2014 CTHJA Year End – Sunday

2014 CTHJA Year End – Sunday

First off, thanks everyone for their encouraging comments yesterday.  I didn’t get a chance to reply individually to all of them (crazy trying to get ready for vacation and work and life!), but I really appreciate all the support.  I am feeling much better about all this!  Now, back to day two of the show.

Sunday morning rolled in, and I wasn’t exactly feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed.  My throat hurt, my head hurt, I was nauseous from worry and I didn’t sleep much the night before.  I briefly thought about scratching everything left, but I couldn’t end the show on me falling off and giving my horse a bad ride.  I had to push all of that aside, and ride him as well as I could.

We made it to the show, fed the horses, and settled in to watch some of the 1st class – our local circuit’s 3′ Medal Finals.  The medal finals goes in the jumper rings with all the jumper jumps up, and the course was the same as my one and only jumper course of the day.  Watching was not particularly soothing though, because almost everyone I watched had multiple stops.  It was the first medal finals I’ve witnessed that literally said, “Anyone who didn’t have a refusal stand by to test.”  Did not help the nerves at all.


When it did come time for me to get on to warm up, Simon walked halfway into the warmup ring and spooked sideways so big that I almost came off.  It was not an excellent start.


He did settle, but my nerves were killing me again.  I knew I had to sit up and ride forward, but my body was not working with me.  My legs were sore from yesterday’s riding, and my brain was telling me “Slow is safe!  Slow!” with every fiber of my being.  The class was speed, so at least there was no jump off course to memorize.  I went in with the plan to ride deep into my corners, and go FORWARD!

I don't care if it's blurry, there is fanciness hidden under all of our issues!
I don’t care if it’s blurry, there is fanciness hidden under all of our issues!

I wish I could tell you details of this course, and about how we made this amazing recovery… but I don’t remember them.  I remember being terrified.  I remember Simon feeling a bit concerned about everything, for the first time ever.  I remember a lot of close distances, and pulling a rail.  In the two stride combination, I “played it safe” and let him add.  It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t a disaster either.  We rode deep into the corners, and made it over the brown oxer we crashed the previous day without poles flying in every direction.


There was a bending line to the one stride, so I would have to sit up and drive to the one stride in order to not add before it, and then drive through the one stride in order to make it out.  We did well at the jump that started the bending line, but then I didn’t sit up and drive.  I saw the one stride and went, “OMG WHAT WILL HAPPEN I HATE THIS” and just froze.  So our pace died out, and we chipped to the one in a very massive way (with me leaning) taking a rail.  Then my horse seemed to say, “What do I do now?” and I kinda went “Please jump?” and that sweet creature trotted out with basically no momentum and cleared the 2’9″ oxer out.

I swear, I spent half the course patting him and going “Gooooooood boooooooy” loud enough for everyone to hear me.  He saved my ass time and again, and I wanted to know he was being super good despite his mom being so scared.

After the in and out, we had one jump left – a very normal vertical headed home.  We went quite forward, and hit it with a good pace.  At least the course finished on a nice jump. While there were no stops and I stayed on the whole time, it was not a good round.  We looked like your stereotypical scary local low level jumpers, but I gotta put that behind me.  The important thing is that we made it over everything, and I hopefully got back a tiny bit of my confidence.  Mostly, I want Simon to know that he’s good and he did the right things.


Sunday I had an eq and a hunter course planned as well, but I scratched them.  He saved my butt so much, that I wanted to end on that last good jump and stuff him with cookies.  Also, my nerves were just shot.

One fun thing was that Kristen from If the Saddle Fits stopped by the show just after I finished Sunday.  We got to chat, get to know each other better and hang out while we watched my barn riders go in the jumpers and then hunters.  Always love meeting fellow bloggers!

Anyway, it was not the year end show I had hoped for.  Shows like this are part of horse showing – it all can’t be winning or personal victories.  At this point, I’ve stopped being down and pouting about it and instead am re-evaluating some of my goals/plans for next year.  I probably need to scale it back a bit, and have fun fun fun in heights I’m comfortable with at less expensive shows.

Horses are humbling.  Horse showing even more so.

28 thoughts on “2014 CTHJA Year End – Sunday

  1. Good for you for finishing on a good note! And you must be so proud of Simon for filling in the question marks on course. Even though the weekend didn’t go the way you wanted, those moments where he says ‘I got this,’ and proves what a trier he is, that’s the golden stuff right there!

  2. Riding progress isn’t always linear, just like horse training. So maybe it wasn’t the prettiest of rounds, but you learned a lot and your horse did his job… the job YOU trained him to do!

    Onwards and upwards 😀

    1. Totally agree ^^ The harder rides are tough to get through, but they are what makes us improve the most! 🙂 You and Simon did great and left with more knowledge.

  3. What a good boy. Horses are incredibly humbling but it’s also good to know that you have that bond and that Simon will take care of you. Good job for pushing through!

  4. They sure are.

    Have you done any therapy regarding your nerves? My closest friend also struggle with this and does sessions – it seems to really help her. Maybe a sport psychologist?

  5. I also have issues with anxiety, and in the past I had panic attacks, so I really feel for you on the crazy, uncontrollable fear. Recently my doctor recommended I look into biofeedback sessions. Basically biofeedback is training your mind to relax your body through specific, purposeful exercises (slowing your breath, consciously relaxing your muscles, etc.). You can look up exercises online – it may help you as a pre-show ritual! Just a thought. Way to end on a good note with your very good boy! 🙂

  6. I’m so blown away with your bravery. I have a lot of fear issues and am currently very afraid to jump over 2′ so you going in an jumping around especially after your fall the previous day is amazing. Really try to think about that. You should be proud. You looked great in the video/ pictures 🙂

  7. I’m so glad you ended the show on a good note!!! This is precisely the type of ride that strengthens our bond with our horses: when they take care of us and do the job that we’ve trained them to do, despite us not being 100%. You must be bursting with pride for your boy!

    I love the photos. You two look stunning. Simon has turned into one helluva muscular beast with all of the work you’ve been doing with him! <3

  8. congrats on finishing on a good note. i like your plan of focusing on showing opportunities that will be FUN and going from there. good luck!

  9. I have a good self hypnosis CD for horse showing if u wanna try that sorta thing. I think it does help. Or I could just send you whiskey. 😉 I still have barely gotten my feet wet yet in showing, but despite my trainers high hopes, I plan on taking it slow. I think the first few shows should be at easy comfort height then go bigger, then go smaller as needed. Horses get antsy and some of us just get wound up and can’t find the Zen state again.

  10. Everyone else has already given such great advice, so I’m not sure what to add. I wish your year-end show could have been better, but sometimes that’s just the way it happens. YOU DID IT ANYWAY, despite all the adversity, which you should be really, really proud of. And Simon is awesome. No shame in telling everyone what a good boy he is – I’m sure he loved hearing it! 🙂

  11. Sorry your show wasn’t what you were hoping for, but that speaks volumes that you were able to come back for a second day and end on a good note!

  12. My heart was in my throat right along with you reading this. I’m so inspired by you! I know the fear, but hope to work on this and push myself into bigger challenges next year! There’s no bad experiences if we use them to grow.

  13. I think you completely have the talent to do higher but the show nerves are getting in the way. I think a good idea is to continue to school higher at home but keep the shows low until it’s just all automatic. My plan is kind of the same for wiz and I! No point in rushing, we’ll all get there and have fun doing it (hopefully!)

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