Tuesday, January 17, 2017

OSU Event Team Jumper Schooling Show

"How to Show in 15* Weather"

On Saturday we ventured out into the frozen tundra for our first show of the year and our first time in the jumper ring together.  We had had below freezing temps with snow and ice for what feels life forever, and while it was sunny Saturday my truck said it was 24* and the feel like temp was 15*.  I questioned my sanity for signing up for this show way more than once. 

When you have to try on your show clothes to make sure they fit over a bazillion layers.  I ended up wearing 3 shirts, a vest, fleece tights, breeches, a pair of regular socks, boots socks, and my heavy barn coat.

Because of the freezing temps we haven't gotten to ride outside for like two weeks, and I've been lazy and not wanting to set fences inside, so we've been doing lot of trot and canter poles. I had entered us in two crossrail and two 2' classes, with the plan of trotting in and cantering through the lines. I figured even with not a lot of schooling Peebs could handle that. And if it was too much, I'd always scratch.

My BO went with me as my ground person/emergency helper.  Trainer's daughter had a gymnastics meet that weekend so I was on my own. There was some confusion when we got there about stalls, and my stall was still locked.  And when they opened it for me, I discovered that bedding wasn't included in the price of the stall.  I apparently had to buy bedding from the facility.  So Peebs didn't get any bedding.  He was only in his stall for me to tack up, untack, check our placings, and repack the trailer, and he didn't pee or poop, so it wasn't the end of the world. But it was still annoying.

There was a photographer and I'm waiting on pics, but for now you get blurry screenshots

It was a pretty small show, so I tacked up right away and got on.  Peebs was pretty impressed with the facility and spooked more than a few times during warm up. Going in for our first round, he spooked hard going to and at the first fence.  I actually had to circle him away just in front of the start timers to try and get him forward and we kinda jumped the first fence from a standstill.  He then spooked at the far side of the ring at some jump filler (boxes, brush) that they weren't using that was behind the fence and spun sideways.  I circled again, and talked to him. I ended up trotting everything.  No way was I going to attempt a canter fence when he was that rattled. About 2/3rd of the way through the course he started to settle, but still gave the filler the hairy eyeball when we went past going the other direction. 

I kept him walking while we waited for our second round and had serious thoughts about scratching the 2'.  Peebs has never been that looky or distracted before. Our second round was better, he wasn't as spooky and I was able to canter out of some of the lines and around the ring.  He did have a bit spook at the far side arena wall.  I don't know at what, maybe our shadow on it?

Jumper pony mode activated
I figured that since he was a better for the second round, that I'd attempt our first 2' round and go from there.  It went well; he was more focused on the fences, I could sit and add leg to move him up in the lines, and he didn't spook at anything. I did have a moment when I realized the first fence in the judges line was an oxer (the red oxer in the pic above) and I was trotting it. I hate trotting oxers.  But Peebs don't care. We did have one oops moments when I had to move him up in a diagonal line then try and bring him back for a tight turn to a fence on the short side of the ring.  We way overshot the turn and looked like drunken sailors going to it.   We did our second 2' round and other than seeing a 4.5 stride distance in the 4 stride diagonal line, it was our best round.  He felt like his normal, solid Peebers self. 

1st in our second 2', second in the first 2', third in the second xrail, and fifth in the first xrail

I'm super happy with how we ended, and that I made myself do the 2' classes even though I didn't want to.  I had a blast (minus our first round) being back in the jumper ring and can't wait till we're ready to show in them at a regular show. It was beyond gratifying to see how Peebs settled and improved over the four rounds, and that I could get that improvement without my trainer to talk me down. I just hope our next show is slightly warmer!


  1. Great job! The cold weather definitely doesn't invite calmness from the ponies. Nice job working through it, and finishing up with a blue ribbon!

  2. Yay that's awesome!! I love those shots of him too!! Congrats on the ribbons and on pushing through despite the weather and spooks!

  3. Sounds like a great time in the ring all around!