It was a freezing on Sunday, and I truly believed my fingers and toes would fall off. I had a mega stomach ache, and felt ready to throw up! My first class was the 80cm pairs with my friend Molly Heaps, who I met out with the Badsworth Hunt, and her fabulous pony Cheesecake. I was really nervous because I didn't want to let Molly down. As I was riding Shadow, I wasn't as fast as I would have been on Itzhak, but she still jumped a lovely clear round for me and Molly managed to save us loads of time by riding an amazing and fast round, and we ended up third. I was very happy with a nice bar of galaxy chocolate too!!!
While we waited around for the 95cm to start we had a picnic lunch with flasks of hot soup and crusty bread, it was so lovely and warming, then we cheered Molly on to win the 85cm! Yay! Go Molly!!!
I was getting nervous about the 95cm because I'd only done this height once before with Shadow and she's still really new to me. We were fine though, Shadow jumped a super clear round but sadly just rolled a pole in the jump off at a related distance. We still got a rosette though for 7th really pleased.
I felt very worried before the 1.05m, I was nervous because it was my first time ever doing a course that size and they had been building up to height all day so I knew it would be really big. It didn't help that during the warm up for the 95cm jump off someone put the practice jumps up to 1.20m and because I hadn't actually seen a 1.05 m fence before, that oxer was what I thought I was going to be jumping. It scared me to death and I was really panicking, and no matter how much mum assured me that it wasn't. I just kept on thinking that I wasn't ready for this. I just couldn't get that huge fence out of my head. Mum had a chat with me and because they weren't changing the course for the last class we decided that I'd go in and jump a few, just to see how I felt and you know what? I was scared but I went in and did it anyway.
I was relieved when I went in the ring and saw that the fences looked really big but NOT anywhere near the size of the pratice fence (PHEW). The first fence looked big but Shadow just cleared it easily, I was really starting to enjoy the round because it was going so well when she got a bit tired and went on her forehand, so we got the strides to the next few fences wrong, we went towards the very last fence, still clear but I knew we were wrong for it and just didn't realise quickly enough to do anything, Shadow slammed on the brakes saying she couldn't possibly jump it from there and I slammed into the jump knocking the front part down and landing on on of the feet. Ouch! But the people were so nice there that they let me get back on and jump any fence of my choice to help regain my confidence. She cleared it perfectly, I'm sure she was just tired and as we get to know each other better, we'll go back and clear that course!!!
Oh well. It was still a great day! Thank you to Molly Heaps for being such a great partner! Thanks to all the people who helped me and were so nice to me when I fell off! :) And thank you to The Wentworth Emporium who provided Shadow's transport today xoxo
Oh and can you believe it?!?! My bruise is tiny, I expected a decent one to show for such a hard fall! You can actually watch the round on my youtube channel (Alanna Clarke Equestrian and there's a link from my facebook page too)