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NER United States Pony Club Show Jump Rally - July 20, 2019

Ellie and I had SO MUCH FUN at our first Pony Club jump rally this year.  We drove up to Clay Brook Farms, where we had our D-1/D-2 rating, in order to compete for the day on July 20.  This happened to be one of the hottest days of summer, so the organizers modified the schedule a bit.  Instead of doing two rounds in the morning and one in the afternoon, we all did just two rounds (with a ten-minute break in between) all in the morning, so we were done and headed out just after lunch.  
Everything ran so smoothly despite the condensed format.  We were able to do our formal inspections right before we mounted up, and we were all encouraged to limit our warm up time.  We were not allowed to wear jackets, and there was a TON of horse water and ice cold human water available at numerous stations around the field.
I was competing with Epona Pony Club, but I was again put on a Horsemaster team with two other adults from Foxcroft Pony Club, Angie and Beth, the two riders I competed with at the…

NEJA Christmas Spectacular Jumper Show

After having such a blast at Ellie's first show, a little jumper show with the New England Jumper Association back in October, I set my sights on their last two schooling shows, one in November and the other in December.  Sadly, due to rain, the November show was cancelled (which bummed me out because it was a new venue for Ellie), but we were able to dodge the recent snow storms to attend their December show! 

Again we we back at Ellie's birthplace barn, Kennebec Morgan Farm.  This time I opted to get her a stall, because I had a feeling the footing in the parking area might be slippery (it was) and I wanted her to relax and not dance around at the trailer.  It was a great call on my part, and she just chilled out and ate her hay.  I was able to leave her in the stall and walk the course, pick up my ribbons afterwards, etc. without worrying about her being tied to the trailer.  

We left the house at 7am and it was a measly four degrees!  Blahhh!  I have never shown in December, as usually my show season is April - October, so this may have been my first and last time for winter showing haha!  Ellie stepped right up into the trailer, and though I did hold my dressage whip out towards her side, I never had to touch her.  GOOD MARE.  Trailer loading practice paid off!

I opted to enter the walk trot pleasure and eq classes again, as well as the ground poles class.  Figuring it couldn't hurt, I also added the crossrails.  I figured it was as good a time as any to try a little course.  What I didn't count on was a one stride in-and-out, so I was like welp, we shall see what she does with that!  (Spoiler: she was fine.)  

All photos bought from EM Images, a man who was kind enough to stand out in the cold to photograph us crazy horse girls!  Not only do I love the pics, but I always try to support all show photographers!


I can't even handle how friggin cute this mare is.


Such a happy girl! (both of us haha)
 Ellie was definitely a little distracted by the fact that there were ten jumps in the indoor and we had to carefully weave in and out of the standards (most jumps did not have poles out yet except the ones in the middle area of the ring) and forgot a bit how to steer.  She was super behaved and not nervous, just wanted to make her own life choices about which side of certain standards to go on without any input from me.  It was funny and I was like, thank you for your bravery and opinions, but I'll be in charge today kthanks.  Thus, she was a little giraffe like and wanted to look at everything instead of coming down steady onto the bit like she normally does, but she had nice moments here and there.  We did get about ten minutes of warm up time before they started the show (I was in class 3, but they scratched classes 1 and 2) but it was hard to really get her soft and supple without being able to work on a 20 m. circle.  That was OK, and I realize this is just where she is at in her training.  My goal was to just give her the best experience I could with what we had.  




We ended up first in pleasure and second in eq, and Ellie was great.  We had a little group of three in our classes and there was a bunch of people standing around at the end of the ring and a Christmas tree and presents amongst the many jumps, so there was plenty to look at for her.  She handled it well and there was zero spooking but a lot of giraffing haha.  She stood nicely at X with her new friend (Kennebec Avery and her mom Nina, who I had the pleasure of meeting that day) while the WTC classes went.  I wanted to see how she would react while horses went around her, figuring I could always dismount and leave the ring if need be, and she was quite happy to stand completely still and relax.

The wigglyness was pretty much nonexistent in our ground pole class, and because we were not alone (so no guaranteed win haha), I motored Ellie around at a brisk trot.  She was great and remembered how to steer, so we won!  Yay for winning ground poles hahaha!  She is seriously the champion mare of ground poles haha.


