Things finally came to a head for our show jumping at Waredaca- four rails again is enough. But let’s start with the dressage.
In what’s becoming a normal start time for us this season, we had an 8:18 a.m. ride time. When we got to the event, they had a big sprinkler on the dressage rings and Oh So thought that was pretty interesting. Add to that the neighbor’s giant white dogs in kennels and it made for an interesting warm-up area. He was a bit spooky when I first got on, which is somewhat unusual, but once we started trotting, he went right to business. I was pleased with that for sure. I had an error when I came down centerline and leg yielded the wrong way. Oops! He was quite soft and willing throughout the whole test though, and Prelim Test B seemed pretty easy compared to the Second Level tests we’ve been schooling at home.
We ended up with a 29.1 for second place. He was jumping a bit flat in the show jumping warmup and I gave him a few good pops to get off my hand, but once we went in the ring, the rails started falling. He seems to be hitting them coming up (usually the front rail of an oxer) and will not whoa in the triple combinations, so has the last rail down.
He carried over his ‘tude to cross-country and didn’t whoa in between 4a and b, so hung a leg and I almost came off over his neck. I was able to right myself and get my stirrup back, but lost some time unfortunately.
He jumped well into the first water; a log, two strides to a bank down, then over a corner. It was a tough combination, but he was looking for the out and that’s exactly what I want at this stage. There was also a little log jump in the water which was cute and a log on top of a steep mound.
In the far corner of one field, we jumped a bank up, made a half circle, and went down and then over a big brush skinny. I had to really get his attention for the half coffin, and we finished up with some good galloping fences. Unfortunately we were about 35 seconds over time, so we had quite a few time penalties to end up fourth overall in the Prelim Rider division.
The main lesson learned this week is that we need a new bit. He’s just not listening to me anymore on the way to the jumps. Lisa says he’s jumping across the jumps and not rocking back and jumping around them, so we’ll need to find a bit that gives him a bit of a wake-up call when I half-halt. I think we’re going to try a pelhem first, then maybe something with a port next.
I feel like I’m doing all I can, but he’s turning out to be more complicated then Sam was and I really don’t like to work that hard. I don’t want my position to suffer because of trying to “lift” him over the fences, so he needs to get a bit of a wake-up call. I guess that’s what comes with the territory for an OTTB.