Sunday was much better weather (thank goodness) but a much longer day. We got to the barn at 6:30 am to feed, grabbed some breakfast at Bob Evans and then waited around until about 3 pm for my last two classes:
- Limit Hunter Over Fences 3
- Limit Hunter – Handy Round
Remember, this is the show that does this crazy handy hunter class as part of all the hunter divisions. In essence, it’s a hunter class on steroids in which I do not get to do single, diagonal, line, diagonal and actually have to spend time not only memorizing a course, but figuring out where to go. For my little hunter pea-brain it’s quite a stretch.
Once it was (FINALLY) time to ride, Miles got 10 minutes of warm-up (because apparently he is a horse show veteran) and we went in for our third trip. Unfortunately my phone died and I have no video evidence, but I trumped yesterday’s rounds and LAID IT DOWN for literally the best ride ever. It was just one of those rides where everything worked and it was (mostly) effortless. I nailed my distances, made all my strides look even and Miles took care of the lead changes.
I swear, it’s the most gratifying feeling to see all your hard work pay off; it’s like all the tough rides I had on Vinny and all of the struggle over the summer finally made a difference and I rode that course just like I do at home: with confidence and poise. It was absolutely fabulous.
Our last class was the handy round, in which my goal was to stay on course, complete all of the elements and not fall off. There were a few options for turns, but I opted for all of the long approaches since I haven’t practiced turns at ALL with Miles yet. Overall, it was a solid round for us. We could have been more polished in our transition to the trot, and I wish I could have done it a little bit later, but I felt Miles gearing up for a lead change, which I didn’t want. So I’m happy I recognized that, but wish I could have made the transition more smoothly. Our “rollback” to the gray diagonal basically sucked, but Miles was a saint and went over it anyways. We then cross-cantered for four strides before getting a skip change, which was my fault for not stretching up and pushing him forward; he had no momentum to get the change. Our diagonal line was good, except for my TERRIBLE right leg that couldn’t push him out and made it look like we were about to crash into the end jump. And then I almost forgot we didn’t need a circle but still had to walk out. Oops.
After a grand total of 20 minutes ringside, Miles went back to his stall, ate treats and then loaded onto the trailer to head home 30 minutes later. Sam and I waited around for about an hour for the rest of my division to finish to see if we got any more ribbons. And I’m so glad we waited!
|WE GOT A THIRD!!!!!
Miles and I took THIRD in Limit Hunter Over Fences 3 and 8th in the Handy Hunter (no ribbon for that, but they announced my name so I’m counting it!) Sam and I both screamed and jumped up and down when they announced my 3rd place and everyone stared – but I was so overwhelmingly excited! To have ridden this horse for a month and half, jumping probably only 8 times EVER and to get two 5ths and 3rd out of 12 is so remarkable. I never thought I would feel comfortable enough to show a horse over fences so soon, much less ride the way I did.
I am so blessed and lucky to have found Miles and have him in my life!