At long last, I’m going to update you about our show experience. I’ve been putting it off until I was able to type it up on the laptop, but apparently that will never happen. So here I am on my phone. (Warning formatting problems may occur). I’ll put the photos in another post, since its tricky on here.
So the show was supposed to include Maggie, myself, Jeannette, and Katie. However, it rained and Maggie had drill. So off the three amigos went. Jeannette was kind enough to stuff all the ponies in the trailer and we were actually ahead of schedule for once.
We arrived and briskly walked the jumping course twice. The jumps were all the ones we practiced at the schooling. Some of them were even smaller than the ones from the schooling. I was feeling pretty confident walking the course. Its amazing what a difference some preparation makes 😉 The course was a little bit slippery, but I was hopeful it would dry out. The stadium course I was not so confident about. I planned on making some wide lines to avoid the sloppy footing.
With the jumping portion under control for now, I got Knots ready for our long dressage warm up. Rob showed up and helped me get ready and found me a much needed water. Then Knots and I were off to unwind.
He has picked up some weird new evasions of work. Namely, trantering. He doesn’t want to trot, especially on hills. Its easier to canter 😉 So we needed a longggg time to firmly establish that trot and canter were separate gaits. After about an hour of working, Knots was finally being responsive. He was also covered in enough sweat that I knew he was wishing we clipped him.
Eventually we trotted down the center line and completed our test. It was our best to date, even with a resistant moment to my spur and some broken gaits here and there. 49.5. Haha. I guess there should be. Side note about low standards or something, but I was so pleased with the test. See it here!
With that success in the bag, we took a brief break and then got ready for the jump round. People were talking about the sloppy footing, but Knots is plucky and we weren’t in a hurry anyway. We warmed up over some practice jumps. They were pretty awful. We were not getting good approaches, and I got left behind once. Which was awesome when I didn’t actually obtain coaching for this show…
Anyway, we jumped a couple more times with a more relaxed approach and got a couple of good spots, then we were ready to lurk about the start box. Jeannette went directly before me, and then we were standing in the box. Knots was oblivious to the excitement of standing in the box, although he was probably confused about my tension. Must be lions or something.
Off we went, over the first log, calmly over the second. Then to the almost combination, a step up and then about 6-8 strides (I don’t remember) to another log. Knots was building power (and stopping listening) before the step up and we argued about pace, which led to me getting left behind and jacking his mouth. I recovered and we jumped the log. Then it was down the hill to the fake ditch.
Again, Knots was getting strung out and we argued about balance before the ditch (BTW he couldn’t care less about ditches). We jumped that and headed to the railroad tie, with my focus on straightness. Then Knots started to pay attention more, as we started cantering up the hill. We jumped the ramp and then the table. Up to the barrel, through the water and into the stadium.
I was worried a bit about the stadium, since I lost my focus here last year. It was also sloppy and I was slightly worried about the height. But all those worries were for nothing. I remembered to steer, the jumps looked more 2’3″ than 2’6″, and Knots was fantastic in the mud. We finished!
I was exceptionally pleased! Great outing, and our first beginner novice, even if it was a small one. I took care of Knots, gave him a shower and some water, then left him to relax. I helped Katie get ready and then watched her have a successful ride.
Then! I found out I won a ribbon! Our 49.5 had us in last after the dressage, but the sloppy footing wasn’t ideal for most of the other competitors, and the time faults and scratches put us into third place! Knots was a champion mud horse.
The day was a raging success, Jeannette won the first place ribbon, and Katie finished fourth in her division 🙂 It was definitely a successful outing. Now we just need to work towards the next time!