I want to start this post by thanking my barn family and all of the trainers at KBF for being so supportive, and fun, and keeping everything low-key and running smoothly all day. I am especially grateful to my trainer, who thinks for me when my brain shorts out. I am also eternally thankful for media from Diane Rice Segura–all pictures in this post appear courtesy of her and she documented the entire day of showing for everyone at KBF, even with her own mare competing.
Over six months after our last show, Eli and I FINALLY got back in the show ring at a local one-day show on Saturday. The division we entered typically runs at the end of the day, so sometimes not even until 4pm. (Eli had a stall and all-you-can-eat hay.) This Saturday, however, I was in the middle of lounging around the 2’6″ ring at 11:45am, drinking rosé, watching some barnmates compete in a fairly large division that was taking forever, and chatting with barn peeps when I looked over to the 3′ ring and saw jump crew carrying around brightly-striped poles. WAIT WHAT. They were already setting for the jumpers. There goes my nap. Quite a few of my barnmates were going in either the 2’6″-2’9″ jumpers or the 3′-3’3″ jumpers so we were all a little stunned they were ready to set so early, but some hunter divisions didn’t make and that’s horse showing for ya.
I walked the first course and two of the lines were set a bit short, and a tricky triple combination had me a bit worried–it was a regular one-stride to a tight two-stride, and in two of the three classes. Thanks, course designer.
Eli warmed up just fine and we had minimal drama while I gave him extra time to walk around and get over everything. We hopped over a few low verticals at the trot, cantered a low, ramped oxer which my trainer then jacked up to a slightly higher square oxer, and then finished over 3’3″ vertical feeling ready to go. There were seven in the division of three back-to-back classes.
For the first class, I was a little too amped, over-thinking, and over-riding, and Eli hadn’t exactly settled either, so I was barely keeping up with him. Most everything rode okay, however, I checked Eli too hard in the last line, forgot where I was, and held for a ridiculously tight distance and had a rail. Rider error all the way. There were plenty of rails for other riders, so we pinned regardless. Surprising, though, because the fences were an awfully soft 3′-3’3″. I swear one vertical was still at 2’6″.
The second class was a speed round, but knowing Eli there were some inside right turns we would not be attempting. For once, EVERYTHING came together, went according to plan, and we had a great smooth round, clean and competitive enough for a ribbon.
The last timed first jump-off class went reasonably well for us, too, although I again checked Eli too much in one of the short lines (the one by the grandstand that he found spooky) but he cleared that line anyway. Unfortunately, we had a truly cheap rail at the last single vertical that we had jumped from the exact same distance without issue in the other classes. Again, still good enough for some satin. We wound up with two thirds and a fifth, although I’m not sure in which classes. For these local shows and small classes, blue is easily within reach for us if I get out of Eli’s way and let him go double clear like I know he can.
I bathed Eli and wrapped him up for shipping back home, where I unpacked while Eli ravenously ate his dinner and then sacked out in his stall for a bit, as his typical mid-day nap had been interrupted by the horse show. He will ultimately have most of this week off because of stormy weather and he’s getting vaccinations and whatnot on Tuesday. He definitely deserves a break from work and some extra apples!
There is some video of our rounds, so as soon as I get my hands on it I’ll post some. I also spied one of the professional photographers (oh, Eli did, too, ha, that was funny!) so I will be stalking her site to see what she got of us. I am already itching to show again. One more little thing that’s bugging me–my black tall boots look like they have dropped a shade too much–I’d like them about 1/4″ taller than they look–what do y’all think?