Sunday, October 18, 2015

New England Medal Finals: Show Day!

I show in the middle age group at New England Finals. This year, that meant my open class would have our course walk at 1 and our finals class would start around 3. I went in the second section of the open class, and 31st in the order. Plenty of time to get ready! And also, that meant I could feed Jamp at his normal breakfast time of 7:30. Woohoo, sleeping in at the horse show!
Once Jamp was fed, I wandered up to the ring to take a look at the older course and get some much needed coffee. Our course would be different than the one in the ring, but you can at least get an idea for how some of the lines might ride.
I watched a few people ride, then headed back to the barn to give Jamp a little lunge. He was a little freshy pants! Which was good, let him get that out on the lunge line! I figured I should braid him next so I could be sure he was all ready to go on time.
FORTY BRAIDS! That's so many... 
Since I went so late in the order in the second section, I was able to watch a few riders tackle the course. It seemed pretty straight forward, and I was feeling pretty good about things.
My trainer hopped on Jampy first and gave him a good warm up. By the time I got on, he was pretty much all ready to go! I jumped a few fences and then it was my turn! My only goal for this class was to get Jamp acclimated to the ring. He generally isn't very comfortable the first time around, and is quite certain there are monsters hiding in every flower pot. The trip actually started out really well. One to two were fine. From fence 2 to 3, the best rides were doing 6. I got a little careful and did seven strides, but it worked out nicely. Since it was a bending line, you can get away with a different number as long as it's smooth. Next up was the outside line which was oxer to oxer in three strides. I jumped in a little slow, so pushed Jamp forward to make the three strides. Problem was, I didn't get him back fast enough, and went right past jump 6 which should have been a bending four strides away. Oops. So we made a circle to get back to it, and the rest of the course was quite nice.
So obviously, you really don't want to have a stop at finals, even if it is just in the warm up. But I really wasn't that worried about it. It was a pilot error, and other than that, the course went great. Jamp was relaxed and listening, and that's really all we wanted out of that practice round.
I had plenty of time to untack Jamp and get him settled back into his stall before I had to walk the finals course.
That turn from 1 to 2 looked a bit tricky! The only other element that might be problematic for Jamp was the turn from 4B to 5A. I wanted to be neat and turn in between fence 2 and 8, but I knew he would be staring at the flowers that were next to each of those jumps. My trainer and I discussed exactly where I needed to be looking to keep him from swapping his leads through that gap. The rest seemed pretty straightforward. I had time to watch a couple people go before heading back to get on. I was 41st in the order.
This time when Jamp came out to warm up, he was feeling a little stiff behind. But thankfully he worked out of it quickly. He schooled great, so we tried not to do too much. Just in case something was brewing in his back end. He jumped really well though, so we figured he was ok.
We walked into the ring and I gave Jampy a little rub on the neck to help him relax. We picked up a great canter and found fence 1 right out of stride. The turn to fence two came up quickly, but worked out perfectly, and we were able to get the six this time to jump 3. 4A-B worked out great, and then we were up to that gap we had to canter through. Jamp shortened his step a little and got a little looky, but he stayed on his lead and we found 5A right out of stride!

Next up was an inside turn to fence 6. That turn was a little rushed, but we found a nice distance and rode to fence 7 smoothly. The last turn back to fence 8 was tight, and I found the quiet distance, but it worked out nicely. And we were done!
I was SO PROUD of my Jamposaur! He marched around like a real horse, with no naughty antics like last year. He never once seemed nervous at the fences and really listened to what I asked of him. Unfortunately, I must have made a mistake that I can't remember because we only scored a 63. My trainer even went to the in-gate keeper to double check that was correct. She thought for sure it should have been a 73. I kind of thought so too, as I really can't think of any major errors. I even watched the video and am still a little perplexed. But you never know, they judges must have seen something!
So we finished up out of the ribbons this time, but I'm really happy with our trip to finals this year. We accomplished our goals, and I felt like I really rode my horse well around the course. Trainer thought so too, and her opinion matters more to me anyway!

6 comments:

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    1. It really is! But they have 6 judges, so I had to have done something I just wasn't aware of.

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  2. Bright side: That picture is gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you! I'm totally obsessed with it!

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  3. Sounds like it went well, despite what the judges thought. I think you should get a ribbon for even making it to the show with all that truck drama!

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    1. Thank you! Right? Where's my extra credit!?

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