Approximately 30 minutes stood between calm dressage pony and what I hoped would be a little more of a spicy ride.
This isn’t to say I don’t appreciate C’s level head, because I totally do! It’s just that, at least for jumping, I like to have the energy and shape it rather than having to create it. Luckily, C tends to get pretty stoked about jumping.
A little background: we had a small practice lesson in jumping with T the day before the event, mainly because I’ve only jumped him once since I bought him (and not at all for 3 weeks prior). He was a little sore, a little poky, and oh good lord. We knocked nearly every rail on every jump we went over that morning. I was drowning in nightmare visions of the same thing happening at the show (a product of show nerves and disappointment).
Turns out, mister C really enjoys being away from home on nice grassy fields to jump.
Honestly, the whole thing is a bit of a blur. We had some steering trouble coming in to the first fence, as he popped through my right leg with his shoulder, and I sort of less-than-gracefully pony kicked him straight. After that, though? Smooth sailing. He was so excited, and kept locking on to any jump in the vicinity. That 2’3″ vertical for BN? Yes! That 3′ rolltop for Novice? Let’s do it!
Methinks this bodes well for the future.
It wasn’t gorgeous; I let him have fun with it and supported when I needed to, but mostly I wanted it to be a learning experience. So even if we were a little strung out and flat, we
A. went clear.
B. didn’t jump things we weren’t supposed to.
C. had fun!
And that’s all I wanted. But even better, after jumping for Intro had finished, BBS and I went to fetch our final scores and see if we placed…
We honestly, forreal, got 3rd at our first show. It was a lot of firsts– my first dressage test, his first official show, our first show together– so I was truly surprised (pleasantly!) that we placed at all! BBS got 4th with only .4 difference in our dressage so I think we both earned third.
That wrapped up the show! I gave C two days off to recover from the mental overload and hopped on tonight for a little flatwork. Guess who was a total booger.
I’ll tame the beast tomorrow. For today, I just did a little walk/trot/canter, popped one crossrail in the hopes a little jumping would garner some cooperation and/or excitement about work, and immediately gave up. Midterms week is just too stressful without the additional stress of frisky ponies!
More to come on this week, I’m sure, if his high energy continues… Tomorrow I plan to integrate a crop into my riding toolkit. We’ll see how the princess reacts to a gentle reminder that his shoulder should not be rocketing into another galaxy!