Monday, August 29, 2016

Tornados, Ribbons and Drama, OH MY!

The show Sunday might have been the most eventful schooling show I've ever been to, but it was fun as all get out. If you're friends with me on social media, you know the end results, but here you get a full blown report!

I want to say I rode well, but the simple fact of it being eleventy billion degrees, my muscle weakness, waiting for 6ish hours to show and only been riding for two weeks post injury....I did not really. I don't think going was a mistake, it was a schooling show, but I definitely learned some things.

Like, our match game is strong AF
First and foremost, I WISH there was a way to guesstimate how long it will be before the jumpers go, but without pre entries, there is literally no way to calculate approximate times. So we arrived an hour after the show started and that was about 5 hours too early. Que literally BAKING in the sun. I felt so bad for the horses, even though we were able to keep them in the shade and mostly cool.

B was a champ, even though I know he was hot, bored and wondering why we were even there. For the most part he chilled out and ate hay, but when the breeze stopped, he danced around a bit. I've been to much hotter shows, and the ring was partially shaded by trees, but I still debated just going home. 90* was hot for us Ohioans.



Despite the heat, it *luckily* cooled off a bit by the time jumpers started. It was easy to spot the storm rolling in out in the distance, but the breeze and temperature drop was nice.

I still felt like I was roasting when I donned my tall boots and helmet, and the warm up-warm up had us both soaking wet in sweat even after just a few minutes.

I signed up for 4 classes plus a warm up round, with the last class being a payback class, which I was excited for. Warm-up was first, and the organizer came around and asked us what height we wanted the fences. One of the girls requested 3ft, so they made several of them a good 3ft. I was anxious about that, since B does better, in his green stage, to warm up slowly. I take advantage of being able to enter to 2ft class first then increase the height to 2'9. By then all his jitters are out and he settles in. I had wanted to jump each fence on our course once before actually competing, since some of them were pretty scary  (flowers & barrels and brick walls, oh my!) but was nervous to face him with some of those 3ft fences right away.....

From the 2'3 class

I did it anyways. Like a fucking idiot.

He was incredibly looky and I could tell he wasn't 100% sure about trusting me with this; the footing was slightly slick from a storm the night before, and being barefoot means zero gription on the grass. He jumped a few of them, then flat our refused the barrel jump. Got it the second time, then refused an oxer with flowers. Got it the second time. We approached a panel fence and the last second (literally), he threw on the brakes and I hit the deck.

Yeah, I fell off. For the first time ever on B, and for the first time in like 5 years.

I stuck the landing, organized my limbs and got back on quickly. I couldn't believe it. How had that unseated me, but none of his asshole shenanigans ever done so?

Baby sticks
Once I gathered my thoughts, jumped the jump (at a lower height, bless the organizers), a few others and exited the ring (and hung my head in absolute embarrassment) I replayed it in my head.

I know he jumped it. However, halfway over it was like he just sputtered out (sounding familiar, *cough* last post, with the log *cough*) and landed on top of it and went down. As his front half went down, I obviously went with him and when he stood up, I LITERALLY got catapulted off and behind him, sticking the landing. Spectators say it was spectacular and brilliant.

LULZ. Moving on.

After that, we jumped the vertical in the actual warm up ring a few more times and headed in for the 2'3 class. I could tell he was a bit anxious about it and I had to push him to a few fences, but we went double clear and won the class.




I was feeling terribly guilty though. I took my baby in a warm-up knowing I was over facing him and taking him out of his routine, and paid the price. I felt like I really let him down. At that point, I took him back to the trailer and stuffed him with cookies and he seemed to 'forgive' me a bit.

Our second class, 2'6, went MUCH better and he was much more "game on" this course. The course was odd, with some really wonky lines but he did as I (shittily) asked and with much more gusto.

6 to 7 was esp weird

Double clear, we went in to the jump off and killed it. It was a grass ring, and a bit slick, but he was listening when I rated and listening when I pushed. Our rollback from 5 to 1 was fantastic; he's really starting to move off the outside aids beautifully! It wasn't anything earth-shattering, but it was good enough for first place.

What that booty do

Turn N' Burn
I felt better; I could feel that he had forgiven me a bit and was much more apt to attack the fences rather than question them. I was so happy with the blues and couldn't wait for the last two classes.

Right then though, the looming storm came in like a fucking hurricane. I'm not joking, one second it was calm, then next, wind ripped through the venue taking the tents and chairs and flinging them all over. The jumps fell, tables flew and the horses were spooked. Hell, I was spooked. I dashed to the trailer on B, threw all my shit (chair, purse, grooming bucket etc) in the back of the trailer and galloped back to the barn.

