Saturday, May 14, 2011

Belts, bats, and other trinkets ...

When you go to a show where there's jumping involved, you imagine ALL the different ways you could get eliminated ...
-fall off
-go off course
-3 refusals
-missing the start timers
-missing the finish timers
-forget to buckle the chin strap on your helmet
These are all the things that can prevent you winning a coveted blue ribbon when you're the only person riding in the class. Thank goodness I didn't do any of those things, lol!;) Looks like my lucky belt is still holding strong!

Arrived bright and early so I could coach my kid in the hunters this morning. She took home Champion, which is a FAR cry from where she finished in her last show, so good for her. Tiki hung out tied to the trailer most of the day, except when I took pity on him and let him graze for a bit.

Didn't make my usual mistake and rush around. I got on in PLENTY of time and went into the field to warm up. Tiki was a POOP HEAD!:( AGH! He can be really frustrating sometimes. He was chill, chill, chill. Loaded great, unloaded sweat free, and as I said; just hanging around with no issues. As SOON as I set foot in the field, he wanted to start jigging, tail swishing, and shaking his head. Stayed relaxed and didn't pick a fight; just walked 2 laps around on a loose rein. Picked up contact at the walk, and he walked very slowly; the trot was decent, but maybe too slow I feel like. Rode it until he chilled and got a good rhythm. The canter was not as good; very strong, bouncy, and inverted. If/when I have to perform a dressage test in grass, don't look for a good score from us!:(

Cantered a TINY little half of a barrel jump. He jumped it awful; bounced my leg completely off the saddle. Ugh. Cantered into the little brush box; didn't feel too much better. Jumped both jumps as a line, and he literally cross cantered the entire time. AGH!! Lol. My friend Becca put a pole over both jumps (which made them about a whopping 2'), and he was mildly, sort of, a little bit better. Kept at it until he actually assessed the jump and did a good job, then set to walking around the property until it was jumper time! I didn't let him stop, just kept letting him toodle around on a loose rein. FINALLY! It was time.

Becca did rock/paper/scissors with my other competitor, and LOST, so I had to go first:) I'm visual, so I really like to watch the course before I ride it, but I knew it, so in I went! A gray box, left turn to a green vertical, 6 strides sort of down the middle to a ONE STRIDE (that we did in ONE, woo hoo!!), tight right to a blue and white oxer, long bending to a white vertical, left turn to an "end" jump, continuing left to the outside line, finishing with the in green of the other outside line. I rode it JUST like I was warming up an IEA course. I really waited and sat back, and he felt good, normal, got the one, didn't jump HUGE over anything ... I know I missed 2 leads, but I didn't even THINK about them. The jumpoff, I went a LITTLE more forward, then galloped over the finish line, but it was clean:) My competitor had a stop, so blue ribbon #1.

2'9 was WEIRD! A green/green long bending, around the the blue and white oxer to the gray (jumped the gray VERY angled), to the outside line, to the one backwards, yank left and weave around some jumps, to the end jump, to the other in of the outside line going the other way. ALMOST fell off over the red oxer coming out of the outside line. It was a 4, he was forward enough I *thought* he was going, so I went, but he didn't, which resulted in a very ugly jump. Recovered, though, and he was clean. Was VERY forward in the jumpoff, and beat our time by .2 seconds, lol. Competitor had a rail, so we won again.

3'!!! FINALLY! I was nervous as heck!!! Back to course A again, which was definitely a better riding course. He jumped the one HUGE, and I got a little jumped out of the tack, but recovered nicely. Finished the last jump, and I threw my arms around his neck. WE DID IT!!! Even though it was me, my horse, and the jumps, I did the jumpoff anyway. Rode more conservatively, he was clean again, and I was THREE seconds slower than my 2'9 course. I jumped 14 jumps at 3'. I have not done that in 15 years. We did it! I was so proud of my boy:) Going on vacation not this coming week, but next week, and I think he will appreciate the time off. Will probably just goof around this week, then get back to it upon my arrival back home. LOVE my pony! My goal is if my Poplar HT goes well this September, to make the move to Novice next season. I think I won't even notice the change in terms of the xc, but I definitely notice in the stadium, so I will get some cheap mileage at the schooling shows whenever I can!