P and I have been to 3 jumper shows in 3 weeks, and have done all the rounds we could from 2′-2’6″. And at each show, he’s had at least one stop in the 1st round of the day, then no more after that.
So progress, I suppose, but still.
There’s not too much to say about the jumper show from this past weekend. I went alone since Husband is out of town and Trainer B was doing his own riding thing. I got there, tacked P up and told them to put me in the first class. There wasn’t a warmup area since the hunter part of the show was still going on, so there were no warmup jumps either. P and I started in the 2′ division, and went through the 2’6″ classes.
Besides a stop in the first round at jump 2 (a stone wall), P was a rockstar, even saving us a few times. Like when I got us in deep to the triple (a 2 stride to a 1 stride) in the first 2’6″ class. P did A to B in a 2 + chip, and landed deep in the line from B to C. So I thought, “No problem, we’ll do a compressed 1 stride.”
Meanwhile P is all:
But we smoothed it out in the jumpoff and in the next 2’6″ class so it was all ok.
It wasn’t a very big show at all, which was just fine with me. Maybe 8-10 riders in the 2′ and 2’3″ and 5 in the 2’6″. So 2 hours & 6 rounds later, we gathered our satin and headed home!
Poor P just wanted his hay and I insisted on hanging all his ribbons from his halter. He’s so abused.
Yesterday we went to Trainer B’s for a lesson. The temps had gone from 90 to 65 degrees overnight, and it was super windy. When I pulled up to the barn, BO advised me I should probably lunge P, that he’d been flying like a kite when they brought him inside that morning. I seriously considered cancelling right then and there.
But I didn’t. Because what am I going to say? “Uhh, well, it’s a little windy and my horse doesn’t like wind so I think I’ll stay home.”
After recapping the show for Trainer B and warming up over a little jump in the trot and canter a few times, he starts looking around and muttering to himself. That’s never good.
So he points out a course for me:
- Cross-rail oxer
- Oxer with plank in the middle
Then asked me which jumps I thought P would stop at.
I said the lattice and the oxer with the plank, so he said to pretend I was at a show and to come in and trot him straight at the jumps I was most concerned about. While in eventing SJ you can’t actually walk them right up to the jump like you can in regular show jumping, you can present it to them from the side, which is the best way anyway. So I took P around those 2 jumps, then headed for jump 1.
P didn’t stop at a thing.
But I didn’t want to get too excited. The jumps were pretty small, and mostly undecorated. So Trainer B changed that, then changed the course.
- Turned into an oxer with flower pots underneath
- Stayed a verticle, but Trainer B added barrels underneath and plants moved on both sides
- Stayed the gate, Trainer B added a pole on top
- Stayed the small gate
- Stayed the lattice
- Added in a skinny
- Stayed the oxer with plank
- Stayed a verticle, added flowers underneath
So now I identified jumps 1, 2 and 6 as the potential culprits. P has notoriously been bad about jumping jumps that have changed shape, and he’s seen a skinny approximately one time in his life. So again, I “showed” him the jumps by trotting next to them, then we started.
And again, no stops.
Even Trainer B was stumped. So he starts looking around again with a puzzled look on his face, and them goes and raises some jumps, adds more stuff under some others, including a black solid barrel under the skinny.
He changed the course also, but apparently my memory can only handle 2 courses per day (I went off course, oops) so I can’t even recreate it on paper. All I remember is thinking there was no way P was going to jump a skinny barrel.
So we’re coming around towards the barrel and I felt P hesitate, but this time I DIDN’T clamp, I booted him up and P flew right over it as well as the rest of the fences.
We pulled up and I’m not quite sure who was more shocked, me or Trainer B.
P of course was just standing there, accepting all the praise and pats from the both of us like, “Geez, I just don’t want to go to another jumper show this weekend!”
At that point, I suggested quitting while ahead and Trainer B concurred. The jumps were spooky, looked different each time we went around, and P was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Next Friday we’re going to jump out in the field and then the day after is a schooling HT that I’m entering.
Maybe there’s some hope yet.