If you have read my first blog post you know that I have been on my journey to the 1.20s for about two years. The first six months I took two lessons a week and felt that I outgrew the lesson horse and would need my own to move up. Enter Greyson, my 2004 OTTB gelding and first official jumper. We spent a year getting to know each other and learning new skills. After the first year of doing nothing but lessons I felt it was time to put my skills to the test and enter a show. Wow my first show in over 5 years and my very first rated show.
First off all showing hunter jumpers is a whole lot different than paint shows. The entry process is different, the set up is different. Having to learn all the different divisions and jumping tables. A bit overwhelming at first but nothing I couldn’t handle. Lucky for me my trainer is amazing and guided me through this process.
My very first class we entered the .85 open jumpers. Wouldn’t you know it we ended up second in a class with 16 horses! I was beyond thrilled and it gave me the confidence I needed.
Though I didn’t repeat my second place showing for the rest of the show we did end up with multiple ribbons and I even entered some meter classes. Unfortunately, I ended up feeling like I wasn’t ready for the meters by the end of the show as the jumps looked big and I was incredibly nervous in the meter classes we entered. But hey it gives us something to work on at home not that I lack things to learn.
A month goes by and I enter my next rated show. Annnnnd…winner winner chicken dinner! I won my first championship in .85s and I entered some .90s but seemed to always make some mistake or another that caused a rail to go down. Can’t win them all.
Ok so now it is official, I got bit by the horse show bug! I am ready let’s do this! So we enter my first A rated show, Giant Steps Charity Classic. Such a fan of that show. I had a blast and really felt like I was getting the hang of hunter jumper shows. Hmm did I mention that I won Champion in .85s and reserve champion in the .95s? Moving on up!
Okay so we take a few months off showing. We are working hard on moving up. Both my trainer and myself feel like I have accomplished the .85s-95s and need to move up. We work on jumping bigger at home during this break from showing. I’m jumping 3’3-3’6 and I am starting to not feel intimidated by the meter jumps. I even went through the grid with a 3’9 jump at the end!
It is time we go to our last show of the year. I am going to enter the meters and only the meters. Not sure what was wrong but we were just off our game. Most of my classes I had a rail and didn’t end up with a placing. We did have one success, we got a 4th in the open meters with 21 horses. I am learning you have to be happy with small successes. A good friend told me that riding is not a linear process, you have steps forward, backwards and sidewise. I try to keep that in mind when I start to doubt myself or Greyson. But now it is the winter and I started helping my trainer as a working student so I can soak in as much knowledge and ride as much as possible. It’s been raining and we have been stuck indoors doing tedious exercises. I yearn to get back into our outdoor ring and put our practice to a full course.
That pretty much sums up my year and now I can do regular post in the present. I hope you will stick with me on this journey because I am just getting started.