Show jumping progress, my weakest link is getting stronger!

I have always thought of the show jumping phase of eventing as my weakest link. Give me a xc course or a dressage test any day, show jumping and I just didn’t get on. I’ve never had a horse that was talented or experienced at show jumping, and as a result I’ve never gained much confidence as a rider that I can ride a good sj round….until now…..

rectory farm lorry ramp blocked in






2x things have slotted into place recently. Firstly my mega instructor Amanda Brewer has had me doing a brilliant straightness exercise that has worked wonders on our approach to a fence, and I’ve widened Dustry’s saddle with the next gullet up which has made him much more comfortable and free moving.

We went off to Rectory Farm Arena on Sunday to put all this practice into action. There was a slight issue when I came back from entering to find that someone had parked and blocked in my ramp! Thankfully a quick tannoy announcement later and they reversed it 6ft out of the way, phew!

rectory farmI religiously practised my straightness exercise in the warm up arena, making sure I had him ‘up to the hand’, forwards, powerful off the turn, and straight. We went into our first class 60-70cm (2ft-2ft3”) and I was concentrating really hard on trying to ride forwards to the fence, and making good turns and straight approaches. There were lots of dog legs in the course and I fluffed the first one resulting in a wonky approach to the double and a pole down. I could feel things starting to deteriorate, and the next 3 fences were awkward and he had another pole. On landing I said to myself ‘get this back together Chloe and RIDE!’

show jumpingI picked him up and into the hand, rode a powerful positive corner met the next fence perfectly and every one after that, including another dog leg line to finish with just 8 faults. I don’t think you’ve ever seen a rider so pleased with 8 faults! To have got him going well, lost it then managed to repair it was fantastic and a huge improvement on both our parts.

Back to the lorry for D to chill and have some hay as we had a long wait till class 2 70-80cms (2ft3″ – 2ft7″). He was a super star all day as although I met some friends at the venue I travelled alone, so I had no extra help with him.

show jumping grazing the carpark!Warmed up and psyched up we went into the ring again for our second round. I thought I had a good canter to the first fence but it wasn’t powerful enough which resulted in a deep approach and a pole down. Getting after myself I rode positively to fence 2 and nicely over 3 and 4. The turn to 5 and 6 was the same line as class 1 and I hadn’t got it right then, but this time we nailed it, yay! I had a bit of a brain blank about the location of number 7 and so turned him with the incorrect leading leg. Dustry sort of stuttered to a halt but leg on and he responded really well, moving boldly forwards over 7, rode a good dogleg to 8 then totally forgot about the location of 9 so had to turn right and circle round. Really nicely over 9 (much better than round 1) but I think looking at the video that I let him run on a little to 10, hence the back legs taking a pole. Picked him up and over 11, and a great spot and a great feeling over 12.

8 faults again but what a star he was! I didn’t ride like a total lemon and came out the arena with that satisfying feeling that things are starting to come together.

Previous Post
Next Post