasn’t prepared for it, so I got left behind a bit. A few fences later I saw the long, leaned for it, and he was like “teehee I’m gonna chip!” and chipped… so I got jumped out of the tack baaaaaaaad. It’ll be a good “fail friday” picture for Instagram ๐Ÿ˜‰ After that, I got my shit together and tried riding and the rest of the course looked okay.

E1319CF-Centex Final Show

Overall my 2’6″ adventure went fine! I didn’t die, the jumps weren’t gigantic, and I had fun! I think my horse had more fun too. He had a spring in his step that tells me he’s going to like doing the strides and bigger fences next year.

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After the 2’6″ triumph, I went back to the barn to wait for our last two classes of the day – 2’0″ Beginner Hunter II and 2’0″ Beginner Eq. They were the same courses in the same ring with teeny jumps in comparison, so I wasn’t worried about it. In fact, I was actually walking into the ring feeling pretty good about myself! I set a goal of relaxing my contact to the fence, letting Simon have his “bright” pace, and doing much better on my leads.

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The first course was eq, and I felt really good about it. There were two fences I was a tad close on, but nothing ugly and we either landed or got skip changes on every lead. Hunter II was also nice, and had similar results. It was one of the few times during my showing this year that I felt I earned the “woops” that came from my cheering section after the rounds. In fact, everyone from my barn did great and we all returned to the barn feeling good about ourselves and confident some ribbons would be happening.

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And they did! Out of another big class (I didn’t check, but I’m assuming 20+ because they double pinned) I picked up a 6th place and my barn mates got a 5th and a 2nd. Truthfully, I was hoping for a little higher but I have to remember that Beginners is kind of a strange division. You have a mix of adorable ponies, seasoned show hunters, and wimpy adults like me! For a horse doing the ads with no clean changes, 6th is just fine!

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To sum up a very long series of show posts, I’m so pleased with this year. I feel like Simon is my little diamond in the rough, and that as long as I keep working hard we can improve. Last year at the same show I was scared over every 2’0″ course, had nothing but simple changes, and botched up my distances BAD at least once on every course. This year, we moved up 2 divisions and pulled some ribbons in tough competition. Most importantly, we had fun and my horse enjoyed his job as much as I can tell! That’s probably better than a blue ribbon at the end of the day ๐Ÿ˜‰

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30 thoughts on “CTHJA Year End – Sunday

  1. This has definitely been a banner year for your two, accomplishing so much because you devised a plan and did your best to work the plan. You guys will go on to do much more I know it. His form is much improved over the larger fences because he actually has to use himself ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Congratulations!! I love how positive you are about things. And its VERY awesome that what scared you last year was a complete nonissue this year! Such progress! Just wait for next year! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. What a way to end your year! Super show, moving up, and you had the confidence to get a tough job done! Congrads, and I can’t wait to see what you two will accomplish next year!

  4. Can I just start by saying that I think Simon has the most handsome horse-face out there? Seriously. He should be a model.

    Great job at the show! Sounds like both you and Simon are completely ready for the increased workload of a new division. Go get ’em!

  5. Yay!! Sounds like you totally conquered your fears and rocked it! Plus you both look great. Congrats on such a stellar way to wrap up your year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. HIGH FIVE!
    I have to say, my favorite shot is the one where youy eyes are sliding to the right (as I look at you), but your body is still perfectly straight-forward as a board, and Simon has his ear tipped to you as if to say, “What are you looking over there for? If you want me to go there, why are you pointing me at the camera?”
    He is obviously awaiting the word to do your bidding! You guys make a really great team!

  7. Awesome! Your form looks great in these photos, really solid! If only my horse would grow some legs, then he could stand over 2’6″ jumps too. Pretty sure he can’t, haha!

  8. Oh my gosh Lauren, I am SO proud of you and Simon and so, incredibly excited for you!! What an amazing accomplishment — 2’6″! As another weenie adult amateur, I know *exactly* how much it means and I am just thrilled. Simon looks AWESOME over the bigger jumps, and you two are totally going to kick a$$ next year!!!!!

  9. Thanks for sharing the show with us! I did H/J as a junior and seeing and reading about your great show almost makes me want to try and teach Cartman to jump:)

    I agree with the previous poster who commented on how handsome Simon is, he is really a good looking boy.

  10. Congrats on a good finish to the year! I love how you both have the same face in the third picture!
    Did you get my response on the saddle on my blog? I know I never get emails when people respond so I wanted to check.

  11. How cool, you guys have come so far this year! I love that first picture, he really looks like he’s studying the courses. As someone who jumped 2’6 for the first time this year, OHMYGOSH what an accomplishment to have shown there! Congratulations!

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