Monday, 9 May 2016

Show Recap

Our show went alright. And by alright, I mean I'm disappointed, but also can still see the things I can be happy with. Our placings sound decent, but remember there were only 5-6 of us in each class. The "senior" division was a little underrepresented compared to the juniors.

We started out with cross rails, followed by 2' hunters. Bridget felt pretty "meh" but we must have been the least "meh" of everyone because we were placed first. Yay for blue ribbons! 

2'3": Started to feel even more stuck and we got a couple of not so great distances since I could not get her to move up with enough pace. Still good for second. 

2'6": Started awful. 2 refusals (second was super dirty and I ended up on her neck) in the first 4 jumps. Midge wasn't spooky or worried, just didn't want to play any more. I was allowed to finish the round and you'd better believe I stepped up my game and used a ton of leg and my riding crop made an appearance too. I should have ridden like that from the start, because the last few fences were really nice, albeit grudgingly done on the part of the pony. Obviously we did not place :) 

I called it a day there. 

Undramatic reenactment


I found out later we won some kind of High Point award in the senior division, so that's kind of awesome. Sad I didn't stay to pick up the ribbon, since I do like adding to Bridget's mini ribbon collection. (As far as I can understand, the "high point" is exactly that, whoever got the highest scored round of the day. Since our 2' round went really well, we're the high point? I think? Seems weird, but hey, we'll take it.)

I know I'm acting like a spoiled brat by being disappointed, but I can't help it...I really felt like the Midge wasn't overly generous this weekend. I know she's currently quite capable of dragging me around a 2'6"-2'9" course, and I was half expecting her to be on that sort of form, not so much the "angry because cantering is moving too quickly" pony of the past!  This show was supposed to be a practice round for our event in the beginning of June, and we didn't even make it around a simple 2'6" hunter course. So, I'm feeling a little worried! At least there is time between now and then.
This is her less than impressed face

I love, love, love this pony, but I was admittedly envious of the riders out there with horses who were obviously ready to go and loving their jobs. Midge was much more interested in standing in the shade and nibbling the shrubberies, (which, if I'm being objective, probably was a smarter thing to do, although much less fun for me. At least she makes me laugh with her ever predictable priorities)

Because I can't leave well enough alone, I showed up at the barn this morning on a mission. We schooled canter transitions, and I was very firm about pony moving forward immediately off my leg without any head tossing or angry faces. That hasn't been an issue for quite some time, so I was a little surprised it made a comeback in the last couple of days. We finished by jumping a very large course (for us) because somehow in the last few months I've become super ambitious and slightly competitive and needed to prove to myself at least that I'm not crazy for believing in this pony :)

We're putting jumping on the back burner and starting dressage bootcamp for the dressage show at the end of the month, YAWN. ( just kidding, I promise I love dressage too...besides, with EC returning from Badminton tomorrow I suspect it won't all be dressage and that there will be a few "interesting" jump courses in our near future!) 

Sleeping is what she does best when the weather gets warm
And, perspective is a good thing, so repeat after me..."I DID NOT BUY THIS PONY TO BE ANY SORT OF SPORT PONY!" I knew she wasn't overly athletic. I didn't expect her to jump. At all. She was just supposed to be my interim confidence builder until I got back in a good place with Ginger, then I'd sell B on. Everything we are doing right now is above and beyond what anyone expected of her and I am very appreciative of that!

14 comments:

  1. we horse people hear again and again that riding and horses are a privilege and we should be grateful and appreciative of even the opportunity to smash and crash and otherwise flail around a 2'6" jump course. and i believe that. and am grateful and appreciative and blah blah blah the whole nine yards. but dammit, i also think it's completely reasonable (and healthy!) to be disappointed when things don't go to plan too. sorry the pony didn't show up ready to rock and roll. hopefully that feeling of riding more assertively at the end of your last course will commit itself to muscle memory for next time!

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    1. It's such a fine line between 'assertively' getting her over the fences and pissing her off lol. Fingers crossed the more ambitious Midge makes a comeback soon :)

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    2. Emma put it very well. Big hugs, mourn the disappointment and let it fuel you (as I read it already has :P)

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    3. I agree completely and know that I feel the same way sometimes. I think part of it for me is when I'm excited to do something and the pony is not. That's worse than anything else. Hugs and I'm sure it will just keep getting better and better.

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    4. I think I want it bad enough for the both of us, so no worries, we'll get there ;)
      I have no idea where this crazy determination has come from over the past few months, but oh boy am I motivated!

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  2. Oh girlfriend, join the club! For the first couple years I showed Dino, I had to literally BEAT him through the in-gate to start our courses. Once he got rocking and rolling everything was fine, but getting him in the show ring was awful and embarrassing. It takes time to teach them that their jobs can be fun, especially when you ride a pony who thinks they know everything. ;) You're on the right track with B, and I'm glad your rotten experience at the show just made you more determined!

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    1. Ah, yes, someone who knows exactly what I'm talking about! Title for the movie: "Ponies: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" ? :)

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  3. Showing is hard! I remember an article I read one time said that you should expect to perform at a show to the level we rode at 3 months prior. It takes that long for everything to really sink in and be accessible amongst the chaos and anxiety of a show setting.

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    1. That is seriously good advice. I will do my best to remember.
      I know people claim to not be competitive and only there for fun all the time, but that seriously WAS me. Like, zero competitive spirit. This current attitude of wanting to bring our best and move up, preferably NOW is new to me and I'm not feeling very experienced in handling it!

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  4. Wow, good for you completing so many classes! My jumping ambition is starting to slowly fizzle... sad:(

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    1. Not sad! It's good to try new things! We've probably only temporarily traded places and in time you'll be back jumping and I'll be back dressagin' :)

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  5. I discovered some time ago that my Cobs stress response is to slow down, stick, not move. This is fantastic for an AA that doesn't want to fall off and priceless for carriage driving but can make new situations and shows challenging. I wonder if B's driving training encouraged this in her as well. We have attended shows where I couldn't get the pony out of a walk (cue much embarrassment) ship miles and heaps of positive reinforcement for coping with new situations plus early arrivals, hand walking and low steady warm ups help us.

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    1. That's super interesting! More often than not, yes, her response to anything she's unsure of is to slow down and get sticky. She seems pretty relaxed at our shows, but you may be right, more miles and non stressful outings/confidence may be the key. She can be a bit of a worrier, which is something I maybe don't take as seriously as I should since it doesn't always show itself in dramatics.

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  6. I've been there before. I think that Midge has come a long way - chalk it up to a learning lesson and carry on :)

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