Matilda's Show jumping debut with Mr P...
So, the other day - We ventured into the unknown and took Matilda & Mr P show jumping.
Something they've practised at home a handful of times, but with no ring experience. This is due to me being so pedantic about her learning the basics and a strong foundation of flat work first. For me this is such an integral part of training, before leaving the ground especially. I have felt for her as her friends have been out having a blast flying around. For me though, I just wasn't ready and, in my opinion, neither was Matilda.
So, the time came, Matilda and Mr P had been competing and doing well at dressage. Having just come 10th at the NAF BRC Championships! Therefore, we had a few practice runs at home and then out to an unaffiliated comp @ Hascombe Equestrian. Entered into the 80cm & 90cm, I thought I'd eaten something that didn't agree with me... Nope...just nerves. He's a big horse to hold together at the best of times and Tilda is tiny. So clearly, a match made in heaven!
We've arrived and walked the course. "Mum, how am I going to remember where to go?"
Me - "You'll be fine babe, name your fences, either by colour or image and you'll find your way around." So easy to say, when you don't have to do it yourself :-)
My main concern was for her to take it easy, and ride sensibly and elegantly, not to go for gold and it all go horribly wrong. Get a feel for his pace and his and your ability and enjoy it. Make sure you really ride the first fence, as that'll be your main stumbling block and....
Off they go, I am absolutely bricking it! I'm videoing so it takes away from watching too intently. We have a refusal at the first. Kind of knew that was coming, but she needed to experience it to learn from it. Wow, she's going so well, a nice rhythm, jumping off good strides, one more down but a nice rhythmical and safe round. Proud as!!!
Now the 90cm - Holy moly... really, do we have to?!
In she goes, rides much more positively to the first fence, over but knocks it - shame, but not a worry. There're some horrible turns in this round for a large horse, so just keep watching through the lense of my phone and all will be ok. Oooh - P is picking up the pace as the course is becoming a little more technical (not what I'd like). Matilda does well, sits up, takes a strong seat and brings him back. They're doing so well. He takes another pole, but they navigate the horrible turns well and end on another 8 faults. I am sooo proud of them both for even taking part and coming out still on board and with a smile.
What a cracking venue, friendly and supportive and hopefully, we can get out to gain even more ring experience and start to leave all of the poles in position.
Until next time... We will keep practicing...