Friday, April 15, 2016

To jump or not to jump

That is the question.

While I stock up on ramen because of my entries, I have my first schooling show of the season in just over a week.  Trainer A and I agreed that we'll do Training 3 and First 1.  Form is done, Coggins is ready, all set.

But then I, being a grand fool, started looking at the other half of the show.  They're also running a jumping derby cross.  Oh, man, jumping.  How can I go to a show with jumping and not participate?  We love to jump! 

But it gets complicated.  From previous experience with this show, I'll be one of at most five people going higher than Training level in dressage.  This means I'll be at the very end of the ride times.  The derby cross starts at noon.  With two tests to manage and being right in the middle of the jump heights, I'll probably end up with all three rides within an hour of each other.  That wasn't a big deal when I was eventing, but when I'm supposed to be practicing my DQ mojo, it's a big distraction.  Since it's a schooling show and I wouldn't be jumping to compete there's some flexibility, but it's still a distraction.

There's also the question of jump height.  At home, we bomb around 2'6" like it's nothing.  Beginner Novice?  Pfft.  But take him somewhere new with fill he's never seen?  Now we have a huge question mark.  At two foot they don't fill in their fences, so we marched around great last year.  At 2'6" we'll be facing several colorful panels and possibly a rolltop.  I don't want to do two foot forever.  It's time to move up, but that means a lot of work to get him grooving.  And when we canter out of the ring to do the cross country part?  Well, what are the chances I'll pull off another landing on my feet when he realizes he's going out in the open by himself?  Pony is going to rock pirouettes one day with that quick as a cat spin.

I want to do the derby cross, but the logical part of me says I don't need the distraction with the big kid shows barreling at me.  Mentally it's good for Theo, but it's not easy.  At all.  But the jumps . . .

Should we jump?


  1. I say go for it, but I am a glutton for punishment... Have you talked to trainer about it? Because she would probably give you the best advice.

  2. What kind of horse are you trying to make? A perfect DQ arena-bound princess or a git-r-done, fun all around horse?

    I'd start there and decide.

  3. I'm also a glutton for punishment and think it's all just part of the schooling experience... But yeah, I'd check in with Trainer.

  4. Personally, I'd try to look at the bigger picture. It sounds like trying to make the jumping happen will probably make your dressage tests not what they should be, and could create some stress and tension for your pony. If the goal is to have positive experiences to build on, maybe it's better to do one thing at a time?

  5. I wouldn't bother. It sounds like one more thing to worry about, and instead I'd focus on making my dressage tests as perfect as they can be so you have a clearer idea of what a judge might be looking for as real show season bears down.

  6. I mean, I would probably jump. But that's just me haha.