I think we can all agree that I owed Henry some jompies, yes? It’s been a long time since he did any jumper classes, and I think I royally pissed him off a couple weeks ago when I took him to an event, made him do dressage, and then scratched the actual fun parts. I swear he’s been a little peeved at me ever since.
I typically don’t do much with him in the summer since he doesn’t handle the heat very well, but so far we’ve had a fairly mild summer (for us – it’s only been in the 90’s) so I thought we could get away with doing a couple jumper classes at a show nearby. I entered the 3’3″ but said that if there weren’t any other 3’3″ entries to just throw us in the 3′ instead. I always feel bad when I’m the only one in the division and people are having to stay longer and set jumps for me. And since we were really only doing this for fun, it didn’t matter what the height was. Also, uh… I literally can’t remember the last time we were able to jump a full course. It’s been months.
I had a cold last week, and Saturday of course dawned hot and humid, so I admit that I waivered a bit all morning and didn’t really want to go. But 1) I also knew that this was probably my last chance to do any shows with Henry for the summer, 2) Hillary was bringing Lex the Wonder Hony and I didn’t want to abandon her. I got dressed, chugged some water, and tossed the horse in the trailer.
We rolled into the show just before noon, and they were running a little behind schedule. Hillary got there, we went and got our numbers, and then she brought Lex over to my trailer to wait. I had brought a Yeti full of ice water to sponge Henry with, and he spent his waiting time munching his hay, sloshing his bucket, and falling in love with Lex in between his cold sponge baths. Tough life. Also at this point I think Lex gathers new members of his fan club every time he goes anywhere, and both horses and humans are equally susceptible to his charms. Henry decided they’re BFF’s (whether Lex wanted to be BFF’s with him or not is irrelevant).
Our classes finally rolled around, so we got on, did the briefest warmup in the history of warmups, and retreated to the shade of a tree to wait.
I have to admit that I went in the ring for the first class thinking “these look really big for 3’…”. But the fun thing about having had Henry for so long and knowing him so well is that it doesn’t really matter. As soon as he walked in the ring he knew what was up and started jigging while he waited for the whistle. He’s no fool, he knows what we go to this place for and he was HERE FOR IT. Finally, something fun. He basically told me to buckle up, because he was doing the jompies with or without my help.
I definitely felt a bit rusty but Henry perked his little ears and was game on and pretty rideable really. We did the timed 1st jumpoff first, having one rail (which I didn’t really mind because who wants to do the jumpoff anyway, that’s 6 more jumps to deal with) and then power and speed, where we also had one rail. He is nothing if not consistent, and his time away from the colored sticks certainly hasn’t made him any more careful, bless him. That’s fine by me though, we put in two decent-ish courses, had a good time, and Henry came away feeling very proud of himself. For instant happiness, just give Henry some jumps. What he lacks in athleticism he makes up for with enthusiasm.
He’s been strutting around the farm since Saturday like he is the second coming of Gem Twist or something, and who I am to burst his bubble?