He was a little tense in warm up, but after I worked through the basic w/t/c, I let him just walk around, working on getting him to bend and stay focused on me and not the crazy stallion weaving around the arena screaming his brains out. But that's a different story. I joked with the volunteer keeping us all on schedule that my only goal was to keep him in the arena and we would count that as success. But it was only half a joke with how fruity he's been the past week.
His test went really well for him. He was tense, and it showed, but he was very obedient and didn't offer to spook or throw his head into my face. He didn't get the right lead the first time, but I brought him back to the trot and asked again and he picked it right up without throwing a huge tantrum. I'll count that as success! He also didn't want to halt, but when he did he was nice and square so that was a success, too. You have to take the small things!
The judge told us to ride really deep into our corners for the changes across the diagnol and they won't come up so fast, making the turns so sharp. Good advice, and something I'll definitely practice this week. We ended up with a 36.7 which put us in last (8th), but I was proud of him for being a relatively good boy and he got loads of pats and peppermints.
(excuse the long wait before the test. it doesn't start until 1:30ish)
Red was a monster jumping. I was giving him huge tugs between each fence to keep him from galloping full speed ahead. I don't think his copper egg butt is going to work for jumping anymore now that he's back on full rations of good grain and hay. However, as awkward and fast as the round was, his forward momentum worked in my favor when we got to the coops under the eigth fence and he really thought about refusing but he was going too fast to. The plan was to actually trot up to that fence so he had less of a chance to whip out to the side and runout, but he popped right over at the canter. Whatev, Red! We went clear for the first time and headed out to cross country with loads of confidence and a few more peppermints under his belt.
|cute jumper pony knees.|
|i was just along for the ride.|
|we went over. sucker.|
He was equally beastly xcountry. The second fence was a maxed out coop, and third through fifth fences were nothing we'd ever seen before (a wide table, a hay feeder, and a bench-like thing) and I was nervous heading up to all four, but Red took the wheel and got our asses over. All I did was point him at the right one and not pull back. At the hay feeder, I actually yelled out, "You just saved my ass, Red!" because all I was thinking coming up to it was, "Please jump this" as I just sat there. But he was cruising right along and nothing was going to stop him today.
He didn't even glance at the ditch, hopped right up the bank, and--from the walk more from my urging than his as it was his first time through water on a course--splashed happily through the water before leaping over a looky, airy oxer to jump clear! Yay!!!! The judge at the water probably thought I was a little loony because I was yelling "WHAT A GOOD BOY YOU ARE!!!!" so loudly as I went through the water and through the finish flags past her.
|"i love water, yes i do!"|
|huge pats for the red pony!|
We ended up fourth for easily Red's best placing yet. May we only go up from there next weekend at Bucks!
|what red has to say to anyone that thinks they can beat him |
at jumping when he's on his A game.