Thursday, November 17, 2011

Post Wedding and IHSA Showing

Yup, you heard that correctly. I'm a married woman now, as of November 5th. My family told me they fully expect me to act just as respectable and married as them. I assume that means carry on as I have been!

Now that the wedding is behind me, I hope to have more time to focus on ponies. I have picked up a training ride at my barn (a black, young, TB mare with balance issues, breaking issues and focus issues), have started GP back into conditioning work, and picked up showing for IHSA again.

Wait, IHSA? Again? What?!

Let me explain. In college, I showed on the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. I showed both Hunt Seat Equitation Flat and Hunter Equitation Over Fences, and it was pretty fun. Nearly every weekend I was off at the horse show. How many college kids can say the same?

Flash forward to Friday of last week when I received a frantic text message asking if I would mind showing in the Alumni class for SMWC's show that weekend. Um? There weren't enough alumni to make a complete class, so they needed one more. I agreed, with the stipulation that they not expect much. A quick lesson was arranged for me, so I could school over a few of the horses and get in a quick practice in a hunter frame (ew).

Friday I rode 4 horses, and jumped all of them (yeah, GP jumped ... more on that later). My lesson was pretty okay, and I remembered how to sit up after a fence, and slow down. On my way out of the barn I realized I was locked in my car and had to wait 2 hours in the cold for Christian to come pick me up (marital duties suck). Early Saturday morning I located all my old show clothes, ironed them and put them on (Hurray, everything still mostly fits! Turns out my shoulders have gotten wider, that's it ... ) When I went to put my helmet on at the show, I discovered, to my horror, that it had molded around the crown. Oops. Obviously, it's been awhile ...

Needless to say, I was in this for fun, not expecting to win (spoiler: I totally didn't). Let me add, I haven't ridden hunter for YEARS. I graduated (and thus showed my last IHSA show) in 2008, and haven't looked back. I haven't even JUMPED in over a year and half. My riding has been severely limited due to the wedding and the move and the lame horse.

I wanted to go out there and not embarrass myself completely. I think I managed that. Here's your video recap, jumping rides only:

Saturday's Jump Ride:

• I initially pulled Joy, a privately owned mare who was SUPER unhappy about the whole idea of showing IHSA. She had been refusing all afternoon, and with the rider just before me, she had refused almost every single jump. Fun.
• Once we got over the first fence, we were golden. I managed to settle into a rhythm (sorta). Looking at the video, it's obvious I haven't been riding for awhile. I'm unable to keep my hip angle closed enough.

Saturday's Re-Ride:

• Due to Joy's dirty, dirty stop on the first fence, I was awarded a re-ride on Bella, a small white pony mare who is ALL head. She needs a super supportive ride, basically requiring me to cue her when to jump. I buried her at the curved diagonal line, and she let me know it. I believe I muttered "omph!" upon landing that fence. It was ... UGLY.

Sunday's Jump Ride:
• Sunday I arrived to the show 30 min before my class, and drew Remy to ride. With less time to worry or think, I just focused on riding "in the moment" instead of floating around with my eyes unfocused (which is how I felt on Saturday). I think I was rewarded with a much better ride.
• You'll notice I need a bit more speed in the first half of the ride. We rode it balanced, and I don't feel too bad about it. We still should have have 4 strides in the first outside line. Oops.

What do you think?