Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jumper Shows, Saddle Fittings, and Shopping Sprees

Long time no see, sorry about that!

There is quite a lot to write about since I have been seriously slacking in the blog updating department.

I guess I should start with the latest jumper show at Westbrook. We finally managed to judge the timing correctly so that we weren't standing around for hours waiting for our classes. Ben was a little excited at this past show. Okay, that's a major understatement. He was pretty much a psycho...

The courses were all really long and twisty and confusing and in the first course I completely blanked on where my next fence was in the jumpoff. So I halted for a split second, remembered, and finished up my course. Because I did actually come to a complete stop, they gave me 4 faults so we finished second even though we had the fastest time. Ben was a very good boy for just turning and immediately jumping when I finally remembered where I was going!

Prior to this not remembering thing, I also almost did a nose dive into a fence that Ben peeked at (don't jump ahead Jamie!) and then almost ran into a standard trying to make an inside turn after he took an oxer super long... It wasn't the prettiest round we've ever ridden!

Here's the video from round 1:

Round 2 was Power and Speed and was actually fairly decent. That is until the very last jump where we got the perfect half stride and he just couldn't snap his knees up quickly enough. So we just took every single rail with us, no big deal... We did actually end up winning this round because out of five of us, only two of us remembered the course and the other girl didn't take any inside turns in the speed portion.

Round 2:

And that brings us to round 3 where Ben decided that the jump he had just jumped twice in the round before (not completely willingly, but still...) was going to eat him this time around. So he stopped. No jumpoff for us but we did have the fastest time out of the four faulters so we earned third.

Round 3:

Moving on to the shopping spree...

We ventured on our third annual trip to Dover and I bought entirely too much stuff. I think we spent like $400... (I love you mom!)

Off the top of my head, things that I bought:

-Two big containers of the UltraShield fly spray. Those were $55 but they're raising the price to $58 for this year so we decided to buy two to last for this whole fly season before the price went up. So that was over $100 right there but its totally worth it to buy those there and not have to pay the extra shipping for the 'heavier' items.

-I bought a pretty new jump saddle pad for Mr. Benjamin. It's black with gold and cream trim on the outside which you will see featured in the Jumpathon videos that I am going to put up. It looks very handsome on him.

-I bought another Epona scrubby bath cloth. I love those things so much. We recently had a mouse infestation in out locker at the barn (completely and totally disgusting!) and they ate mine... So now the mice are taken care of and my new scrubby is tucked away in a bin where it can't be eaten if they were to return!

-Bought Ben an anti-sweat sheet for the summer because the only cooler type things I have are fleece. It's blue and looks pretty snazzy on him!

-We also bought this stall front storage bag that hooks onto blanket bars or the bars of the stall and holds whatever you want it to. I figured this would be really good for stabling at events.

-Along the line of good for stabling at events is also the saddle carry case that we bought. It has a handle so it can hang somewhere without needing to bring along the saddle rack because that takes up so much space.

-I bought a new black belt. Its an Ariat and was normally $40 but I found it for $17 in the clearance bin.

-I also bought a couple of new tack cleaning things. I bought some Passier Lederbalsam which I have been meaning to buy for about a year now and I bought some Nevr-Dull because the metal polish I have is goopy and gross to use.

-I bought a new pair of riding gloves because my everyday ones are absolutely shot. They have holes everywhere and the grippy stuff is completely worn off most of the fingers...

-I bought a fancy new black leadline to match Ben's new black halter I bought him at the Equine Affaire.

I'm positive that there are a few more things but I have yet to actually go through and properly organize everything into the 'horse closet' so I can't remember them directly off the top of my head.

So on that note, next up was the Jumpathon. I believe I mentioned the Jumpathon before in a previous post but in case I'm imagining things, or in case you didn't read that one, it is a little jumper show my trainer puts on at her barn every year to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. It's a lot of fun for a great cause. You gather donations either per jump, or just a flat donation. We raised close to $8,000 this year!

This was the first year I brought Ben along because it was the first year I thought that he could handle himself. He was a super star and didn't mind the screaming, yelling, cheering, and clapping that is all a part of the Jumpathon one bit! He ended up winning all three of the classes I put him in, he was such a rockstar!

The first class was the speed class, where you just go as fast as you can through a prescribed couse, and whoever has the fastest time wins:

Then came Fault & Out where you jump a prescribed course as many times as you can until you either get a fault or you run out of time. You get two points for every jump you jump and whoever has the most points before time is up wins:

Finally there was Gambler's Choice where each fence has a certain amount of points. If you clear it, you get that many points added to your score. Harder fences are worth more then simple fences. You get a certain amount of time to ride a course that you make up and whoever gets the most amount of points wins. Ben was an absolute star for this and made a LOT of crazy turns for me:

And here is a bonus picture of us hanging around waiting for our next class just because he's so cute in it:

 And last but not least, to finish up this already much too long post, we had a saddle fitter out Monday. Turns out Ben's dressage saddle was in a major need of a reflocking (this is going to sound terrible, but I bought that saddle used and had NO clue that it was wool flocked... I though it had the CAIR panels like my jump saddle does... Oops)

So we got that done and she also told me that in both saddles I should change the gullet to the next size up but otherwise the jump saddle fits great and the dressage saddle should be much better now and he should feel a lot better now. I feel a little guilty because it was his saddle bothering him but I purposefully haven't been riding in that saddle because I knew he was acting funny in it.

So it is a nice relief to know that that issue is all fixed up and I can't wait to ride him in it now and see how he is. It rained yesterday and it's raining today but I might be able to squeeze a ride in between rain showers.

One more thing, back in November I ordered a new cross country bridle from Pink Equine and I finally got it not too long ago in the mail. It is gorgeous and I absolutely love it!

And here he is wearing it:

So excited to use it! Eventing season is approaching quickly!
So apologies again for not posting for so long and then writing a novel... I promise I'll try to be better!
As always, thanks for reading!!!

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