My trainer was there to coach me, and we walked the courses. The hunter ring was set up with a single fence on the diagonal, around to a line down the end, a line on the other diagonal, and then another line down the other long side. The jumps were all verticals with flower boxes underneath, and looked a bit bigger than I expected! The jumper course was trickier, with a rollback and bending lines and oxers.
Cupid was very relaxed as I tacked him up, standing nicely and no whinnying. Despite the bath I gave him the night before he had gotten a little dirty, and since his winter coat is starting to grow in he is not looking quite as sleek as he had a week or two ago. But we cleaned him up best we could, and I got on and we walked quietly to the warm up arena.
We went into the ring and started trotting a circle. Midway through I asked Cupid for a canter and...no response. We finished our circle and headed towards our first jump, and a few strides before we finally got the canter. We did a trot change and headed to our first line, and I felt Cupid hesitate. I think it was the fancy winged standards. I kept my leg on and Cupid went over. Like most thoroughbreds he likes to jump and is pretty brave, so even if he thinks a jump is funny looking (like the blocks we jumped our last practice at home) he will still usually go over. But the next fence I thought was scarier looking with a big pink flower box so I decided to trot it. We picked up a canter and got our last line.
I was super happy with how that went, even though we did trot a little. Cupid was relaxed and didn't run at the jumps or land quick, and was very good jumping different looking jumps. I wanted to try again. Our second round was even better, we cantered the entire course! Cupid landed on the correct lead after the first jump, and this time didn't hesitate. We did add a stride in the lines and did a trot change, so it wasn't a perfect hunter trip but I was very proud of us! Not long ago I could barely work up the nerve to canter jumps at home, and to come to a new place and canter an entire course was a huge deal for me. Three years in the making! It was a hot day, we were tired and Cupid had been so good I decided to save the jumper ring for another day. But I was very proud of both of us!
|Clear round ribbons|
|Nice cool bath!|