Piedmont Jumper Classic – Day 2
I’d shifted my work schedule around, I’d put in that I was going to be out of office, but would possibly come in, since it was a local show, so I could still stay ahead of email and get some things done, but Friday ended up being a whole day off.
I was able to check the ring status on Horse Shows Online, which has a quirky interface, but mostly works, and I saw the ring was running pretty quick. This was the first year the show existed so entries were fairly light. People didn’t know it was here. I left the farm around 10:30, sent a text to Martin, and found out he couldn’t get there until 12:30 or so. It was looking like the course walk would happen around 11:30, so I would either walk on my own or tag up with someone else. I bumped into Katie Swindler and asked if she had time to do the course walk with me, and she did!
The .80 meter class was nice. All forward, galloping lines, good striding. The first fence was the oxer we’d had troubles with on Thursday, so that worried me a bit. Good space to make the turn to the next line, 2 to 3 in six strides, left turn to 4 a/b and 5 to 5, around to the right to 6 a/b with 6 strides to 7, continue right to 8/9 a 6 stride line, back left to the final line in 4 on the judge’s side. Ride forward out of the turns, think swinging through those turns.
An hour later I am warmed up and it is time to go in and I have forward, we have a good pace. He stuck a bit at the first fence, but nothing compared to the day before, came around, did 2/3 in 6 strides and turned right. I quickly realized my error, had the presence of mind to at least not cross my path (add 4 more faults for that!) kept a good pace and rode 4 a/b and 5 to fence 5 and Neuf decides bucking is a great idea facing into the tent. I lose a stirrup, I get off center, and then I am struggling to get my stirrup back, I end up trotting, get my stirrup back about 2 strides before 6 a/b. I decide that we aren’t going to be making time, and I can’t power Neuf up fast enough, so I circled, took the 4 faults, and then finished the course getting all the strides right!!!!
I’m not going to lie, I was a bit rattled by the bucking and almost falling off, I momentarily thought of scratching the .90 meter. But I didn’t. Martin got me some more water, the course was reset and I did 2 fences and went in again, earlier than initially planned, since Martin had to walk his course in the main ring.
This time was great. Although in 8/9 I had seven?!? strides, not 6, so I knew to add and rode the final line well. We had a clear round!!!! Blue ribbon for Neuf & Mel…ok, this one was for me, because when Martin rides, Neuf gets a lot more ribbons.
Lessons learned: The lightweight stirrups have to go. They are too light, they bounce around and I struggle to much to get them back, when I lose them. Back to metal Fillis stirrups while I look at other options.
Homework: practice dropping and regaining stirrup at trot and canter, that way when he adds in some bucking, it is a more practiced move.
I am really happy that I was able to ride through the bucks, and stayed and did the second course. I decided to go add the .80 and .90 meter for Saturday, knowing Martin was not going to be there, but perhaps Ashley could come. Ashley had booked lessons since I hadn’t realized the .80/.90 classes were offered and I’d thought I wouldn’t show, so I texted Katie if she had time to help me, she would, so that was the plan.