Monday, December 19, 2011


The gasp is for my disbelief in the fact that I have waited this long to update on the jumper show, even though it went so well! What is wrong with me?

The day started out at about 8am at the barn. I scrubbed his socks clean in the 30 degree weather, outside, with cold water. Neither of us were thrilled about it but, it had to be done, you could hardly tell his socks were supposed to be white they were so stained. Yuck!

I pulled his mane a little bit more to tidy it up, trimmed the scraggly edges off of his forelock, clipped his bridlepath and fetlocks, and gave him a good groom. He looked pretty good for the middle of December. I never show at all in the winter so by this point, he is usually a huge hairy monster, that looks incredibly scruffy until March. Not this year! Between the showing, and the fact that I'll actually get to ride more than two or three days a week over the winter, we are staying nicely groomed... (We'll see how long this lasts...)

So we were off and arrived at about ten. When we called ahead to see what time they expected our classes to run, they told my friend Hanna that she would probably go around 11:30, no later then 12. So we signed in, got our numbers, I went and learned my courses, then we headed back and she tacked up and went to warm up. Ben just about had a heart attack when she left, because nobody was at their trailers around us either so I tacked him up and threw a cooler over him and took him down to graze by the warm up area. I figured that when my friend went in for her first class, I would bridle him and hop up. That would have given me about 20 minutes to warm up which would have been perfect.

Hanna went in to the holding area for about an hour, and they still weren't on her class. Now it was about one. So she went back out and warmed up some more, then waited another hour. Now it was about 2:30. She finally went in to do her first class, and I got on. I didn't bother to lunge Ben, because he seemed pretty calm and I wanted to experiment a little bit. He warmed up without a single buck despite the psycho mare in the warm up ring with him. I was very proud of his maturity!

The footing in that area was a little sketchy so the jumps were tiny in the warm up and I left them that way. They were maybe like a foot tall, maybe eighteen inches? I was only jumping 2'6" for my classes anyway so even those little fences were fine just to get him in jumping mode. Here are a few pictures of us warming up:

So we went back in to the holding area and waited and waited and waited some more. Hanna still hadn't gone in for her second class at 3:30. To pass the time we took some adorable pictures of Ben and Ella (Hanna's mare).

When Hanna finally went in for her second class, I was supposed to be two classes after that, so I went back outside for about 10 minutes just to get him moving again and popped him over two more fences. Came back in, it's about 4 now, I should be going in to do my class in about five, ten tops minutes. Turns out Hanna accidentally went in to the wrong classes.

So that meant another 7 classes until mine, not 2. I was absolutely not going to make my horse warm up again so we waited and waited and waited, until 4:30, when everyone doing the jumpers demanded to do a warm up even though they weren't technically supposed to. So everybody went in and started jumping jumps and being crazy. I just trotted Ben around the outside of the ring a couple of times to get him used to it and then got out of there because I was about to be run over by girls jumping on their crazy horses. So I was the only jumper who didn't jump every single fence before jumping the course. And we still pulled off a second place in our first class, and a first in our second class!

The first course was pretty simple, inside single, diaganol, outside line, diaganol, outside line, short diaganol. Felt like a hunter course! We went in and jumped around that clean, and then proceeded into our jump off because it was a Table IIb which means you jump your course, cross the finish line, trot or walk, then they signal you to start again, and you do your jump off before leaving the ring. We were clean in our jumpoff too, losing only to some girl who rides at the Hunt Club, on a lesson horse that was a little out of control... I'll take second and in control before first and insane any day!

Here's the videos of the first round. The first video is the first course, and the second video is the jumpoff:

The second round course was a little trickier. It's hard to tell from the angle of the video but fences 6 and 7 were completely out of line. 6 was perfectly in line with the brick wall on the inside. So you had to jump 6 and do some crazy little curvy line to 7 which you can kind of see in the video. We jumped clean around there too, and then did the jump off in 28 seconds, the only pair to go into the 20s and won.

Here's the video of the second round and jumpoff:

They combined the high and low jumpers for scoring so there was about eleven or twelve people I was competing against. I was pretty surprised at how many people came, these are usually quite low key shows.

Overall I was very thrilled with Ben because while we had a few rubs and sticky spots, he was listening, he was enjoying himself, and he was jumping well. Plus, this is the first time he and I have ever done anything like this and there's quite a few remaining shows to iron out the problems. My plan was to do the high jumpers for next time assuming this went well, and it did, however, if there is frozen ground/ice/snow there will be no outdoor warm up ring which means there might be one tiny jump in the holding area that everybody will be trying to use at once. Its not fair to ask him to go in there and jump 3'3" without sufficient warm up so I might stick to 2'6" if there will be no warmup. In March, I'll probably bump him up when we can get out again. Then again, if there's some weird January heat wave, then I'll do 3'3", but something tells me that's not very likely :-)

So we had quite a fabulous time and are looking forward to the next one. We might have a shot at end of series champions, and win a pretty tri-color ribbon and fleece cooler which would be incredibly cool!

Thanks for reading!

Woohoo! By the time we were done it was pitch black outside! A very long but rewarding day!

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