So if you’ve been following my sporadic updates thus far, you’ll know that I went into showjumping on Sunday in the lead, and I had on repeat in my head that it was mine to lose- I am classic when it comes to effing things up in the last moment.
I always felt like showjumping was my weakest phase, as well as Jack’s. He doesn’t exactly jump in the most excellent form, is spooky and gets flat and fast when worried (and I take lots of rider fault for that- I let the squirrels in my head run away with me too when things come up so fast).
But the course looked like it would favor us- meaning it was very twisty-turny with only a couple long approaches. I hate long approaches. Therefore I was most concerned about fence 5, which would totally trick me into getting that flat, fast canter that I’m (he’s) so good at.
My plan going in, was to dip between the timers and fence 8, so I could get him close to the fences and also keep my turn to fence 1 short and bending. This would allow me to keep both of us balanced. So despite it looking a little rough, we executed the plan and I’m happy with the result.
In the end, I’m okay with my round, though I definitely know my weak points- as predicted those longer approaches- 5 and 8. Fence 5 was totally on me- I just got to the fence in a weird spot, and probably if I would have kept my leg on I would have gotten a flyer, or I could have held for a deep spot. As it was I panicked at the last second, and in order to pick up the pieces Jack saved my rear by scrambling and then popping over it. Fence 8 we just ran up under. Oh well.
Somehow we were able to make it around clear and secure the win, and all I can say is thank goodness style is not a requirement in showjumping. I don’t think I breathed the whole time- and I normally do get nervous about showjumping, but I fully admit that this was on another level, and while I did my best to execute on the plan I had made with the trainer, my nerves definitely got the better of me (hello, fence 5) – I need to do better to not put Jack in those places where he has to save the day.
I have never led a victory gallop. Good lord it was fun. I still don’t know that it’s sunk in that the win even happened, but I won’t lie- that blue ribbon is extra pretty. And jack didn’t even spook at it as we ran around the arena!