Penny Oaks: Show Jumping

Show Jumping was intimidating, I can't lie.  Because I drove to the farm to do feeding/turnout/stalls that morning, I missed walking my course, and the course was the most technical I'd ever ridden (not saying a lot given that this was only my 4th show jumping round ever), and there was so. much. filler.  I knew Connor was not going to like it.

My trainer and I talked through it extensively and again had a clear-cut plan: trot in, halt, pick up forward canter off his back, then collect the canter as we went through the start flags.  Knowing he would jump way high over the jumps, the goal was to encourage him to jump across the jump instead of up, and not to trot anything or take my leg off - ever.  There's a delicate balance between giving Connor too much time to read a jump and not enough time to read a jump.


Open throatlatch, forward canter.  Sticking to the plan so far.

I was completely prepared for Connor to overjump fence 1, since it was A) the first fence, B) had flowers and evergreens underneath it and C) was an oxer.  He didn't let me down:

Whee!  I have been told by his breeder that those butt wrinkles when jumping are genetic, and that Connor's sire has them too.  So cool!
Fence 2 came up deceptively fast.  The photographers got it, along with several of the fences, from two angles, too:

Fence 2


Fence 2




Cruising to 3, ear on the photographer...


Fence 3.  He really did not like these green boxes and flowers.


Cruising to 4...
Fence 4.  Just a gate, he thought that was alright by him.

Fence 4, different angle.


5, different angle.


This is me trying to keep him straight as he spooked at the photographer's Land Rover with the gate up parked in between 5 and 6, which was a 7 stride line.

...but we recovered nicely for 6.

6, different angle.  Launching!


7, proving we can take oxers like normal citizens now.  He used to get over the top of them, freak out, jump big and land bucking.  

8, once again, finally getting our groove on toward the end of the course.

8, different angle.



When we finished, the whole thing felt like a blur and I think I was holding my breath in the beginning, because about fence 4 I was really winded.  His squirrely jumps over the filler left me feeling like I rode poorly.  My trainer, though, applauded me for sticking to the plan when I got out of the ring and said it was a great ride that confirmed for her that we're both ready for BN.  "It was all him if it was good," I said, "That was a very passenger-y ride from me."  At any rate, we went double clear!

The contest will close tonight at 9pm Eastern - I have decided there will be two contests, one random draw for everyone who entered, and one for the person who guesses closest to our optimum time.

36 comments:

  1. Great pictures, great ride! So happy you and Connor had an excellent weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. "No touchie touch! Will not touch!"
    -- Connor, all the time.

    Also? Love the huge blowing nostrils, in every photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! It really does something for his face, aesthetically speaking. Plus he looks like a BA eventer.

      Delete
  3. Brave little Connor! Here's an eventing idiot question - do stadium jumps usually have fill? In hj show jumping, there really isn't any groundlines/foliage fill and the focus seems to be more on boxes and big airy oxers. Just curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am no expert so hopefully someone with more experience will chime it, but it seems to be up to the course designer. Of the two rateds I've done, Greater Dayton had flowers or greenery under about half of the fences, and this one had something under all of them except the gate. Fence 3 actually had fake stones underneath it but they (thankfully) took it out for my level.

      I don't think there is a set rule, but with the natural things they have to jump in XC, I wouldn't be surprised if SJ course designers opted for more scary looking things.

      Delete
  4. aww he just wants to peek at everything!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! My husband was asking my trainer why she teaches her horses to sniff the flowers. Haha.

      Delete
  5. Those photos are awesome, I totally would have bought them all too. He's so stinking tidy and cute over all those fences!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, makes me feel good about taking him XC!

      Delete
  6. Connor looks SO cute in all of the photos!! Congrats for the double clear!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. He looks like such a grown up over these jumps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well he turned 8 on Saturday, so hopefully...haha.

      Delete
  8. I love the picture fence-by-fence reply :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Not something I will get a chance to do very often!

      Delete
  9. Ermegherd! The cuteness! What a good pony!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He really was a good boy. Love him.

      Delete
  10. So cute! What a great ride by you and a great try by him. Congrads!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, I love the double angle photos, because a lot of those you'd never think he's over jumping by that much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't noticed til you said something how different they make his efforts look. That's cool! Thanks for pointing that out!

      Delete
  12. Ahhh I love his knees!! He's such a cute little jumper. Awesome job!

    ReplyDelete
  13. i love the picture story!!!

    i tend to hold me breath when jumping too- no bueno!! lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, any tips? I gotta knock that off or I'm going to pass out.

      Delete
  14. You're both looking great! Congrats on the excellent show!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I do believe y'all are ready for BN :) Great job Jen!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just catching up on blogs... huge congrats on the event!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Replies
    1. Thanks, and nice to meet you!

      Delete
  18. Good job! You look like such a nice pair.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP