16 October 2010 Provincial Junior Showjumping Championships - Part 1
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   7th Nov 2010   •   8,706 views   •   13 comments
The show began in a somewhat comical fashion. We arrived, uncharacteristically early. I was nervous, uncharacteristically nervous. And so it was that, during an attack of nerves, I decided that I should make a quick trip to the bathroom before getting the horses ready.

Unfortunately, being me, this was where I hit my first stroke of bad luck. The lock got stuck. Well, I am not the calmest and most gentle person at the best of times, and with the stress of the show on my shoulders, I must admit that I had a minor freak out and got somewhat violent with the stubborn lock. I tugged at it and bashed it until finally... It broke. Now as you can imagine, that was not particularly helpful to me, since I was now trapped in a bathroom at a horse show.

Highly frustrated, I began to seek a way out. I tried shouting and bashing on the door, but that turned out highly ineffective for me, since we all know that horse people are rather unobservant, and thus nobody heard me - much to my relief, since - looking back now - I think it might have been rather humiliating.

Well, with a rare stroke of genius and 'observation' I noticed that the window was rather large. Large enough, perhaps, for me to climb through. So I clambered up onto the toilet and stuck my head out. It fit. Well, by the laws of science, anything the head can fit through, the body can fit through as well - yet I seem to have proved this theory wrong on numerous occasions. First I tried to climb out of the window head-first, but it soon became apparent that this would not work, so I had to rethink my strategy.

The next time, I tried putting a leg through first instead. That worked much better. So I slithered out of the window, landed uncharacteristically gracefully on the ground, then brushed myself off in a dignified fashion and sauntered off before anybody noticed.

This was how I came to be jumping in the championship with a missing button on my show jacket. Well, with that rather humourous start to the day, we dragged Polo and Bronze down to the warm up arena. Yes, I decided to brush the dust off my beloved Polo creature for this show, since Choc is recovering from an injury and I want Badger to put on a bit more condition before I compete him again. Polo was sprightly and bouncy, and seemed to enjoy the show atmosphere. Bronze was rather Bronzeish, and plodded around like an ancient cart horse, until I gave him a good gallop and got him moving. Then he tugged me around like a freight train - very inelegantly indeed.


Our first class was not bad. Bronze had to go in with very little jumping warm up, since we were late due to my little 'detour' earlier that morning. Thus, I was extremely impressed with my beloved Bronzey when he spooked, goggled, hesitated and leaped his way around the course. At the combination especially, dear Bronze had second thoughts, but I managed to coax, threaten and yell him around clear, which of course pleased me greatly. Polo refused the first jump, but when I reiterated to her that I really would like her to at least give it a try, she rethought her decision and jumped it the second time - proceeding to go clear from there. I was very pleased with this performance, since it was my first time competing Polo at 1m all year, and they had lots of spooky jumps out for the championships. In his jump off, Bronze decided to mimick Polo's first round and, in the horror of suddenly seeing a 1,10m parallel, goggled as though I was asking him to jump over a black hole. When I assured him that I in fact WAS serious about going over the jump, Bronze willingly acquiesced and proceeded to jump a lovely round.

The next class was a competition in two phases - meaning that you jump your first round and your jump off in one course. In this class, my beloved fluffies pulled out all the stops and gave me a taste of their best - both finishing clear and in a decent time. Polo took 2nd place by 1 second, and Bronze took 4th just 2 seconds behind her, proving just how close the competition was.


