And just when I had everyone convinced we were going to stick to the dressage ring, we escaped to do a bit of jumping. I did promise Theo that if he was a good boy, he would get to do some jumping at a show. He definitely qualified as a good boy this season and I like to keep my promises.
Showing in fall does mean a certain amount of hair control. With Theo, that means body clip number two for the season. This time we went for a blanket clip. Hopefully this will hold him for a month or so. This pony sure knows how to grow hair. I also did maintenance on his magnificent tail. A local schooling show after going to Saugerties was incredibly laid back. I chucked my stuff on the trailer, slapped in nine braids (left his forelock down), and called it show prep. It was so laid back that my husband had to remind me to go to bed early since it didn't feel like I had a show.
This laid back attitude led to my best dressage performance all season. 27.9 from a recognized judge for our Beginner Novice B test. Woohoo, dressage pony! It was soft, willing, and calm. The only real thing to make that judge happier would be more energy in the trot. Well, yeah, but I'll probably see that every time Theo goes in a dressage ring. We got a 9 for our final salute and the judge was beaming at us. Basically, we had the ride I should have had in Saugerties. Oh well, next time I'll try not to get stage fright.
As for the jumping? My goodness did he try for me. Doing Beginner Novice adds things like combinations and a lot more fill. He went in with wide eyes. There were jumps in the ring! The green and red plank fence got the stink eye every time we went near it. The first three jumped nicely, but when we turned to four he was so busy stink eye'ing that fence that he didn't see fence four (the combination) until we were on top of it. We had a stop, but it was calm and very honest. He just didn't see it until it was too late. We circled around and he bombed through the two stride like a freight train, then managed the four stride bending line to a vertical where half of my class had a refusal. When we finally got to fence 8, the green and red plank, he twisted through the whole approach. He did not want! But he jumped it on the first try. We only had the one stop for four penalties. Still good enough for second!
After my failed attempt at a selfie, I recruited help.
So very proud of my dressage pony. I got up off his back and he dragged me to the fences. He was so honest and willing, I couldn't ask for more.
Then I celebrated the start of my off season, aka the schooling show season.
Bring on the jumping!