Ground pole world champs right here
Then we left the ring and hung out while the other riders went and then they set the course for cross rails.  The wigglyness was back, but not terrible, and my goal was just to give her a good ride and never mind trying to beat the timer.  The other riders cantered the course, while I elected to trot into every fence, which I think was the exact right decision for Ellie.  She did canter after a few fences, which I was fine with, but I also brought her right back to the trot (she was very agreeable to me setting the pace) because the indoor is tiny and the jumps came up quickly.  She's only ever cantered over poles, so I did not see any reason to canter her over a cross rail at a show for the first time LOL!  She didn't hesitate at anything and didn't even give anything a second look, though she did have a nanosecond of pause at the second fence of the one stride.  The photographer got the funniest shot of us over this fence, as my face is literally a mixture of pure wonder, shock, and happiness that we made it over. 

Ellie: Umm, I just jumped and now there is another fence right here and I am not sure and what is happening and...ahhhhh!

Me: You're good, Ellie, just keep going.  Never mind that you are headed right for the announcer's table which you think it a potentially scary place.  Trust me, mare.  We've got this.

Ellie: Oh, OK wheeeee jumping yay!

For real.  That was our conversation.

This is the hilarious shot LOL!
The course was definitely a bit awkward and not the smoothest, and I don't know what the hell kind of defensive position I am doing over fences (I fully expected some leaping LOL) but for her first ever over fences course, I am so proud of her!!  She did what I asked and wasn't rushing or nervous or anything.  Mostly it was just really awkward trotting over the cross rails and a few slight actual jumping efforts!  Ellie loaded right up when it was time to head home and we arrived to the house by 2PM! 

Awkward trotting over cross rails haha

Her face is so happy!



I found out this show was double pointed as two shows, since the November show was cancelled.  So hilariously enough, we qualified for year end points (had to complete three shows) and I hear we have earned year end awards hahaha!  Nothing like buying a horse on September 2, who has barely been backed, and then winning year end awards by December 16.  Only me LOL!  Of course, they are baby tadpole WT and ground poles classes, but whatever.  Gotta start somewhere!!

So, Ellie's first "year" of showing has been hugely successful.  She bravely attended two horse shows and a trail ride (granted, they were all at her birthplace farm, but still!!).  So proud of my little Morgan.  :-)

Comments

  1. That's fantastic! I love the shows that have the baby classes like that. It's good for rider AND new horse confidence!

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    1. Thank you! And yes, the fact that they allowed riders over the age of 10 show in the WT baby classes (haha) was why I decided to try this organization's little shows and support them by becoming a member. Definitely love having a low key and supportive environment to get our feet (hooves?) wet!

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  2. Congrats!! She looks so happy in those pictures. So do you!

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    1. Thank you! We had so much fun despite the fact I was SO COLD haha!

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  3. I swear trotting xrails is harder than actually jumping jumps. Already champion of the universe!!

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    1. Seriously! I totally agree! I am like, do I just sit here and hope she trots it (which she did) or do I get ready for a huge leap (which she didn't bc lazy pony mare). I LOVE how both our greenies went to shows this month with Christmas tree/decorations in the ring haha and we share in our awkward cross rail positions!! ;-P

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  4. What a great show! And congrats on the awards. Everyone will be saying that you bought the horse to just get the ribbons. :D (kidding).

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    1. Hahahaha it's all about the ribbons when you are a ribbon ho! LOL! ;-) Just kidding (sorta).

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  5. all i keep thinking is how cold it must have been BRGHH even the photos have that bright quality i connect to being COLD AS EFF :) HA! she is adorable and watch out or I might come steal her :) LOVE her expressions. Glad you had fun and congrats on year end awards!! Now stay warm for the rest of the winter :) HA HA HA

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    1. Haha thank you! It was super cold! But I have to say, I dressed fairly warmly and I didn't notice how cold I was until I finished riding and stood still haha! But then I look at the photos and my cheeks are so pink! I wish we were closer so you could meet her and ride her! (PS - I won't be warm until June LOL)

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    2. I have friends in Maine and NH and am totally planning on going north again next Summer. I may show up one day :) My husband loved NH but i kept telling him August did not reflect the weather up there!!

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  6. Aww this is awesome haha - I love her expression in all the pictures <3

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