When we last left off, I had completed the hunter derby successfully but hadn’t yet fallen off. When do I bust my bum? Stay tuned!
After the hunter derby we had what was supposed to be a brief break before the jumpers start, but it ended up being much longer. The 2’0″ jumper division had a decent amount of riders, and they decided to let people take a break before their jump off… which made things take a lot longer. So we sat a bit, trotted a few warmup jumps and went in for the 2’3″ jumpers.
The division ended up being just two people. Since we are usually showing in divisions of 20+ riders, I honestly was fine with the small divisions. I still have to do a good job in order to succeed!
Anyway, the first course was Power & Speed. We started a little sluggish, but with more face found better distances and got into a groove. I went into the course decided not to go for any real sort of speed, but our pace was decent. Definitely not the slow crawling jumper rounds I started with at the San Antonio show.
Next we had a traditional round + jump off. Like I mentioned earlier, they had riders come out of the ring and take a break before the jumpoff. This was nice to take a breather, and I went first into the jumpoff decided to take one inside turn and otherwise just carry a good pace.
Again we had first jumpitis, but otherwise I was pretty happy with how things went. Don’t love all the cross cantering, so I need to figure out how better to support his hind switching to the correct lead. It’s hard to tell from the jump off video, but the 4th jump (1st one was cut off in video) was a pretty decent slice from the inside turn. He didn’t blink at it! I was a proud momma.
After the 2’3″ jumper division, I was awarded two first place ribbons 😀 Sure, it was out of two people… but my rounds were good and I was pleased. Shortly after my husband picked up my regular blue ribbons, one of the show officials walked over with two giant light blue neck ribbons. She said that while she wasn’t able to get Champion/Reserve sponsored for the jumper divisions, she did have special award ribbons to give the 1st place finishers in all the jumper classes.
I oh so happily handed her the regular blues for these neck ribbons and squealed with delight like a small child. I have wanted to win a neck ribbon my entire life and though I’ve been close, no dice. Now two! In one day!
I’m still so happy with them. I may sleep with them. Simon may be required to live in the neck ribbons all the time. We shall see.
After the 2’3″ jumper success, I decided to continue on with the 2’6″ division. This one had more competitors with around 5-6 riders (for this show, that was a biggish division in the jumper ring). Our courses were the same, so we ended up going first each time.
The Power & Speed round of the 2’6″ jumpers was probably my best round of the day, but I don’t have video for this one. He was just even and happy and moving forward. Again, proud momma!
Next was the timed round/jumpoff 2’6″. Here is where the aforementioned fall comes in, but not till the very end… The first round went well, but I was getting tired by this point. My eye was not as good, Simon had a few hard rubs and was really saving me with some bad distances I got him to.
So previously I came out of the ring before my jumpoff, but since this was my very last class of the day I wanted to be done. I knew I was tired, and just kind of wanted to get it over with so I could put my horse up. Also, I wanted to win more giant neck ribbons. More than that, I wanted to do the best I possibly could in a bigger class so it didn’t seem like my 2’3″ wins were irrelevant. As the jumpoff started off, I gave Simon a lot more leg than I usually do and he opened up for me appropriately.
After we landed the second oxer, he wanted to go to the right and started to dive that way. I asked him to left for our rollback instead, and he was like ‘OKAY YES LEFT GOT IT MOM!’ and popped to the left rather enthusiastically. It shouldn’t have, but this zig-zagging unseated me and I just slowly came out of the saddle.
For a second I thought I was going to save it, but I didn’t. I was tired and my body was tired and off I went!
It wasn’t a bad fall, and I got up laughing. I also got up limping, and sprained my ankle when I fell (today I’m walking around and swelling is mostly gone, so no big deal). My trainer took Simon out of the ring for me while I hobbled under the ring fence, and my husband was fairly distraught. He doesn’t like it when I fall because it reminds him that he sport is dangerous. I was trying to convince Tim I needed to “walk it off” and hobble over to my horse, who was giving me this forlorn look from the in-gate as if to say ‘BUT I DID A LEAD CHANGE AND YOU FELLLLLLLLLLLL! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY’
Simon was pretty distressed as to why his Mom fell off when he did exactly what I asked. This just proved to me what I already have been thinking – my horse can be a pretty catty jumper turner and I need to be a better/stronger rider if I want to be competitive in the jumpers with him. That’s okay! No harm no foul, and I have a good story about my stupidest fall ever.
Even with my fall, I was pretty happy with my jumper results. We got 2nd in Power & Speed and 6th in the jumpoff round (consolation prize, everyone else was clean and stayed on).
To wrap up, this was a really, really fun show and confidence booster for us. I love what the LOPE organization does, and will happily write a check to support OTTB rescue. Plus, I usually show these stiff competition local circuit hunter/jumper shows where we just aren’t quite there yet. It was nice to step back to more of my schooling/open show roots and be one of the kids jumping around in the big ring with the big jumps 🙂 That’s something to celebrate in itself!