What an incredible weekend! I had more fun than I've had in quite awhile! Tiki was like night and day different. He was forward, he was confident, and he was a superstar!!! It certainly helped that I actually sat up and rode well, if I do say so myself! We did 6 jumping classes over 2 days ... and the schooling Friday night was so much better than it had been at Conyers. Really, he flatted very forward and bucky and fresh, ha ha. He'd just gotten his massage Thursday morning, and I hacked him in a saddle and his halter afterwards. Then Friday it was over to Wills Park, and in the covered ring. He was head shaking a little bit, stretched low through his neck, and felt very loose and light. Schooled over all the fences in the ring, and while he may have looked at a few and jumped a few pretty big, there wasn't a SINGLE stop and leap at all. Put him away, plyed with peppermints, and prepared for Saturday morning.
We were pretty much first thing at 8:30 in the morning. It was a rainy, miserable excuse for a day. It picked that time to chill and stop raining for a few minutes, so I quickly hacked and warmed up in the outside ring, then darted under the shelter of the covered ring just as the skies opened up again. Went in for my first class, which was at 2'3 and was simply a timed/fault course. It was fairly simple, and he jumped around clean and forward. First! Second course was a class, then the jumpoff, still at 2'3. Another good course, and we were first again! Last course was a 2'6 class, and even though he touched a few, jumped around clean again, but we were second to a horse that definitely looked as though he'd done a few jumper classes! By the end of the course, both of us were tired! Both of us hold our breath while we're in there, lol. Hopped off, put him away with peppermints, carrots, and hay, then did my coaching thing for the rest of the day.
Sunday dawned rainy and miserable. Managed to get all my kids taken care of before my classes came up, and I got pretty soaked even with a poncho! Tacked the boy back up, and once again, the rain stopped long enough for us to go in the sloppy, rain soaked schooling ring to loosen up and jump a few warmup jumps before heading in the ring for our ONE 2'3 class! Sunday was a much tougher course than Saturday, WOW! An in and out identical to the one at Conyers; an airy oxer to a vertical. A jump right on the end of the bottom of the ring, an akward corner jump, and several long bending lines. First course was course then jumpoff, and we were clear and SO fast that Becca said we were getting too flat. I could feel that; I was a little more forward with my shoulders because I just felt so. darn. comfortable! Tiki was so good; those jumps down on the end and in the corner were awkwardly placed, and he DID give them a good look, but I really sat back and closed my leg. Never put 2 in the in and out, he got the step each time, yay! We were clean and fast, but we were also the only ones in that class, so of COURSE we got a blue, ha ha!;) Next, back up to 2'6. Same identical course. This time it did feel better than before, but on the final oxer of the course, he touched it with his foot just right and rolled it off, so no jumpoff. Despite that, we still managed to win the class, yay! Final course was also at 2'6, and it was terrible. Not from Tiki, but from a design standpoint, yuck! First part was ok, but then there was a tough turn from 2 jumps set on identical diagonals; for instance, they were set like this:
Had to do a left hand rollback from the top jump to the bottom jump, set on that diagonal. It was weird, but he did it! That was the "power" portion of the class, then the "speed" final turn was this:
We had to go from the top diagonal jump towards the bottom of the screen, then the straight jump underneath back towards the top of the screen. I had to angle the diagonal jump the wrong way, pulled him right so I could spin him on his butt to get to the straight quarter line jump. We were clear with good time. One of the other girls was clear also, but jumped the diagonal, then looped around to get to the quarter line jump, and was counted as a refusal. I'm so thankful Becca was there to remind me you can NOT cross your path in the jumpers! So, bad course design in my opinion, but we won that one as well, so it wasn't THAT bad!
What an amazing weekend. I have videos from all of our rounds, so I will post each one one at a time again like I did last time. No hunter rounds this time; concentrating on the jumpers exclusively. We were such a great team; I am proud, proud, proud!!! And the best part is we've done it on our own; I haven't spent oodles of money on training rides, lessons, and pros horseshowing him for me. It's been just me, with 3 lessons in a whole year, and occasional input from my awesome friends that have helped me find a direction and stay on it. He may have the entire week off, if the weather forecasts are accurate for this week. Rain, rain, and more rain. In Austell and Douglasville, (where we lived before we moved to Cartersville) there is some crazy, amazing flooding! Creeks are high, homes are destroyed, and horses are having to be rescued and evacuated. I am thankful and grateful that my house is at the top of a hill, as is the barn I teach at, and is the barn my horse lives at! No worries there, but if you can spare some prayers, please pray for the families and animals that are dealing with the scary realites of real life flooding! It's almost unreal.