Paige showed him in the thoroughbred jumpers which are at 1m. This was probably the first full course he's ever done at this height. Ok, it definitely was. It was also the first time he's ever done a jump off. He went around and was generally pretty brave and relaxed, although he still had his doubts about the jump crew tent. He didn't look like he was overjumping wildly going around, but then I saw the pictures. Turns out, he still didn't want to touch a rail.
And guess what? He got second place. At WEF. It wasn't a huge class but I'm guessing the other horses may have jumped a meter course at some point in their lives prior to that day.
Me, I showed in the ultra super special child/adult jumpers that are something like .8. As I walked the course, I was fairly confident I could jump most on foot. Paige instructed me to jump the middle of the jumps and she would be happy. We had a moment at the beginning of the course (more in a future post because it was so educational), but he was great. Brave, honest and coped well with me dumping him at half-stride distances and taking off my leg and sort of hoping he would pick a distance that could work without any input from me whatsoever. The picture below is an accurate summary of our ride, conveniently blocking my competition vomit-face. You'll notice my lower legs have gone out from under me and that I am doing some form of advanced karate with my elbows.
To give you an idea of the level of competition I was facing, the girl who went before me cried when she left the ring because she had a rail and told the apparently assistant trainer it was because "he (head trainer) wasn't there to walk the course with me!". Before you judge her to harshly, I believe she was about 11. The boy who went several trips after me was super distracting on his adorable yet fancy 13 hand pony and I'm pretty sure they won. I went clean but had time faults. It was my first return to the jumper ring after 17 years and I didn't forget my course so I consider it a success. Paige reluctantly had to agree since I did jump the middle of the jumps but I think she learned a valuable lesson about telling me I was allowed to do the adds. I got a beautiful wine-colored ribbon for 11th place, perhaps a nod to the fact it looked like I was riding while intoxicated.
The walk home was uneventful until the landscaping crew decided to wave a massive tarp near a pile of palm branches Tucker already deemed unreliable. I thought he would get over it since we were almost home, but he was like, "there's stalls at the horse show. Let's just go back there." So after a fabulous day of horse showing, I dismounted and made him walk backwards for several hundred feet while a lady on a golf cart (who conveniently missed the rearing and spinning action) gave me the third degree on what I was doing.
We'll end on a high note with this lovely picture that is just so Florida.