So, I haven't been able to update for a while. I blame part of that on my sheer laziness, and the rest of it on my craziness of lack of time. So Jester has been positively amazing. He has matured so much this past show season, and as it comes for a close with me, I look forward to next year, aiming for the Training Championships and maybe a PT or a Prelim at the end of the year.
Our last show of the season was the Virginia Horse Trials at the Virginia Horse Center on Oct. 31 and Nov 1st. I don't think I've ever had more fun at a horse trial in my entire competing career. Our posse of people left on Thursday morning, arriving at the center Thursday evening( a lovely 8 hour haul). Hacked Jester around that night, went to our RV which was on the grounds, might I add that that was EXTREMELY convenient. Friday, rode Jest in the morning, and let me tell you, he was HIGH AS A KITE. Settled down by the end, to put in some decent dressage work. Did the Gambler's Choice jump school that night. WHAT A BLAST! Did the second class, which was 3'3 to 3'9. Our round was beautiful, I was thrilled with the way Jester was jumping. There was a gray bonus fence, and if you jumped it clean, you got an extra 10 points added to your score. So I thought, "Hey, why not?" So off we went to this larger than the rest gray vertical. It wasn't till I was 2 strides away from the fence, that Brian the announcer, says "the approach...4 foot 1..." I was like "Well, too late to back out now!" Jester sailed over right in stride, but just tapped it behind. I was still extremely proud of him, considering the highest fence he's ever jumped was around 3'4. That day he had also jumped several 3'7 oxers as well.
Saturday, competition day, rode Jester for like 20 min in the morning, making sure he was quiet and loose. Rode dressage around 11, produced a score of a 37.3. I was pretty happy with the test, I didn't have him quite as connected as I would have liked, but overall a decent test for him. He stayed quiet and broke a 40, which we very rarely did this season. Jester positively rocked cross country. Felt like I was riding him around a 4 star. Jumped everything big and brave, jumped things on angles when I told him too, very adjustable. I made a stupid mistake and didn't give Jester a long enough approach to the ditch, so he didn't even see it, and when he did, it was too late for him to jump it. I knew it was my fault, so I just circled back and came to it again, the next time he jumped it beautifully, as I knew he would. Even with the refusal, we finished 15 seconds below optimum. I was so incredibly proud of him. Besides the fact, I felt like I was on top of the world.
Going into show jumping day, we were sitting in 6th. Jester was tired, but he still tried his heart out for me. We had one rail because we were having a bit of a "discussion", but after that the round was perfect. We finished in 6th. I could not have been happier with my little man. We have things to work on before next year, and I am so excited to see what he becomes.
Deb 'n Jester