Sunday, October 26, 2014

Long awaited New England Finals Post

In all honesty, I pretty much forgot I hadn't written this post. Sorry about that! Obviously it wasn't such an exciting event that I couldn't wait to tell you about it... Ha!
Anyway, the New England Equitation Championships are always held in the middle of October. Us older folk show during the week, and the weekend is dedicated to the junior riders. On the one hand it's annoying to have to take so much time off from work, on the other hand... TIME OFF WORK! Woohoo!
Jampy all ready to head to the show!
My classes were held on Wednesday, but Tuesday they allow you to jump a simple course in the ring to practice. So Jampy and I headed up there Tuesday morning to get settled and take our turn in the arena.
It was a little stressful upon our arrival as the office was confused about who I wanted to stable near. Thus, they didn't give me stalls. Ugh. Jampy needs his hotel! That was worked out fairly quickly though, and I was able to get everything unloaded and set up. I was clearly a bit out of sorts as this is how I put the chair together:
My trainer arrived around 12:30 and at 1 we were able to get in the ring to practice. It's a very simple course with none of the "fill" in the jumps. Fill is the flowers and decorations that make the horses think they're scary.

Warmups went well, and it was almost like a vacation having only one horse to take care of! All my tack was cleaned and Jampy was bathed, fed, and tucked in by 5.

I had a nice relaxing evening. It consisted of checking into the hotel, dinner at Panera, night check, and an early bed time!

I was spoiled this year with the oldest group scheduled to show first. That meant I could get to the barn around 7:30 to feed, watch some horses show, and still have plenty of time to lunge and braid Jamp.

My trainer got on him first to make sure he was listening and give him a little tune-up before my open class. He seemed a little excited, but not terrible.
This was my course (sorry it's a little blurry!)

The course was pretty simple, the toughest part being the bending line early on. You couldn't really see the second jump of the line until after landing from the first, so you have to guess a little at how far away it is. Otherwise though, I felt pretty confident about this practice class. Until I actually started riding it. Jamp decided he was WILD! Or maybe that he was showing in a very important jumper class... Regardless, his plan was to go AS FAST AS HE COULD around the course. That my friends, is NOT the objective of this class. Not at all. Ugh. But really it was ok, because this class was meant to get the kinks out.
We let Jamp go back in his stall for a little while so I could learn the next course and walk it.

The finals course really looked straight forward to me. I was feeling pretty confident about working this one out, as long as Jamp changed his mind about traveling at the speed of light. To assist him in that, my trainer rode him around a bit and gave him a little bit of a physical pep talk. When I got on to school, he felt SO MUCH BETTER! Phew! I couldn't wait for my turn in the ring to redeem myself. Well my friends. This was not my finals. Nope. I walked in the ring, picked up my canter, thought "this feels so much better!", and headed to the first jump. Jamp looked at it from 5 strides away and decided the flowers next to it were definitely of the horse eating variety. He declined to jump it. Grrr. As I felt this happening, I had two choices: Cowgirl him over it, or accept the denial, and try again. Either way, my chances were done. I chose to circle back to it and try again. He jumped it with a little extra coaxing. The rest of the round was ok. He was still pretty strong, but he jumped everything willingly at least. We did manage to get some cute pictures from Reflections Photography, so all was not lost!

So sadly, that's my unsuccessful recap of finals this year. It was rather similar to CT finals this year. Hopefully next year will be our year! (Hey, you can't win them all!)

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