I should have entered the open for a practice shot at the jumps!
In the warm up, we had a gate to jump. I'm learning quickly that Fancy Pony doesn't trust gates right off the bat...
We trotted it, and she went very deep as I held her together in her wiggly approach... I don't know if she was just checking to make sure I was there to support her 360 degrees, or what.
When I ride, it's as if I set up a box around my pony, and I direct her by changing the shape and position of the box. If she wants to drift right, I put the right wall of my box against her. If I want her to collect, I shorten the box front to back. Well, it felt like she wiggled just enough to ensure the box was in place all the way around.
After the first jump, she was solid and consistent. I wanted to pop over the jump just once to the left before entering the ring, but it was not in the stars. Another rider was commited, and it was time to enter the ring!
We headed in for out flat work, and Fancy Pony was more consistent than she had been in this ring, but we had a couple bobbles in our connection.
Canter felt great, and hand-gallop felt even better! She saw the jumps and she was ready!
While our hand-gallop covered more ground than the horse in front of us, we couldn't pass because they moved in front of us to cut the corner. No problem. We just hand-galloped deep into the corner to maintain our own space. OMG, this horse! Can you ask your horse to hand-gallop deep into a corner? What won't this mare do for me??
Walk and reverse.
More trot, and again, we had connection bobbles. I asked her to really trot on and into my hands, but she remained a tad bit fussy.
Canter - YES!
Again, she started looking for the jumps!
Hand-Gallop! If I didn't keep my inside leg on, she would try to aim for one of those jumps! Silly pony!
Back to the canter, then trot and line up. Well, our flat work wasn't as consistent as I would have liked, but I know it will get there as the season progresses and our conditioning improves.
Our Hack course was 2 jumps set on a half-circle. I was up first. I decided to start with a spiral-out circle rather than just head to the first fence. I trotted 1/3 of the circle, picked up my left lead canter, and headed into the first jump.
I felt like we were tiny bit deep, but she jumped right out of her stride. I was happy with that.
I set us on a perfect, large half-circle to the next fence. Again, a nice quiet jump right out of her stride, but she landed on the right lead. She came quietly down to the trot, lined up, and halted square.
|you might have to look closely...|
We came into the center for the placings, and I thought we were going to get feedback from the judge, but I guess they were just eager to get us moving on along.
We won! We took first place!!
|Fancy Pony - rocking out all weekend!|
I couldn't resist taking a victory lap! We even took the jump again just for the heck of it!!
That Fancy Pony knew she had done well, and she was feeling good about it, too!
Folks, we are now qualified for Nationals in Hunter Hack ATR, as well!
Can I express my excitement and glee?? Words are not enough! Sometimes, I'm just screaming inside because I am just that ecstatic!!
|typical truck dash after a show, right? ;)|