Friday, February 21, 2014

Battle of the Breeds - Gambler's Choice Jumping

The thing about Gambler's Choice Jumping is that there is no pre-determined course...

course walk
Each jump is worth a certain number of points (25, 50, 75, or 100).  You can only jump the same jump up to 3 times.  You have 60 seconds to jump as many jumps as you can.
When I planned my course the night before, I didn't look at the individual fences.  Instead, I determined how many points each line was worth.
I chose to set a rhythm by starting with some hunter-style lines: outside line, diagonal line, outside line...
The vertical on the end just happened to fall beautifully on the curve after each outside line!
Then, things would get interesting...
The plan was to follow the second time over the vertical on the end with the oxer, roll back in a tear drop shape for the 75 pointer, back over the vertical, and to the oxer again.
If the buzzer hadn't gone off yet, I would take the bending line to the green jump and head to the nearest outside line!

Best laid plans...
We trotted a circle, then the buzzer called.  As we picked up the canter, the music started.  We were accompanied by the Bangles and "Walk Like An Egyptian"!  How appropriate!!

...all the old paintings on the tombs they do the sand dance, don't ya know...

Outside line - end vertical - diagonal line - outside line - vertical all as planned...

the vertical on the end (the second time)
 ...walk like an egyptian...

To the oxer!  I've never asked her to jump a 3' oxer, but I could feel she was game for whatever I pointed her at.  There was no anxiety.  No doubt.  She was going to take it - no questions asked.  She made it feel so easy!

seriously - easy!
 She sighted in on a bending line to the red and white jump and missed my cue to start the roll-back.  I half-halted and asked again, so she swerved toward the green jump and sighted in on that!  Then, she over-reacted when I told her "no really, keep turning!" and stopped slowed way down before following my lead to that 75-pointer.
Now, I recognize this was a rookie mistake on my part.  I should have let her jump the green one then finish my turn for the 75-pointer.  Live and learn, right?
Over 75-er, back to the end vertical, back over the oxer (yup - she jumped it just as big)...

No buzzer yet?
To the green one!
oh, yeah!
 Just as we landed on the far side, the buzzer went off!  We totaled 850 points!  We were in the lead, and we held it for a while!
We took 3rd behind 925 and 900 points!

15 months under saddle, baby!
I heard the crowd cheer each time we jumped!  They seemed to get more excited with every jump we cleared!  It was sooooo cool!!


  1. Wow! That's awesome!! Congrats on a great ride!!

    1. Thanks! There is nothing more inspiring than a successful ride. :)

  2. I think she cleared it. :) Super pony!!

    1. Did she ever! LOL
      So, last night, coach set us up to practice NOT overreacting to big oxers... That will be a post for after the weekend! ;)

  3. Replies
    1. oh, yes! I was hollering right along with the crowd after the buzzer went off!! LOL

  4. Replies
    1. This was my first time doing this kind of class, but it has to be one of the most fun and challenging things I have done, yet! I can't describe how intimidating it is to come up with your own pattern. The individual fences were just too much for me to process!!
      I wouldn't hesitate to ride another one like this!

  5. What a fun class! She looks so game and thrilled to be jumping that big :)

    1. Yeah, now that she knows that she *can* jump that high, she is jumping all of the oxers that high! I guess I'm going to have to set us up for galloping some fences real soon... ;)

  6. I love gambler's choice! Sometimes I get lost out there but thats okay!

    1. Haha! That picture my dad took of me walking the course... I think I'm looking pretty lost! I was riding the rollback in my mind just so that I wouldn't get lost mid-course, but guess what happened anyway? :)



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