Monday, July 25, 2022

Jumpers @ Elkridge Harford

Our local training association is trying to diversify competition and schooling opportunities for members this year, and this weekend hosted their first ever little jumper show! 

god i love shows where you're pretty much guaranteed some satin even if you do like, the absolute bare minimum LOL
Naturally every year I promise not to torture myself with horse shows in July... But c'monnnn, how could we say no to this? I had free entry bucks from volunteering, the venue (Elkridge Harford Hunt Club!!) is just down the road from us, my favorite local photographer would be there (shoutout Amy!), AND --- new trainer Kelly designed the course!

bc good lord it has been a tad bit toasty around like.... everywhere lately lol
So obviously we would go. Not that, ahem, I didn't still indulge in a little bitching when the weather was abysmally oppressive and scheduling details were predictably murky for jumperlandia.... Plus I got myself all worked up about it being a 3' class vs the "Novice" (aka, 2'11) I've been entering at all these other outings. Stupid, I know. But the brain will be what it will be sometimes. 

ooooh we got pretty photos tho from Amy Flemming Waters! here is charlie finally clicking into gear by like jump 6 lol
Once we arrived tho, everything looked pretty much perfect. They were wrapping the 2'6 class but still with enough time for us to say hi, check in, and watch a couple rounds. Which was useful bc the course started on a right lead diagonal, from which you turned left up the judge's line -- a triple combination of a jump 4/5 strides to the in-and-out right next to the tent. 

We watched two horses in a row make that turn, lay eyes on the tent and that jumble of jumps, and skid to a surprised stop. You can't see the tent in the video bc our intrepid videographer was standing right next to it.... But it definitely looked spooky, so we took note and made sure to do our entry into the ring up the rail past the tent before starting our own courses!

i swear to god these jumps are 3' folks, tho obvi not the spread we saw at plantation
I'm getting ahead of myself, tho. Bc obvi first we had to warm up. Remember at Plantation we warmed up for kinda forever since the show was behind. This was basically the polar opposite -- there were only 3 of us jumping the 3', and the course was open and ready as soon as we were. 

was a nice little course too! 
I honestly didn't know what to expect, either. For all my bragging about how sharp and on point Charlie has been lately... Our most recent lesson (a tale for another time) found me working a LOT harder than I should have to just to get around. The kinda slugging feeling where the spots evaporate the closer you get to the fences, and you kinda just crawl over... Bleh.

same jump as before, just a different moment <3 <3 
Charlie surprised me tho and was basically pretty much on point in warm up. Not like... perfect. Not pulling me to the fences in his own special sort of way that I love so much... But going even if we got there a little long. Good 'nuff, we strung like 4 consistent efforts together with the help of new trainer Kelly setting fences etc, then hit the ring for our course. 

literally all the jumps were either red or white haha
And I admit to only entering one class. Idk why I have this stumbling block about doing a full division or multiple classes, but for some reason I only ever want to do one or two. Maybe bc I think it's like this bargain I have with Charlie that if he's perfect the first time we'll be done? 

Which is nice when he's good... But sometimes I *DO* want to go again, and he's gotta be good again, even if he thinks our deal was to be done after one. That was kinda the problem we'd had in our lesson too -- everything was great for warm up etc but he got increasingly checked out as the ride went on -- even tho I swear it was still hyper short in the heat. Idk. Regardless. I opted to just do one single class, and to try and make it count. 

easy out over the final jump!
You'll see what I mean tho about that evaporating spot and pukey weak jump for our first effort on course. Like, I swear I was pushing haha, and tried all the normal tricks to get him going. But like. Damn, bro. Sometimes he just doesn't

We made it over 1, tho, and had a better effort at 2 even tho we took that rail (boo). Next up was the judge's line that was measured for 4-to-1, but Royal did comfortably in 5-to-1 and I figured Charlie would do the same. Which he did, good boy. After that, tho, he really clicked on and carried me through the rest of the course, cleanly down another bending line, up over a single diagonal off a short turn, then down the proper 72' five-stride to finish. Good boy!

It's so funny bc I get so preoccupied with the "bad" fences, get so frustrated and annoyed about the same mistakes or whatever. Which I guess everybody does to a certain degree. But it actually took me a hot minute to realize that, sure, Jump 1 was definitely our weakest jump on course.... But it wasn't anything like the "one majorly bogus fence" trend we've had on all our courses lately. It was just sorta a normal bleh spot, but nbd. 

woot woot group photos lol
And actually, first-jump-itis excused... Overall it was honestly a pretty decently consistent round. I don't love how much pushing I'm doing vs feeling "pulled" to the fences... But it's also potentially arguable that Charlie would have stayed clicked into that better gear had we opted to do a second or even third round (or, god forbid, a "warm up" trip first lol). 

So ya know, that's food for thought for future outings (when it's less hellishly hot lol). 

lol it's so nice to have a riding buddy that does all the same classes as me, but damn they beat us every time <3 <3 <3 charles pick them feet up, buddy!
We're glad we went, and that's what counts, right? I like this venue a lot, and really like their little grass ring too. And obvi Charlie always loves getting to wear his studs, obvi, even if sometimes it feels like a ridiculous amount of effort to get them in and out for one single jumper round LOL. 

So it was a day well spent despite the heat ;) Tho uh.... I may or may not still be recovering, and swearing yet again to myself to stop showing in July omgwtf lolol..... Stay cool, y'all!


  1. Unsurprisingly, there are zero shows in Texas in the summer. Charlie looked really cute over the fences and good on y'all for making the effort, despite the heat. He makes 3' look tiny!

    1. Lol Texas might be onto something about not competing in July… for some reason we have all these awesome schooling opportunities that I guess the big venues fit in while they’re on their “summer break” from recognized stuff…. But like ya know we wanna do the things!! And usually I don’t remember the suffering of the heat after it’s all said and done lol… usually!

  2. Charles looks great! (You too!!!) I imagine the heat played a big role in the lack of clicking in and taking you. Hopefully that's all it is since you guys have been on it so far. Sounds like a fun day!

    1. Thanks yea I don’t think he loves the heat tbh, esp bc he’s always kinda been a little bit of a quitter. Luckily tho the ground has been pretty decent and grass rings are somehow always a bit more pleasant (compared to plantation where you could literally feel the heat radiating off their dark footing…)

  3. Nice round, and what a great chance to get around some pretty jumps! I love when the show uses 6' standards, everything looks smaller. But then, everything looks smaller in the pics, too, haha

    1. Dude I swear Charlie is just a giant lol. We need to do more teams classes where we jump side by side with like a normal sized creature LOL. That’s one thing I missed about Izzy, she could make almost anything look impressive!

  4. You got some great photos of your show day, and I enjoyed watching the video clip. Looking good! I know what you mean about "all that work for one class" because I have felt that way too, but you still got out there, showed, had a good time and got a ribbon for your efforts. Sounds like a great weekend to me!

    1. It was super fun, and def worth it. Even for just the photos lol. Like no joke, knowing that Amy would be there taking pictures was half the draw!! #mediajunkie

  5. Loving the pictures! You're both looking fantastic out there!

  6. The photos are wonderful. It sounds like a good show.

  7. Probably not a bad idea to only do one round in the heat!

  8. Congrats on your 2nd placing! Other than fence 1 (as you noted) your course flowed pretty nicely. It just seemed like he petered out through the short turn.

    I think it is really cool that your org is expanding their offerings, I really wish ours would (and heck I wish I had the time to offer them the help, that's probably the real thing holding any local org back)


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