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.|
|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.