Monday, December 5, 2011

Our hunter-jumper re-debut!

I say re-debut because we used to show hunter-jumpers but now we're trying it in a sidesaddle!

I have to say I was SO pleased with Brigit. I warmed her up astride because I thought she might get a bit looky at some of the decorations (it was full blown Christmas in the ring!) and I thought it would be better to get her settled with a leg on each side first. She was SO quiet and SO good I could hardly believe it. No spooks, no speedy-ness, no rushing or pulling on me. Just a nice soft easy going pony.

Went back and changed tack and I changed into my sidesaddle attire (which I was up till 11:30 pm finishing!) and back into the ring we went! Boy were a lot of people VERY surprised to see me riding sidesaddle and I got a lot of "You're not going to JUMP like that are you?!?!"... You betcha!!
Warming up in our fancy Christmas outfit...
Let me tell you I was so nervous I thought I was going to throw up. We went in and did a few warmup jumps and everything went really smoothly so my nerves settled down a bit. My next fear.... forgetting the course! But thank goodness for the hunter world.... Love their easy to remember, flowing courses. Quarterline, diagonal, outside line, diagonal, outside line and DONE.

Our first division was the 2'0" classes. The course rode really nicely and I thought we nailed every jump except one. Boy was this TIRING though! My leg was aching already after one round! 3 more to go and 2 flat classes!

We made it around the courses and had a really fun time. I was pretty proud of myself that we'd survived and actually made it look not too bad! And we'd placed in every class! We ended up with two 3rd's, a 4th, two 6th's and an 8th. Definitely not too shabby at all! The classes were fairly big and the riders were very good. You could tell most of them are pretty serious hunter riders, so I think we did well considering we were really just kind of winging it.

This is a video of one of our 2'3" rounds...

The owner of the barn we were at (who's on the Canadian Equestrian Team) was helping to hand out ribbons on the last division and was so impressed that we had jumped sidesaddle! He asked if we'd be showing in any other classes as he'd really like to see it (didn't get to see our previous rounds). I said I wasn't too sure, I was getting pretty tired and Brigit was too. Plus we hadn't jumped 2'6" sidesaddle. I figured I'd try a few warmup jumps and they went well... So I figured what the heck, why not. Well.... we probably shouldn't have... it was not a good round. I think my right leg was just too tired and for the life of me I couldn't find a nice distance to any of the fences, nor could I stay with the motion. There was a few times I thought I was going to get ejected! We made it around the course but let me tell you... it wasn't pretty. The barn owner was still pretty impressed though and offered to let us do another round but I declined, I was just too tired.

From looking at some of the photos, I can see that I definitely need to fix my position. It appears that I'm tipping over to the left over the fences, so no wonder I was feeling like I was nearly getting chucked out of the saddle on the landing. Hopefully with more practice and awareness that I'm doing it, I can fix it. At this point... I sure can't imagine going any higher (though I'd LOVE to!). There has to be something I'm doing or not doing quite right that's holding me back.... hmm..... A new challenge to conquer!
This is the photo that shows me tipping to the left badly!


  1. What a good pony! Well done you two :) You did really well with your placings! Do you have a close-up photo of your costume?

  2. Told ya!

    I also would like a close up of your turnout, and don't forget to send those points into ISSO.

  3. The best photo I got is the blurry one of us standing there. I don't know what was wrong with my camera! I think this calls for a ride out in the snow and a photo shoot!

    And thanks guys!

    p.s. Robin, I will definitely send the points in! I haven't seen the latest Aside World but hopefully they'll be enough to keep me up in the standings!

  4. You haven't? You're way up there!

  5. Aww darn! I hear I'm WAY behind for overall high point. lol I guess I can't win everything!