Last weekend my riding club ran a fun jumping event and I decided to have a go. Galahad had never jumped a course indoors before but he has been in several indoor schools so I was not anticipating any trouble. It was rather chilly and drizzling so we spent a lot of time walking up and down outside still wearing a rug. A first for Galahad but one he took in his stride.
Our first class was 40-45cm – nice and simple to start. Apart from a bit of hesitation at the bogey fence by the gate (a lot of horses stopped there) we had a lovely round, although as usual it wasn’t particularly flowing – there was a lot of trotting round the corners.
Luckily the hesitation wasn’t counted as a refusal and we got through to the jump off – our first! After the first fence the whole jump off course was on the left rein which made it easier to keep the canter and as he had been so good I felt a lot more confident about pushing him a bit more. Of course we weren’t competitive speed-wise but suddenly it felt like we were jumping a proper course instead of several separate jumps strung together. It was a fantastic feeling.
Next was a pairs class at the same height but all against the clock. I now felt a bit of team responsibility so pushed for a bit more speed and Galahad was amazing. We jumped a lovely clear round which was only slightly spoiled by him shying away from the box at the end and delaying my pair’s start. It was only when I was back in the box watching his round that I remembered I could have cut some corners but that was just my being over-cautious. We actually managed to come fourth in the pairs class which I was not expecting. Another first – a rosette for jumping!
Lastly we had a speed class, this time at 60-65cm. We had another really good round with only a few strides of trot for lead changes but sadly one pole down. We weren’t fast enough to be competitive but Galahad was amazing, clearing the jumps with plenty of room. We even managed to cut one corner! I was so proud of him.
I had such a great day and it finally felt like we had really got the hang of riding a course. It helped that the fences were nice, plain poles with no scary fillers but it seems like a big step forward for us – Galahad is growing up!