Monday, August 14, 2023

Split Rock Portland 2: Warm-Up and Pro Day 1

 Cinder made her rated show debut and I made my return to the rated ring after 14 years last week. We went to the second week of the Split Rock Jumping Tour's Portland stop. I went to spectate last year and loved the show grounds and the atmosphere so it was #1 on my list for Cin's rated show debut. 

Heading out to school on warm-up day

The show is about 15mins away from Cinder's barn, and since I'm on a bit of a budget and stalls were $$ for the week, and looked smaller than the 10x10 they were supposed to be, we decided to just haul in. We did take Cinder over on Tuesday for ticketed warm-ups and to check in. Due to the VS outbreak in California, all horses had to be inspected before unloading and it was easier to get that out of the way on Tuesday vs Wednesday when she would be showing. 

From where trailers parked to where the hunter rings were was quite the hike. Trainer A was riding, thankfully, because Cinder was a bit impressed with the atmosphere walking around the grounds. There's a pond on the property and when we walked by on Tuesday, dogs and kids were splashing around and causing a ruckus that Cinder did not like. She thankfully settled once we got to the rings, and schooled in both rings like a pro. She took a little peak at one of the logs from the derby, but jumped it on the second try without hesitation. 

We went back home and she got braided Tuesday night. She was very confused why someone was standing on the stool next to her for so long, but she was a good sport about it. I was a bit worried she'd rub her braids out overnight, as she can be an itchy girl, but there was only one that came a little loose that I had to tighten up. 

Cinder got to meet her older half sister Izzy, and made her look like a pony. Izzy definitely didn't get their mom's height gene

Trainer A had another horse she was showing in the jumpers first thing in the morning, so we ran over to the show without Cinder for that. Split Rock requires formal attire for all their jumper classes, so there were quite a few hunters being shown in white breeches all week. We had just enough time after the jumper classes to run back home, grab Cin, and head back over to the show. 

Cinder was showing with A in the USHJA 2'6" hunters, and it was a full division with 13 entries. They had two over fences and the under saddle on Tuesday. Cinder warmed up well and A was able to watch a couple of horses go before heading in for their first trip. Cinder spooked at the photographer, who was wearing a neon green shirt, coming around a corner, but otherwise we were really happy with the round. She made all the distances, got her leads, and minus the spook, was pretty consistent. She didn't place, but I figured that would happen. 

All pro photos bought from Winslow Photography

Their second round was also very lovely, and earned them a fifth. Cinder marched around the ring like she'd done it hundreds of times before, and didn't look as green as she is. I was so proud of her and A, who was also doing her first rated h/j show. 

There were some lovely movers in the flat, and I honestly expected Cinder to place middle of the pack. A rode her a touch conservatively, but Cinder was getting tired and A was trying to hold her together versus asking for brilliance. So I was shocked to hear their number called in second. I still don't believe that I own a horse that can take a good piece of the hack, but I guess I do. I guess all that dressage does pay off. 

Pro day two, and my time in show ring, to come later this week! 


  1. wow she looks so grown up!! almost like the jumps were too small for them, you must have been so proud! also i don't think i realized before seeing that first picture how *epic* cinder's tail is lol

  2. Look at that gorgeous perfect Cinder <3 and yes her tail is FABULOUS!

  3. Wow! She looks amazing! You have to be so proud. What a good girl.

  4. Awww, baby is all grown up! She looks beautiful, and what a great girl she was! Can't wait to read how the rest went!