This will conclude our marathon show weekend. The title. You may wonder what it means. This fraction represents the number of those of us who did NOT stay on their horse for the the entirety of our rides. Two-thirds is the fraction of jumps that I remembered how to ride properly like I've learned in my lessons lately. And approximately the number of you who will make it through the entirety of this post. But honestly I so look forward to coming on here and sharing with you all and reading your comments. There is nothing more anti climactic then coming off a show high surrounded by all non horse people, who just don't get it.
We will start on a frigid, early Sunday morning in southern Indiana. We eat our breakfast of what is made to look like breakfast food but tastes more like mushy cardboard that was on our hotel buffet. Kelcie rode dressage at 8:30 am. We get her to warm up and I've never seen Penny more naughty. It even almost looked like she thought about attempting to buck. Uh this pony does not buck or do anything else naughty. She is fast as lightening but she isn't naughty. She obviously opposed being drug from her stall at the Crack of dawn to do dressage. The extent of my coaching at that point was, "hold it together, do the best you can and stay on". Yeah that's all I had. There just isn't much else you can do when a pony decided to show her ass in dressage warm up. Thankfully they did just that! She held it together. And actually had a decent test for those two. If Kelcie had actually tried to halt when she was supposed to they would have had a really nice test. I'm working with her on that but while Penny doesn't do halting Kelcie doesn't even try. Eh, they'll figure it out one day. I mean the kid is 9.
K and Penny show jump
next was Elaina And Lilly. They were entered in their first Beginner Novice show. That alone is pretty awesome. She was the only kid in her division. I love that she is 12 years old and moving her way up. Not on a made horse but on her back yard $250 pony that she trained her self. Anyways, like Penny, Lilly comes to dressage warm up acting squirrely. And Elaina did what she has been taught and put her to work. After about 5 minutes of figure 8's she stopped bouncing and started listening. They went on and knocked out the test. Kids on ponies=not perfect dressage. But right now I'm happy with obedient, steady, accurate and dammit shapes! You can earn a lot of easy points with accuracy and shapes at these levels. They did just that. So now I think it's time to step up their dressage game.
E and Lilly Beginner Novice test B
The next hour was, well interesting. Elaina's jump slot was 12-12:30. I rode dressage at 12:02. So by the time I was finished riding. Got untacked and made it to warm up to coach her they were calling that there was five minutes left. I sent her over the cross rail. Then vertical, then the oxer. Lilly had a brain fart at the oxer and thought about stopping. But she is so willing she still jumped it from a stand. still. Well if you guessed Elaina was the other 1/3 of us that did not stay on. You were right. E fell. Kinda face planted actually. I was like are you fine? Yes. Then hurry up and get back on. You have like 3 minutes and I can't send you in without getting over this oxer. She jumped back on reapproached and Lilly over jumped it. They came around one more time and it was nice. So we headed over. They were awesome but Lilly was obviously pooped out. The first two jumps were sticky. Crazy mom from the rail yelled, "wake that pony up before you jump another jump!" The second jump of the two stride combination was the dreaded flame jump. I warned her that I have seen that jump take many victims over the years, by itself. Let alone it being the second jump in a combo. And wouldn't you know the one rider she saw go had three refusals and DQ'ed on that very jump. Let me tell you she rode the shit out of it and they did awesome. I could tell Lilly second guessed it but E caught it quick rode her straight and they got double clear. They completed their first Beginner Novice! She was beaming. I didn't video :( mom/coach/rider brain is my excuse. When we got back to the barn a guy a couple stalls down says, 'you've got some tough kids! " He apparently saw them both hit the ground and both proceed to climb back on and get shit done. Yep that's just how we Grayson girls roll. No time for pitty parties when you're bad ass.
Like I said I rode dressage just before all that. In warm up Steady felt good. Not his best ever but good. We walked mostly. That's our theory in dressage warm up from now on. It just works for us. I was watching our competition and they looked fancy. Aw damn we don't do fancy. We're just us. I think I read through my dressage test once. Yeah with everything else going on I forgot that minor detail. Thankfully these level tests aren't hard to remember for me and I did end up knowing it. Not confidently but good enough. The test went pretty good. I was pleased with it. Our best? Nah but not embarrassing. I was proud of my horse. He starting to act like a real pro at shows. Finally! It's nice.
Amy and Steady Novice Test B
I did get dinged for rider on the right lead canter. Said I was two point like. and that is quite fair since I was purposely trying to stay off of his back since he had a history of swapping behind in tests. Hey it worked! Or his stifle injections did either way I'll take it.
Show jump warm up went great. He felt really good. He was listening and jumping lovely. Thankfully all the courses were the same besides adding in combinations and raising them. So after coaching two kids I had that down pat. If you know my horse at all you know he has many faults but jumping like a fucking beast is not one of them. Utilizing the skills my trainer has taught me lately that I need to blog about because they were instantly life changing for us. We rode the first 2/3rds of the course and it felt amazing. Best I've ever had. We had a long spot to jump 1 but still good. He came back to me in between. He got a little rushed in between but not bad just something to work on over the winter. He doesn't look at jumps he just jumps anything in his path. Jump 6 felt so incredible. I was relishing the beauty of it in my head. And compltely blew my concentration. At the last minute I realized I was about to canter right passed 7 and I made an ass move to save my own space cadet ass and yanked him left. Well that was the end of us being connected and fluid. He was like, "oh you want to play the old way? I can do that. " so we pretty much blasted through the last 3 jumps. Again lots of homework for next year. But you know what? Those jumps didn't look that big anymore at 3ft. Which pretty much means training isn't out of the question in our near future.
Amy and Steady Novice show jump
We packed up, loaded up and went to check scores. Elaina and Lilly ended up 3rd! I'm sorry not sorry but my kid is amazing. Compltely surprised knowing who our competition was Steady and I ended 1st! I didn't see any of the final scores but I'm wishing I had because I like to see where we lined up. All I know is that we ended on our dressage score of 28.25%. Not bad I guess. Haha just kidding I'm not a DQ that says asholey things like that. I mean if I'm outta the 40's I think I'm ballin!