I rode in the show on Saturday and it was amazing. Absolutely amazing! One of the advanced girls at my barn rode Baron in the 18 inch class first and then an hour later I rode him in the crossrail class. This is his second show ever (first one in three years) and his first time jumping at a show. I was so proud of him I could burst. He got two seconds and a fifth in the 18 inch class and in our crossrail class we got one first, one second, one fourth and RESERVE CHAMPION overall!
After our rough lesson on Wednesday, I was worried. I just didn’t want to embarass myself, and I know that I get major stage fright. I’m really into the idea of being a tough mental competitor and I gave myself a pep talk and tried to relax. I do feel that I’ve worked hard and given my all to learning to ride. I kept telling myself this, and it paid off. I was able to think my way through my classes instead of dissolving into a giant bundle of nerves.
There were three classes in my division, one flat class and two over fences classes, which was nice because we got two tries over the crossrails. I got fourth in the flat class, second on my first crossrail trip, and first place on my second trip. There were six people altogether. I have to admit I was really proud of myself and of Baron. I rode well and he tried so hard. He seemed so eager to please, like he knew we were being judged and he wanted to show off. Overall it was a fantastic day and I was such a proud horse mama!
I didn’t get a ton of good pics, especially of me riding, but here’s a few…
These are from my lesson yesterday, and I have to admit, it was rough! We were fine in the arena but for the last half of the lesson we went outside where we have never schooled before. I’m not sure if it was the fresh air, the change of scenery, or the slightly bigger crossrail, but Baron was EXCITED. I love his enthusiasm; he had ears pricked and gave great effort over the little x’s. But he wanted to canter after every jump and I was not ready for that. It took us about 8 times before we did all 4 crossrails, got our turns and stayed in the trot.
I could tell my poor trainer was getting frustrated. We were just not pulling it together and we looked like even worse greenies than we are. We ended on a good notes though, and I’m confident that next time it won’t be so hard. The actual jumps aren’t hard; I was pretty happy with my position in the pics. It’s the straight approach, not cutting corners and keeping the even pace that are hard to do.
It reminds me of when I first started surfing. Even though I had lived my entire life on an island and been swimming in the ocean since I was three, when I first started surfing, every wave seemed enormous. Everything happens at lightning speed and it’s hard to process when you’re just starting out. This is how I feel about jumping. I am a thinking rider. I have to break it down into pieces. Yesterday I felt like every jump came up so fast and I hadn’t recovered from the shock of actually making it over the first one. Once I did it a few times, I relaxed and my brain turned back on!
It’s been a month since I’ve posted, and I apologize. I have been very busy with my kiddos and my work, and I have neglected to keep my blog friends posted on the ups and downs of horse ownership. Unfortunately I have not been able to ride much because of Baron’s feet. To make a long story short, Baron threw a shoe and the farrier couldn’t come out for about a week. Then Baron got an abscess which burst on his heel. All of that is cleared up now and I have a lesson tonight and a schooling show Saturday.
The show is just a schooling show at my barn, but I’m excited because no matter how un-prestigious it is, it’s still a chance to showcase how far Baron has come since I got him almost 4 years ago. We’re doing a flat class and a crossrail class. I’m a little nervous about the crossrail class since we haven’t been able to practice much. B seems to enjoy jumping though and I’m sure we’ll be fine.
My friend Tiffany leases a lovely Thoroughbred named Sterling who was rescued by my barn and turned into a lesson horse. His body condition score was a 2 when he was rescued a year ago. Now he is fat, happy, and winning ribbons with Tiffany. They will be doing the same class as Baron and me, so we will be in good company.
Horse ownership is expensive and time consuming, and I’m thankful that I’m lucky enough to own Baron. When he has vet bills and expensive shoes and bouts of lameness, it’s easy to get frustrated; but when I ride and hang out with my horse friends and watch transformations like Baron and Sterling,’s it’s all worth it!