Rockin’ the jumper ring

It was a cold, wet and dreary weekend, but we still had a blast at the second show of the season. I bathed and scrubbed Sabra clean after my lesson Wednesday, and then crossed my fingers that she stayed clean through the weekend. When I got there Friday night, she was still super white, yay!

Clean Sabra!

Clean Sabra!

The show as huge — my division had 20 in each class each day. After last show’s mishaps, I just wanted to get around with no stops; but after how well our last few lessons have been, I also really wanted to be competitive.

GHHJA | 2’6″ Itty Bitty Jumpers | GSWEC

Goals: Be patient and sit still as we approach the jump. Once I have Sabra pointed at the jump, leave her alone and stick with her over the fence. Don’t come back too early. Aim for the middle of each jump!

Schooling Friday night was a little crazy, as the jumps were set to 2’9″ – 3’3″ and there were a ton of people in the ring. It wouldn’t have been too much of an issue, except aaah, negotiating traffic with a VERY hangry mare! Our last few lessons at home, we’ve been schooling 2’9 – 3′ (and our lesson Wednesday before the show, we schooled mostly oxers with spreads to get us used to them), but everything looks bigger when you’re at a show.

Schooling Saturday morning went much smoother; I could tell as soon as I asked her to trot and then canter that we would have a good day. Sabra was quiet and soft when we flatted, and she was on it when we hopped over fences in the schooling ring. We practiced tight turns and slicing fences, and she was ready to go.

Saturday TFJO: &

Saturday TFR:

Saturday P&S:

We had the fastest time in the Timed First Jump-Off, but the rail on the first jump cost us the class, boo. My fault, I held onto her mouth for a second too long, so she couldn’t get her feet up. Boo.

The Timed First Round was much smoother, and we placed second out of 20, yay!

In the Power & Speed, again, a rail over the last oxer cost us the class. Again, I probably didn’t get enough out of Sabra’s way. Still, we were so close and had minor mistakes on Saturday, that Sunday seemed promising! I just needed to move my hands more, and Sabra’s generally good at jumping clean.

Sunday TFJO:

Sunday TFR:

Sunday P&S:

On Sunday, our Timed First Jump-Off went really well, and we placed second in the class. I was a little slow to the first jump of the jump-off, but other than that it was a pretty solid round. Unfortunately, my two videographers had technical difficulties, so no one got my jump-off on video. Many thanks to my awesome friends for videoing, though!

Our Timed First Round also went well, and we placed third in the class. I was a little wide in my turn to the third jump, and I should have added leg and then stuck with her better on the second fence of the in-and-out (two-stride combination). Ick.

We won the Power & Speed, despite turning wide from fence 8 to 9. I should have rolled back and not gone around fence 7 to get to fence 10, but oh well! I didn’t think fast enough as I landed, but as soon as I started to go past fence 7, I was kicking myself for not turning inside it and swinging wide instead.

Our first champion ribbon!

Our first champion ribbon!

It didn’t matter, though, because Sabra and I won (or rather, tied) for champion, yay! It’s our first champion ribbon, and I was doubly excited because we won out of 20 horse-and-rider combinations. Hopefully it’s a sign of good — and even better — things to come.

Homework coming out of the show: Sabra gives me flying changes on courses and has started giving them to me quicker when we are flatting, so I’d really like to solidify them in our flatwork. I also really want to fix my position over fences — close the angle of my body and make it more parallel to her back, especially as the fences get bigger. I also need to work on turning my toe in and preventing my leg from sliding back sometimes over the fence.

We’ll of course keep working on tight turns and getting used to bigger fences with bigger spreads, too. Yay!

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