Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Back to square one, or more circles anyway

I took my cob, Harry, to a local show jumping show recently. He was an angel to catch, groom, load and unload - then turned into a little devil in the warm-up!

The venue was new to both of us. I thought it was lovely, a nice big open field, surrounded by trees. Harry obviously thought it harboured all manner of dangerous things, and the other horses innocently warming up were mad brutes who might go for him at any moment. He passaged around the arena (if a cob can passage), then every time I turned him for the practice fence he put his head down and charged!

Our first attempt in the ring was the opposite of the ideal show jumping round. Far from maintaining a nice, rythmic canter, we were either trotting or tanking, but amazingly we got a clear round, and a rosette! Having put in a huge effort trying to stay in control, I felt as though I was going to burst into flames - Harry hardly turned a hair.

Our next attempt was somewhat better, but we badly mistimed one fence and had it down. Then the proper competition started, over the same course, and of course Harry thought he knew what he was doing and got careless.

Again, I didn’t get the stride exactly right at two fences and had them down. But I felt more in control, and we did get a good canter for most of the round. It really was a fun evening, and we loaded up and went home happy, especially as Harry’s friend Red had come third in the class.

Back to the drawing board - or should I say, the manège!

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