October 28, 2021

Heartland Regional: Over Fences

In order to understand why Sunday was such a big deal, you need to know that Mary has had some health issues over the last few years that have left her with far less confidence in her body than she used to have. And she also hadn't done a hunter show (her one true love) in over a decade.

All photos courtesy of Leah

I entered them in an unjudged warmup, then the low hunter division, which was two classes over 2' fences and then a flat class, and I told her if all she did was jump a single fence and then she told me she was done, I would be happy with that.

Connor: "Yesssss more hunter stuff"

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from him. He hadn't shown over fences in I think five years to this point, and the last time he did he was still squirrely about fill. And I hadn't jumped him over anything besides poles that whole time, when I did jump, which isn't often.

I don't miss this

So I was over the moon delighted when he just...jumped stuff. Like a normal horse. From the very first warm-up fence.

Call it what you want - him getting older, growing up, getting more confident in his body, knowing he had to take care of Mary, Mary giving him a better ride than I'm capable of - this was a totally different horse than I'd ever seen over fences before.

This was the most suspicious look he gave anything all weekend, and even this is pretty tame compared to 2012-2015 eventing Connor.

Confident Connor started getting a little too confident in the actual show ring, though.

I know what I'm here for!

As I said to Mary, the little guy has only ever shown over fences in eventing, so to Connor, this was a show jumping round. No one told him this was hunters.

"WHEEEEE" seemed to be Connor's theme for the weekend

They did their unjudged warm-up, where he had one rail, and then they did their first judged round, where he rubbed that same rail but left everything up, and Mary told me she was done.

They ended up placing 5/5 in that class, since clearly the judge didn't appreciate Connor's jumper aspirations, but I couldn't have been happier with them. Even the scratch I was on board with, both because I was so proud of Mary for Doing the Thing at all, and because the footing was SO hard, it was making me anxious.

Look at me, I'm a groom!

Methinks he has some hunter course practice in his future at home...


  1. There is nothing better than sharing your horse with a deserving friend, way to go Mary and Connor! It's totally about the feeling of success over the ribbons, that's a huge accomplishment especially knowing when to scratch and be done. <3

  2. He was just so deliciously happy to be there! What a good boy! He and Mary jumping around like NBD were ❤️❤️❤️

  3. I'm so glad Connor was able to help Mary get back in the show ring! And it sounds like they both had a lot of fun!

  4. Your friendship with Mary lights up the blogosphere <3