Pony napping in the field at OOF on our beautiful warm day!:
I drew Glassgo, a school horse jumper from OOF, a solid citizen. I was on him first.
Any way, here is the video:
Already jumping ahead on the first jump...:
Kicking out of the two stride and hoping a supreme being is helping me out:
I was kind of loose in the saddle after the first bending because I couldn't get him forward and he got a little surprised by the bounce around the corner and we meandered to a stop. It really wasn't his fault at all. I really needed spurs and just couldn't get him forward but unfortunately let myself be talked out of them right at the ingate. I should have trusted my feeling I needed spurs and a crop but others suggested against it and I gave in. After the stop I couldn't bring myself to let go of his face apparently and pulled to all the jumps, including the 'hand gallop' after the bounce. I was pretty flustered and upset by the stop and I think my brain stopped working for the rest of the course. I had to kick kick out of the two and thank goodness he jumped, it was a long ways away. The horse wasn't bad, I just didn't have the right tools to get him going at first and then got flustered and rode very backwards the remainder of the course. That sweetheart still jumped even after I pulled to the rest of the jumps.
I feel really bad and came out of the ring extremely disappointed. I usually do consistently well to help rack up points for UWaterloo, and also move myself up in the standings. I think my captain knew how I would be feeling once I came out and she told me what I was expecting to hear "It happens to every one in the OUEA." .While I know this to be true and have seen it happen to the best of riders on the circuit, I still felt pretty crummy.
I meandered off to go sit in my car by myself for a bit to calm down, or go hug my puppy (can't you tell I'm a little dramatic?). Another few riders from my team had come down to give me hugs. They said they knew I'd be beating myself up about the stop and ugly distances but wanted to let me know it happens to everyone and they still love me even when I suck.
Another long talk with my new friend from the Western team let me express my disappointment but also accept we can't always control what happens in the ring with all the OUEA variables. We don't prep the horses, we don't know what questions the course might ask, maybe we aren't even in a position to prep ourselves and the last course or 3ft+ jump we jumped was at the last show (whoopsie). We also talked about how I've been making a lot of changes to my riding with new trainer H and had been having a rough riding week in general (including an fall). I'm grateful for the long talk about our ups and downs in riding an the OUEA and made a conscious decision to take away from my lesson in the ring and move on.
With the power of positive thinking I managed to have the best flat class of my life on an opinionated mare. I felt super secure in the saddle and had my toes in and hands up! We nailed all the tests and I kept her happy for the most part despite the other horses in the ring with us. Unfortunately we got pinned between a standard and a horse and kicked out resulting in a few trot steps so no ribbon. I don't fault her for it, its a tight ring with a lot of horses.
In terms of showing it was a very rough day for me but I feel it can only go up from here at finals! At finals west and east zones meet and the top 8 in each division go head to head. The finals weekend also includes a gala for all the riders and team celebrations.
While showing was done I spent the rest of the day warming up horses for the novice and entry divisions. These horses and ponies tend to be quite kind hearted and I jumped a few around nicely without issue which made me feel a bit better.
UWaterloo had a few riders with tough days like me but also some stellar ones and we tied for high point team! We flipped a coin and got a reserve high point ribbon. Captain is super happy because this means we are 1st overall in team standings for the first time in 5+ years!