I probably should apologize to the hunter/jumper community for how nonchalant I was about going to this show. I decided to do it the day before entries were due, I signed up for just two classes on one of the days, and did absolutely zero prep. Well ok, I did wipe the dirt off my breastplate and brush my horse’s tail, if that counts.
The show was at a venue that is literally 15 minutes from my barn, and the jumper classes were the last of the day on Saturday. So like any not-all-that-dedicated-to-this person, I texted a friend around noon and asked how things were running. After a few more episodes of Parks and Rec on Netflix I peeled the corgi off my lap, peeled myself off the couch, found a clean pair of breeches and a sunshirt, and drove to the barn. Side note: I only own one pair of tan breeches now, yet THREE pairs of whites. And I really would have rather worn the whites than the tan, if not for the whole white-is-way-overdressed-for-a-schooling-h/j-show thing. Damn, I think I’ve been fully assimilated into eventerdom.
After tossing all my stuff (only one set of tack and boots? awesome.) in my truck and Henry in my trailer, we were off. I got to the show, went and picked up my number, and stopped by the ring to check out the courses. I was using this show as a bit of a test for us. The idea was to show up, go into the 3’3″, not feel intimidated by the height, and have a rideable horse. No warm-up class of lower fences to ease into it, no hanging out at the venue ahead of time to get acclimated, just straight into the 3’3″. I think Henry is pretty used to not having those luxuries anymore since we’ve been eventing, but sometimes I tend to ride like an idiot and make bad decisions. This whole thing was really more for my sake than Henry’s, let’s be honest.
I thought he might be a little spooky at the first few fences, but no. Henny’s starting to qualify for Pro status. We had one rail in the first class (totally my fault) but none in the second class. He was rideable, he was steady, and while my riding wasn’t perfect, nothing about the day seemed like a struggle and the jumps didn’t look big to me. That’s exactly what I was hoping for. There was even some satin, although I didn’t pick it up. Sorry abandoned satin, I wanted to go home. Also, thank you to whoever the kind stranger was from SOF that videoed my first round for me! Having no entourage for such things is the downside to showing alone.
It was a good confidence booster for both of us and a fun way to test ourselves a bit. While I still hate the crap out of the hurry-up-and-wait thing at the h/j shows, there’s a lot of value in being able to get some laid-back, casual miles without spending much money or driving too far. Maybe we’ll come visit you again in May, Jumperland.