Now that the so called 'deadly heat wave', all two days of it, has finished it's the perfect time to get back into full steam ahead again! Today after a full day of teaching and riding (we start early) I headed to Saugreties in New York where I'll spend the next two days competing Mario and Cole. It's a 7/8 hour drive but from what I've heard it's one of the best jumping shows around making it worth the effort. For Mario obviously this is now his career. I'm not doing the grand prix on him tomorrow, not because he's not jumping well (he is, he's jumping out of his skin!), but because I want to consolidate what we've been working on in the 1.40m. And from the research I've done the course designers ask some pretty complicated questions here. We'll be back at the grand prix in Culpepper in two weeks so it's only a brief respite from having to jump that big! I'm also being very careful about using his legs wisely and not just jumping him for the sake of it.
Cole is here to do the 1.20m. For him these shows are all about getting exposure in a high atmosphere ring, something very difficult to get in the eventing until you get to a CCI. After Bromont two star he had some time off (as it was a CCI and he had been competing since January) and I've only jumped him a couple of times since he's been back in work. I have to digress here and tell you about his first jump session after his break! Most horses will give you some type of 'fun' ride jumping after a break,whether it be a playful buck, cheeky spook or other high jinks designed to test the security of your seat! This time Cole's game plan (I could tell he was plotting something as soon as he saw the jump saddle) was to jump his first fence beautifully without changing his rhythm or balance. At this point I was pretty happy with myself for a job well done when he landed and cantered around the ring. This may seem pretty normal to you, but when I say cantered around the ring I mean he put his head down like a Thelwell pony and just cantered. I couldn't stop him! Fortunatley he decided he'd better start working after he'd shown everyone where I stood and proceeded to jump really well. I took him for a lesson with Phillip yesterday and again he jumped super. He just gets better and better with his showjumping. His xc is great, the dressage is coming. So back to the show here, the experience he gains at this shows directly relates to how he showjumps in the eventing. I'll just do two classes on him here as he's doing Millbrook intermediate next weekend.
Please check back again tomorrow for more updates!
This video is from my last show with Mario a few weeks ago.