Monday, September 19, 2016

Take The Long

I always find it so interesting the small and vast differences between my two horses. I love hopping on one right after the other, really feeling the subtle differences in their ways of going and response to my aids. I also find it curious that B prefers the long spot, whereas Yankee prefers the short. Getting one to take what they don't prefer is always challenging and I tend to leave it alone unless its absolutely necessary.

So its baffling to me why I kept asking B to take the short this last weekend when he was in his groove and jumping well with the long.

Backing up though, the weekend was nothing short of wonderful. I know it seems silly to celebrate getting on and off the trailer, but I do, EVERYTIME. He also was superb about chilling in the trailer for about an hour and a half while we waited out the rain and storms.

Getting ahead of myself again.

I ended up timing our arrival much better than last show; we chilled for only 2 hours instead of almost 7, HA. I almost didn't even go because the forecast was nasty and I was worried about getting caught in another tornado--this time with no shelter. The plan was to load up, arrive and enter only one class, then wait it out with B on the trailer--that way if I got stormed out I wouldn't lose much money and he would already be loaded.

It DID storm, but only briefly and eventually I unloaded B no worse for the wear and we tacked up and warmed up without issue. It drizzled a little, but it wasn't show ending.

Luckily, best friend L came along and she was a wonderful "show mom", taking pics, holding stuff and helping me at the end too.

Sadly, the storm did scare off most people and there were so few entries in the jumper classes that the organizer called us over and asked what we wanted to do. The jumpers classes were paybacks, and I could tell that she was worried over losing a ton of money if we ran it like the show bill stated. She asked if we would be OK to waive the show fees (um, hell yes) and make up our own courses (literally yes plz) and take best 2/3 (YES).

Me forever looking like a giant even on a 17.2 hand horse...ridiculous

It was literally the most fun I've ever had a show EVER.

I entered the warm-up class, so they let me do that at the 2'3 height. I would draw the course for you all, but we changed it every round and in the warm up I just practiced bending lines and hopped him over the scary brick wall/lattice oxer.

3ft height
I was thoroughly impressed with his bravery over both of the scary panel fences (he hates them at home) and only took a little extra leg to convince him it wasn't going to bite. Over both he popped me out of the tack and I am embarrassed at my equitation, but hey--he jumped them with style so I'm not too mad!


3'6 ft
B is forever making the "bigger" fences look tiny with his giant body, and I am super excited for our future in the jumper ring. One day we will get those knees tight, but I am more impressed with his ability to round over the fences and jump BIG.

I digress again.

The organizers jacked a few of the fences up for this one (the oxers and the outside line) and the object was be the fastest. B likes this game and has morphed into one adjustable creature. I LOVE that he can turn n' burn, as well as gallop or collect up--so. much. fun.

Exuberant flying change

I dunno if he cleared it

Round two they moved the oxers up even more, as well as the outside line again and one of the bending lines. Again, he was a beast over this and we also won that round. We had a slight miscommunication over the blue and red panels, making for a giant OH SHIT leap (see pic above), where I again thought the short was the better option and B was like "mum, no we take long".

Round three finally raised the other bending line, leaving only one line of 2'6 fences, with the rest ranging from 2'9-3'6. I loved the variety, and this course was a bit tougher and more windy. At this point too it was our 4th round and I admittedly was getting tired and my back was starting to cramp. The first 2 fences were vertical bending lines and I popped over the first horribly, landing too far forward, setting us up for a terrible takeoff to the second. For some weird reason I thought it would be best to get super duper close and take the short versus his preferred long and we tapped it. Sorry bud. Makes sense, considering I was literally riding like shit and abandoned all knowledge of how my horse works best. Luckily, I stayed extra focused the rest of the round and it ended on a good note, even with one rail.

Another excellent flying change

However, that did bring to light a good point--we need to work on adjustability to fences. The long won't always be available and as the fences get bigger we both need to be comfortable with the short and long, as well as communicate effectively which one we are taking. This is something I want to practice more at home, since it is a fundamental part of show jumping. For the most part I've sat back and let him figure his feet out without messing with him to much. Now that he's growing up a bit, I think its time to really buckle down and practice some harder things. So many exercises I can think of, hehehe.

FAV < 3
Overall though, B was great. Minor little miscommunication errors and he still trusted me to jump the jumps and do the thing. We ended up with the blue since we won 2 of the 3 rounds and I was pleased as punch to add some more blue satin to our collection, even with such a unique set up to the show, and learn  few things as well!

Horse show mom L being amazing post show
I am jacked up for our rated debut in November, and also nervous. Those shows are no joke and I know those fences will be extra scary for B. Luckily there are chances to school them before showing, so I will be taking advantage of the $40 opportunity, and hoping that in the next 7 weeks I can be back to full strength and stop getting tired after 3 rounds. We have a  lot to work on, but there is time!

Also, it was really nice to get so many compliments on my boy. One girl even came up to me and asked what breed he was because he looked too beefy to be a TB. That made me proud because I have killed myself trying to find the right balance for him so he could get some bulk. I also got several compliments on my pad, and I love that my hard DIY work is noticed. It just makes me happy, because I love that pad too!

4 rounds, 1 rail, no refusals, 1 blue ribbon= happy girl


  1. Yay! I'm so glad you had a wicked outing. That first picture is just amazing.

    1. L is an actual photographer and even with my shitty iPad she still can take some good pics. And thank you! It really was a good time!!

  2. Color coordination on point. Good choices. :-)

  3. Go B go! What a great team you are morphing into!

  4. Congrats he looks like a beast out there!!!

  5. I love everything about this post. It sounds like everything just clicked, even though it wasn't 100% perfect. Congratulations on the blue ribbon, getting your timing down at the show better, having fun and of course on your adorable outfit! Your post made me smile!

    1. Literally, it just did click and I am loving it. Thank you for your kind words!!! :D

  6. Ah I love this! B is seriously the best (and you too!) at proving the internet wrong

    1. Suck it to the haterzzzzz. Thank you < 3

  7. What a fun way to handle the lack of entries. Way to go B, stepping it up! So excited to see what else you do this year. Also, I am ALWAYS tired after 3 rounds. I know I can't ride more than than without reverting to the fetal position.

    1. It was the most fun! I wish more shows were like that, haha. Maybe one day I will stop being tired after 3 rounds, but man, right now I am dead haha. fetal position forever

  8. Fun way to handle the lack of entries! Congrats on a good outing.

  9. I'm with the others, that sounds like a really fun, creative way to handle a lack of entries. I'm so glad you had so much fun! Congrats on the blue!


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