The nice thing about in-barn schooling shows are that they’re zero pressure and give me a chance to work on myself and my goals for Sabra and myself. Our current goal is to start preparing for next show season: moving up to the 2’9″ – 3′ schooling jumpers at the GHHJA shows. What better way to practice than to do the 3′ open jumpers at the in-barn show?
The Friday before the show, a friend and I set the jumps to 2’9″ – 3’3″ so we could practice the bigger height. I think it helped a lot because by the time Sunday rolled around, the jumps didn’t look big or intimidating at all. They looked totally manageable.
Schooling Show | 3′ Open Jumpers | SBEC
Goals: Execute the turns. Set a good pace. Ride my own race.
I did the warm-up, which was the same course as the Timed First Round. It went well, but I rode my turns fairly conservatively. The pace was good and our distances were also spot on. We were ready to rock ‘n’ roll!
There were five riders total in my division, and I volunteered us to go first. The plus is that we can go and get it over with; the minus is that everyone else could see what track we took and just do the same or better, which makes it hard to be competitive. If you go last, you can make secret turns and do stuff other people hadn’t thought of. I wasn’t there to compete against everyone else, though; I was there to compete against my previous rides and rounds and prove we’re ready to move up.
That being said, the Timed First Jump Off went really well, and we placed second.
I decided to take risks in the Timed First Round because, hey, why not? This show was our time to practice, take risks and try new turns. I was a little in her face over the first jump, hence the knock-down. At that point, I really had nothing to lose, so I decided to go for broke. I misjudged one rollback and we kind of flew past it, so we had to circle back. We did make the turn from the second to last to last jumps, so I was happy with that! We learned a lot, and I’ll get better at closing my outside leg and holding my outside rein next time. Even with the mistakes, we still placed third. Not too shabby!
The Power & Speed went really well, and we placed second again. This time, we were on and everything clicked! I didn’t get left behind once in any of my four classes, and Sabra stayed super adjustable. Recently, I’ve been working on really keeping my elbows at my sides, and it’s made a huge difference — Sabra can’t get strong even when she’s galloping, so I can manage her pace and not get left behind.
Homework coming out of the show: Continue working on moving up for next year. Turn my toes in over the jumps, and remember to keep my elbows at my sides! Continue working on seeing the distances.