Frustrated after today's show :-(

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Frustrated after today's show :-(

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    08-02-2009, 10:15 PM
Green Broke
Unhappy Frustrated after today's show :-(

My 5th mini trial was today, and I was returning to the place where my very 1st show was..Grand River Hunt. As some already know, I had a pretty good dressage test the last time (3rd place with a 42.5 score). The score wasn't that good but for it being my first time and Sandie's too, it was decent for how nervous we both were!!

Anyway, I ruined it all last time when I fell off in cross country, which means elimination from the show. I dropped her at a stone jump which she had never seen before so was already nervous about jumping. As a result, she refused and I was stupidly already in my 2 pt so I just went right off the front of her.

Well today, I was bound and determined not to come off in x-c no matter what!! Our dressage test was awesome, we got a 32.5 this time! So we were psyched! Did some warm up jumps and we were rarin' to go! Well, go past the scary rock jump with only slight hesitation...

WHEW! BUUUUUT this time at Grand River they changed the course, and decided to throw a TIRE jump into the Intro course! Sandie has never even seen a tire before and she was NOT amused! I remembered last time, so I sat back and sqeezed my legs to drive her over the jump. She stopped dead in her tracks in front of it. Now, as some of you know, in Eventing as long as the horse doesn't take a step backwards and goes over, it's not counted as a I pushed her to jump it. Now, here's where I made my idiot mistake! I saw her lift up a leg, so thinking she was going to jump it and jump it BIG because she was scared of it, I got into my jumping position....and this happened...

She promptly felt me drop her and stepped backwards, sending me over the front of her ONCE AGAIN and ruining my chances at a ribbon AGAIN at this place! Anyway, I'm just really frustrated and let down, not by Sandie, but by myself! I knew better and should have just sat back and been left behind...better than coming off! I just hate doing that because then she gets hit in the mouth as her "reward" for jumping something she was scared of jumping!

So, sorry this thread got so long, but...anyone have a similar situation and how did you get your horse over the jump safely without jumping ahead and without getting left behind and popping them in the mouth? My friend suggested a crop, but I never ride with one so it would take some getting used to, and I'm afraid that with Sandie it may just upset her even more if she's just scared because of inexperience
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    08-02-2009, 10:19 PM
Aw I am sorry it went badly for you. Do they have to jump it or could you just sit back and have her step over the jump if it isn't too big?
    08-03-2009, 12:26 AM
Hey, I am sorry that happened. It was strange I had one crappy time at my regional horsemastership test yesterday. D littlerally stopped at each jump then launched knocking down every single jump! I was lucky we made up our points in the flat, grooming and written test and we still qualified for state but I couldn't believe he acted like that!!!! Gah! I am thinking he MIGHT be getting show sour so we are just doing nice relaxing trail rides for the rest of this week (and then some) to see if that helps. Maybe what you can do is great a BUNCH of jumps at home? Stones, tires, coups, anything you think could show up at a show? D use to get sucked back at Oxars so I just made all my jumps oxars at home and he's gotten almost 100% better about them. Maybe this will help prevent this from happening at the next show?? I am sorry that it went this way for you... OH! (forgive me if this is a stupid question I've never done eventing before) but are you allowed to ride after the show or after your go?? Maybe before even?? You can maybe pop Sandie over all the jumps they have there so she can have a good look at everything? Sorry if this doesn't help.
    08-03-2009, 01:30 AM
That sucks :( but unfortunately that's part of eventing! We all go through it at some point, so you're not alone.

Basically first off to avoid catching your horse in the mouth, you first need to work on stabilizing your position on the flat and then jumping with jumps your horse is comfortable with (lots of no stirrup work!!)

A lot about your horse's confidence in jumping is your confidence. So having a positive ride is going to help change your horse's attitude. Remember to look over the jump and sit up tall (don't lean forward and anticipate the jump), keep your sit-bones on the saddle and your leg on (not squeezing, but supportive). To practice different types of jumps without having to spend a lot of money, you can use things such as tarps over or under jumps to make a make shift water jump, jackets over the poles, brightly colored cones, and similar objects.

Since I already wrote you a novel, I will stop here for now haha but if you want more ideas i'd love to help :)

Oh one more thing- remember the most important thing is to HAVE FUN AND LEARN! Don't rate your success at an event by your placing, but from what you take away from it.
    08-03-2009, 03:37 AM
Oh wow, how terrible. Poor you and Sandie. Just remember though, you are both pretty new at this and you will both make mistakes. My suggestion would be grab a handful of mane but I don't think that is "proper" jumping position. LOL.

