I have to say, I am often befuddled by many things, including the word befuddled; however Gulfport Day 5 was one of the most befuddling show days I’ve ever had. That, and I managed to just use the word befuddled with two different forms three times in the previous sentence. This blog is starting out a winner. Perhaps my befuddlement is why it’s taken me so long to put it on paper (blog paper), but nonetheless, here it is.
I awoke on Day 5 with a supreme amount of confidence (does anyone else remember where confidence leads me? nowhere good) about my riding, my horse, and generally feeling awesome about how the show was going to go. That, and DH was there, which made it even better.
We spent the morning doing fun horse show things. Well in my mind they were fun, DH can think of better ways to spend a Saturday I’m sure.
There were good times at the smoothie stand.
And shopping for ugly lawn ornaments
Can someone answer the following questions for me?
1. Why is the Indian (Native American….) holding a dynamite bundle?
2. Why is the cowboy an advertisement for Lee jeans?
3. Why does the cowboy have a stirrup hanging from his leg?
4. Why does the cowboy have a knife in the right hand and is drawing his gun? Maybe he should get some anger management counseling. Maybe he’s angry because his shirt is pink.
5. Is the cowboy Burt Reynolds?
6. Is it possible to be cuter than the guy in the middle? I’ll answer that one, I think not.
Before I knew it, it was time to get on and head down to the rings. My how time flies.
To be honest, my warm up did not start stellar. I pushed when I should have pulled, pulled when I should have pushed, and generally was completely off timing with DC. Matt yelled at me to come over to have a chat (never a good sign).
Matt: “Yes, so after 6 weeks, I’m thinking you should have a system down by now yes?"
Me: “Probably, but we know that’s not how I roll.”
Matt: “Maybe you should roll a new direction, a direction towards good riding.”
Me: “I can try?”
Matt: “There’s that confidence I was hoping for.”
With that I at least made an effort to commence excellent riding, and almost actually succeeded. We decided to forgo the warm up trip as we had the two hunters and a classic round.
On my first trip, we jumped the first jump slightly soft, but other than that it was really very very nice. I had a consistent pace, lovely distances, super jumping horse. I was the epitome of what I shoot for in my riding, and I was thrilled with the whole thing. Matt too thought it was beautiful (I'm not making this up).
My second hunter was also the first round of the classic. The first jump was a right lead wall up the hill that we hadn’t jumped yet. I came around on my right lead with confidence (trouble), I saw exactly where I was in the ring (uh-oh), I cantered up to it with assertion (crap), and when we got to the base, DC simply didn’t know it was time for jumping quite yet. Blame it on a green moment, blame it on the birds over head that distracted him, or even blame it on me, but we basically fell over the jump in a not very pretty way. How it actually stayed up I don’t honestly know, but I can tell you I think every part of his body hit every part of the jump in a thwack, clunk clunk, thwack manner. We finished the trip in a lovely way, and scored a 73. Not horrible considering our first jump.
My last trip was the second round of the classic. At this point I could tell DC was ready for that first jump and actually paying attention, and we had another lovely round. A little long on the out of one of the outside lines, but other than that really quite nice. We scored an 86.
That’s a pretty monster score, especially considering it was 5 points higher than anyone else in that round. I even have a video:
So now comes my befuddlement. My first course was by far my best, better than that classic, better even than anything at WEF. I jogged 7th. That would be 7th behind missed lead changes, horses that had chips, and some other general big mistakes. I went back and watched the video available at the show grounds (sorry I don’t have a copy), and looked for anything either myself or Matt might have missed. Nothing. It was very very nice. I am trying to come from a place of objectivity, I really am. What befuddles me even more is comparing that to my 86 score. I could just write it off to the judge not liking DC, but that clearly wasn’t the case. So, it was simply a “that’s hunters” moment, and I walked away feeling proud of how I was riding and how awesome DC was.
After riding, we had some typical grazing time for his grayness
followed by a 10,000 INSANE speed derby. If you’ve ever watched a children’s jumpers class where all of the riders were running crazy like with no regard to safety, that is the only comparison I can make, but over 1.35 meter jumps.
I recently joined snapchat. This was my very first effort.
To wrap the day up, Woodhill had plans to have a crawfish boil at the barn complete with crawfish, beer, and all the sides. I was keeping it klassy with a 1.99 Pina Colada, capri sun style complete with its own straw.
It’s really too bad this pic is blurry, I was super proud of my crawfish peeling abilities.