Today was the first show of the season. It was a very small, local show but it was a great confidence booster and start. Jolie finished out last season only competing through the 2'3" hunters, so I decided to start today in the 2' hunters to see where we were at, she had not been alone in an arena in quite some time and had not been showing at least since last July. She was wonderful, and I am more than pleased with her progress. She completed both jumping rounds with a 1st and 2nd place. We decided to skip out on the hack class - I really didn't think she could contain herself and I wanted to keep the first show of the year light, easy, and successful!
I also have been wanting to touch on the jumper aspect of things and see what Jolie's forte might be. We entered in the 2'6" jumpers, and once we got rolling, she was super. We finished our jumper class with a 2nd place, I was so proud.
I do want to mention a couple of things (conversation points! SO TALK, PEOPLE!) Number 1, the new USHJA rule that playing is allowed in hunter classes. The reasoning behind this sort of thing is, #1 most obviously for the welfare of the horse. It's too often you see the poor guys on lunge lines for hours and hours and hours and go into the arena dead. To me, it's not attractive and its super boring, so props for that. #2 (and I wish I could quote) is that Thoroughbreds are becoming more popular and they need to have a chance at winning too, but they are so "high strung" it's hard for them to keep their cool. This sortof miffed me - My TB's KNOW how to go around quiet, and not always "play" - on occasion, this "play" is because of temper (get off my mouth, I don't want to half halt today!) or just on occasion blatant disobedience. Why should something like that be excused? Anyway videos of today will show that this rule played in my favor for course #2, I am glad because Jolie was really super except for two of our corners where I half halted and she said "no damnit, I wanna be forward and fall in" - regardless, thoughts on this would make an excellent topic. Where do you stand on the whole thing??
The last thing I will leave you all with is thoughts on horsemanship. Today, it was really hard for me to decide what classes to do....and why not do them all? Well, because you have to keep the horses well being in mind. Oz didn't get to show today, he didn't school well yesterday, he is weak behind without any hills or long stretches for his gallops, so why MAKE him show, for a stinkin' ribbon...? Anyway, just a friendly reminder to keep your horse in mind, do whats best, make appropriate decisions to have a successful day and