16 October 2010 Provincial Junior Showjumping Championships - Part 2
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   12th Nov 2010   •   9,739 views   •   2 comments
This day started with Polo and Bronze each doing their speed classes. Polo started brilliantly, went around at a great pace and took all the tight corners I mapped out for her. She clipped a pole down on the tightest turn, simply because she didn't quite tuck up her legs enough.

Polo has always had a casual jumping style, so I didn't much mind the pole, since it was just unlucky she hadn't given the jump enough space.

She continued to go beautifully from there until we got to the 8th jump - the same yellow spread which she had refused the previous day - and she had another lapse of courage and refused it again. I comforted her, then presented her to it again. She jumped it nicely this time, and I made sure to give her a pat on the way to the next jump. She finished the course nicely, and I made a big fuss of her for being such a lovely brave little horse.


Next came Bronze, who started very well, but just clipped a pole off the second jump. He had a stunning round until the 5th jump, which was where his courage failed him. It was a big spooky spread, and as he was ignoring me coming around the corner (Typical Bronze...) he was a little long and unbalanced, so he decided to stop. I rode him in firmly the next time, and he completed the course nearly flawlessly - jumping very stylishly and staying smooth and confident between the jumps. Overall, a performance I was quite pleased with for my darling chicken horse, who has never been a particularly brave showjumper at the best of times.


In the championship class, neither horse went particularly well. I can't really blame them, since it was a long, trying show and the championship course was quite difficult - leaving only one clear round out of the whole class. Polo hopped over the first jump, then got to the second and decided she'd had enough. It was not completely unexpected, since I know my Polo well enough to know that this is simply her way. As long as she wants to, she will jump, and as long as she jumps, she will jump well. However, as soon as she has had enough, she puts her foot down - quite literally. The second jump was a rather monstrous thing - the first spread on the course, spooky, and built to look big. So when she refused it the first time I turned her back and rode her at it again. When she refused it the second time, I knew she was done. I gave her a pat and thanked her for her efforts, then rode past that jump and popped her over the 3rd jump instead, which was a lovely welcoming little upright. She skipped over this quite happily, and I left the arena and let her have a well deserved rest.

Bronze also did not like the second jump. It was the same jump he had refused in the previous class, yet he was obviously still not quite happy with it, so he snorted in horror and planted his heels. I managed to coax him over the second time, and then he was so proud of himself that he got all cocky and self-confident, and jumped the 3rd jump so casually that he took a pole. Undeterred, we continued around the course. It all went smoothly until the 7th jump, which was a nasty yellow fan off a difficult corner. I have seldom, if ever, practiced fans with Bronze, so when he stopped there I fully understood. I brought him round again, and he lurched hesitantly over, then continued smoothly around the rest of the course - even surprising me by clearing the triple-bar without hesitance. Overall, it was not a bad round for my dearest chicken-horse, considering how difficult the course was.


Finally, there was the 1,30m Championship on Finola. The provincial Junior Championship class. We had skipped the previous class to save Finola for this, and I think it was worth it. Finola seemed to get back much of the spring she had lost the previous day and went much better. In the first round, she clipped a pole off the second jump - just not jumping quite high enough, perhaps because she was still a little rusty, what with it being her first class of the day. She went brilliantly from there, until we reached the second last jump - a tricky triple combination. She jumped in big, and I barely managed to steady her enough to clear the second element, and by the third we were just a little too close and she had another pole. She jumped the last fence clear, then cantered sideways through the finish, because she is Finola, and Finola is just special like that.

After this round, we were lying second last on our 8 penalties - with 2 clears and 2 4 penalty competitors ahead of us. But all was not yet lost, for in this championship class, all competitors went through to the second round: The same course, but at 1,35m. This time, Finola jumped a magnificent clear! Our first 1,35m course, and it just flowed like silk beneath her hooves. I loved every minute of it, and Nola did, too. She put in a spectacular effort at the triple, when she jumped in once again, but managed to clear the whole thing nonetheless. By the end of it, Finola was left with her total of 8 penalties for both classes, which left her tied with 2 other horses for second place.

Finola was fantastic, and I could not have been prouder of her for that class. Even without the 'Legend' to help her, she jumped like a little star and really showed that fighting spirit that makes her who she is.

She'll be getting her next injection of legend soon, and I'm hatching a secret hope that we'll be able to move up to 1,35m before the end of the year. I simply cannot get the feeling of that course out of my head... It was amazing, Finola was amazing and I just can't wait to be amazed again!

Horse News More In This Category:  Shows and Events      Horse News More From This Author:  Polo the Weirdo
You sound like you had lots of fun! And I love hearing about your shows and great horses!
  Nov 13, 2010  •  8,833 views
Rein or Shine  
Glad you did well. :) How often, exactly, do you show?
  Nov 14, 2010  •  8,427 views
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