I’ve kept it no secret that Pilgrim and I struggle in stadium. It’s far and away our collective weakness- for me, everything happens so fast that I second (and third and fourth) guess my way around the course, while simultaneously P is spooking and backing off of every jump. So. Good times.
This summer I hit up a bunch of jumper shows (in addition to HTs and schooling), and went in every class from 2′ to 2’6″ to try to get more comfortable in that setting. And while it totally helped me relax a bit more in SJ, P was still stopping and the 2’6″ jumps still looked huge and intimidating. Even though P looks totally badass (when he’s not stopping).
Then I accidentally put a jump up to 3′ not so long ago and realized that my horse doesn’t struggle in the slightest with height, even though mentally I do.
Friday I headed to the barn for my usual ride and BO’s husband had pulled out their coops for me that had been sitting in the corner of the arena. Apparently they used to have them under jumps but no one ever jumped them, so they stashed them. Now they’re out of retirement because I need some new fillers. To make them a bit more spooky, they lined the top with little flowers so…muahahaha, P.
Since BO is awesome, she came out and videoed.
A little backed off…but NO STOPPING.
Not sure about the pole in front but still, NO STOPPING!
Then BO says, “Hey, I think I can get a really cool shot from this angle. Do it again.” Anything for a cool picture, right?
In case you thought the right drift was gone.
Do you still get 4 penalties if the RIDER knocks the fence down?
Anyway. Then we put the pole up to make it 2’6″ and I thought for sure P would get backed off because now it’s not only bigger, but it also looks different.
Overachiever, much? That was all we did that night, since another boarder was taking a jump lesson in the arena and the jumps were all cross-rails, but it still left me feeling confident about the jumper show the next day.
The last time I was at TTC for a jumper show was with Trainer B in September and we couldn’t make it clear around 2’6″ either round. The first round was terrible and he stopped at every single oxer and the combination, and the second round he stopped again at one or two fences. So I was a little nervous.
My plan for the day was to go into the 2’3″ for a warmup, then do both 2’6″ classes and IF all went well, go into a 2’9″ as well.
2’3″ was BORING. P loped around without taking a second look at anything and even I was like, “What a waste of $20.” We placed 3rd out of maybe 8 because our JO time was super slow. The last thing I want to teach P is that he needs to zoom around stadium so I try to quell my competitive side when we do jump-offs.
And then I regretted even doing 2’3″ because where those were all verticals, I knew they were going to make some oxers and put the 6B element in for 2’6″. Which would make P look hard since the fences would be different.
Here is helmet cam from the first 2’6″ class because Husband failed me and couldn’t find my phone, despite me telling him where it was. Oh, Husband…(j/k).
We had a rail at 2 because I couldn’t decide what the hell I wanted to do and I just buried him until he had nowhere to go. I think I was nervous for 3, which was the first oxer on course. Did you see a hesitation? I didn’t! He did look HARD at 6AB, but still jumped both and I couldn’t ask for more. We placed 3rd (out of 5 or 6)
But then we went in the next 2’6″ class and WON. Helmet cam had died so no media of our kickass round.
So then I was hanging out by the office window and the secretary goes, “Are you entering 2’9″?” Which totally put me on the spot so I said, “Um, yeah,” and that was that.
And then went over to Husband and told him he had to video it or walk home because I was going to need proof of this. Then I watched them raise the fences.
But then 3 different people came up to me and told me how much they loved him, and that brought the confidence meter back up. Plus, P over jumps everything anyway, so would the extra 3″ even matter?
Here’s a hint:
The girl who went right before me had a disaster of a round when her horse stopped repeatedly in a manner that eerily reminded me of P, which made me second guess pretty much my entire life, and I was still a bit of a mess when we went in. P had to completely bail me out by taking a long one at 5, then I practically froze at 6AB. And again at the final jump. So it wasn’t exactly (or at all) textbook.
We were clear so they called us for the JO and I think I asked out loud if that was actually necessary. But we did it and came in 2nd out of 7
I just love him. And I’m feeling pretty good about next week’s CT at BN.