Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gulfport Day 3 - Not enough time in GP!

Last year at this time I spent 4 weeks showing my horse in GP.  It was a great time, and obviously a great show.  This year, I wanted to experience WEF, so my original plan for winter showing was just WEF and then to head home and wait for the spring.  DC had different plans in mind, so we ended up adding on two weeks of GP.  As my first week drew to a close, all I could think was I WANT MORE TIME IN GP!  Perhaps it had to do with the (lucky) beautiful weather we were having, my horse was being great, and I’m a horse show addict, but I did not want to go home!  

<side note>Horse showing is like crack, but more addictive and more expensive.  Seriously.  </side note>

Alas, the last day of week one had arrived, so I needed to make the most of my time before climbing into a plane for a long week ahead.  I made the wise decision to skip the gross eggs and opted for biscuits and honey.  Mmmmmmm bread.  

My roomie for the week, Sue, needed an early arrival at the show as she had an 8:00 walk for the Medium Jr/Am jumper classic.  Since I don’t have a jumper, but have significant jumper envy, I took the opportunity to walk with (act as photographer for) the entire Woodhill crew who was entered.  

A few of the jumps were already set for the Grand Prix that was to happen later that day.  Like this monstrosity of an Oxer.

Aren’t we cute?  Doesn’t it also make you want to sing “one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just isn’t the same?”  Where’s waldo in hunter rider form. 
I had the opportunity to watch the entire woodhill crew ride in the classic before heading to get ready for my classes.  They were all awesome, and one of the girls on her young jumper was third out of 46, which is great.

The schedule for DC included a hack to start (ugh, we know how I feel about starting with hacks) and then a hunter trip and a handy trip.  The hack was actually quite nice, and against some tough competition we were third.  As I waited for Matt to venture down to hunterland DC took the opportunity to take a nice long nap.  It seems my horse was back for at least the time being.  

For our first hunter trip, Matt asked that I get a nice active pace for the first two singles and for the first line up the hill (an attempt to avoid barf line from the day before).  Activeness I achieved as I proceeded to run like fire a blazing to the two jumps and line.  I might have almost left a step out in the first line.  Bright side?  No chips.  Not so bright side? Running is not so much attractive as it is fast.  As I could feel Matt rolling his eyes at my over compensation from yesterday, I took a deep breath to the last three lines and finished with a lovely second half of the trip.  Upon reflection he didn’t perhaps mean as ACTIVE what resulted.

When I came out of the ring the lecture was something along the lines of “Let’s pretend the first half never happened.” At least that was my interpretation.  

For my handy course I nailed the first four jumps, including a very difficult rollback.  I then had a long approach to a two stride down the hill.  Do we all remember how much I like to overcompensate for previous mistakes?  I puuuuuuuuuulllllllleeeeddddd down to the 2, resulting in a gap though not horrible would have been a great distance had I just softened and flowed.  I’m like a see saw of decisions never quite landing in the middle.  I’m also apparently a fantastic hindsight rider.  Shoulda Coulda Woulda.  The course actually finished quite nicely with a great trot jump and a directly ridden bending to do 8 strides instead of the add 9 that some riders were having to fit in.  

I ended up 4th in both classes, a very white ribbon kind of weekend.  Interestingly the top three in all four classes were all over the place.  I jogged 4th in three classes with the top three not being the same horses even a single time.  I guess I win the award for consistent averageness?  Regardless I was super proud of his grayness for returning to true form.

My classes finished just in time to head back to the barn and watch the Grand Prix.  There were several riders I knew competing including Matt and another barn mate of mine.  Matt’s Grand Prix horse is competing in his first series of the season, but looked great.  Caroline had a most awesome trip with one unlucky rail.  They ended up 12th and 8th respectively, pretty awesome in a huge field of well-known riders and horse combinations.  

It is worth re-stating.  She jumped this.  Wow.


  1. I'm great at being the backseat rider- too slow to this fence- must gallop really fast to next!!!! But I do agree- horse shows are like crack!

  2. I can't even imagine wanting to jump that. Yikes!