Schooling Show Fun!

So, some time has gone by, and we’ve hadn’t had a lot to report on.  We’ve just been working and training as usual for the past several months! Our barn did have their own schooling show on April 7th though!  This was a fun time for us to go a little bit out of our comfort zone.  We again did the pony division, but this time there was legit 2’6″ jumps, many of them oxer spreads.  We don’t normally jump, or even school that high, but I had no doubts in his ability to do it.  Knowing it probably wasn’t going to be perfect lol.  He did kind of “look” at the bigger jumps, and with the flower boxes I think he made an extra effort to get over them clear! I also made an extra effort to “get out of his way” and my Equitation just went by the wayside as I just kind of threw myself in front of him… bad habit that I really need to work on!  The picture below pretty much sums that up… my EQ is awful, as my pony is taking a pretty good sized jump for what he’s used to

What a cute jump he has, if only I can get myself together! It’s almost embarrassing to show my horrible form here, but it’s an honest struggle I’m working on!

There were 3 ponies in my division this time, instead of just 2 like the last barn schooling show.  The additional pony is a seasoned jumper, and had an amazing adult rider, so as it was fun to have some real competition this time, it was humbling for sure!  We tanked the equitation jumping round, and only managed to get a few ribbons NOT by default.  The now 9 yr old little girl on her rockstar pony beat us all for Grand Champ, and I did not get reserve… so last place it was for us 🙁  But it was quite fun to go a little bigger and bolder than our comfort zone.  It served as a nice reminder that we are not ready to compete at 2’6″ with oxers in a real competitive show!  So with the HSITP show coming up off the property, I will enter into a division where we are a bit more comfortable and continue to work on getting better.

Looking forward to another show in just a few weeks!  We haven’t been off the property in almost a year, so no matter how we do, it will be a good experience to get some actual show experience.

Our First Horse Show

So my own barn does several Schooling Shows a year, and there was one on April 29th, 2017.  I’ve only had Newton for a little over a month, but what better place to try our talents than at our own barn, in a low pressure schooling show?  So we entered into the intermediate Hunter division. We did 2 flat classes (One Under Saddle and one Equitation) and 3 jumping rounds (2 regular over fences rounds, and one Equitation Over Fences round)  Plus we did a red/blue round for practice (Thank god for those practice rounds!)  Our division only had 5 or 6 entries, and only one of them had trailered in from a different barn, so I was mostly competing against all my lesson mates lol. (FYI the girl that trailered in was amazing! She had an amazing horse and she was a perfect rider and I’m pretty sure she won every class.  She obviously was an “A” Circuit rider, and wondered at first why she even bothered with a schooling show, but turns out that she was coming back from a collar bone break, and this was her first show before going back on the circuit. Sooo…. I forgive her for cleaning up and wiping her perfect little booty with us LOL)

That being said, Newton and I did OK.  I definitely need to improve on my Equitation over fences, and didn’t get any good jumping pictures.  The few that I DO have I’m too embarrassed to post! haha.  On the flat we did well and my Equitation has always been pretty decent on the flat.  I was proud to come in 2nd in the division on the flat equitation class, next to Miss Perfect!  Seriously, she and her horse were flawless! So, I really couldn’t have asked for a better outcome than that.  So our placings in 5 classes were 2nd, two 3rds, a 4th and a 5th.  I can’t even remember exactly what classes were which, except my 2nd place, but we made it over all the fences and never went off course, so that was something at least lol. The jumps were pretty low, I think the actual height was prob 18 inches, so my pony didn’t put in much effort getting over them.  He actually jumps better when he has to jump at least 2’3′ because then he actually has to try and really does have nice form when he lifts his knees and uses his rear end underneath him.  It might not have shown off his or my skills completely but we still have a lot to work on. We did end up Reserve Champ, and I’m still convinced the judge might have made a mistake on that one.  But my pony is very cute and of hunter “type” so maybe that’s why she pinned us that when I felt that other people got better placings overall than we did.  It was an introduction for us into showing at least, so I could at least get a feel for it.  I’ve really only ever done a handful of schooling shows in my youth, with some fun shows and maybe an open show or two thrown in there my whole life.  I’ve never even been to a rated show!

Got Reserve Champ in a division of 5 or 6 riders. (Don’t mind my saddle pad slipping, it was a live and learn lesson to ditch the gel pad we didn’t really need anyways)

So that was our first show… a simple and small schooling show on home turf after only having him a little over a month.  In the time that I bought him and the show, I did at least get a better saddle that fit both of us better than what I had before, and was able to get some other tack of my own instead of just borrowing everyone else’s 🙂  One down and hopefully many more to go!  At my age and level, and my busy lifestyle with kids, I’ll never get to show as much as I’d like to, but want to get better, and show as much as I’m able to with my lifestyle.  I’ve missed my “glory days” and will do what I can, when I can and savor every minute! 🙂