It’s been a heck of a week in Mississippi.
If you missed it, and you may have missed a lot, check out One Step Forward Two Steps Back Parts 1 through 5.
For those that like to read the last page of a book first, here’s the synopsis from last week.
We’ve been showing at WEF all winter.
And let me tell you. Those jumps are big, courses tricky, and the competition is some of the best in the world.
So after 5 months at WEF we road tripped to Mississippi, for a chance to jump in the grass on some courses that are a bit more forgiving.
We were ready.
And it was going to be my first 1.30-1.35 meter round.
We stormed around the 1.20 meter the first day making it look easy. The Fearless Leader who regularly
tells me hints that I might think about a non-equestrian sport as my hobby said it was the best round I’d ever ridden.
We really were ready for the move up .
And this is where last weeks blogs tell the whole story….
But <short version> after falling off at Jump 4 in the Welcome Stakes, that was the end of that plan.
Then we did a do-over 1.10 meter round after BEGGING the officials to let me in the class,
and I fell off in THAT round too!
This was definitely not going well.
And to add insult to injury I got eliminated moving up from 1.0 meter to 1.10 meter on The new kid, the Zebaysaurus.
I had to really sit down and think about what I’m doing with my life.
I even considered quitting.
But after we jumped around reasonably well on Ze-bay in a 1.0 meter do-over.
And Ze-gray jumped 1/2 of a Grand Prix “bravely” with the coach.
It was time to decide if I was going to get back on. And I had a day to think about it.
The ponies, and perhaps more importantly their Jockey had Monday off.
Tuesday is usually a “flat” day.
We started with Ze-bay and when the Fearless Leader set out ground poles, I thought, “he really does hate me.”
In case you missed it, the last time we did ground poles I missed EVERY – SINGLE – TIME.
For those that read the last page first and missed that part, here it is again.
Needless to say after last week’s shenanigans I’m really feeling like a failure.
So when he set out some poles I had nothing but dread about how this was going to go.
But miraculously, and unfortunately there’s no video evidence, but apparently some kind of magic pixie dust got sprinkled all over us and we managed to find them, all of them, every time.
I honestly don’t know what happened. Except that maybe I’ve had the horse for more than 2 weeks this time, and we’ve jumped around quite a bit since the last try.
To say I was relieved is an understatement.
Next came the Zebrasaurus and as I was thinking we were going to flat, the duo of Fearless Leader’s said to each other within ear shot of me, “Do you think he should go in the ticket?” “Yeah, I think that’s a good idea don’t you?” “Yes, we should do that.” Then they turn to me and ask me if I want to go in the ticket,
as if they’re going to give me some kind of choice……..
“The ticket” is a super cool thing jumper shows do where you can go in the show ring and basically school jumps. It’s a huge difference from eventing where so much as entering the ring ahead of time will get you eliminated.
As we were walking in, there were 2 oxers set around 1.35 meters, and a vertical at about 1.30 meter and everything else at about 80cm.
We warmed up over the small stuff, and I’m thinking, “he’s going to put those jumps down, SURELY.”
I mean, “I’m sure he’s going to put them down at least a few holes.”
“No really, I just fell off my horse at 1.10 meters, he’s definitely going to put those DOWN.”
And then instead.
He put 2 others UP about 10 holes and pointed at the 1.30 meter vertical to the 2 oxers and said do that, that and that.
I remember staring at him for a few seconds and trying to decide if I was going to “make a stand.” And insist he make them smaller.
But instead, I said nothing, and just jumped the jumps.
You can tell when I’m scared sh*tless when I start trying to “lift” him over the jumps with my hands in front of them. (I never even knew I did that……………)
I panicked a bit at one, and decided to kick him at it, and leave a stride out.
Which turned into a bit of a back seat, drop into the lake kind of jump.
Fair warning, you can get away with that in eventing, Show Jumpers absolutely cannot stand those kind of antics.
And of course that meant we had to jump it again!
And we did.
And it went well.
Afterwards, I told him that I almost stood my ground to make him lower them, and he said,
“Yeah, it was a calculated risk. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go.”
“But how do you feel now?!”
I have to say jumping around a short 1.30-1.35 meter course felt pretty good.
So I guess we’re back in the game.
Stay tuned to see how tomorrow goes……..