Last Sunday was our inter-club team show jumping event. Cookster came with Galahad and I so for the very first time I had two ponies to compete. That really is the dream!
What wasn’t the dream was the weather – it poured down all day and I don’t think I have ever been so wet. I have certainly never been able to pour water out of my riding boots before and they are still not quite dry now! Luckily, the long dry spell meant that although the ground got a bit soggy it was nowhere near as slippery as it might have been. We had to be aware of the footing but there was very little slipping.
The teams consisted of four riders, each jumping a different height. As my two ponies were the smallest on our teams I jumped the lowest height – 50-60cm – on both of them. Cookster was first up and stopped at both of the first two jumps. After that though he suddenly seemed to wake up to what we were doing and flew round. He sadly knocked two poles down but he was jumping beautifully and I was so pleased with him.
As soon as we were finished I got straight onto Galahad (who had been warmed up by one of the children – such luxury!), had a practice jump and within a few minutes we were called into the ring. As we went through the gate my instructor – who knows all my weaknesses – said, ‘Keep those eyes up!’ It was good advice and it worked as Galahad jumped a lovely, flowing clear round. It was so good to feel him going forward confidently.
After a break whilst the higher rounds were jumped Cookster and I were back in the ring. This time Cookster knew from the start what was going on and he jumped a beautiful round with only one fence down. We also had a silly stop which was entirely my fault – there was a bit of a dog leg line which I messed up, tried to correct and ended up completely confusing him so he slid to a stop. It was annoying but I was so pleased with the rest of the round and, again, it was definitely not his fault.
Then it was another quick change onto Galahad – and another instruction to keep my eyes up! Once again, Galahad jumped a super round but we did have a stop as the same fence as Cookster. Again, it was my fault – I think I was worried about it after Cookster’s round and that made me mess it up again. Definitely need to work on dog legs! Galahad was great though and I was so pleased with him.
In fact, I was very proud of both ponies. Cookster has really come on with his jumping and did so well, especially as this was his first show. Galahad is really jumping nicely too and feels wonderfully confident – which is not always the case! They both also coped very well with the ground – Galahad can be a bit tentative on slippery surfaces but that was not a problem at all.
Cookster’s team came third and Galahad’s second so it was a pretty successful day results wise too. Definitely worth braving the weather!