Yikes our first ever ‘proper’ jumping competition!
I arrived at the yard early to get mucked out and give Sir Aladdin some TLC. Which is quite frankly a good job as it looked like he had hosted a poo party in his stable, he was even wearing poo leg warmers with the matching poo tail and waistcoat!
There were some fab costumes riding around, including little Riley on his pony Robin- Riley was dressed as ‘Death’ and they looked fab!! After realising Aladdin may not actually let me on dressed as a tomato I thought it would be best if I put the costume on to finish grooming him. I am quite glad the yard was quiet as I carried on grooming the poo monster and rubbing my tomato belly all over him to see if he spooked as I must have looked like an utter nutter!
Once we had finished our tomato spook proofing I remembered I had not yet walked the course. As I waddled into the arena in my red attire my gut turned and my chest started tingling (even writing this is making me feel sick all over again). There were spooky spreads and two doubles, both or which we have never attempted before. To top it off there were halloween items absolutely everywhere, witch hats on wings, skeletons laid out and a tombstone that flashed and made noises as you walked past! My green tomato legs turned into jelly and I stood in the middle of the course wondering what excuse I could make to not partake as I was almost certain I would be tomato puree by the end of it or even if we would make it to the end.
Somehow I snapped out of it and went to pay Trudy my entries. I nipped for a nervous toilet break and walked round the course once more with blurry eyes.
Surprisingly Aladdin let me on today and did not seem to care that I was partially inflated and shaking. We entered the warm up and Aladdin must have thought back to Friday night and the pony that whipped his bum as he suddenly decided he had pony-phobia. He had a very sassy bouncy walk around until one little devil cantered in front of us and cut us up and he froze. Once I had convinced him to move again and actually go forwards instead of backwards we went for a trot, only to be cut up by the same pony, this time we shot forwards and attempted to race said pony. Poor Aladdin was very on edge and spooky to we took the plunge and decided to just go in the clear round before we had any pony crashes.
To my surprise we managed to trot round all the scary obstacles and wings with the only spook being at a ruddy chair in the corner. That was it, we were off. He felt amazing and confident straight away. We knocked number 2 down but that was my fault for holding him back, once I let him go a little and canter towards fences it all worked out. The spreads were not an issue and we cantered through both doubles! My lips and teeth were dry from smiling all the way round. My seat was getting tested to the max as the tomato tights were rather slippy. I could not have been more over the moon with him!
We decided to do another clear round before entering the actual class. Aladdin does not normally stand between classes and usually get agitated by it all however he stood like a saint and watched other riders most likely wondering what the heck everybody was wearing.
In the second clear round his canter felt ten times better again and he maintained it round the corners whilst still feeling balanced. We had a refusal at number seven which was the double, he jumped it foot perfect when I brought him back round- he actually jumped the second part rather large and fully inflated my tomato suit!
So we came out with another four faults and the 50cm class begun. We were 7th in and walked around the car park to keep warm, not risking the rather full warm-up.
By this point my Mum, Aunt, her friend and Sister had arrived to watch as they had never seen me ride before.
It felt like we were waiting forever to go back in. Kayleigh called my name and it started. Due to the fact I have never ridden at an ‘actual’ show before hearing the bell got me rather excited and giddy! Aladdin really had the hang of it now and gave me a superb ride. He felt rather strong but was still listening to me at the same time, when I asked him to ‘whoa’ he would come back to me a bit more and steady himself for the next jump as to not just run through them. And when I clicked he came to life. I genuinely think he enjoyed it as much as I did!!
The jumps may be small for the majority of equestrians to look at but they were a huuuge hurdle in the right direction for us. Considering we only jumped our first ‘off the ground’ jumps on Wednesday in our lesson, did our first course on Friday and attempted spreads and doubles for the first time today there is absolutely nothing else I could have asked from Aladdin!
Perhaps I ought to wear a tomato suit more often as it may well be my brave pant substitute!