Then, of course, there is Finola. Ah, Finola - a legend if ever there was one, but unfortunately, her own 'Legend' joint solution was starting to wear off. As such, Finola was not quite at her best. Still, being Finola, she tried her little heart out. In the first class, Finola jumped big into a related line and I steadied her too much, meaning that I had to hold her for 8 strides instead of fitting in the 7 I had walked. The next jump was a combination, and despite getting in a little close, Finola managed to jump her way through it brilliantly. Unfortunately, when she landed on the other side, she was as peeved as I have ever seen her by our mistake. Of course, I got the full brunt of the blame and was punished accordingly - with a series of delightful bucks thrown at me throughout the rest of the course, which she expected me to sit perfectly and keep my balance well enough to guide her clear through the rest of the course, or so help me! Thankfully, I managed it - right until the end. When we approached the last jump, Finola threw yet another buck, and I decided to steady her to take the shorter stride into the upright, since I was worried she might have lost the power in her stride from the buck and might jump flat. Well, despite my best efforts, we did clip the pole down - and Finola was furious. Without even giving me a chance to regain my balance, she bucked viciously - almost managing to throw me off. I managed to hang on and get her to stop, but by that stage I had somehow ended up sitting behind the saddle. I got back into the seat, then left the arena to somewhat undeserved applause - which left Finola feeling extremely proud of herself and me feeling rather ashamed for losing my balance at all.

Finola’s buck before the last jump
Finola’s buck before the last jump

Our next class, Finola wasn't quite up to her usual standard. Perhaps the big jumps in the previous class had taken their toll on her legs, but there was something just slightly less impressive about her jump. All the same, she tried hard. We had a pole down at the ninth jump, because I rode for a long stride, and at the last moment Finola decided she couldn't make it, and chipped in - giving a horribly awkward jump and taking the pole. I apologised to her several times for this, but she did not waste time punishing me with a buck just yet. Instead, she continued around the course. We had another pole at number 12, Nola's hooves just clipping it down. She punished me with a buck then, and jumped the final jump clear - leaving her on a total of 8 penalties.

We decided to scratch Finola from the first class the next day to rest her - just to make sure she was feeling super for the championship.


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Dark Star  
Finola didn't seem in a good mood with you, love that buck by the way, she got up there.
  Nov 7, 2010  •  7,274 views
Yeah, that buck was pretty far up there. Those jumps are HUGE!
  Nov 7, 2010  •  7,292 views
I hope she acts better. And I hope she is okay. Please do well with the championship and have FUN!
  Nov 8, 2010  •  7,702 views
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
No, Finola was not very pleased with me... Haha! She was overdue on her Legend though, so everything was a little dodgy. She was a much happier horse after she got her legend shot. :) Though now we have more problems to fix... :(

And the buck... Believe it or not, that is a small Finola buck. :P Big Finola bucks are, well... Big. )
  Nov 8, 2010  •  7,277 views
HAHAHA! That is SO funny! Sorry, but it is......
  Nov 8, 2010  •  7,275 views
Rein or Shine  
If that's a small Finola buck, I feel sorry for you every other buck. :P

But I am wondering...why did you not just slide underneath the bathroom door? :P
  Nov 8, 2010  •  7,297 views
  Nov 8, 2010  •  7,303 views
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
It was rather hilarious. :)
  Nov 8, 2010  •  7,277 views
Good job, Polo!! -pats horseh- :) I understand the whole bucking thing, Chip's bucks can get fairly large :P Especially over roll tops, the Legend definitely helped. Maybe it was the surface she was jumping? -ponders- Anyways, great job Polo :)
  Nov 8, 2010  •  7,275 views
Fantasy Farms  
Great job jumping those huge jumps!!
  Nov 8, 2010  •  7,296 views
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
Reiny: There was no gap under the door. Just as well, since gaps under doors freak me out. :P Besides, imagine crawling along a bathroom floor... *shudders* No thank you, not for me. :P

And even the big bucks aren't too hard to sit, because I'm used to it by now. What is tricky is when she bucks in a related distance, and then I'm left to try and gather her up and present her properly to the next jump after our stride is messed up... But I do love her so. :)

Pintie: Hehe! Naaaw, how sweet. :P Yes, Legend is legendary. Nola is MUCH better on her legend... I don't think it has much to do with the surface - she just has bad joints from racing.

FF: Thank you very much. ^_^
  Nov 9, 2010  •  7,277 views
the bucking picture looks like you just jumped an invisible obstacle, anyway congratulations on getting a good place.
  Nov 24, 2010  •  7,304 views
T W I  
Bwahahahaha the bathroom incident sounds hillarious!
Great job with your horses though! That buck was quite impressive. :D
  Apr 5, 2011  •  7,318 views
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