Neuf at Piedmont Jumper Classic – Day 1
The plan was to do one class in the .90 meter on Thursday, one at 1.0 meter following, then do the Low Amateur Adults (1.0 meter) the next three days.
I felt ok, not terribly nervous, but a bit nervous, we’d been having fun at schooling shows, and back in June, our last rated show, we felt good at .80 and .90.
Martin & I did the course walk, it was straight forward, good lines, and he said that sometimes the horses are up in the ring, so I should be prepared to sit up if he was “too going”.
Warm up was pretty good. And then I went in the ring, and rode with the handbrake on.
Neuf did his best, he carted me over fences when we had no pace. But, on a horse with a massive stride, I added a stride to every line I think. And at the final line, a big oxer to a vertical, one stride, he said “can’t do that from this pace”. I circled around and came again, and he cleared the oxer and said “can’t do that vertical from here either”. So, we were eliminated. I made a half hearted “jump from this walk step” request which only made the jump crew work, and was eliminated on the second stop.
I summed the day up with “Pat the horse, kick the rider”.
I wasn’t initially going to put this video up, but I am, and I am also going to say that it isn’t for an internet riding lesson. I have great instructors, they tell me what to do, and I try and get out there and do it. so keep any “you’re riding is awful” comments to yourself.
I decided that it would be foolhardy to go in and attempt a 1.0 meter class when I’d just failed at .90 meter, and instead I did a rider change, and had Martin get on him to give him a good ride.
Given the way the show schedule was organized, I decided to scratch out of all the Low Adult 1.0 meter classes (first thing in the morning) and drop back to .80 meter and .90 meter (last classes of the day Fri/Sat) to see if I could find my mojo.
Analysis: I was being too defensive in the air, which only slows Neuf down more. I fell off a couple of weeks ago after Neuf overjumped a cavaletti and took advantage of my loss of balance and I was not as over that as I should have been. I also felt like I was going super fast. I wasn’t, but I am still fearful when Neuf goes forward sometimes. Oh, and my back had been hurting a lot earlier in the week (a 5 hour flight tweaked it the week before), particularly when Neuf would kick out, so I was worried it would hurt. I took Advil in the morning before the show and my back was fine.
Homework: I decided I should go find the velcro in knee rolls for my saddle and put them in. This might make me feel more secure on landing.
Future Homework: ride out and canter Neuf out and get comfortable and confident galloping. Consider sports psychologist for the forward fear issues. Also, continue back exercises and pain management.