Remember the most important thing is to HAVE FUN AND LEARN! Don't rate your success at an event by your placing, but from what you take away from it.
^^ Excellent statement, 3days.
    08-03-2009, 01:12 PM
Green Broke
Thanks everyone Dartanion, you can go to a schooling day the day before and ride the course, which I should have done! But I'd ridden it earlier this year at the first show and the only one she had any issue with was the first jump photo above, the rocks. So after that disaster we went home and built a rock jump for her and that did help.

But then at this show I show up and they changed the course and added the stupid TIRES!!!! Didn't even think of that! So I guess we'll have to go find some tires now to practice over lol!!

Can anyone else who's done Eventing here tell me what other strange things they make you jump over at a low level like mine (Intro level)? So far here are the "regulars" and some of the not too regulars like the tires too!

Brush box
Log/rock combo
Hay/hay cart
Rail road ties
Wood stack
Small fence
Freight train (yeah it was a box made to look like a train that this one show did!!)

I can't think of any other for now, but has anyone else gone over others that I may want to create at home for us to practice with?!

Thanks for the help everyone!!
    08-03-2009, 01:32 PM
Green Broke
Sorry about your fall :( I have a course that I SWEAR is cursed, too!

Just remember that it's not all about how you place. Yes, it's nice when you get a ribbon but it's all about the experience you get out of it. Whether it tells you that you need to move up or it tells you that you have things to work on, you can always bring something away from it. My mare did her first recognized event last summer and my whole goal was for her not to get eliminated in dressage, and go clean on XC... and when we met that goal... I felt like we won! We got 7th in a tough division but I cried because I was so proud of the horse and what we accomplished.

Falling off a couple of times when it matters most is going to teach you to keep your upper body back, right? So that's a bonus of this show! Lol. You have to support her ALL THE WAY to the jump. Her job starts when all four feet leave the ground and then it's your job to help her land correctly. It's hard to not lean forward, trust me I know! It's one of my main vices.

As far as jump ideas....

Stadium Jumps:
Polka- Dotted planks
Animal Print planks, poles, and standards
Planks with funky shapes.... I.E. Diamonds, squares
Reflective material on planks
Brick wall (you can paint it onto a plank to save some $, that's what I did and it works just as well)

XC fences:
Coop with scary bright colors... sometimes at shows they will add a BRAND new jump that they just built. The wood is usually a bright color and sometimes it scares the horses.

Crabapples on a stair jump... I know it sounds weird but I have had to jump that before!


Grain sacks filled with sand or straw


I definitely recommend going to every schooling you can afford/ make time for. Especially on courses with scary jumps! Usually ( I don't know Sandie ) horses are scared of the TYPE of jump, not the particular jump itself. If they have seen tires before on a different course, they will usually recognize it as the same type of fence.
    08-03-2009, 01:36 PM
Green Broke
Eventerdrew you are SO right about that last statement! She had never seen a tire before, let alone JUMP a line of them! So I know that's what freaked her out...she still gets a little nervous about rocks but she'll eventually go over them so that's not as big an issue as it used to be.

I go to schooling when I can but unfortunately I don't own a trailer so I have to find someone else to go with, and the girl I show with works on Saturdays (which is when the schooling days are). So I normally can't go...I wish we could get a trailer but it's just not in the budget right now!! Then I could school every time!

The first event (my 2nd show) that I got a ribbon in (BLUE ribbon!) was one in which I schooled the day before, got all the refusals out and got Sandie used to the course...then she did it like it was nothing the next day at the show! So it definitely helps, I just need to find a ride haha!!
    08-03-2009, 01:44 PM
Green Broke
I can DEFINITELY relate to the transportation issue. I am a jr. Rider, so obviously I don't have money to buy a trailer. My family had been saving up since I started riding and after 11 years we finally got a truck and trailer... a 1996 Ford F-250 and an aluminum-over-steel two horse straight load Trail-Et.

I had to depend on my trainers to take me places, which is a drag! Now I can haul by myself and don't have to depend on my trainer for anything in that department... sometimes I even give her a ride! Lol.

My retired TB mare HATES HATES HATES blue tarps. I wish I had a pic to show you what she did. She was terrified of them, and still is. We made her jump it so many times and she had the exact same expression on her face each time- sheer terror! You could feel her heart beating out of her chest and it was the only time when her knees where tight against her chest. Hahahaha... BUT oddly enough... she jumps real liverpools like a champ. Lol
    08-03-2009, 01:47 PM
Green Broke
Haha Sandie hates tarp too!! We had "scary jump night" a couple weeks ago and we adorned the jumps with all sorts of cones, fun-noodles, balls, blankets, etc. She went over all of them eventually but would not go NEAR the tarp!!

I finally started trotting her in a small circle around the tarp and then started slowly cutting in the corners a bit so that one hoof would be on the tarp for an instant, and finally got her to trot over the middle. But she still won't walk over it, only trot!! I guess she figures that way she can run away from it faster!! Lol

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