Well, I did it, I did my first show since falling off on schooling day at finals. There were some highs, lows, and heart racing moments. It was a very small show but luckily my barn mate rode both her lease horse and old lease pony so our division could run without being combined with the juniors. She didn’t do eq so I did have to ride with the juniors for those classes. Unfortunately, I do not have any media.
Let’s start with the good.
Yep, we won champion for our hunter division! Saturday was interesting scheduling wise so we had a flat then 3 hours later another flat then 2 hours after that we jumped. It really was not planned out well but it got done. Our 2 flats that day were both eq (even though I was not jumping in my higher division I still did my eq OTF) and I was in with the juniors. My first one we ended up 6th out of 6 because Winifred just finds the walk a useless gait. He was actually pretty good but he decided to bust into the canter right were the judge could see. It was not dramatic. He got one stride before I got him back. The sad thing is that the exact moment I got him back the announcer called for the canter. I mean really if she had announced it literally one second earlier we would have been so slick! Lol. He did a trot step from the walk in the other eq OTF but the judge may have missed that and we ended up 2nd. He was not spooking he just sees absolutely no use for the walk. LOL
Our first time on course started out really well but then the damn long approach and we had a refusal. We just did not have a spot and I dropped my hands. I am still working on seeing a spot farther out and riding to it. Love Winifred but if you do not ride perfectly to the spot he is not likely to help you find it. On the good side we came right back around and jumped it beautifully then finished the last line nicely. Unfortunately, since there was a tack change I had to stay in the ring. We normally must take a mental break for Win but had to go right away. This means that he was ready to run! This time the course started with the long approach halleluiah it was gorgeous! I mean seriously guys it was in perfect right off the stride flow! He was hella strong though for the rest of the course but pat myself on my shoulder because I sat my ass back pulled and did not allow him to drop a single stride.
Sunday we only had one hack and it was clear to me that he was JAZZED up! It took everything I had to keep him under control but somehow we must have made it look good cause we got 1st and quite a few people told me how good he looked. Uh ok. We went right into our last hunter round without a warm-up. I am really proud of that course. It started with on a 5 stride on the diagonal (well a 4 but TS and I decided to make him do the adds to help keep him from getting even more jazzed), outside line in a 6, long approach to a single on the diagonal (which this time went super smooth), then to the other outside line in 6. When we first jumped that line even on schooling day he was concerned about the green box. Why though?!?!!? This I the same green box we have jumped a hundred times! Back to our Sunday course, it was our last line and he came around the corner wide-eyed and clearly backing off. This is the line that I am most proud of this weekend. I had to force him over that fence but then had to MAJORLY whoa after. I did it though! I still made him do the add and again it must not have looked as bad as it felt because we got 1st again. We did get a breather round before heading into our eq OF. I was incredibly disappointed in the course. Can we please have an actual eq course?!?!? The show was at our barn but it was hosted by a different barn so the course was not designed by TS or else it would likely have been an actual eq course. The course was just the single vertical on the diagonal but this time headed home, the other diagonal, outside line, then the single diagonal again but headed to the clubhouse like we had been jumping it, then ending on the green box outside line. I am still annoyed. SOOOOOO BORING!!!!
The course started good but then he grabbed the bit and tried to run to the long approach. I sat back and pulled and thought we approached at a good tempo but he slammed the breaks. I stayed on but I was frustrated because I swear to you I did not tip!! TS said that the spot was there and I softened when we got there but I did not then leg up. She said that when you are on a runaway freight train your instinct it to only hit the breaks and it is not natural to then hit the gas. Came back around and tried it again this time with legging him at the fence. TS said I rode that approach perfect but at that point Winifred was nervous and he refused again. This time though I ended up coming off. Luckily, I landed on my feet on top of the straw bale facing the judge so what do you do when that happens? You raise your arms in a gymnast fashion! The judge said that I received a blue ribbon for that dismount. Too bad I don’t have video!
Not the way I wanted it to end and I am still frustrated with myself but I am trying to remind myself that overall it was a positive experience. TD and I talked after and she tried to put it in perspective and be happy with the small things. She reminded me how the girl who had Win before me also had refusals but also very frequently dropped strides so me getting him to do adds is actually making him do 2 more strides in a line. I know that it doesn’t sound like a big win but I will take any win that I can get.