We took Jack to Wellington on Saturday to do some show jumping. I made an error at fence 8 and had it down. I was annoyed with myself but took the lesson and moved forward. Then my mother said 5 magic word “Look how far you’ve come.”
A few months ago, if Jack had so much as neighed, I would have panicked and jumped off. Now, I am kicking myself about sitting too quietly into a fence and getting the jump wrong! It is so important when on a journey to look back and see how far you have come.
Last week, we went for the comeback take 2 and it went a lot better. Actually, that is a huge understatement, it went blinking marvellously. Two days at Addington for the Sports Horse Breeding (GB) National Hunter Championship. On day 1, I jumped in the novice class. We walked the course, with Joey announcing every jump with an “Aha! Found it.” (He is learning his numbers!) What, at first, looked like a quite simple course then escalated when we realised you had to leave the arena to jump a fence on grass, then up a bank with a jump at the top to then return into the arena for the final fences! It may have shaken me a little but I stuck with the “one fence at a time” approach and it worked. A clear round. It was by no means truly faultless but it was clear and Jack and I both came out with a smile on our face. We finished a very reasonable 4th.
In the afternoon, Southerly jumped on board for the HOYS qualifier and jumped another awesome clear. In that class, you had to jump out of the arena, into another arena and then do the bank before jumping back into the arena!! Only two clears and he was 2nd. It meant he qualified for the evening performance and it was amazing to be cheering him on, he behaved so well. He even had to canter around with the hounds!
A night in the lorry with Joey – not advisable, he is a serious fidget, even in his sleep!
Then, on day two it was the Amateur class. This time I had to do the jumping out of the arena thing. I don’t know how or why but I felt relatively calm. One fence at a time! Another clear round and then, we only went and won it! Pleased is an understatement. I actually cried! The judges were a little confused, maybe I should have made them read my blog so they can understand the 8 year journey it has been!
Literally, 8 years since I competed at that level and I came back with a red rosette and a big grin. It’s been one hell of a journey!
And now the journey continues. Jack has moved to Brackenhill Stud, near Henley so he is closer to home and Mother and I can spend some more quality time with him. Lots of work to do!
Thank you to everyone who has been cheering me on. It genuinely means so much to me.