The farm I ride at, Scarlet Hill, puts on cross country schooling shows a few times a year. Yesterday was the last one they offered for this season, and I was really hoping to go. At the last minute I found out that I did not have a babysitter, so I was bummed.....
Regardless, I went to check out the course and see friend Shannon ride around the beginner novice course with Kisses. Well while I was there, I was told by 3 people to GO HOME and GET YOUR PONY and when I returned they would watch Cadence for me.....So I did just that.
After looking at both the elementary and beginner novice courses I decided that I would do the beginner novice course. The BN course has more fences, it was longer and had more technical questions on it. Most of the fences on the BN course were smaller in size, which made me happy. Shannon pointed out that because it's a smaller BN course, it was a perfect "beefy" elementary! I have been complaining the last two events that there wasn't really any good places that offer a good BIG elementary or a SMALL beginner novice. This was the perfect chance to ride a small beginner novice.
So I warmed up fine. I jumped the x-rail once and headed out. I think a lot of people would scoff at the lack of jumping I do in warm-up. I kinda figure that the horse knows how to jump, it's more for ME to get comfortable in my saddle and warm-up.
I went out and got the countdown in the box and then we were off. Fence 1 was a max-ish log and it actually rode kind of wonky. Fence 2 was a red house, that also rode wonky. I think they rode funny because Buck wasn't TRULY in front of my leg. Both of these fences are going away from the home field and he just got a little sticky. He wasn't BAD, he just wasn't forward. The stretch from 2 to 3 offered me the opportunity to get in front of my leg - and that happened beautifully. Fence 3 was a small upbank and it rode beautifully. Fence 4 was whiskey barrel planters flipped upside down. Then we were in to a field with a steepish hill so we REALLY opened up here and cantered very quickly. Then we had to make a hairpin turn out of the field and down hill to fence 5 - a stone wall with telephone pole over it. And then another 90 degree turn left over a cordwoodish pile back in to the field. We then crossed the field (still downhill here) to a log rolltop/table fence. At this point we are back in the start field and cantered off to the NEW water jump!!!! Buck went right in, but once he was in he didn't want to get out, hehehehehehe. I had to swat him a number of times to get him out. I think it was because the water was deeper than he was used to and he couldn't figure out how to move ;)
Then we were off to fence #9....THIS was the fence that I was worried about. It was a max bench set on the upslope of a hill, so it looked even bigger than it was. Because this was a schooling show, I had told Meredith that I will be going around this jump....She aptly told me that if I forego any of the jumps then I would not be able to collect a ribbon....I thought no big deal, I could careless about the ribbon.....
But when it came down to it, I didn't WANT to forgo my chance at the ribbon. So when I was cantering down to the fence, and everything lined up perfectly, I just DID IT! AND EVERYTHING was beautiful with this jump. Perfect distance, perfect feeling in the air and perfect landing. I think at this point I let out a big "WOOOOO HOOOOO, WE DID IT!" hehe.
Anyways, then we went down a steeeeeep hill at the trot, and near the bottom picked the canter back up. We cantered down to fence 11, a log roll top and it rode beautifully too. At this point we had hit our stride, and galloped up the steep hill to find Fence 12, a green and beige house. Then fence 13 was the ditch (I opted for the 1/2 ditch because I was tired at this point AND I haven't schooled a ditch since the early Spring). Finally fence 14 was a grey narrow table.
The course rode beautifully for the most part. The down hill fences felt a tad strange. I think it was because my stirrups were a tad too long. The bigger parts of the course rode the best! I am THOROUGHLY surprised by this, but it's motivation to get up to the BN level and just go with it!
I don't know how we placed - they haven't posted results yet. But we were back in 4 minutes 15 seconds. Optimum speed was 350mpm and I think we probably were just under that in most spots, plus we had a few slower spots (like the water!).....but I do believe that we have a chance at a ribbon, so we'll see :)
I was just so pleased with Buck. Once we got through fence 1 & 2 he was awesome. He doesn't bat any eyelashes at the jumps, which is such a refreshing relief :) I love having a ballsy arrogant Pony Man!