My riding of the ponies has been a bit curtailed recently as I had the opportunity to ride on my riding club’s showjumping team last weekend and I had no hesitation in taking it. Obviously the jumps are too high for Galahad – hence the riding of other horses. Before we had the ponies I used to ride so many different horses in my lessons and it really did make me a better rider – I was reasonably confident sitting on anything. These days I am much more nervous and it feels like it takes me longer to get to know new horses – just because I have got so used to the ponies’ way of going. These couple of weeks have really brought home to me how much I have lost and I am determined to keep riding other horses.
It has been several years since I jumped proper grown-up sized jumps and even longer since I competed for the riding club so I was somewhat nervous but very, very excited. We had a much earlier start than Galahad and I are used to – we do stick to the local shows after all – and I am certainly not used to getting the horses ready in the dark. We also had an interesting journey as the lorry broke down and we arrived as the class was starting.
Of course, that meant we could not walk the course but we are nothing if not determined and it certainly wasn’t the first time I have jumped without a course walk. I overshot one turn slightly but overall we got round pretty well with just one pole down.
We did manage to walk the course for the second round but annoyingly we still had a pole down and time faults as well – which meant we were the discard score for that round. I was still so proud of us though – I had only ridden Murphy a few times and we were working well together. I learnt so much too which I can hopefully use another time.
In the end our team came third overall and second of the qualifiers. We actually had the same score as the qualifying team but were slightly slower – which makes that pole and time faults extra frustrating!
I had the most amazing day though and am very much hoping that I get to do it again soon.