The show weekend at Silver Sands Bridle Club was a success for us! Not only was Newton GREAT, we ended up with a Grand Champ in a division of 10! He won the flat class in the intermediate Hunter division, and Placed 1st in one of our jumping rounds, and 2nd in the other. We still didn’t have perfect rounds, and the competition didn’t suck, but we’ve definitely made progress. We have been having some issues with our lead changes at home, maybe practiced them a bit too much and he had become squirmy and anticipating the changes down the diagonal lines especially and would start to try and swap up front in the middle of a line… yikes! Luckily we started nipping this in the bud at home, stopped trying to get the flying change for a bit and just focused on getting our landing leads for now, and come back to the changes when he stopped anticipating so much. He really livens up at shows and it definitely shows with an extra pep in his step.
Looking fancy on the flat class he won out of 10! I couldn’t have asked for a better performance from him. He did everything I asked, and perfectly! I was hoping to at least place, but winning the entire class with some other nice horses was a real surprise!
The next day on Sunday was and Equitation day in the same Intermediate Hunter division… I wasn’t riding my best the 2nd day for sure and it did show a bit. On the jumping rounds, they are not as simple at the regular hunter courses, so I kinds bulged some turns, tanked a few distances. We placed with two 3rd places and a 4th place. I’m not entirely sure how many actually competed in the equitation division, but it was less than 6 for sure… might have been 6 in the flat class and only 4 made it into the jumping rounds? Can’t quote me on that one though as I’m not for sure. But overall, I was so happy with Saturday and him that it was a great weekend. What happened on Sunday was definitely my fault, and sometimes you just get outridden no matter how good you perform! Lol There is always someone out there that can do better. I have a tendancy to get my old pony ridding rear by the cute little kids lol. But I guess that’s what I get for competing on this level with a bunch of kids young enough to be my own haha. Looking forward to going back to practicing and fixing some stuff so we can do better at the next show in less than 2 months!
My 1st Grand Champion in a competitive division (Sorry, I couldn’t rotate the picture for some reason!)
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.
So this post is all about playing catch up. It’s been awhile since my last post, and we’ve been really busy! We’ve been taking our lessons with my hunter/jumper trainer every week, and I had decided to add some dressage lessons from another trainer in there as well. I want to be the best rider I can be! Having access to trainers from different disciplines is great! I took a dressage lesson with a dressage trainer, in a dressage saddle for the first time in my life! Found out that my pony can move pretty fancy when asked to properly! I also had the dressage trainer ride him a few times to train him a little bit. He’s moving better now that he knows what to do, and I’m learning how to be a better rider having a more solid foundation and established connection than before. So we spent a lot of the late summer doing some dressage stuff in between our jumping lessons. My goal is to be a better Hunter, so I’m just taking what I learned from our dressage lessons and training and applying it to the hunter ring.
In December, there was another Barn Show, and I entered into the pony division. I have to be honest here and let you know that there was only one other pony in my division though! lol So it was Newton and I up against a really great little 8 year old rider and her somewhat still green medium pony who is 6 years old. They make quite a rock star team together! We had 3 jumping classes one of which was an Equitation round. Two flat classes. One Hunter Under Saddle, and one Equitation on the flat for a total of 5 classes. The little girl and I were neck in neck till the last class! She won the hunter O/F classes, and I won the Equitation classes and the Hunter under saddle class. So we did end up Grand Champ, but with only one competitor I really can’t brag… AND the fact that I BARELY placed above the 8 yr old is a bit humbling lol. She does have more show experience in her young years than I have in my whole life, so I’m not going to be too hard on myself. It is was it is, and we squeaked out the win 😉
Our best jumping photo from the show, need to work on my Eq a bit still!
Looking forward to continuing our training and practice, and hopefully get to some more shows! It’s really hard with my schedule, the kids, the businesses, etc… But my passion lives on and I’ve never been happier 🙂
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!
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! 🙂