Last Friday our yard had its usual evening showjumping on as part of the Summer League and I just knew I would kick myself if we didn’t take part. I mean im already kicking myself over the fact we’ve not competed since at least October. Aladdin did have his month off over Christmas whilst he got sorted with his full MOT but Ive had him fit and back in full work over a month now and not managed to get our booties round a course of jumps.
Now I know 75cm doesn’t seem like a lot at all and we go higher than that regularly in our lessons or just when playing around but I get major show jitters! Like major show jitters! Having actual people stood at the side watching, makes my skin crawl and my butterflies go manic. Over the past year or so I’ve come to realise its not the fear or falling that im scared of but the fear of failing, and doing that in front of even just a handful of people sends me into meltdown. I just presume even the most supportive of people are there judging me and thinking I shouldn’t be on my fabulous cow pony. Aladdin can do what he wants in the ring, buck, fart or just sass about and I will just laugh it off but as soon as I clock people in the stand I feel like a fool.
I only intended on doing the 65 just to end on a good fun note as I knew he could sail round the course easily with no fillers in etc. We went in anddddd I actually felt for the first time in a good few shows that I had remembered the course and that it was programmed into my dysfunctional satnav sieve brain. He was off and popping them no bother, his canter felt perfectly balanced between being collected but still powerful. The blue double which has caused us a couple of eliminations previously actually rode the nicest, he felt super and I could feel our confidence having a fabulous ride. Aladdin did have a sneaky gander at the gate where his Auntie Kayleigh was stood, he dropped off my leg in search of a treat however we got round with a respectable safe time and a clear round. The lap of honour in this class included brake failure from both myself and the lady in front which was a good giggle also.
Now the 75, after his almost faultless previous round I just had to do the 75 right? I mean I had my shiny bright white Montar breeches on for the first time so it would have been a shame to peel them off so soon on their first outing. The jumps were only two holes up with added fillers.. a couple of these fillers we hadn’t attempted before and a couple we have previously landed on anyway so what did we have to lose, gulp. Initially there were only a couple in the class but all of a sudden the numbers on the whiteboard started increasing. We watched on for a couple of rounds and saw a good amount of refusals and elimations, this really wasn’t helping my confidence so we plodded back to the warm up.
We trotted in and I actually felt ok (sort of), Im pretty sure Aladdin also knew the course now and he was off. Slightly more leg required than the previous round but still he was off. I focused on forgetting about the people stood watching and made sure I didn’t look at the jumps, as we all know if you look at the jump you’ll end up sat on it. I felt so proud of him as we went round, I was probably a tad too vocal with my “Good Boys” after a few of the fences but what the heck he deserved it! Now… the second to last fence and heading towards the gate.. The little piglet looked at Kayleigh for treats again! He dropped to trot and lost focus meaning he refused the last fence. A quick nudge and a sneaky growl got us circled back round and over the fence nicely. Typical cob thinking about how he is constantly starving haha! However despite our slight treat related hiccup I was beaming, not going to fib there were tears in my eyes. I really do wish it wasn’t our last show but nonetheless we’ve both come away a happy confident partnership and I couldn’t be happier with him or what we have achieved.
Massive love to my friend Laura for coming to support, take videos and kick me up the bum when required.