I think it is zero secret on this blog that I strongly dislike show jumping. In theory, it should be my strongest phase. After all, I grew up in the hunter/jumpers, and I have spent FAR MORE time in the jumper ring then I ever have on the cross country field or Dressage course. In fact, I still remember only a few years ago asking my trainer if I change my diagonal going across a diagonal in a Dressage test… and if so… where and how?
Yet somehow, I now dread show jumping. In fact, I was 100% prepared to let my dislike of show jumping ruin basically my entire show. Luckily, I have great friends. One helpfully reminded me that, if I wasn’t having fun, I could always scratch SJ, and then I still got to do the 2 phases I wanted to do. Brilliant!
Spoiler alert – I did not scratch show jumping.
Instead, I tacked up on a rainy morning and headed down… still to early… to the show jump warm up. And it started to mist/drizzle. Awesome. I swear I end up needing to ride whenever it rains in southern California. This is also an issue because I wear glasses when I ride. But whatever, the jumps were bright, I could find them haha.
Warm up was ok. Running XC before SJ meant I had a maybe tired but definitely opinionated little mare on my hands. She did not want to move off either leg… or jump in a straight line… or take my input into her balance, shape, speed, or distances. But luckily, since I didn’t let her get away with it the day before, I was able to get her mostly rideable before my round.
And the round went well!
I got to give her a good amount of prep to jump 1, so we were straight. I felt her really jump up to me, so that gave me some great confidence. But… she did take the top rail of 2 because fighting with me was worth more to her than picking up her feet. We got that argument out of the way early.
Jump 3 jumped great, but she fell through the right shoulder, losing the lead. Quick simple change, and then I had to send her forward into the 2 stride. I had watched much larger horses shove 3 strides in there all day, and I was determined not to do that. In hindsight, I think the other horses were looking at the tents set up in that corner. I don’t think May even noticed.
I really worked hard to get her back and balanced to fence 5. Historically, 5 would’ve been a jump that we crashed through thanks to its right turn away from the gait and post-2-stride status. But I rode it well, so she gave me a good jump.
Everyone was getting weird distanced in the 6 to 7 line, so I figured I would just bend it out a lot and make it work. I did… but it wasn’t ideal. Of course, by jump 7, I really couldn’t see much anymore, but May is honest and good and the jumps were nice bright colors. I had to REALLY lean away from jump 8 because she wanted to dive on her forehand, so she got a tap on the shoulder to remind her to jump up over jump 9. And we were within the time at least. I had to ride every step, but there are a few things I am proud of in this round.
- I did not gun it to ever single fence. I love going this, but I didn’t.
- I did get the 2 stride in the 2 stride (but I wish I hadn’t left my foot quite so hard on the gas).
- I took my time and rode her to make her more rideable, not just to get around.
As life turns out, a lot of people had rails. In fact, if we HAD jumped around clear, we would have won. As it was, we maintained our 4th place position.
Overall, we had a great show with 3 “good” phases. Everything was solid an competent, and while I could nitpick until the cows come home, I think we both had a fabulous time. Although, May could have tuned down the amount of fabulous she was having on XC. We’ve already schooled a bit more since this show and got a plan of attack for our next horse trial, whenever that will be!
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So exciting! Even though May had some opinions, she looks so much more fluid and rideable than last year. You’re doing such a great job riding her! And congrats on the satin!
Thank you! She’s not an easy ride, but we’re still making so much progress together.
That halter THO
Halter goals for sure. She got lots of compliments on it at the show.
Congrats!!! She knows her job well…maybe too well LOL!!
She thinks she is right 110% of the time 🙃
Great job! You should be proud of yourself
Thank you! It was a huge learning experience but so positive.