Sunday, June 22, 2014

PMD Show Part 2: The Importance of Groundrails... to Comrade

Sorry this post took so long. Everything about this show was long, so I guess it follows pattern. Well after the breed classes finished, they took a 30min lunch. I noticed that everyone was warming up in the ring with the show jumps and jumping over them. Hunters blow my Eventer mind. So when in Rome, I tacked up and joined the crowd. The jumps were simple panels with flower boxes, set at 18".

 After warming him up, I pointed Comrade towards a fence. No problem. He did not even look at it. Now I shake up the arena. My Eventer eyes don't see straight lines between jumps and I started doing broken lines and roll backs. Comrade ate it up and I had a blast. And I should mention we were rocking all this in a dressage saddle, though we were not the only ones during this show.
I was doing one of my broken lines going diagonal to diagonal and decided to let him canter the last fence. I noticed that just beyond that fence two riders were sitting on their horses watching us. There was room for me to turn so I went with it. Comrade gave me a great jump and then, social butterfly that he is, went towards the riders. I was telling him to go left, but then all of a sudden I was meeting the lovely bluestone arena up close. Comrade spun and looked horrified that I was on the ground. His eyes got huge and he backed up like "Oh, SHIT." People probably thought I was even more crazy because I was so pumped about his jumping, I did not care about the fall. Ok, I did come up with commentary for the riders I was dumped in front of, "That's what you get for not doing straight lines."
After taking a short break, I got back on and made him jump a few more. Of course he decided that they were scarier now, but he still went over. I was not there to win ribbons, I was there to train and have fun. So as with the whole show, after warm up we had a super long wait. Comrade did not like that at all. Neither did I, as I thought of lovely scheduled times. Sigh...
When the class finally started, I had to decide between 18" and 2'. And no I could not do one at one height and the other at the other. Which I totally don't understand since they are all pinned together anyways. I went for broke and did the 2'. It's just a pole on top right? Little did I know how exciting the one little pole would make things.
When the rider's doing 18" were done they reset. I took Comrade into the other ring to trot him and he gave me a great trot. Then I went in the jump ring and got pokey trot. Seriously, I told him to get moving.
As promised, video plus peanut gallery comments: Course 1

The first two, okay.

The third Okay

and the fourth refused.

I circled and told him he was going over.

What followed was the craziest jump ever and a pulled rail Mom's phone lets you take pictures from the video, so you know what I did :) Here is the sequence

The next jump was good

and the one that followed his tried to run left, blocked and went over deep.

 I thought about cantering the next one, but decided to stay with trot approaches. The last two were not too bad.

 I broke the rules and cantered the last circle. I had a rail down anyway so what the heck.

And Course 2 video:

Our second round, just a reverse of the first was better. No refusal, but lazy butt still pulled a rail. I had to ride each fence and some were not pretty. He did it though and I was totally buzzed. I did get a baby buck at one point. Of course we did not place, but who cares, I GOT TO JUMP!!! Can you tell I was happy to jump.

As we were driving home, I talked through the ride. I told my Mom he kept getting in deep, then jumping big. For Comrade that is way too much work so that is when he tried to run out the sides. I did not have all that drama at 18". Later it dawned on us that warming up the rails used for the 2' were acting as ground rails. That is how we set them at home, so Comrade knew what to do. It was only when they used those rails as part of the jump leaving no ground rail that he had the problem of getting too deep occured. It also explains why he really likes oxers. So Comrade needs to learn how to take off confidently so that even if a ground line is absent he can manage.
I did have to laugh because they had flower boxes that were only in the middle of the jump. I think they thought to save money and give a center focus. Unfortunately, it seemed to cause the greener horses to veer off center away from the flowers. Hardly any of the short stirrup or low hunter riders managed straight lines. I did enjoy watching an awesome girl riding a Sec A pony who was a speed demon. That girl stayed out of the pony's way and did not get too far up her neck. Too many times you see pony riders leaning way forward and putting the pony out of balance.
So overall the jumping was fun and informative. I still am not a Hunter, but Hunter shows have the benefit of quantity at a lower price. Good for training and milage which Comrade needs. And let me say that my buzz caused quite a crash later. I swear I had a horse show hang over for days after.
I also have a souvenir, but will talk about that another time.


  1. In a proper hunter class, they should have ground lines on every fence. I'm surprised they didn't for your 2'! Sorry you fell and the other riders were snarky, but if the ring was crowded or others were trying to go it might have caused some confusion by you doing bending lines and rollbacks when they expected you to just ride the lines as set. Not trying to be argumentative, just offering the perspective from someone who shows hunters a lot :) Glad you had fun jumping!

    1. Oh, Lauren they were not snarky. That was the commentary I was hearing in my head. They were looking at me so funny I could not help but imagine. Luckily for me it was near the end of the warm up and they were the only two in there with me. The Welsh owners tend to be pretty nice.
      Mom and I could not believe they did not have ground lines, but it was all good training.