Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Team NW Bedrock Show July 2019: Day Two

So day two of the show really started after my rounds on day one.  Trainer and I were back at the stall untacking Peebs when she told me she wasn't going to be able to make it up on Sunday.  Originally when I entered the show she wasn't going to make it Sunday, but then thought she would. I don't know if it was the adrenaline of being in the GP ring, or a bit of heat stress (it was in the 80s and humid for Oregon), or what but I almost immediately started internally panicking. All night I gave myself a stern talking to.  I've shown plenty of times by myself, but never over courses this complex and built up.

Sunday's jumper course
Our classes were first thing Sunday morning so after I fed Peebs I wandered down to the ring.  They were just finishing dragging and setting the course so once the tractor left we could walk.  It honestly looked like a sea of oxers and big fences even though I know it wasn't. The turn from 3 to 4 was almost a V and I spent a long time trying to figure out my plan for it. When I went back to tack Peebs up I felt slightly sick and anxious over it. Both Peebs and I were tired so I didn't do much warm up, trying to conserve our energy for the ring.  My plan was to have a good rhythm and pace and not have a death grip on his mouth.  But doing that and starting with a long approach to a single oxer wasn't easy.  I basically picked up a canter, put my hands forward, and let Peebs figure it out. Which, bless him, he tried to do but when he added a stride we ended up crashing into the fence.

Crashing into fences has always been my biggest fear. Not so much because I worry about getting hurt, but because I worry about my horses getting hurt, or their confidence getting shaken. Peebs has never stopped like that, never crashed a fence like that, and I was immediately convinced I  had ruined him. Once they rebuilt the fence we circled around and re-approached.  Only this time I panicked and pulled him away two strides out. It was a very long, sad walk back to in gate. I told the woman running the back gate that I was scratching our second round and then cried the whole walk back to the stall. I knew I needed to get back on and jump something but I had to take a breather first.

Much easier than a jumper course
Our regular hunter ring was just off the end of the row of stalls and I watched some little kids do trot pole courses.  I checked the class schedule on my phone and decided to add a couple equitation classes later in the day. I hoped being in our normal ring with a simpler course would help both Peebs and my confidence. Luckily I had brought my show garment bag and had a white shirt and hunt coat.  I didn't have my hunter show pad, but figured Peebs could rock the old school just-a-half-pad look.  Then I remembered I had Peebs' blue sparkly brow band on his bridle and didn't have a regular one. The one tack vendor at the show didn't have just brow bands so I ended up getting a whole new bridle. Which I do like better than my current one but it still sucked having to spend that money when I really didn't need it.

We redeemed ourselves
I'm pretty sure Peebs was pissed when I pulled him out again but he warmed up well and didn't seem at all phased about crashing into a jump.  It was definitely my confidence that was shaken, not his. He was very tired though. Our first eq round was really nice, except that when I asked Peebs to wait to the first fence he broke to the trot.  We managed a 4th out of 7 for that. His energy was pretty much gone for our second round and he broke twice during it and we got some ugly short spots. We got a very fair 6th out of 7. But we jumped everything without any hesitation, I actually rode and made decisions, and most importantly got my confidence back and proved to myself that I can at least do the hunters/eq sans trainer.

2 comments:

  1. I feel yeah, crashing fences is really, really, really hard to shake. Good for you getting back out there and picking up the pieces.

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  2. I'm sorry the morning went the way it did, but good for you for adding the equitation classes and getting back in before you brain really started spinning. Mistakes happen, and you and Peebs are in a good place now. He can forgive those errors, so you just have to also!

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