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Thread: Mouse and Annie's first show!

  1. #1
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    Default Mouse and Annie's first show!

    I'm a bit late in sharing this but have been very busy and keep forgetting to sit down and write it! At the end of May there was a holiday weekend in France, and an RS near us ran a training show (jumping) on the Thursday and Sunday. I decided it was the perfect opportunity for Mouse and Annie to go out for the first time. There aren't many training shows around here, and they can't do proper competitions because they don't have the right papers, plus I was going anyway because we had potential buyers lined up for Dessie (a 5-y-o New Forest I have been bringing on for my boss's mum to sell) and they wanted to see her in action.

    The smallest class on the Thursday was 50-60cm, which was a perfect height to start at, followed by a 70-80cm. Mouse's rider wasn't jumping her own pony til the second class, so he stayed at home and her mum brought their lorry over to take Mouse to the show. He had had his tail and legs washed (special occasion!) and I borrowed a white numnah from someone and dug out his fancy headcollar - he has never been pampered so much in the 3 years I've had him They even brought a set of little travel wraps for him to wear - I prefer to travel the ponies without leg protection, but I didn't think it would do any harm for him to get dressed up for one short trip, and I have to admit he was pretty cute in them!

    Annie had only travelled in a trailer as a foal with her mum, but loaded like a pro and waited calmly while I fetched Dessie and took her up. Mouse was fab too, he hasn't loaded into a lorry before but he marched straight up the ramp like he'd done it a million times. Everyone travelled well and arrived at the show looking nice and relaxed. We did our entries and then walked the course, where Mouse's rider needed a bit of a pep talk as the nerves started to kick in! She was a bit apprehensive about a couple of the jumps as she thought Mouse might spook at the fillers, and she was desperate to impress her friends who were there (she had told everyone about being asked to ride for someone, and I think she had now started to regret that a little bit!) but mostly she was worried because she didn't want to let me down! I understood the pressure, as I know myself how difficult it is to compete someone else's horse in front of them, so I told her I would only be disappointed if it looked like she wasn't enjoying herself, as that was all I really wanted. I also told her that any friends who criticised her afterwards were probably just jealous that she got to ride such a cool pony

    Mouse was first up. He has never seen an indoor arena before or been in an arena with lots of other ponies, but he walked straight in and started trotting round confidently like he'd done it all before. There wasn't much space in there and L couldn't get a whole lap of canter out of him, so we had her cantering the long sides and trotting the short sides, using the transitions to keep his attention on her and keep him in front of the leg. When they came up to their first crosspole L didn't really think about what she was doing just sat there waiting for Mouse to jump, and of course he stopped - a perfect time for my boss to remind her that Mouse had only just started jumping and she must not just sit there and expect him to do it on his own! The rest of the jumps were good they did the crosspole again, then 2 uprights, and finished with a 60cm spread. She was riding much more forwards and Mouse jumped nicely as a result.




    As it happened they were the first competitors out on the course my baby Mouse, opening a show He walked out into the arena full of confidence and you never would have guessed it was his first show I was beaming with pride already and he hadn't even started yet! My boss walked around with them giving L a final pep talk (the training shows are aimed at kids and novices so you can usually have someone in the ring with you if you want) and then the bell went and they were off. The first 5 jumps went really well, L rode nice and forwards and did a good job of keeping him straight and Mouse jumped nicely as a result. Unfortunately at number 6 they got in too close and had a pole down, L lost a bit of concentration after that and didn't really ride him into number 7 (the first filler) and he slipped out the side. Second attempt was fine, then they had another runout for the same reason at number 9, but after that L got a lot more assertive, and although Mouse thought about running out again, she made sure he didn't! Finally she rode very positively into number 10 and he jumped it really well.









    It wasn't perfect but I was so proud and happy to see my baby looking all grown up I would have been happy even if he'd had them all down L was disappointed but I pointed out that taking a 4-year-old pony, who she'd only ridden 4 times, around his first-ever showjumping course was not an easy task! I'm not experienced with jumping youngsters either and I know it's hard work! For a first round I thought she did a great job.


