|Kat: Must we do this?|
I had a really interesting weekend with Kat. Saturday night we were allowed to school in the rings, which was excellent for Danny. And for me, except that Kat and I refused a LOT of fences.
Me. I refused the fences, it wasn't her fault.
There's video, but I don't have it. I totally went pony-club and hunched my back and leaned on her neck and halfheartedly added a minuscule amount of leg and then sighed when she stopped.
I've been thinking about what happened, and I think I was nervous about her over jumping.
The warm-up Sunday morning was a mess. She was uptight, rocketing sideways at times and porpoising in place in others. One of those rides where you just sort of sit tight and pull all your tricks out and when none of them work you just hope you don't kill anyone. Or is that just me?
I had a kid struggling pretty hard in another arena, so I hopped off Kat & asked a student to hold her. My warning was, "she's going to dance, so just walk fast away from here and don't get stepped on."
I helped the students through the warm up, then collected Kat from student & realized I had five minutes left in the warm up. It must have been my focus, because we popped over all the fences with no further hysterics. If it's 20 minutes of crazy before any event to get her settled, I'll take it. I can sit a few bucks if she'll come back to me like she did at White Rock.
We had a rail in our first class (I decided WAY too late that I needed to add a stride), but we pulled a third in our second class.
Here's the video of the second class.
So we didn't land a single correct lead, but we jumped all the things and maintained some rideability while we were at it! I'll take it. Overall I'm really glad I took her. I wish I'd added a class in the higher fences, but she was pretty tired out from all the craziness so it's really better that I didn't.
My students rode fabulously. I was so incredibly proud of the grit and teamwork I saw.
Bert was highheaded and scatterbrained (can't say I empathize with that... :-P) but the girls riding him did a really good job managing and tremendous amount of horse. I saw a lot of improvement from the SDEC show and also came home with a game plan for doing even better at our next show.
Harley made his first debut at a hunter/jumper show and although he didn't get uptight, he did have a serious issue with the concept of jumping things. Mad props to C for not getting frustrated and acknowledging the skill she displayed in getting him over fences. She placed quite well in two of her classes - one a flat class with a high density of fancy hunter ponies.
Danny is continuing to improve in terms of not-refusing new fences, but it's not where we need it to be yet. His fitness level has also dropped painfully since he had six weeks off due to his whole eye issue - an upcoming post on that and his scheduled surgery next week. E put in a beautiful first round, but he was tired in the afternoon. The two warm-ups were a bit much for him, I think. He's also still remarkably fluffy. Ugh. However, he ribboned in a hunter class. First time for everything. Credit where credit is due, his rider put in one heck of a ride despite being very tired.
Overall? What a phenomenal show - everyone was friendly, the show was well-run, and I can't wait to head back.