I think I spent 5 minutes patting any hugging him before I did anything else!
Yankee is a definitely a bit weak through his back and hind end, but I expected that. Despite the weakness, he was more than willing to WTC beautifully for me and V.
For V, I am hoping there isn't too long of an adjustment period for her and Yankee. I think they will do well together & he will enjoy his job of taking her through the levels of eventing.
Then, after much love for Yankee, I tacked up B and hoped to pop him over a few jumps and hack out in the field. We didn't have the greatest jump schools over the week, but I was still hopeful for a good show over the weekend.
My main objectives for the show was no refusals and a good experience for The Baby.
Sidenote, how long can I call him a baby? haha.
He was surprisingly doing well, minus spooking at the fake flower jump. Uncharacteristic, but moving on....
|Lovin' this horse even if I still look like an amazon on a 17.1 beast|
We played around in the field a bit, and then my friend L hopped on. I trust her completely, as we've been friends for years. She actually leased yankee for a period in 2009 when I was injured, was on a college athletic riding team and competed at Congress numerous times. In 2010 we actually went to a few events together as well!
Anyways, she got on B and learned that he's no the easiest horse in the world, but fun! In comparison to Yankee, his stride is massive- something I struggle(d) with all the time.
Saturday EME loaded up and headed out to the Serenity Valley jumper show and CT. I did not sign up for the CT because I didn't know about it in time, but planned to do the green as grass jumpers, starter jumpers and BN jumpers. Obviously very low jumps, purposefully so.
I wanted to focus on not refusing the fences and consistency in-between. B has a tendency, as most younglings, to get more and more on the forehand throughout a course. So for this show, I wasn't too concerned about speed and winning, and more on balance and consistency.
|The most perfect baby|
B surprised me by also behaving quite well all day. Especially while at the trailer! No tantrums, no freaking out. He had a few moments of anxiety in between a class, mostly induced by his hind boots (I think), where he repeatedly would kick the air. After removing them, he stood stock still in-between all classes. Miraculous. He's a spoiled princess who doesn't like hand boots. Figures.
Our warm up was a bit sticky, literally, since it had rained all night and day and I gave up after a few jumps. B seemed unsettled by his feet getting sucked in the ground, and the course was all of 2ft so I wasn't concerned.
It also had no flowers, but he was notorious for refusals first time out.
|All black everything. Like my soul.|
Again, he surprised me with a flawless and eager round. I was so floored by his performance! Granted yes, the jumps were wee tiny but he was HONEST and quiet. There was one moment where he looked hard at fence 6A because there was a western saddle on that standard, but other than that, he was great. This round had no jump off because of height, and we got 3rd place despite the slowness! I believe Amy and her wonderkid beat us, haha!
Sorry the videos are up and down.
|Hanging out with adoring fans|
The second class was the starter class and I believe it was 2'3 or 2'6 or something around there. It also contained oxers and flowers this time around.
While very pleased with his first round, I was still skeptical of how he would handle the added height and spread, PLUS the horse eating devil flowers.
He was great.
Seriously so freaking good.
B was eager to jump and locked on to almost everything. I really had to ride to one or two of the fences and the turn after fence 6AB and 7 was rougher than it looked to 8, but he handled it all with ease. I was so proud of him! A clear round sent us to the jump off and I let him out a little for that slightly.
|Pats for the good boy|
We actually snagged 2nd place in that one, with only Amy's wunderkind beating us! A pleasant surprise indeed!
The last class of the day was the BN height and I think it was like 2'9? I'm terrible. They also added an element to fence 10, making element A an oxer and element B a vertical. I thought that was odd, but figured we could negotiate it just fine.
Since I'm a giant wimp, I thought this course looked more like 3'3 but I wasn't as nervous as I normally was. The horse under me was so game and he seemed to be enjoying himself and I was having fun too!
The course rode beautifully, and B was quite honest to everything but the 10A. He looked hard at it, since it magically appeared out of nowhere and jumped it last second, which put us in a bad place to the vertical. I tried my best to readjust, but he knocked the rail anyways. Disappointing ALMOST but the win to me was the fact that he DIDN'T refuse even though he thought about it.
We still snagged a fourth place ribbon, which was cool since we didn't make it to the jump-off.
Normally, I would have been disappointed since I usually am out for blood when competing, but I think having such easy goals for ourselves for this show made it easy to have fun regardless. I went in not trying to win and it was pretty damn fun even getting 2nd, 3rd and 4th place ribbons!
To me, building the foundation now is essential for him and I want B to enjoy showjumping before we get too competitive. Eventually thats my goal, but for now I am content with the baby fences and the baby pony learning his job! I think our next one will be June 5, but we will see!