  2. #2
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    Mouse got taken off for some grass and the rest of us went up to get Annie ready. Knowing what a stresspot she can be, and being insecure on her own, I have to admit I had been quite worried that she would be a bit of a handful... well how wrong was I! Bless her, she was slightly on edge and shouty while we tacked up but from the moment I was on board she settled right down and was an absolute star! There were quite a few horses in front of us before it was our turn in the warmup, so I rode her around the car park for about 20 minutes or so, and despite all the waiting Annie stayed calm and quiet and didn't put a foot out of line or do any shouty-shouty. Such a pleasant surprise! Then finally it was our turn to warm up. Annie is another who had never been in an indoor arena – but like Mouse marched in confidently, and started walking around on a loose rein. She didn't make a fuss about the whizzing ponies and stressy kids and shouting instructors, she felt as relaxed as she does at home and took it all in her stride After plenty of walk we did our trotting and then a canter on each rein. Kept the jumping part short, 1 crosspole followed immediately by 2 uprights, then 1 spread, and then a bigger spread just before we went into the ring.

    She walked out so calmly and I found myself thinking that I didn't mind if she had them all down, I was already so pleased with her behaviour that the jumping part almost seemed irrelevant. While the previous horse was finishing (ie. rider was busy falling off) I gave her a trot around to show her some jumps and let her get her bearings. Just as the bell rang it started peeing down with rain! Annie took up a forward canter of her own accord and we managed the majority of the round without breaking canter, just went back to trot on a couple of turns to balance her as her canter is still very green. She didn't give any of the jumps a second look, took decisions on the strides herself, and felt very confident and focused on what she was doing. She was mostly pretty straight too, and although we had a few wobbly moments in typical babyhorse fashion, she was very responsive and we had plenty of time to sort ourselves out. She didn't hesitate at the fillers or get distracted by stuff around the arena, she only touched one pole (number 6) and we got a clear round Good pony!














    Dessie was her usual nervy self in the warmup but jumped a lovely clear round without any iffy moments.






  3. #3
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    Dessie and Annie were both staying to do the next class. We put Mouse up in the lorry and L's mum drove him home, I popped him in the field (where he immediately plopped down for a roll) and then we went to their house to pick up L's pony and her mum's horse. We got back to the show just as the first class finished, and had plenty of time to walk the course. It was meant to be 70-80cm but I'd say most of it was more at the top end of that, and there were some brightly-coloured solid fillers that I knew both the girls would be wary of. I had an idea of how it would go with Dessie, as it was by far the most "looky" course she's ever done, but didn't know what to expect from Annie I thought it would be good experience for her to try something bigger (I think 50-60 is a bit on the small side for her) but decided that I would pull her up if it was too much.

    Annie waited in the lorry with the other two while I rode Dessie. I was pleased with Dessie's round we had 3 stops due to ineffective riding on my part, but she jumped very well and was willing to give things a try even when her rider was being a wet blanket








    Then it was Annie's turn, and again she did a lovely warmup, and popped over the bigger jumps quite happily. Out in the arena she set off nicely, and jumped the first 5 really well. Unfortunately we were both getting tired by this time, and we were approaching number 6 which was a full-up 80cm spread with a red viaduct filler, and the first one Dessie had stopped at. Annie backed off it, and I didn't ride her forwards enough because I wasn't committed to jumping it, so she quite rightly stopped. Coming to it again I couldn't get her into canter, and we had a second stop and there she had clearly reached a point when her brain was saying "that's quite enough for one day", so I took her back over number 1 and called it a day.











  4. #4
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    DAY 2

    My boss was in England for the weekend, and since we were a man down I decided just to do the bigger class with Dessie on the Sunday, sowe left her at home and took Mouse and Annie in the trailer together to do the 60cm. We managed to get our names down for the warmup straight away, so we walked the course and then tacked up and rode down together. Both of them warmed up nicely again, and were very calm and a bit more confident than they were on the Thursday. We kept the jumps to a minimum and then walked around chatting until it was time to go in the ring. We went in together and L's mum came in on foot in case we needed a hand.

