Monday, September 14, 2015

Personal Best

The Bestest Pony
This past Saturday, in keeping with trying to get off property every weekend, Boca and I went with H and Piglet to a schooling jumper show.
My plan was to seek redemption in the 2' division which had psyched me out at the last show. The show was at a very nice venue, which hosts USEF A- and B- Rated shows, in addition to unrated hunter and jumper schooling shows. We got the benefit of "A" level footing and jumps, at a fraction of the price.  I call that a WIN.

Unlike the last show, this show was running 2 rings concurrently. Ring 1 started at 2'3" and went to 3'. Ring 2 started at Ground Poles and went to 2'.

H planned to go in 2'3" and I planned to go in 2', which was going to make for a very long evening. Until H convinced me to enter 2'3".

It actually made sense, as Ring 1 was a much bigger ring, with plenty of room in between fences. Ring 2 was much smaller and tighter, with more distractions.

The fences at the jumper show were much more inviting than the hunter show. Or maybe I just grew some balls, I'm not sure which. There was only one fence that gave me pause - a green fence with vertical wooden planks at the base that made the fence look much higher than 2'3", but H assured me it was an optical illusion.

I decided to enter the 2'3" division, but didn't mention to H that I've actually never shown at that height, hunters or jumpers. Obviously, neither had Boca.

Also, my only experience riding in a jumper class was circa 2009, where I got nervous, got lost on course, and promptly disqualified.

Dorothy, I don't think we're in Hunters anymore...
Add to that, the show was scheduled to start at 4:00 PM. We got a late start and arrived at 3:30 PM. H threw on her tack and got to the ring in time to school, as did all the other participants in our division. I, however, fumbled around with my tack and arrived at the ring just as they announced warm-ups were closed and I couldn't jump any schooling fences - not even the bogey green fence that intimidated the crap out of me.

I was pretty confident that Boca would jump all the jumps. He is a pretty bold dude over fences. My primary concern was my ability to remember the course and to actually ride it with, ya'know, a plan and some organization.

The first round was a bit exciting. Boca was jumping each jump as though his feet were on fire. We did pick up a refusal at fence #3, the bogey green fence of death. Apparently, if you stare down at a jump in holy terror, your game little horse may actually refuse it. When I re-presented, I remembered to lift my eyes up and put my leg on, and wonder of wonders, he went right over.

The rest of the trip was without incident. I remembered the whole course, we jumped our first skinny, and basically Boca was a rockstar. He may have wiggled once or twice approaching a fence, but I put my leg on and committed and he didn't hesitate.

The second trip was even better. I thought about things like breathing, saying 'whoa', keeping my eyes up, and my leg on. We didn't touch a single rail and nailed the whole course.

I was super, super excited. Jumping at 2'3" in competition was a personal best for me. I always hoped it was something I could do 'someday'. I never assumed someday would be so soon. The scary thing was that Boca made it feel easy.

H and Piglet also did really well, and ended up Reserve Champion for the division.

Not bad for a 4 year old baby horse

H and I were really excited about our awesome rides.

H made me this awesome meme for our special brand of crazy.

Because H has some of the best ideas ever, we decided to celebrate our horse show personal victories with some steamers and fried clams, New England Style. Because who doesn't drive their horse trailer to The Lobster Pot for some fresh seafood?


  1. Woohoo! This is so great :) That's a great intro to jumper course too, with lots of room to think and get your greenie over everything. Great job to you both!

    1. It was SO AWESOME! I wish I had gotten an opportunity to take some pics of the fences. They were really cool. Some of the nicest fences I've seen.

  2. Congrats!!! So glad things are coming together for you two!

  3. Congrats on a great show!!! I find jumper fences much more intimidating :)

  4. yay congratulations!!!! what awesome ribbons - and major kudos for stepping up to the bigger fences and getting it done with style!

  5. That is so awesome!!!! You and Boca ROCK! :D

  6. I'm so pumped for you!!! :-) You guys have made huge strides this year.

  7. Congratulations on the ribbons and the height! Sounds like a great showing experience.

  8. congratulations! You and Boca did fantastic!

  9. Woo hoo! Good job!! Although let's be honest. Definitely the biggest win there was being able to finish with seafood. ;)

  10. Wooooooooooooo! Congratulations girl!!!!