Monday, October 28, 2019

FHF Fall Schooling Show: The Show that Wasn't

The morning of the day Peebs colicked I saw a FB even for a schooling show one of the H/J barns outside Portland was hosting. They had had one show this spring and were seeing if there was interest in having more.  For this show they had jumpers Saturday afternoon/evening, and hunter/eq all day Sunday.

They had 3 .70m classes, starting at 3pm. The entry fee were slightly higher than other shows around here, but they didn't charge a haul in fee and with a 3pm start time and our classes going first I wouldn't need a stall. So it worked out to being a fairly cheap showing opportunity for us. Once Peebs recovered from his colic episode I sent our entry in.

The facility was freaking gorgeous
A few days before the show I got an email from the show manager saying they were limited in parking, and that haul ins would have to park at the bottom of the hill, while the barn and show was at the top.  But they had some empty temp stalls, and I could use one to put Peebs in and unload my stuff and then go park. So I basically got a day stall without having to pay $65 for it. Score. And the night before the show she emailed everyone with current class counts and estimated start times for the later divisions. That's super rare for H/J shows and I thought it was super nice and helpful. A++ for show management.

Schooling the Halloween jump at A's earlier last week
This barn has a huge outdoor ring that was open for schooling, a small indoor that was being used for lunging/schooling if needed, and the big indoor which was the show ring. It was honestly one of the nicest barns I've been to in a long time and I was slightly taken aback by just how nice it was. The show ring was open for schooling prior to the start of the show so we had planned to school there before my classes. The course was set to .7-.75m when I went in and everything was built up, oxers, planks, boxes, skinnies, you name it, they had the fences decked out. They also had pumpkins at the base of all the fences painted with the fence numbers. Cue me starting to feel intimidated and like we don't belong.

I would happily take that outdoor arena home with me
They had doors on the long side of the arena, one that was being used as the in gate, and another that looked out to paddocks.  Peebs did one big spook when we walked past the paddocks the first time, then seemed to realize they were just horses and there was nothing to be scared of. Once I asked him to trot he settled more and was all business. There was a few other people schooling so my trainer lowered a skinny plank for us to warm up over. I'm not sure if Peebs didn't get his eye on it, or my slight unease trickled down to him, but he ran out the first time to it. We came back and got over it and on the third time I remembered (or my trainer yelling "other right" clued me in) that we were supposed to land and turn right in the course so we schooled that.

We then picked up a diagonal line that actually rode well, but I couldn't see the distance to the second fence for the life of me. I was starting to go fetal and lock my elbows so Peebs was shortening his stride and distance would be gone.  When I did actually sit up and let him go it was a perfect 5 strides. We tried another line and a single and I kept panicking about my distance and either pulling up or circling. It was like my brain switched off as soon as I started thinking about putting everything together.

Enjoy Peebs and Cinder sharing breakfast the morning of the show. Peebs spent a few days at A's last week
I was getting more and more worked up and finally asked my trainer if we could go take a break in the outdoor. Peebs was being a saint and didn't care about the fences, or me having a panic attack on his back, bless his heart. No one was in the outdoor so once I had walked and calmed down a bit my trainer set some tiny fences and had us work over those. She just wanted me to find a rhythm and let him go. It took a few tries, but I finally remembered how to ride and let Peebs do his job. Both Peebs and I were pretty tired and I asked my trainer if we could scratch. She agreed and said this was schooling and show, and we schooled. It doesn't matter if I didn't actually make it in the show ring, we had issues and schooled through them. Peebs probably could have gone in a done a round, but mentally I couldn't, so why push ourselves?

I walked Peebs out while my trainer went to scratch me and then we untacked and put Peebs away. Nicole stopped by as her barn is just down the street and some of her barn mates were showing. We chatted for bit before I loaded up and headed home. Did the day go as I had planned? Hell no. But my horse was a saint and took the best care of me, I didn't cry or fall off, and I was able to fix our issues in the schooling ring. I don't know what it is about jumperland that makes my brain shut off or intimidates me, but we're going to keep working at it. Show management said they're planning on 4 shows next year and we will definitely try to make it back for some of them. 


  1. I'm sorry that anxiety reared it's ugly head and took over but I'm glad you were able to end on a high note.

  2. It's not easy to ride at a new place! Sometimes as ammies we're feeling and... sometimes we aren't. And that's okay! You ended on a positive note and worked through some of your anxiety. Next time will be better <3

  3. Good for you for working through the #ammyangst, and extra good on Peebs for just doing his job and being the best boy. You'll get out there next time!