Saturday started out so promising. I braided Chimi in record time, I only left my house 10 minutes late to pick up Finn and T, and on my way to FENCE I saw a white squirrel! Surely this meant today was going to be great?? Right?
|hello little white squirrel!!!|
As soon as we got there and I jumped out of my truck I heard the announcer say "Prelim show jumping will start at 1 today." Umm that was weird, SJ was supposed to be tomorrow? Then I ran into my friend AT who said "Have you heard the news? It's been turned into a 1 day due to really bad weather tomorrow" UMMM WHAAAATTTT??? Do I have my stuff for show jumping? Yes except for my open fronts, but whatevs. They were allowing us to jump in XC attire for SJ so I figured it'd work out somehow.
|I don't have lots of media so here's jumps from XC! This was for Training and Prelim but how fun is this?|
Then it was time for bit check. I hopped on Chimi and we headed over to the tent where the bit checkers were hanging out. I told the lady to be careful but she wasn't careful enough and freaked Chimi out with her more aggressive bit checking style. However she did redeem herself and he allowed her to check the bit on the 2nd attempt. No sooner had they given us the green sticker and we turned around to walk the 10 steps to the warmup ring when suddenly I felt Chimi go straight up into the air and land bucking. I was pitched forward and landed on his neck and immediately wrapped my arms around him and held on. He stopped shortly after and just calmly stood there. Everyone was like omg you stayed on?! Good job! I laughed and said I wasn't going to give my trainer her bottle of wine for falling off today! Trainer saw the whole thing and jokingly said "I'm insulted that you wouldn't do that for me!" (her rule is if you fall off in her lesson or at a show you have to buy her a bottle of Australian Red. I've given her plenty of bottles in the past 5 years!)
|T and P's picture frame jump|
Warm up was kinda terrible but that was to be expected. Chimi didn't try and buck but he was overly spooky. He doesn't like the horses coming straight at him so I'm constantly looking at the flow of traffic and trying my best to go with the flow instead of against it. But this time he was also spooking at the white board the warmup stewards were using to keep track of everyone. I shrugged it off and just did my best to keep Chimi well enough together and survive the test.
When it was time for our dressage test he went in and mostly behaved. We're usually pretty darn decent on our first centerlines but this time when we made the turn left he spooked hard at something by C. I think it was a puddle? Honestly have no idea. The whole test he felt tense but obedient and we ended up with a respectable 33.3 which I thought was very fair. Trainer said the test looked good and we obviously lost points that we normally don't lose them at a couple of spots in the test (like when he jigged in the free walk). I forgot to pick up my test at the end of the day with all the craziness of the 1 day going on so I'm a bit sad I don't know how we did at each movement. Oh well.
|Chimi looking so innocent and adorable being tacked up for XC|
Finally it was time for XC! I was pretty excited b/c the course looked easy enough but had some tricky moments that I knew I had to ride well for. Trainer warned me about jump 1 so I knew I had to come out of the start box and ride him to the jump.
|The fist jump on course.|
The XC course at FENCE is across the road from the main show grounds and it's a fairly easy hack up the road. They always have policemen hanging out to make sure that any driver coming by slows down so that the riders won't have any trouble getting to XC. Chimi's made this trek many times so I wasn't to worried. As we were heading up the road two riders were coming back. The first one was riding her horse back and Chimi didn't care about them. However the 2nd rider was leading her horse back and suddenly I felt Chimi spin around and take off back to the trailer. I quickly stopped him and turned him around and the rider on the ground was very polite. We easily passed them on the 2nd attempt but it was just kind of weird.
|Course walking at sunset is always the best for pictures|
We checked in at XC warmup and I saw that there wasn't to many riders there yet. Thankfully we were one of the first riders to head out on the Novice course b/c cross country warm up can be really scary for Chimi with so many horses galloping around. We had a terrible warmup but that's pretty normal for Chimi so after getting ourselves mostly together I felt like we were ready to go.
I watched the first couple of riders head out of the start box and they didn't seem to have any trouble with the first jump. Now it was our turn and was as ready as we could be.
|Why am I looking at Chimi's front feet?|
10, 9, 8....3, 2, 1, and we were off! I thought about trotting the first jump but Chimi charged forward out of the start box so I rolled with it. I sat down closed me leg and really rode him towards the first jump and then the next thing I know Chimi slams on the brakes at the last second and I'm slammed out of the tack and onto the ground. It all happened so fast I hadn't a snowball's chance in hell of staying on Chimi. Honestly I really don't think many people could stay on Chimi when he decides to stop b/c it truly comes out of nowhere and he's suddenly not under you anymore. I had the ground and I'm thinking WHAT THE FUCK CHIMI YOU BASTARD GOD DAMN YOU WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT COME FROM??!!?!?!?!!?!?!?!!?! My head was not a good place to be at that moment.
|Why am I looking at Chimi's BACK feet?????|
Luckily Chimi is not a horse that leaves the scene of the crime and tends to stand around waiting for you to get back up. In the fall I must of slid off the front of him and taken the bridle with me b/c when I stood up I saw that it was just laying there at his feet while he was grazing on some delicious grass. The jump judge jumped up and quietly walked towards us so not to spook Chimi but I had already gotten there, picked up the bridle, and had the reins around his neck. Some other trainers came over to help and make sure I was ok because it was AT THE FIRST JUMP ON COURSE. I had just fallen off and hadn't gotten to jump a single jump on course.
|WHAT THE HELL CHIMI|
helmet cam action of the fall
I got the clear to go back and be depressed about not getting to do SJ (though at that point I don't think I wanted to ride anymore, something was most definitely off about my horse. Not a lameness but a brainless?) This time I was that rider on the ground leading my pony. It felt like the walk of shame.
On the way back Chimi just had to have 1 more incident of course. As I was leading him down the side of the road there was a car in each lane. Of course it just happened that all 3 of us were at the same exact spot at the same exact time so the car approaching us was right next to us and Chimi leaped straight up in the air. Chimi at least has very good ground manners and never came close to touching me but it's still scary to wonder if this giant 1200lb beast is going to knock you into the road. I was so done at that point. Where the hell did my perfectly quirky but normal Chimi go?
After getting back to the trailer Chimi turned back into the perfect gentleman that he is. I stuck him on the trailer so I could eat lunch and he happily ate his hay and snoozed away. I watched some of the stadium rounds and cheered on friends. It really was a perfect day for a show and even though it didn't go the way I hoped I still had a great time. If there's one thing you can count on with horses it's that nothing goes the way you expect. I'll figure out what's going on with the Burrito but for now we'll take a couple days off and then reasses the next step!