Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hat Trick

I can't believe that I haven't written one blog post since the last jumper show! Not much has been terribly exciting, but seriously, it hasn't felt like this long!

Anyway, the second jumper show of the winter was Sunday. Ben and I tried our hand at three classes this time instead of just two. Remembering three courses is hard, but we managed to do it...barely.

It was a gorgeous day, only 43 degrees but beautiful in the sun. We got there, picked up numbers, learned courses, tacked up, and headed to warm up. Ben was awesome in the warm up. He was so calm, and going so nicely in the most gorgeous frame. His canter was to die for: calm, rhythmic, round, balanced, bent. I have been trying so hard to get him to canter nicely at home with no luck whatsoever. It's not on YouTube but I have a video that I can maybe upload later in the week just to show you guys how awesome he was being. I wished we were at a dressage show!

I warmed him up over some fences which he was great for. He was jumping fantastically and snapping his cute little knees up. We then had to wait around for about an hour before our classes started. One of these times we will show up at the perfect time where we warm up and go directly to our classes. I don't know how the hunter/jumpers deal with no ride times all of the time. I am not coping well! :-)

So our first course was outside, diaganol line, diaganol, outside line, crazy sharp left turn to a plank fence, then bending line to the last fence. The jump off was just the first five fences. Ben took a very good, hard look at the first fence. I don't know what it was about that fence but all of the horses took a good peek. So after we got over the uncomfortableness of that fence we rocked around the rest of the course, only momentarily almost crashing through and falling on our faces after the third fence. Oops. Somehow it stayed up and we finished the round clean. Ben made great work of the really tight turn even though I told him too late. He is such a good boy! We rocked the jump off except for one little super deep spot at an oxer and we won the class!

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

The second course is the class we didn't do last time. It was a power and speed class which means instead of stopping after the first course, as long as you're clear, you continue on to the jump off portion without stopping. It makes for quite a long course! In this case the regular course was fences 1-7 and the jumpoff was 8-12. Besides almost pulling the rail off of seven because I made a terrible job of the super tight turn to the fence and the awkward jump we had over the last jump, we jumped clean and won that class too.

Here's the second course:

Our last class was the simplest course yet the one that I almost forgot! It was outside, short side, outside, outside line, diagonal, bendling line to other diaganol, back to the other diaganol. That was probably a terrible explanation, sorry! I jumped the outside line, which we had been doing perfectly in six, but Ben decided he wanted to try to make it five, then changed his mind at the last minute so we had an awkward jump there. I sat up, recovered, then realized I had no idea where we were going. Luckily I rememberd at about the last possible second and you'll be able to see my crazy turn I made my poor horse make! So we finished that up clean, rocked the jumpoff except for almost demolishing the last fence, and won that class too!

Here's the video of the third course and jump off:

So we pulled off a jumping hat trick and came home with three blue ribbons and a champion ribbon. We are currently leading the jumper standings for the series too, so I'm really excited about that. This was really just supposed to be a fun thing to do to get Ben out and keep his head in the game for the winter. I really have a blast doing it, and I can't believe how good my horse is at it!

Next up is the little dressage show at my trainer's barn in a couple of weeks where we will be doing USEA Novice A and USEA Training A. We'll be working on those tests today when I school him. Here's to hoping that his canter is as gorgeous today as it was Sunday!

If I can get a minute, I'll upload those flat videos and post them sometime later in the week. As always, thanks for reading!