Much to my happiness and my partners concern over my pelvis injury (it’s healing well), we managed to tick another goal off my list for 2022.

Despite me feeling sick with nerves for two solid days prior, on went the big girl pants and last weekend off we went to our first jumping show with Bob since we moved! He held his own beautifully in the arena, walking around calmly and ignoring any horses rushing past him. We only did flat work as I didn’t want to jazz him up too much on his first outing, so ensured a lot of walking around was done to keep his concentration. We went in for our first class and I can’t tell you what the jumps were as I literally just remembered the route and colour of the fences! Sadly, we had the first fence down (I think my nerves and his keenness) but jumped the rest beautifully, and we came away with third place! I was ecstatic and asked my other half to book us in for the next class. In we went again and Bob was well behaved listening to me and letting me hold him and he jumped the first part beautifully. A big launch at number eight caused me to try to regain my balance while heading for nine but it came up fast and despite him putting a big jump over the oxer, he grazed one pole. He jumped the remaining fences well and we got third place again! I was so pleased with him and how well our first outing had gone.

Horse jumping

I won’t lie I had a lot of nerves about it, thinking will he play up? Or will I fall off? am I going to get laughed at by the regulars at the centre etc. All this had been rolling around my head the days prior to the show, I even messaged the centre about things like parking, mounting blocks etc as I had become anxious about everything. The centre was absolutely lovely and came back with all the information to put my mind at rest. At the show, the attendants on the gate were very friendly, funny and encouraging, reminding me to breathe and have fun! I’m glad I did it and got him out, but I can understand how daunting it is for people whether they are new to competitions or like me had a break for a while. We do this for the love of our horses and pay an awful lot to be able to do it, so although we may want to be competitive, we must remember to have fun and treat it as a learning curve. I went out with absolutely no expectations other than to get there and sit on him in the warmup ring – anything further was a bonus! Starting with the small goals really helps, then build yourself up gradually.

Horse in coat

I am going to plan a few things for 2023 as I want to keep up the momentum of having him out jumping, but I must also continue consistent work with Aria and get her out to a few locals shows for experience. Luckily one of the local shows has relocated back to its original showground just outside the yard’s village so that’s a bonus and very convenient! Autumn will start work in early spring and I will see how she goes and decide what is best to do with her too, like the local fun rides etc.

Anyone else starting to plan for their outings or goals for next year?

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