Yep, it is a full week after Halloween, and about 10 days since this show happened, but I am just now blogging about it because life. And better late than never, right???
So every year, for the final show that my barn puts on, they make it a Halloween show! The highlight of the day is a costume contest and high jump class. I prepared Banner and I's costume at least a month in advance, but we will get to that in a moment!
To kick the day off, we just popped around a couple 2'9" courses. With only a week in between our Karen O'Connor clinic, and this show, he was definitely a bit more on the tired side. Not so much so that I felt bad entering him, but he just was ever so slightly less thrilled about everything than his normal self.
We had quite a nice warmup and he was feeling pretty forward and solid, so we headed over to the ring and went in. Jump one, two and three felt really smooth, but the line from #3 to #4 was a bending 6 stride into jumps #4 & #5 which were one stride apart. It was a really short approach to the one stride, and I didn't ride it as well as I probably could have or should have, and he had an uncharacteristic stop. I re-approached twice more and same thing. He was disinclined to forgive my mistake. I popped one other single fence in the arena with him before exiting and he was fine over that.
I definitely felt a bit disheartened by that, and so I took him back over to the warmup and we schooled for another few minutes. I hurried back to the ring and tacked on another class at the 2'9". This time I made myself have a better game plan (including remembering a whip this time...). And he went around the whole course feeling incredible. I took him to the one stride that had previously caused us trouble and sat up, put my leg on and committed to making it over that stupid thing. And sure enough my horse rewarded me and the line rode perfectly.
He didn't even so much as take a peek at another jump the rest of the day. It was definitely an uncharacteristic moment for my superstar pony, but nothing abut it felt like it was a problem, it just felt like more of a "nahh, you didn't set me up well enough for me to save your butt on that one".
We had a couple of hours before the costume contest, so I got a couple quick parts of his costume ready and then just let him snack while I cheered on some friends.
I am pretty rarely into Halloween and costumes. Usually they are a last minute thrown together idea of whatever I had in my closet that day. This year was very different! I planned this one out for over a month. Hopefully its obvious in the above photo, but I took Banner's show name and ran with it! We were Black Widow and The Incredible Hulk!
I love this costume it was insanely fun to put together and wear. Everyone mentioned that I literally did not once stop smiling while we were all walking around in our costumes.
We ditched a small part of our costume for the actual jumping so that we were both a bit more comfortable and safe, but he still looked awesome!!
We cleared the 3' in the high jump, and attempted the 3'3", but he just tipped it with a toe and it fell. It was a really lovely jump though, and he felt great!
I definitely had a blast with him doing some new things for this show and he got a very well deserved week off afterwards!