Wherein I fall off & Tanq gets a ribbon

And that is not a cause and effect for that ribbon.

A young lady who boards nearby was willing to still go to the Hunter show at Foxchase Farm despite the rain, so she hacked over, and off we went. It is good that she was enthusiastic because with the rain, I would have bailed on the show. She had a good time, got her horse out for his first show since 2008.

Tanq needs to go to more shows. He is super in the hunter ring, and is forward, not spooky, and just takes us to the fences. But, he is still green. I haven’t been jumping him enough this winter, so the last time he jumped was the clinic with Sonya at the end of December.

Who wouldn’t head out to a hunter show, in the rain, and enter? Particularly the week when you only got on that horse once due to dentist appointments and such…

I got there and was happy to see Michael Bertozzi there from Cavallo Farm and was hopeful he’d be able to coach me. I often go take lessons from Michael, but haven’t managed to get over there this winter (note lack of jumping mentioned above) and he’s coached me to many hunter ribbons, but alas, with the crappy weather prediction, everyone had moved up to the first division and he couldn’t hang around. So, I asked for a ride plan before he left, and he gave me that! First line, bending 6, diagonal is a 5, outside in 7 and far side in 6. At least he wasn’t around to watch me fall off.

Tanq got a 6th place in the hack! Whoa, that was a pleasant surprise. There were 13 entries! Then it was into the jumping classes. I opted for a warm up round, since he still needs more course work. Good thing.

Now, when you, as a rider, are sitting ringside, at a horse show, you often notice that one fence gives a lot of horses problems. A lot of deer leaps, stops, run outs, etc. When you are a smart rider, you pay attention to this. You realize that a fence might need some extra attention and care, a more supportive ride perhaps. Tanq did not have the smart rider today.

Fence one, lovely, lead change to the diagonal line (with the mud covered rolltop being the scary fence second in the line), jumped in well, nice pace, one stride out, hits the brakes.


I might not have been ready for that…as evidenced by my beautiful dismount. Landed on my feet, did not even get the boots muddy, but poor
Tanq was terrified that he was in trouble. So, it took a few seconds for him to realize I was not going to beat him and I was not chasing him while I was holding onto his reins. This is the first time anyone here has ever fallen off of him, and there is a good possibility that nobody has ever fallen off of him ever.

So, we walk out of the ring, I was laughing as it was rider error there.

We went back in for round one, and I opted to go the safer, no-ribbon, schooling route and went and showed him the scary oxer. Then we started our round, it was not bad, but that diagonal line was not pretty. I was prepared to come back to the trot between fences, but then he was back in his usual brave mode and we just had an add…a crooked approach, but whatever. Then, I have no idea if I made the strides because I reverted back to 1-2-1-2-1-2 as my counting, I am pretty sure I had the adds in all the lines, but it wasn’t important. He jumped beautifully and got his confidence back.

Round two was even nicer, but still not worthy of a ribbon, I still didn’t ride that diagonal line very well. The upside, his changes were super and there.

So, it was a successful day. I got my annual minimum of one fall done with today. It was as nice of a fall as possible, scoring a “10” from the bystanders!

No pictures, due to the rain, which is a pity, this is the show when all the trees are in bloom in the background and it makes for pretty pictures. Oh well. There will be more shows.

This is what the trees look like now…this was Jules 4 years ago.


About Mel

Random musings in a riding journal
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