Monday, December 23, 2013

Horse Show Report- Classic Day

Sunday is the NAL Classic day.  I typically just do this one class on that day.  It was the last class in the jumper ring so I spent the day getting to watch my friends, watch the jumpers, shop, and spend time with my horse.  My favorite tack store was there so I did get some new things.  I will do a product review post on those because I think they are great products to share.

The show was in Ocala at HITS Post Time facility.  They are setting up for HITS so there are tents as far as the eye can see.  It's insane.  Before the place was bought by Tom Struzzeiri for HITS it was a race farm so there is a track, paddocks, and a number of permanent barns.  For those that don't know, HITS started in FL in the 80s and has since expanded coast to coast.
 Jumper ring
Spoiled Mini Nugget

Horse show life is exhausting

Poppy.  Love her.

Here is my classic course.

When it was finally time for my class I got ready and headed to the ring to wait for my trainers M and N.  They were at the hunter ring which has priority.  There were 3 of us from the barn in the class.  We were the last to go so we warmed up and waited.  Poppy was feeling especially spicey.  It's like she knows when it's classic day.  Slow was not going to be in her plan.  She felt like at any moment she was going to explode.  I actually like when she is like that.  It's her game face.

N and M made it over and warmed us up over the jumps.  Our routine is to jump an oxer on a figure 8 off each lead as they keep raising and widening it.  We then finish with a tall vertical.  Generally they try to get us to get a hard rub before going in the ring but Poppy hates to rub rails so we don't do that with her.  We focus on distance and rideability.  My barn mates voted me to ride first.  There were some tricky bending lines where they walked on the half stride so we all were curious how they would ride.  Jump 1 started with a big intimidating oxer which then was a left bend in 7.5 strides to jump 2.  I opted for a wider path so I could fit a nice 8 strides, then a going uphill 5 strides to jump 3.  Jump 4ab was a one stride then a tight bending 7 strides to a skinny jump 5.  6 was a huge oxer at the end of the ring.  It came up faster than I anticipated and got there long.  Super mare was good to me didn't bat an eye.  Then jump 7 to 8 was a really awkward 7 strides.  You had to ride it like a 90 degree angle.  This was tricky as jump 8 was a big oxer so you wanted to get there right on.  She was perfect and it was a really tight 4 strides from jump 8 and 9.  Jumps 10 to 11 was a 5.5 stride so I again made a wider path so I could fit in 6 which made it hard for me to fit the bending 7 strides to 12ab.  I rode hard to get the 7 and she looked really hard at the big oxer going into 12ab so I had to push hard to get out.  We were clean and thus far only 2 had jumped clean.  Jump off was jumps 2.3.4ab, 8,9,10,11.  Got to 2 a tad tight and she pulled the rail.  We turned tight and were fast everywhere else and I was able to slice 10 a bit and leave a stride out to 11.  I was thrilled with her.  It was 86 degrees and she is not clipped.  She was blowing really hard so I think she was just so hot and tired she just tapped that rail.
My barn mates were double clean and first and second.  With 4 faults in the jump off we finished 5th.

I'm very pleased with the weekend and our start to 2014.  We just needed to get back in our rhythm.  I have a few weeks until Winter Series starts to get her clipped and in a bit of better shape.  We were happy to get home last evening.  I turned her out, she took 3 steps and rolled. And rolled. And rolled.