Galahad and I recently got another chance to compete as part of a team, this time with the riding club. It was again teams of four with each person jumping a different height. Obviously with my little pony I was jumping the lowest height.
The warm up was again on rather damp grass and given our mishap on our last outing I was very careful over the practise fences and didn’t come out of a trot. We still slid into one of the jumps and Galahad was a bit wobbly trying to avoid the muddy take off spot so I didn’t over jump him.
Our first round went very well and we whizzed round clear. My team mates did the same so after one round we were in the lead and quite excited.
Galahad was also great in the second round but I messed it up for him. Between fences three and four we needed to change the canter lead but I got my whip tangled in my reins and was distracted by trying to untangle it. I didn’t even think about the leading leg until it was too late. We had to jump off the wrong leg so Galahad wasn’t well balanced and we knocked the fence down.
It was such a silly mistake and it really wasn’t necessary to untangle my whip – I felt pretty bad about letting both Galahad and my team down. The next two members of my team both got four faults as well and the last got twelve. We ended up eighth out of ten which wasn’t bad but was rather disappointing after our good start!
Galahad and I have made our debut as part of a team! It was incredibly exciting as I haven’t been on a riding team since I left university and Galahad never has. I was nervous I would completely mess up – not on my own account but I did not want to let my team down.
The day didn’t have the best of starts as the warm up fence was on grass and it had been raining. Galahad was jumping well but slipped over just after landing and we both ended up on the floor and pretty muddy. Luckily neither of us was hurt and after getting the worst of the mud off Galahad we were ready to go again. I was a little concerned he would have lost his confidence but he popped back over the fence with no problem and we were all set.
I needn’t have worried at all – Galahad was a star and flew round the course clear. Each team member jumped a different height and had two rounds – the second against the clock. Our practise over angled fences gave me the confidence to push Galahad a bit harder in the timed round and again Galahad was super and flew round. I could not be more pleased with him.
We ended up coming second in the class and were only beaten by a boy on another team from my yard which wasn’t so bad. Apparently there wasn’t much between us time wise and I was absolutely thrilled (the fact that I had done well for the team definitely helped with that!).
I spent the rest of the day manning the arena gate (and getting sand constantly blown into my eyes). It was good to feel part of the team and I got to catch up with a few friends I hadn’t seen for a while so I had a great time.
The next member of my team won her class, then the other two came tenth and eighth. It was a very close run thing but overall as a team we came fourth which I was very pleased with as a first attempt. We were second out of the three teams from my instructor’s yard and as we were the least experienced I thought that wasn’t bad either!
Overall I had a fantastic day and was very pleased with the way Galahad went. He has improved so much over the last few months and I have a lot more confidence in our ability now. It feels great to take him round a course and I can’t wait for the next time!