More firsts

Well today has been one of more firsts. Buddy and I made our debut representing Carleton Riding Club. We were in two teams no less! And first time jumping at Geldeston.

First up was Style Show Jumping. I’m going to be honest here, I’d never heard of Style SJ before. Rarely has the word ‘style’ been used in a complimentary way about my jumping. Well apart from being told I’m an elegant faller… So I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

To come away with 6th place was a huge surprise. Especially as it was a challenge getting round the course. Buddy wasn’t feeling jumping this morning. Still we jumped all the jumps (not necessarily first time) and we put a score on the board for the team. Thankfully the other members were much more stylish so the team ended up in 3rd place.

Then onto SJ and the 80cm team. I took a jumping whip with me this time and made sure that Buddy was moving off my leg in the warm up. He was a bit shocked when I gave him a little tap. But was soon flying the practise jumps.

A couple of feral moments in the ring with two run outs and a pole down. Disappointed with it but I know I overrode it. Still we started together and finished together, even when I lost a stirrup and had to jump the double without it.

Another regroup before going back into the second round. A bigger and longer track this time. Oh my goodness, Buddy was so much more confidence. I let it flow and we were clear to the last two. Sadly we had them both down. But I was thrilled to finish on a much better note.

So imagine my surprise when I heard our team won! Again, grateful that the other team members were much better riders and all had double clears. We were definitely making up the numbers today (as both our rounds were the discard score). But that’s OK. We did it!

Sadly I’m now sporting a black eye where I head butted a metal corner in the lorry. That’s definitely not a first for me.…

Redemption

First competition of 2022 done! A spot of show jumping at Easton College. The last time I was here, I had a rather interesting time. And a flying lesson from Buddy.

To say I was a little apprehensive would be an understatement. But I honestly couldn’t fault Buddy today. He warmed up beautifully for the 60cm class. He felt switched on and ready to go. I haven’t felt so calm before a competition for a long time. Few sticky moments in the ring, but he listened and responded when I asked. Thrilled with a clear round and 3rd place.

Then onto the 70cm. Again, he felt up for it and flew round the course in a much better rhythm. Just the last down but still bagged 6th place as it was a decent time. Totally my fault as I knew I’d got the turn wrong so it was an awful line. But he tried his best for me.

To come back with two placings was beyond my dreams. I was aiming for understated and to enjoy myself. I’m trusting him more. I’m trusting me more. And more than anything I’m trusting our training.

Hard work paid off today. Onwards and upwards.