Thursday, 18 September 2014

Three Weeks of Showing, Day One

So it was about six degrees when I showed up this morning. Seriously.  SO COLD. I had to text a friend and beg her to bring me mittens and proceeded to layer every single coat (of which there are FIVE) in the back of my car on my person.  I looked like the Michelin Man. But at least I was approaching warm.

This of course meant the ponies were bright eyed and bushy tailed.  When I flatted Riley last night, he was a wild beast of a pony, and I spent the majority of our hour-long ride alternating between "LISTEN TO ME JESUS CHRIST" and just letting him gallop and crowhop.  So I was expecting a similarly idiotic horse today, particularly since he was looking around gleefully with that glint in his eye.  But, to my surprise, he was in The Zone - that perfect place between fresh and not fresh enough, where he was forward and had his own engine going strongly but still being polite enough to listen to me.

Thank goodness for this because our warm-up was cut short when Trainer abruptly appeared about halfway through my trot work and commanded me to canter and get ready to jump.  Luckily by now I am fairly used to this happening so did a few rounds at the canter, a lead change, forward and back, then let him walk for a minute before we started to jump.

Our warmup was pretty great. Uneventful mainly; there was one oxer I saw where I started to pull and just decided to pull up instead of going since it seemed really pointless.  But other than that I really can't complain.  Riley's rhythm was great, my eye seemed to be working and I was feeling pretty good, and of course, my horse felt fantastic, which always helps!

I had opted into doing the 90cm today instead of the 1m as a warmup class, since our lesson Tuesday was a disaster and I was more than dubious about our ability to make it around a 3ft course alive. It is what it is.  In hindsight, the 1m would have been fine, but confidence and all that crap.

The first jump was the right lead set on a bit of a diagonal; it looked like a really odd approach when we walked but it rode okay. I hit it a bit quiet and legged a tad after we landed to get back on the right rhythm. Jump 2 was an oxer on a bending line with no number, just off your eye. We hit this well, then turned right to a green oxer, which we hit nicely as well.  From there it was a bending eight strides to the weird barn, and I just took back a tiny bit too much, and ended up having to leg for the vertical.  I was kind of annoyed by that since it was just a useless mistake.  After that we had some speed going so I went a hair wider in the next turn, a 180* turn left to the liverpool.  We met this well and patiently, he jumped it like a champ, then another long bending line with no number to an oxer at the top of the ring.  We were a touch short to this but I was pretty fine with it.  Then a left turn rollback to a vertical, which I hit quite forward since the route I took was a bit of a short turn.  From here I made my biggest mistake (to me) and since I had to gag Riley slightly to get him back for the seven strides started doing dumb stuff with my body again and leaning back.  In my defense he wasn't listening too well but I still should have been able to do it without putting my shoulders on his butt, argh.  That said, we hit the "out" of the line, an oxer, really well.  Then a right turn to a vertical near to the in gate, which we hit great, another right turn to an oxer, we hit this well, and a nice steady six to a vertical-vertical in and out, which was probably my nicest line of the entire course.  Then a left turn to a vertical set on a diagonal to finish, which we met perfectly.

And here's a video for y'all, try not to be too judge-y! I am more than 150% aware of all the mistakes but we are a work in progress!



All in all I was really happy with my course and happier yet with how he handled it.  Still plenty for me to work on, but it was a good start to the week, and it sure as hell beat Tuesday's lesson.  Trainer was really happy with it and interestingly enough had no criticism to give, of course I am plenty good at doing that for myself!

The rest of the day passed as most show days do - pottering around with friends, a bit of light shopping, lots of observation of warm-up and show rings, some jump setting etc.  When all this was over I went back to the farm and flatted three more horses and now I'm so tired I want to die. Tomorrow should be real fun, glad I'm not showing and just have to flat!

Peace out for now, I'm going to pass out.

11 comments:

  1. you two make it look easy - he's just hopping over it all like nbd. i get your reflections on room for improvement - tho most of your 'mistakes' are imperceptible to me lol. well done :)

    also - i would *always* prefer to finish a class feeling like i could have gone bigger (term is relative here lol) than kicking myself for pushing it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! A few years ago my mistakes would have been imperceptible to me too lol so at least I feel like we're moving in the right direction! And I'm definitely feeling more educated these days. Anyway thank you very much for your kind words!

      And yeah I agree, on the other hand I kick myself for *not* pushing it and taking risks. Mehhh there is no winning really.

      Delete
  2. 3 weeks of showing, wowie! Good job and Good luck witht he rest of the showing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I'm really excited! I haven't really shown too much this year so it should be fun. Thank you!

      Delete
  3. Woo all the showing! I would never judge you, you're kind of my hero haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woo indeed! And oh jeez, haha that is very flattering! I was pretty shocked when this comment arrived in my inbox. You're kind of my hero too :)

      Delete
  4. Even when he's being sassy, Riley is SO DAMN CUTE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heeeee isn't he? He's a bit of an unorthodox type but so darn adorable. Of course I am horribly biased lol

      Delete
  5. Looked nice and smooth to me. You could see a few longer spots where he definitely lengethened up to it, but besides that it was pretty spot on! Stop being so hard on yourself (so sayeth the co-Queen of Being Hard on Herself)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha it's hard to break that cycle of constant self criticism, you know? He has this ridiculous step and he's very good at lengthen and shorten so at least I have that to work with - unfortunately works against us at times too! Anyway thanks for your kind words!

      Delete
  6. Looked lovely! Hope its all going well!!

    ReplyDelete