The last morning of the horse show, I leisurely arrived at the show grounds again (love a “will not start before 9:00am class!) and opted not to lunge since it was pouring rain. He had worked pretty hard the day before, and I didn’t anticipate any shenanigans.
Since I felt so brave over the 2’6″ jumpers the day before, I briefly thought about adding a 2’9″ class to end the weekend on a challenge. Sunday I decided against this for two reasons. One, we still were having issues adding in the one and two stride lines and I didn’t think it was fair to up the height and ask my horse to save me if I let him add, and two – if I stuck to the 2’3″ and 2’6” only I would only have to memorize one course 🙂 Sold!
Sunday was “Power and Speed” and had a long and very windy course.
We warmed up and he was super fresh, but relaxed. I figured this was a good mix to go in the ring with our goal of going faster. There would be no hunter loping today!
I’ll admit, I was a little nervous waiting to go into the first 2’3″ power & speed class. Not because I was scared of the jumps, but since we did pretty well yesterday I really wanted to do my best to win instead of just survive. I took some deep breaths and tried not to put any pressure on myself.
We jumped the first 8 power jumps with no problem, and got to move along to the speed phase. Even before speed, I was determined to carry more pace… and once speed happened, well – I got speedy!
Lines we were adding in yesterday became in strides, and turns that were a little tight got a bit tighter. Simon totally lit up beneath me, and was like OH WE ARE GOING FAST? OKAY!
Honestly, it felt a bit like toad’s wild ride. Though I was in no danger of coming off, I quickly realized that I need to be much stronger to ride a 2’6″ course at “jumper speed”. By the end of it my irons were way back by my heels and everything was loosey goosey…. but we got through it and our speed round was clear with a time of 0:33ish seconds. That was good enough for 3rd place out of 16!
After that class, Simon as pumped and I knew that even if I wanted to go slow for my next one (I didn’t), the slow wasn’t happening. They raised the jumps and we went back in for the 2’6″ version of the same course.
Speedy was even speedier.
I think he tried to buck after one of the jumps because he was so excited, but bucking isn’t one of Simon’s talents so it just felt like a weird crow hop and head shake thing. There were also times where we turned so tightly (Note: I’m probably exaggerating this some because even though I felt like I was flying it was probably just normal jumper pace) that he felt like he was scurrying in the hind end. I think that’s probably due to his lead changes being special.
Again, my leg was like “goodbye” and I grabbed mane a lot, but we survived. We did knock a rail down (not shocking), but managed to shave 3 seconds off our time for around a 0:30ish speed time. I want to say the class winner had around a 0:28? If we didn’t have the rail we would have been towards the top, but with it we were 8th out of 16. It was a competitive class with the higher level jumpers starting, so I was super pleased with that.
With my prancing proud “I just learned to go fast” pony, I headed back to the barn all smiles and promptly covered him with all his ribbons after I got him cooled off.
At the end of the weekend, we ribboned in every class and got two thirds! Plus since they were all ad back classes, we managed to win enough to basically pay for his stall (full disclosure, stalls were cheap… I’m not a high roller yet ;)).
Winning money? Winning ribbons? Jumpers, I may love you forever.