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NEJA Winter Schooling Jumper Show - April 25, 2021

Our final NEJA show in their winter series was at the end of April. On a whim, I decided to kick it old school and wear my rust breeches and navy coat. I definitely got a few "looks" from some of the HJ crowd, but it was worth being the weirdo eventer girl haha. It was a gorgeous spring day and our rounds were all excellent. Rejoice really seems to enjoy her newfound jumper pony status and powered around like she knew what she was doing haha.  My goals for the day were to win the ground poles speed class by taking a sneaky route someone's trainer would not approve of again haha like I did at the March show and to remember my jump off round like I did NOT do at the March show! Though there wasn't a super sneaky route to take in the ground poles class, I made sure to set her up for tight turns and rollbacks. We did win the class out of nine riders! Whoot! Our speed cross rails was also a good class, with Rejoice willing to listen to half halts, turn on a dime, and also

RABT Fall Cross Country Derby - September 27, 2020

Through September, I felt as though Ellie and I had overcome most of our major challenges. This is not to say things were suddenly perfect, and I certainly did stupid things like forget to put my leg on at times, but Babette had helped me learn how to balance her before a jump so 1. Ellie stopped fussing and could SEE the jump and 2. I could put my leg on because she wasn't rushing at the fence. I stopped allowing myself to be fooled by the fact she would take me to the fence and feel so forward and then surprisingly grind to a stop. It wasn't a true forward and it was too unbalanced. I learned how to set the canter pace and use leg to ask her to go forward at the base. It sounds so much easier when I write it out, but honestly it took me some time as a rider to really iron this out with Ellie.

So, with that newfound confidence, we entered the Fall XC Derby at Rest & Be Thankful (RABT), the farm where we take our jumping lessons. I was excited to give BN another try on a course I knew well. 

We had a great warm up until I failed to put my leg on and we had a stop. Uggggh I would get so frustrated with myself back then. Babette had me jump a few more times before we headed off for our course. The first round was timed and counted for placings, while our second round was just for schooling/for fun.

warming up

jump 1
game faces ON
also jump 1 just a different angle

jump 2 made me so friggin happy

jumping out in the field and coming back up to the top

I love when she's galloping along and her fly bonnet does this haha

Alright, we did have a stop at the smallest fence on course
I let her lose momentum coming up the hill on the approach, and I never put my leg on
So this was the re-present and ummmm she did NOT want to touch it haha

So OBVIOUSLY, Margaret had to photo shop in a Rolex fence because clearly
Ellie wants to be an Advanced horse hahaha

this horse loves cantering through the water!
those ears!

second to last jump
we had gone out into the woods for a few fences 
but no pics of those

final fence!

seriously so happy and proud

despite the one stop (my fault!) I could not have asked for a better round

We had a small break before it was time for our second (practice) round. These two photos are from that round, where I just did the first few fences to get over this one without a stop, and we galloped through the water again (it was just after this) and we quit. 

jumping it like a normal horse haha

I got teary at the end of the first course and could not thank Babette enough for all of her help and unwavering support. It felt so good to have a successful XC outing on a challenging yet accessible course. We ended 6th out of 14 in our BN Senior division due to our stop. Had we gone clear, we would've won because we were closest to optimum time. We joined a team with two of our Pony Club friends and we ended up 8th in the team placings. Of course, both young riders went clear and I dragged us down with our stop, but it was still fun to win a brown team ribbon haha.

Without much else available on the fall calendar due to COVID, this ended up being our last competitive experience of 2020. It felt like a solid success to end our year and give Ellie some much needed down time.