Christmas Jumping- Reindeer Edition

Last Sunday Hill House were holding another one of their Novice days- it stated online that Christmas ‘jumpers’ were a must. But why wear just a jumper when you have a reindeer suit at home…

We were aiming to do the 55 today however when I heard another lady comment on the jumps saying she was sure they were bigger than usual I entered wimp mode and entered the 50 first. To start with I was’t sure whether this would be our warm up or this would be our only class.

Sir Aladdin took absolutely ages in the dressing room as we put a lattice in his mane and tail with white bows to make us look extra Christmassy! Tinsel was wrapped around my stirrup leathers as I decided my idea of putting it on the reins could very well be a huge disaster!
In the warm up I soon realised the reindeer suit was quite an effective boil in the bag and also very flipping slippy! I also realised that not many people were dressed up, and certainly nobody looked as daft as me. To think I used to be bothered about the whole Patches half clipped situation but now I am at a show in my furry pjs. Then I had a flash back and remembered last time I wore this reindeer skin was in hospital after a riding accident when a 17’2 chestnut TB mare slipped over after bolting out the stubble field- had to snap out of the flash backs to prevent my jelly legs making an appearance.

Aladdin was very babyish in the first class and refused a small yellow spread next to the viewing area, he was more bothered about checking in on Emily & Brian who were stood watching. As we approached it the second time we took off and continued for a nice round.
55cm next after my brave pants snook themselves under all the reindeer fluff. After the last refusal I perhaps gave Patches too much leg over the yellow as we found sixth gear. I grinned the whole way round as his canter felt fantastic and forward, a huge improvement to the last class. Unfortunately we got an unlucky fence down which was my fault for not taking the corner a bit wider to get a straighter line.

With it being a novice day its perfect for practising and decided we would do our first 60 eeeeek!! Sounds like nothing to the vast majority but it excitedly nervously shakingly scared the heck out of me!
Whilst the other horses were going round the course I attempted to brain wash myself into thinking the jumps were the same size and to be calm after all it was only a difference of 5cm what harm could it do. Well FLIP Aladdin did not think the fences were the same size and flew me over the first few with no brakes. Well SLIP He stopped, popped & huge hopped over fence six and landed with an excited buck, meaning my fluffy reindeer ass lost its balance and resulted in me giving him an accidental neck hug. We got the next fence down which would have been due to me trying to find my seat again BUT we survived and I could not stop grinning.  Over the fence we got down in the previous class I honestly swear I felt the wind in my ears! It could have been due to the open door in the viewing area but still.

Somehow we still came home with some pretties as most of the horses were having a cheeky fence or two down and a great deal of them all stuck in a refusal.

Our homework is ground poles before jumps to avoid cheeky last minute chip in strides and (fingers crossed) eliminate them dam stops and hops.

Notes: Never ever wear slippy fluffy attire ever again!!!

The accidental hug …

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