Yesterday we covered the dressage part of Presto’s first event, now let’s move on to something more fun: showjumping!
I realized when he was warming up that… I haven’t ever actually seen Presto jump a whole course before. I know he did a couple jumper rounds when he was in Ocala but I only got a short clip of that, so I really had no idea what he looked like over a full course of jumps. In the XC video from a month ago he was really still just figuring out his feet a lot, trotting most of the fences and trying to learn which parts go where and when. So I really had no idea what he’s got in the tank or what he jumps like or any of that. When Megan started jumping him in warmup I was like “Oh. Oooohhhhhh. Damn is that mine? Okay yeah this’ll do.”
He’s got hops in there, this kid. When he strings a bunch of jumps together you can definitely tell how green he is, he’s still learning to keep his shape to the base and adjust on the backside (sometimes he succeeds in those things, other times he does not) but considering he’s really just started cantering courses… it’s fun to see what exists in there naturally. These little ones are definitely very easy for him, even when he overjumps.
Once again he was pretty well behaved in warmup, although he definitely was more perked up than he’d been for dressage. Jompies are fun I guess. He’s not wrong. When it was finally his turn to go, he marched down to the ring, right into the in gate, picked up the canter, and off he went. Once again, I don’t think you would have known it was his first show. Did he look green? For sure. Definitely. But he also looked bold and confident, never batting an eye at any of the decor, the photographer, any jump fill, all the stuff outside the ring, etc. If anything he was maybe a little too bold sometimes.
Megan said that originally she had planned on trotting some of the course but he was going along so happily that she decided to just go with it. I joked that Presto didn’t want all the big kids thinking he was a baby that had to trot things. He even went so far as to throw in flying changes in the turns. Well ok then fancybritches.
He did have one rail, at the very last fence. It was a two stride combination where he jumped in a hair bold, and he’s just not that adjustable yet to compress his stride down and make the two fit better. He ticked the rail with a hind foot coming down and it teetered for a second before it fell. Simple green horse mistake, definitely not a big deal. It sure didn’t stop him from being quite proud of himself, either (when is he not?).
It was a big first show day for a little kiddo, but he was still plenty full of energy by the end. Cross country wasn’t until the next day though, so he got a bath and um, like 4 Oatmeal Creme Pies.
It’s really fun to be at the stage where you can start to see some of his quality shining through. I think it’s safe to say that he’s definitely got enough scope in there to suit my needs, and I absolutely LOVE how confident and bold he is about all of it. He never once wavered, wiggled, or even sucked back behind her leg at any fence he was pointed at. Presto’s got a “lemme at em” approach to the jumping, which is much better for me than one that’s more spooky or hesitant. We can work on polishing up all the stuff in between and adding the finesse and helping him learn to keep a lid on his enthusiasm, but it’s a lot harder to instill confidence and bravery where there isn’t any to start with. That part isn’t a problem for him. Bold, bold, bold, for sure, and pretty clever with his feet most of the time.
I am already DYING for the pro photog to post proofs, but they won’t be up for another couple weeks. I know she got a couple of his best jumps and you can bet I’ll be buying those. I did order the pro video too and they’re usually fairly quick, so hopefully soon we’ll have some better quality video than what my fairly crappy cell phone can manage.
Tomorrow we finally get to the best part: XC!