We took one glance at the ominous sky and ducked in to the basement barn (PRAISE THE LORT for basement barns) for shelter. I felt safe in the basement, and the horses were just chillen in the stalls. My parents were blowing up my phone, letting me know there was a tornado warning and making sure I was safe. Which of course, only increased my panic.

Mahm, Y U so upset?
The show crew was running around trying to get their horses in and they essentially just let them all run in the barn. It was a hectic scene. Horses running in, chairs flying, trash scattered around, wind gusting, lighting cracking and B and I just standing in a corner, fully tacked up and sweating still. With the horses all in and safe, us humans jammed in the aisle trying to account for all cell phones. I found that really funny, but I absolutely made sure The Precious was with me before we even ran in the barn, HAHA.

We waited out the worst of it, anti was bad. I was a wreck because I HATE storms, but we survived.

Once the torrential rains let up we dashed to the trailers and untacked faster than I've ever done in my life, while also trying to remain calm. OF FUCKING COURSE this was the time B decided he wanted to be an arse and wouldn't load. I knew he was feeding off me, but C'MON bro, get in the fuggin metal box!



After 20 minutes of coaxing and him standing in the now resumed pouring rain, he got in and got to munching hay like it never happened.

*EYE ROLL*

The drama did not disperse though. Once on the road, I came to a blocked road, with no warning.....so I had to back up until I found another crossroad. That was fun.

Then, I got some pretty bad personal news on the way home, mind you trying to figure out where I was amidst tornado watches, nursing a sunburn possible heat stroke and heart attack, and horrible rain... I had about had it, ha.



Once we FINALLY got back to the (NEW) barn, he wouldn't get OFF the damn metal box and I threw my hands up and said fuck it, stand in there IDGAF. I started unloading the trailer while B decided if he wanted to get off or not. Finally, he did and I tucked him in to his new bed at New Farm and wondered why I do this sometimes, hahaha. What a day!

It WAS really fun though, despite the struggles & I am glad I went....but I re-learned a lesson I should already have known. NEVER push your horse faster or farther than they are used to. Yes, he can jump 3ft easily. BUT, he has never once been asked to do it right off the rip in a new place with some scary fences. Never again will I do that for the sake of a ribbon. I feel terrible and I am hoping this doesn't manifest in an ugly way later down the road. However, shortening my stirrups was a good choice at least, as I never jumped ahead! I hope I can get the videos to post, but they take literally forever.



He was a good boy yesterday for our  post show hack/trail ride and didn't seem worse for the wear (he even wallowed in a mud hole inches big new pasture at New Farm, see above), but still. The guilt is fierce.

Sorry, B, you're a good lad. Thanks for the satin < 3

Adding the blues to our 2016 collection

19 comments:

  1. Oooooh boy I know that feeling. Way to stick the landing tho and congrats on the satin!!

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  2. I'm putting any place with tornadoes on my official do not want to move to there list.

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    1. Yes it was not my choice to move back here after being gone for so long. I don't plan on staying forever. GAH

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  3. Ooo, scary weather! Glad the show was overall positive!

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  4. Glad you came through no worse for wear. :-)

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    1. just a sunburn that turned to a tan, haha!

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  5. Congrats on the satin! We managed to finish our show yesterday before that storm came through... it was REALLY horrible. Glad you guys were safe during it!

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  6. Good grief, shows are nerve wracking enough without tornadoes! My heart rate went up just reading this O.O

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    1. I was mildly panicking while reliving it and typing it hahaha....

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  7. That sounds like a very intense day! Sounds like he really trusts you though to settle again and jump so well.

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  8. Oh dang, what a cluster! Heck yeah for ribbons and solid rounds once in the ring though!

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  9. Holy shit!!! Yeah I definitely can't do storms that is why I live in the safe place of Idaho. But that basement barn is pretty sick

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  10. Um you weren't kidding when you said it was an eventful show!!!!!!!

    Don't beat yourself up over the mistake. I'm sure he will be fine. Way to stick the landing! Wow! I never manage to do that lol.

    Yikes!!!!! I hate tornadoes (and storms in general), so terrifying! I wish I had a basement barn. That is so awesome. That seriously was handy to have around during that situation. I'm glad he eventually loaded and that you both got home safe.

    Oh and congrats on the blues!! I was so distracted by the tornado scare that I almost forgot to congratulate you. Oops.

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