February Schooling Show

Since our facility was hosting another show at the end of February, Dee and I were all set to go out and bop around the 2’6” classes again. The week of we had some good rides, some meh rides, and decided that schooling the morning of the show wasn’t worth the details.  I know that if I’d been on O again, I would’ve had a meltdown…and I’m guessing we would’ve had like 10 stops (one for each fence).  However, I felt pretty good about going in on Dee.  She doesn’t have a stop button, so I figured we’d be fine.

Okay so onto the media stuff: I do not remember the order, so I’m just winging it.  I believe there were 8 or so of us in these classes?  Also, my saddle pad does NOT fit Dee’s saddle.  I refuse to buy a saddle pad for her because I have no idea if we’ll show again.  So ignore the eye sore please.  Anyway.  Off we go.

We won this class (below).  The outside line by the crowd isn’t perfect, I avoided the chip, but had an ugly takeoff.  But I loved the way we rode this long approach green oxer and I think the diagonal rides really nice, even if we both got a little quick over the fence.

 

We got 2nd in this class.

It rode really nice, Dee couldn’t stop staring at the really bright sunspot in the corn of the ring, and cut it too close on the crowd outside line’s single.   But overall, happy with this round.

We got 3rd in this class.  I believe this was equitation, and  I was the only rider to ditch her coat for a sweater.  Worth it.  This round was fine, nothing glamorous, and I feel like maybe I couldn’t let off the gas pedal a bit.  I definitely had enough horse.

Dee and I also picked up a 2nd on the flat for under saddle, and a 5th on the flat for equitation.  The week before my trainer was calling this a sweater/winter coat affair…but then everyone showed up in jackets.  Except for me.  (wah wah)  It wasn’t a huge deal, but do feel like I was a little under dressed.  I guess I need to finally buck up a buy a new jacket eh?

feb show

At the end of the day I was so pleased with Dee.  All of her family was there (showing/riding/cheering) so I was even more happy to give her a decent ride.  Trainer was happy, horse was happy, I was happy==big time win.

Dee and I had a quiet week last week because of my 3rd (and hopefully last) bout with the stomach flu.  Day care is atrocious sometimes.  Good think kids are cute, because they are little germ cities.  Fingers crossed this week we’ll be able to get back to regularly scheduled programming.

Ugly Sweater Schooling

Since the Ugly Sweater Horse show was on Sunday, we opted to school mid-day on Saturday in the hopes to use as much of the warmer part of the day as we could.  When I drove up I could see Deedee asleep by her bale of hay in the field, so I practically had to drag her in to get tacked up.


The whole objective for this show is to get Dee and myself around a few courses and do it with a positive note.  Dee hasn’t shown in several years, I haven’t shown since February…2014.  So survival is key here.  Not that I had any doubts in Dee or myself, but you know, I didn’t want to make a total ass of myself.


We tacked up, hopped on, warmed up, and proceeded to jump around.  Little mare was jumping her pants off, super careful and with ears pricked up.  We were schooling the add steps, and after Dee bounced around the course without so much as a bobble we decided to call it quits.  Possibly the fastest schooling I’ve had, but hey, why drill the horse into the ground?  Another perk to having a well educated horse as a partner.

Also, I didn’t realize until after, but Dee and I matched.  Go us!

Show media and more next time! 

The Horse Show Curse

I think everyone has, at one point or another, witnessed or been victimized by the the horse show plan curse.  You send money, time, and effort getting ready for horse shows, planning…then bam….horse throws her shoe, or goes lame, or stops jumping jumps, or you get the flu.  Whatever.  But I swear it is a real thing.

This Ugly Sweater/Holiday horse show curse, is a teeny bit different. (At least for now)

It went from 50 degrees last weekend/Monday….to 16 degrees today.  It is painful to be outside for very long, and even the powder puff highland pony wannabe Dee, is not so sold on the temperatures.  We’ve still managed in a lesson (while it was a toasty 22 degrees), but I think I’m ditching all my Christmas cheer-gear I was going to don for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Themed show.  It’s far too cold to be funny.  I can barely think straight in those temperatures, let alone succeed at things.  And taking off my coat, to show off my ugly sweater does not seem worth it.


Also, sleet.  It’s supposed to sleet the day of the show.  Hello winter…and why do you suck so much?

It seems like everyone is getting their dose of the craptastic weather that December can bring, so stay warm people!  If you need me tomorrow, I’ll be feeling like an IDIOT, dressed in 50 layers, attempting to horse show.  Wish us luck!

 

Humbled, A Showing Story

After I had cried out my anger and frustration about how pitiful I rode during our schooling, I had a few hours to get a grip on life.  By the time I was called to get into the tack again, I was in the mindset of “hey, how much worse can it get?”

Well folks, turns out a lot.  Also, sorry because I haven’t had time to update videos because of life.  They will be debuting in all their refusal glory later this week.

Anyway…..

Trainer had advised me to get into the 2 foot hunters so that I would have one class before my 2’6” classes to O to see the course again.  Not that she doesn’t see and jump these objects ALL THE TIME, but hey, we were being careful.

Course numero uno:

-We stopped at the first jump

Staring down the scary jump that she sees 4-5 times a week.

Staring down the scary jump that she sees 4-5 times a week.

-We stopped at the 8th jump (previously had been the crossrail of doom from schooling)

Stoppy McStopper Horse.

Stoppy McStopper Horse.

