Monday, 10 April 2017

Jump Show Clinic

I am exhausted, so sore and I think my knee no longer functions as a hinging device, yet none of that matters because pony did the thing guys!! The jump show clinic this past Sunday was a success in so many ways for me and I definitely feel 'progress' which is all any of us really are looking for at the end of the day, right?
All I know is I got a lot of cookies! - Savvy
We started with warmup at 11:30 and got right into our first classes right away at 12:00 which was hunter flat classes and all the varieties therein. There were seven other horses in the clinic and Savvy handled the other horses wonderfully, even when we were asked to halt and a young rider rear-ended us. She pinned her ears but did not get dirty while I moved off to give us some space.  Then we got into the hunter over fences classes.
Starting with ground poles, we all did 'Hunt Line' class and I placed 8th out of eight riders. I don't know how I trashed a step-over-poles class so bad, but really to my defence, Savvy was very spooky/looky at all the people suddenly. I think she had become comfortable with the 'herd' and now suddenly we were heading off on our own around the arena and she was worried about that. So the result was much zig-zagging, some calling out for her new friends, and lots of trying to turn her head to look everywhere but forward.  

Our first 'hunt line' class placing 8th.
Moving on to cross rails, we improved slightly. I was able to get Savvy a bit more focused but we were still wiggly and she never actually jumped any of the fences, just stepped over at the trot.

We placed 5th this time so yay for improvement?

By this time I was really looking forward to verticals as perhaps I would actually be able to get her jumping instead of stepping over things. I was determined this time to focus on straightening Savvy in between fences and thinking 'forward' and we really improved a ton for the 'low verticle' class.

So much better this round and placed 4th.
 By the time we did our last class of 2' Hunter, I was feeling much more confident and thought I would push for as much canter as Savvy could comfortably handle. Neither Savvy or I have the 'eye' for where to take off from at the canter (Let's be real, we only cantered towards a jump for the first time last Thursday so we know nothing) but the only way to develop it is practise.

And then we placed 1st!

Most of our canter through this course happened where I could ask for left lead as that is her easiest, and trotted lines where right lead canter should have been because we never could quite get that right lead. She jumped beautifully though and I was so pleased with how it went.

In all it was four and a half hours in the saddle, nonstop. All of it was great experience for Savvy; being at the new venue with the business of a show atmosphere, exposure to the courses and even down time where she had to learn to stand and wait patiently was great for her. By the end she figured out it was much easier to use down time for sleep rather than prancing and pawing on the spot.

I am feeling much more prepared now for our real show on the 22nd, not only for Savvy's training progress but for my own progress on the psychological front. There were times Savvy was very up and worried and I managed all of those moments easily. I also felt myself spending more time planning how to ride a good, forward round rather than getting caught up in butterflies approaching the first fence.

We may not look very pretty yet, but the progress is real.


  1. yay so fun!!!! also so cool that you got those score cards - i've never seen those before but they look super helpful! way to go in setting Savvy up for such a successful and progressively confidence building outing! and congrats on the placings too!!

    1. I loved the score cards too. Great to get all that extra info and compare it to how things felt versus how it looked. And really sometimes I just don't remember verbal feedback after the fact.

  2. What a great, great clinic! It's the best feeling to improve throughout!

    1. It was great! Such an amazing feeling to see results when I dig in and give my best (even though by the third hour I wanted to dismount and have a nap in the sand, haha!).

  3. Wow. Those score cards are so cool. I really wish we got those at shows.

    1. This particular coach is so great at coming up with good ideas to help her students learn. I agree, it would be great to see this at a real show.

  4. Replies
    1. Makes for quite a happy place coming into our first schooling show of the year!