On January 25th I had my first competition in almost six years!
My nerves started to get to me during my last lesson three days before the show. I was questioning whether or not we (Beau and I) were ready, I was nervous about jumping a full course and being able to perform. I was starting to have a mental breakdown and was quickly forgetting how hard we had been working the past few months for this competition. After much needed consoling from my trainer, I sucked it up and got back to work. We finished my lesson on a good note and I was feeling much better.
Friday came very quickly and it was time to prep for the show. I went to the barn after work, rode Beau (and it was a great ride – yay!), gave him and Cash a bath, cleaned my tack and boots, loaded the trailer and headed home to relax before the big day.
Saturday morning Nick made breakfast, I grabbed some much needed coffee and we left for Chuluota. At this point I really wasn’t too nervous and honestly I never really got nervous the entire day. I was surprised with how calm and relaxed I was. I think that my demeanor rubbed off on Beau because he too was pretty laid back. He didn’t like when any of the other horses from our barn left his side but as long as I kept walking him around and letting him eat grass he was okay. Nick gave me a break too and spent some quality time with Beau.
After a few hours of hanging out it was time to get on and start warming up. I was pleased with Beau’s energy and enthusiasm to work. He was pretty focused and moving really nice. We hopped over a few fences in the warm up ring and then waited for our classes to start.
I signed up for the Childrens/Adults 2’6” division which is three jumping classes (one was a warm-up class that is not judged) and one flat class. My trainer told me my course and I headed in to the arena having no idea what to expect from Beau or from myself. We had a beautiful transition into the canter and headed to our first line.
Let me tell you, Beau is a complete ham when he gets into the show ring. He got into that arena and something just switched on in him and he performed amazingly! Not that he isn't always good but he was amazing during the show. We placed 2nd in our first jumping class, 3rd in our second jumping class and 4th in our flat class. We had great rounds and I was so happy with how well we did.
Doing so well for my first show in six years was a huge confidence boost. It made me so happy to see that all of our hard work the past six months had paid off.
Since the show, we have been working even harder on more some specific areas – getting Beau to move out and use his hind end more and releasing my hands. I can tell that we have already improved leaps and bounds since the show and I am looking forward to our next competition in May. We haven’t picked which one we’re going to yet but we are definitely doing it next month! Stay Tuned!