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Si Senorita's first jumper show

So Si Senorita went to her first jumper show this weekend @ Bronte (once-upon-a-time Hendervale). I haven't competed there since I was a kid -- long before the huge upgrades. hahaha

Short version: went in with the goals of clear (we haven't been as successful as we should be with stadium so wanted that dealt with), confident, and under control. Managed the first two entirely and snipits of the third :)

Long version:

Still reading eh? Brave brave soul :)

hahaha so SuperPony was, well Super. And I'm still thrilled. Stadium is my least favourite of the phases so I decided I should get to some jumper shows and get in multiple stadium rounds all in one go. Let me say this was far more entertaining than the season I decided to get multiple dressage rounds in all in one go (sorry Mary!).

Now this was a very relaxed, easy-going show. They even let us ride around the ring (w/t only) during the course walk. So baby horses could look at jumps and get the spookys out ahead of time. The only thing I had Si look at was the combination. She's never done combinations that haven't been built up one-at-a-time before, and the one time I tried it at home, the first try didn't go so well... So I let her see both jumps and walk between them. Mostly though we spent that time trotting around the ring on speed. She was soooo good -- no bucking/bolting/silliness. Just REALLY big trot. hahaha I don't know where we were going but we were definitely going to get there on time! Some walk transitions brought her brain back under control and while we never got to relaxed by any stretch of the imagination, we did get to "almost ridable" before they closed the course.

Switch to the actual warmup ring for a little canter (where she actually relaxed -- always happiest in the canter that girl!) and a couple w/u fences which she felt the need to clear by several miles. This of course promptly undid our relaxation. Yeah walls. Land, balance, halt. Try again. Shortly she was still overjumping but at least landing almost in balance.

Into the ring for our first course. Significantly tighter than any stadium course - partially cause it's jumper and partially cause it's indoors. But pony's never in her life had to land and turn like that. And realistically it was *not* all that tight and the footing was perfect -- it was just tight in comparison to what she's done in the past. It was a very friendly course. 2'6" -- and a jumper 2'6" as opposed to an eventing 2'6". hahaha and lots of stuff to look at that she couldn't care less about (woohoo!).

First course was brilliant. A little fast at times, but for the most part she was listening to me and willing to come back and wait and think about the jumps. We put 7 strides in the 6 -- it's all good :) And 2 in the 1 (that was less good -- yeah scopy pony and tiny fences :). Jumped miles clear of every fence. But -- she jumped everything, in the right order, on the first time, with no hesitation, AND was willing to come back to me between fences. So I was pretty thrilled.

Next course is actually the same course again but with a jump-off. Easier right? Yeah, except that she knew the course :) We did the 6 in 5 and the 1 in 1 and our corners were ummmm a little iffy. Jumpoff was better cause once again she had no idea where she was going so she had to listen to me @ least a little. Of course *I* also had no idea where I was going *g* Seriously, memorizing two courses in a row is just not kewl. Esp when the rider before you doesn't make it to the second round so you don't even get to watch! Sheesh. And unlike dressage tests these are not reverse images so you actually have to memorize the whole thing. Anyways -- the jumpoff was ok, but the first round was really dodgy. Didn't help that the pilot zoned out, neglected to breathe, and generally forgot how to ride. Sheesh.

So one more round. Third course is the reverse of the second (yeah dressage principles now :) AND the jumpoff was a more traditional jump-off course in that it had some very kewl roll-backs and some options as to speed vs accuracy. Well horse and rider got their act together and jumped the first round reasonably well. Fast, but better. Both were more relaxed and getting more comfortable with this whole course concept *g* The jump-off... Well...

You remember Denny's whole thing about the "correct" show-jump/jumper canter has the "right" speed, balance and impulsion. Yes well at all points on that course we had 2 of the 3 >;-P Mostly speed and impulsion w/ a complete lack of balance. Although on one turn I enforced the balance to the complete detriment of speed (we trotted that fence!) It was fast but not pretty. And that was definitely more her call than mine! We also hit one but the jump-gods were on our side and it stayed up -- which meant we cleared the next three by ridiculous amounts!

But on the plus side -- entirely confident. Not once was there any hesitation about any fence. She got the game and was having fun playing it. Now I just have to convince her it'll be even more fun if she takes her time a little. hahaha yeah who here believes that?

And tempting as it was to do the 2'9" division to, I played the responsible trainer and stayed entirely in her comfort zone. Some days, I can be intelligent :)


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