-We stopped at the 9th jump (we only made it 2-3 strides down the line before she said “hell no” to this one.

-As we trotted out I actually apologized to the judge.

-The jumps she did go over, she jumped cute and quiet.

Oxer 2

So basically I walk out and say WTF horse?!?!  My trainer said I gave her the ride she needed, but she just isn’t getting over herself.  Awesome.  I get off, and wait another hour plus until I ride again.

"I cannot brain today," says O.

“I cannot brain today,” says O.

It’s the flat classes first up.  I freakin’ love flat classes, and at this point I am looking for a beacon of light anywhere.  I hop on, walk horse into ring with 14 other horses for the under saddle.  I walk out with a 2nd place.  She was lovely.  We were beat by a fancy little pony.  I can live with that.  Ten riders stay in the ring for equitation.  I pick up the 2nd place again.  Also-my sitting trot is great because my horse softens and coasts across the ring like the grown up, trained horse she actually is.  Internal fist pump of glory.  At least I look okay while we stop at all these jumps?  Right? Right.

Sitting up

Looking grown up.

Looking grown up.

My 2’6” over fences were a blur.  There was a warm-up, two under saddles, and 1 equitation.  We had stops in everything but the equitation.  And with over 20 horses in the classes I knew I was out of the ribbons. I used it to school, and actually circled and came back to the line from hell in one of the classes because I HAD to get her to do it twice in a row.  No one seemed to care, but people did stay back from the railing as we got close.

Stop 2

We=scary scary.

But we did make it around the equitation round.  No idea what the difference was, I felt that I rode it the exact same I did all the other times I was trying to get her over the fences.  This time she played along.  We took a 5th.  Oh and got both our lead changes.

Funny lead change snaps from the video:

Sassy mare

Part of lead change

2nd part of lead change

So looking at my ribbons, two reds and a pink, you would actually think it went pretty well.  That said, I know it didn’t.  I do not want a stopper.  And in my mind I’m simply waiting for someone to officially title her that.  After a 12+ hour day, and several drinks, I poured myself into bed in order to get some sleep before the finale of the weekend dawned: the judge was staying to clinic us Sunday.  I had a feeling it was going to get interesting.

More Like a Jumper

I had my last lesson before the horse show this weekend last night.  Naturally we wanted to jump around a bit and see what nit picky items we could get fixed up.  Main objective is to deal with the possible stops or spook over jumps with more fill.  Once she goes over it once, we are usually good to go.  I just have to get that one round completed with minimal crazies and I should be set.

Game Plan:  Ride O like she’s a big time jumper.

Basically I need to keep her head up, lots of leg forward and keep her firmly in the middle all the way to the base.  Usually when she ‘quits’ at a jump it’s really just magnified hesitation.  I have to be there to support her!  Also, since she practically noses the jump before hopping over it, I need to be more proactive about really keeping her off her forehand approaching the jump.

Evidence that she practically touches the jump before hopping over.

 

Staring the jump down.

Staring the jump down.

This is not her stopping but rather how close she likes to get before popping over.

This is not her stopping but rather how close she likes to get before popping over.

Good news is that pony jumped around pretty content, and with my “new” defensive and forward ride me made it over everything the first time.

photo 1 (28)The hope is that at the show we can utilize the warm up round to deal with an shenanigans and can do our new jumper feel then.  Next we can hopefully cruise through the rest of the show.

Like I said.  That’s the hope.  We’ll see what actually happens.

 

 

 

December Horse Show Videos

God I love videos.  They don’t lie and are great teachers. Now to the videos and some takeaways.

First 2’6” Class:

-I should add leg when I feel her hesitate (stop at jump 1)

-Our left to right lead change isn’t there on course

-I ride defensively

-I love our approach to the single on the diagonal and I think she jumps really cute

-Opps, too much whoa down the far outside and we get a little long

Second 2’6” Class:

-The ride down the diagonal line is lovely

-That translates into a quieter lead change

Equitation Class:

-Now that I watch this I feel like the whole time I’m letting her build up

-So I get a tight one on the diagonal line

-Followed by a LOUD lead change which I didn’t help to support

-Our left to right lead change isn’t there on course (suckiness)

At the end of the day right now it’s about building our confidence together and I do feel like this show helped that. Very proud of my pony.

Show Pictures

This past show had a cute little photo booth set up by a 1 woman company (I think?) and she was doing show photos for only $5 a pop.  I ordered one and incidentally got a bonus photo! Whoop!

I admit that when I picked out the photos I was all “OMG cute pony, cute!” and barely looked at myself.  But then I got them on my computer and I have to say that I look a bit messy.

A disclaimer, my little mare jumps very, very round so be gentle on the critiques.

Photo 1:  I remember riding to this one defensively (she was staring it down)  and it looks like I was more worried about keeping hold of her and getting over the jump than looking pretty.  My elbows look like they are about to help me take flight…But yeah, look at the pretty horse who is trying to use her body correctly.

IMG_8183

Photo 2: This little oxer was one of the only jumps on course she took seriously.  Note evil orange flowers of death in front of it.  I like myself better here, although that round jump of hers makes me really want to press my chest to her neck I have  strong heel, my back is flat, head up, and I am giving her the release she deserves for the jump.   Plus-look how cute she is!

IMG_8185

It’s funny how much photos reveal, and while I’m not thrilled with the whole picture, it’s just more proof that we are learning and changing every ride.  Onward and upwards folks!