As soon as we left the dressage arena, Hemie once again slid sideways in a naughty effort to head back towards the trailer. Bah! I promptly did the over-flex exercise and got him moving freely away from that direction. Then I decided it would be safer for me to dismount and walk us back rather than ride through the warm up area. Hemie was a good boy, walked like a gentleman and took a nice drink back at the trailer. He was great for un-tacking, grooming, and tacking back up with our jump gear.
Laurie still wasn't back by the time I mounted to begin jumping warm up, but my plan was to canter around and get Hemie nice and relaxed. But Hemie was actually quite well behaved, relaxed in his body, and walking and trotting freely. Laurie arrived soon after we started warming up, and we popped over some fences. We had plenty of time for a nice long warm up, and Hemie was acting very happy. Here's a short video from the warm up:
Uh, the sales lady did not mention this little tidbit. In the end we attached it to one of the saddle pad straps.
The Easy Beginner Novice division had a course of 10 jumps with maximum height of 2'3". It started with 2 stadium fences then 7 solid cross country fences, then ended with one more stadium fence. My goal for our jumping round was to ride more forward than our last jumping derby. When watching the video of myself later on, I didn't want to be clucking at us the whole time.
Well, mission accomplished. Here's the video:
Okay, its not quite as forward as I had imagined we would be. We trotted more jumps than I had thought we would, but that's okay. We got over everything and we both had fun doing it. And I didn't fall off, even when it got a tad iffy after the last fence.
We ended up with 4 jump faults (from circling before jump #6), and 48 time faults for the jump round. Combined with our dressage score that put us in 10th place. Last place. But we avoided the big E (elimination) which is good.
As we headed back to the trailer, I took a moment to dismount. Can you guess what happened next?
POP! Yep, my air vest. I had forgotten to unlatch it. Hemie barely blinked at it, so that's good.
Anyways, thanks to everyone for their supportive vibes and comments. The weekend didn't go as I had planned, but that's life with horses. I'm still mediating on the takeaways and new goals following this experience. As of now I'm grateful that things didn't go worse, and I am very proud of my horse and myself for coming back from a rough morning to do an improved job jumping.