Sunday, January 8, 2012

Non-Hunter Awesomeness!

Our horse show at Chagrin Valley Farms was super successful. Bastian was awesome!! We arrived a little late to the show, so we missed the opportunity to school before they closed the ring. Kristin and I came up with an alternate plan, I warmed Bastian up in the warm-up ring while she showed on of her sale horses, then we switched ponies (as in she got on Bastian and I took Maggie back to her stall to untack her) and she rode in our Warm-up class for the 18" division. There was a scary brush fence and they had big old Christmas trees next to the fences along one line and we wanted to make sure he (or really me....because he only looks if I look at stuff...sigh)wasn't going to look at anything.  

He was fabulous, and it was nice to see what he is capable of when he has a rider that has it together on his back,lol. He got his lead changes and had a nice consistent pace, he and Kristin earned a 4th place in the Warm-up. So then we switched, and I climbed back aboard Bastian. We went in for our First trip and of course, the first fence is "new" fence, one that he didn't jump with Kristin in the Warm-up class, but he didn't look at it and we made it to the other side, it turns out I had nothing to worry about. We had some serious lead problems in this class and in our 2nd trip, so you'll have to excuse our disjointed canter in some spots. We managed to pull off a 7th place in our first trip, we didn't place in our 2nd trip. But no worries, I feel like I just need experience and more time in the ring. Our flat class went very nicely, he was a little wound up so most of the ride was spent saying whoa, easy, whoa and LOTS of half halts, we placed 4th out of about 10 or so horses.  

I was very pleased with my handsome, awesome boy :)  

So we've been jumping higher in our lessons and the plan was for Kristin to take him in the 2'3" Warm-up and if was good and didn't give the oxers the hairy-eyeball I would get on and do a round at 2'3".  

Well, he was fabulous! Check out the video:  

He only kinda looked at the first oxer (2nd fence in the outside line) but it was more of a "hey! when did that fence get a back rail? What is up with that?? and then he was super fine. So I got back on and I took him for a spin, it wan't the prettiest thing, but we made it around and that was the most important thing. I haven't competed above 18" for about 6 years? The last time I jumped in a show was BN at Stonegate Farm. Here's our round:  

The best part was that although we had some crappy fences, Bastian made up for my mistakes and got us to the other side (just like a good little eventer!) and I was a little hesitant going to the first oxer, but I managed to push on and after that first oxer I started to focus on more of the little things in my ride, not the height of the fences, and I wasn't afraid. I finished the class and was super happy with both him and me, I would have been very happy and comfortable going back in for another round, I wanted to do it better.  

This week has had some major moments for me. 1) I'm not scared anymore when I jump, I might still get a little nervous here or there, but I've mentally got it together. Physically, I'm still pulling back and not keeping my leg on enough, but I'm thinking forward and picking more and more of our spots, I'm using my whip and voice to reinforce the "go" button on Bastian (which is difficult because I'm use to the whole "no voice" in dressage thing)  

and 2) The height of the fence does not matter. (I'm saying as I plan on never really moving past 3'3" ever) Bastian jumps the 2' the same that he jumps the 2'3" oxer, the same that he jumps the 2'5 vertical. I need to have push and forwardness to both of them, I am fully capable of riding each of those heights. I would have to say it was our Hunter round on Saturday that got me to this point. I jumped three huge oxers, 2'3", the back rail the highest part and wide, much wider than I have ever ridden in practice or lessons and higher than I have ever ridden. We just did it, it felt awesome and it didn't matter that it was big. Huge, Huge, confidence builder for me. I have an awesome instructor and I have an awesome horse ♥♥.

Our next show will be the February Show at Chagrin, we'll be doing the full 2'3" division :) Woot!

Don't forget to keep voting for me and Bastian, I'm up to about 1,500 votes and am 2nd place. Winning this contest will make a HUGE diffrence for Bastian and I, please please vote, share the link, ask all of you facebook friends to vote.

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