    Mouse was first to go. They set off ok but then got down to the bottom of the arena and Mouse suddenly went all nappy and not wanting to go forwards. L kicked him on but she struggled to get him going at first and he was well behind the leg for number 1. It was a straight line up to number 2 but L wasn't riding assertively enough and Mouse ran out. After they'd jumped it he cantered forwards nicely for a bit, but then they came around the corner to number 3 and the cheeky git started running out again. I could see that L could see it coming and was trying to correct him, he couldn't quite manage a runout so he ground to a halt instead about a stride away. For a moment it looked like L was about to turn away from the jump to come at it again, but then a look of pure determination came over her face and she changed her mind and made him jump it from where they were He tried to do the same sort of runout for number 4 as well, but more assertive riding from L and a smack on the bum and over he went, again from a standstill. After that she got him going much better, though she had dropped her whip so didn't have that to back up her leg – number 5 he cleared by miles, and the next few went fine. L had lost a stirrup after number 9, and they lost some momentum while she got it back, but she kicked him on again and they came around towards the last jump. It was about 65cm and L had been worrying about it, so I'd told her to commit to it and ride as positively as she could. She followed my advice, but unfortunately Mouse had other ideas! Just at the moment he should have been taking off, the brakes went on and the head went down – and he deposited L very gracefully on top of the jump

    It was a typical pony stop, and such a slow and graceful "fall", I couldn't help but laugh – what a naughty boy, my innocent-looking little Mouselet had claimed his first victim Being a training show she was allowed to get back on and finish her round, so she retrieved her whip and her pony, remounted and came at the jump again, once again giving it all she had. 2 strides out, 2 meaningful smacks on the bum and over they went. Now why couldn't he jump it like that the first time?!












    Annie and I were straight after them and had a really pleasant, fluid round. She picked up a nice forward canter but without rushing, our turns were more balanced and she was straighter and tidier than the first day. Unfortunately there was one blip – as we came to number 7, which was a spread with one of the block fillers, I didn't have enough leg on and gave Annie time to look at it and back off. She got in very close and stopped, then very genuinely started to jump from a standstill, but her back feet slipped and she ended up kind of kneeling on the jump. She lost her footing as she backed away and I could feel that she was quite upset by the whole thing. I gave her a reassuring pat and quietly came back round in trot – and this time she jumped it really well. The rest of the round passed without a hitch and I was grinning my head off as we finished. Absolutely over the moon with her





















    Video of the 2 rounds



    We rode the ponies around for a bit to unwind before we took them home and picked up Dessie.



    Last edited by joosie; 25-06-2014 at 20:06.

  5. #5
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    Annie went out in the field, Mouse stayed in the trailer to keep Dessie company, and we went back to the show for the 70-80cm. Walking the course I could see it would be right at the upper end of Dessie's ability they had made it pretty much 80cm all round, with some more like 90cm towards the end, and it was also a really long course. As it could have been my last show with Dessie the last thing I wanted was for us to finish on a bad note, so I told my boss's mum (who owns her) that I would pull her up if it went badly or if I felt she was getting too tired. I clearly had the right idea because Dessie jumped the first 5 beautifully and then got to number 6 and said NO WAY. She ran out the first time and refused on the second attempt, so I put her back over number 1 and called it quits.








    So there you go both my ponies' first outings done and dusted! Sorry for the essay but you know what I'm like with show reports A few blips here and there but I am so happy with how they took everything in their stride and how calm they both were. I was bursting with pride for both of them, I can't believe how lucky I am to have two great ponies not bad for a couple of freebies! All the photos are in this album, my friend who took most of them got some lovely headshots of the ponies too.

    http://www.myalbum.com/Album=EJAMYQFJ

    They have got another training show coming up this Sunday, it is 60-80cm so will be more of a challenge for both of them. I haven't been able to practise with Annie because I've been grounded for 2 weeks with 2nd-degree sunburn on my legs (don't ask!) so I think she will be quite fresh and I am looking forward to seeing what mischief the Mouselet will get up to this time

  6. #6
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    Well done overall! Sounds busy and hectic and some of those jumps are very much up to height. Very impressive for a first outing. Annie looks like she's flying at times, I'm not surprised you're so chuffed with her

    As for Mouse ... He reminds me of Notpoodle's Appley in spirit Can't beat a good pony. Well you can BEAT a pony, but ...



  7. #7
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    Very well sat that last blip with Annie! Hope she didn't lose too much confidence. Some lovely photos of her.

    The rider on the chestnut is doing some interesting dance at 1.40 in the first video

  8. #8

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    Well done to everyone, some great photo's as always. I've never seen block type fillers before, they're certainly substantial!

  9. #9

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    Lovely report! Mouse is so cheeky haha. Annie also looks wonderful, the last video of her is really nice and fluid.

  10. #10
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    Well done! I can't see the vids as wifi on the rig is rubbish but there's some really good pics. How tall are you if you don't mind me asking? Cracking ponies, looks like loads of fun!


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