For Sunday, I decided to give myself a little more ring time by signing up for the 2’6″ Equitation medal. I had competed in this class once last year, and enjoy it because it’s the toughest course for the height at our local show series.
Adding this class meant that I had to get up early on Sunday to come school in the outside ring before the show started. My trainer seemed to think that schooling the jumps would be necessary versus getting an extra hour of sleep. I knew she was right, but… I love sleep.
After we schooled with no issue because good horse is good, I frantically switched my gear back to hunterland. My schooling bridle is my old hunter show bridle, but I had to swap a sparkly browband back to a plain hunter one. Then had to locate a fitted show pad (mine was left at my old house), swap my irons out from black plastic to silver metal and borrow gloves from someone. We were desperately unprepared and outclassed by the super nice AA warmbloods we were competing against, but I was having fun playing hunter again and wasn’t nervous at all.
No video of this class, but overall it went very well for what we can do as a hunter pair. Simon gave me a nice sitting trot entering the ring all framed up, but when I asked for the left lead to turn to the first fence (we chose a short approach) he did cut the turn a little bit like he always does going left. Next was a right rollback which went very nicely.
After the rollback I turned to my outside line, which I knew I needed a good pace to get 5 strides instead of adding for the 6. We got a very sticky/late/non-existent lead change after the rollback, so I felt like all our momentum had been lost when I slowed him down to catch the change. Therefore, after I jumped into 4 I totally did a little “Go go!” for the strides… and I didn’t need to do that. Instead of a nice 5, we got a 4.5. Whoops!
Our last two jumps were fine, nothing to write home about and nothing tragic.
Overall I felt like the class was a bit “jumpery” and fast, but pretty realistic for our abilities. Next show I will try to smoothe it out a bit more. It wasn’t competitive in a class of 25, but I left the ring feeling like I was a decent rider who doesn’t always almost fall off her horse at horse shows. Win!
After my equitation I went home to take a nap, because that’s what you do when you’re a 30 year old adult amateur who’s been at the horse show for two days already.
Post nap I came back for my last jumper class, a stakes 1st time round (aka the one with a jump off). At this point I was less nervous, but really tired. Remember, I moved the week before and have been unpacking/hauling my shit/adjusting the dogs to life in an apartment on top of being in and out of the office all week for a bunch of work shenanigans. The magical horse show distraction of real life had begun to break, and by the time I started learning my course on Sunday I felt a mix of tired/sad/ready to be done.
Again, I bet you can see where this is going.
Simon warmed up fabulous and I made a plan with my trainer to not attempt any
murderous super tight turns but instead concentrate on clean & organized trip around. We went over the course before I walked in.
“And then after the in and out I finish on 7.”
“No, finish on 2.”
This conversation may or may not have happened more than once.
We started off our course with a decent pace, although I’m still not quite forward enough to keep him for doing that one last add before singles. Still, we were able to get down the four stride without adding unlike the day before and I felt very in control and secure in the saddle. It wasn’t the best course or the worst course, but I ended my 1st round clear within the time limit and got buzzed to start my jump off round.
Sure, our turns weren’t super duper tight but they were decent. He was listening well, jumping well and I remembered to breathe more than once during the course which was a big improvement on Saturday. He got through the in & out for the second time beautifully and landed on the correct lead going “What fence next mom!?!”
And I said, “7 Simon!” while the crowd yelled “2! 2! 2!”
We did not go to 2. Instead we circled and came back to it, picking up a refusal for the circle and 12 time faults I think. Whomp whomp.
I was pretty bummed at myself for having such a dumb moment, but the round was really quite lovely otherwise. Simon was confused as to why we added a courtesy circle, but pranced out of the ring because he knew that he rocked that extra circle.
And he did. He is the best horse.
Thus ends my 1st summer circuit without any satin, but I had a lot of fun nonetheless. I believe a good attitude is a choice, but that’s a blog post for tomorrow.