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Leah and Natisca Rain

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KPC Showjumping Day - 16th August 1998

I'm really glad I got to go to this show - after finding out that Sarah couldn't go due to her pneumonia and then the whole hassle with the car - I was starting to think I wasn't meant to go!
I was up at six and Tisca was busily eating by 7am. While he was having his breakfast I plaited his tail. My Mum has made me this gorgeous navy blue and black cotton drill rug for shows so Tisca had that on (it's even got his name on it!) and with his blue and black float boots andblack tail bandage (just ignore the purple and black headcollar and lead rope - my old horse was grey) he looked half-way like a proper showjumper! We were at the pony club grounds (most shows in W.Aust are held at pony clubs BTW) just in time to get a yard for the day. I rushed off to enter and change ($15 for the day - - max. of four events) and got ready in a mad panic as the first class Actually Started On Time and I was in the second class. I shouldn't have worried as the class was massive and it took over an hour to get through it. (all the early classes had at least twenty people, and then you had jump-offs). We had the 2'3" AM3 first and although Tisca pulled faces at the dazzle boards he cantered over the course really nicely and we were clear. As there were 33 (yes, really!) people in my class it was ages until the jump off, and we were clear over that shortened course, but we weren't fast enough so didn't place (places only to third BTW).

Next up was the 2'6" which was exactly the same course only a bit bigger. The course rode really well - a tiny cross to start, then a small spread, the first dazzle board (with a pole on top), turn right to a bounce, then a sharp left to a yellow and white upright, another dazzle board, a simple upright and then an upright with witches hats for fillers as the final jump. Even though I'd jumped the course just before, I managed to get lost after the first dazzle board and did a very quick U-turn to get back on track. We got a bit stuffed up with the striding for the bounce and my reins were a bit long in the approach to the next jump and not surprisingly we had a stop. We were fine next try and were clear over the rest of the course. Tisca then had a bit of a break before my next class, and I was so happy with him so far as he was jumping so well and calmly even though we weren't placing. Next we had the 2'6" Take Your Own Line (nine jumps that you can jump in either direction - the aim is to go over them all as fast as possible, in which ever order you think is the fastest). We were clear (and fast) in this class as well, but were beaten by some amazing little ponies that seemed to spin on the spot and did some unbelievable turns.

Our last class was the 2'6" optimum time. This was held in a different ring to the other classes, and it was a 'big' 2'6" - all the jumps were full height and there were a lot of decent spreads. One of the triple bars seemed massive to me, but I'm not really known for my bravery! Tisca was absolutely brilliant (once again) and after getting left behind at the first jump the rest of the course was great and we were clear. I didn't bother to try and ride at the optimum speed (350metres a minute) as I never know how fast I'm going unless I'm going ultra fast or at a trot! So it came as a big surprise that we came second (first ribbon for 2'6")! Yay Tisca! We got a really groovy medal instead of the normal felt or satin ribbons you receive, which was nice - not that I've got anything against ribbons! The only annoying thing was that now I've got yet another second place - that's all I've ever got - from our five shows ever I've got four seconds! I'd almost rather get a third (or a first) so that I'd get something that isn't red or pink....
All in all I was incredibly happy with Tisca. I was watching the tape of us last night (I've watched it five times so far - sad hey?) and then watched the tapes of us from shows three months back and I can really see how much we've improved. I used to be so nervous I'd trot half the course or approach the jumps at a pathetic toe-dragging trot and we'd either be mega slow or get refusals. Both Tisca and I (I think) are finally getting the hang of this showjumping thing, and maybe one day we'll be jumping quite a bit bigger than 2'6". I want to start doing 2'9" next season, but I want to place in 2'6" a bit first.