Competition Report: Of fish and zebras

HeresHoping

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Am not going to put this in Comp and Training - it's a little light-hearted entertainment.

Monday 8th August was Gymkhana day at the Aldbrough St John Feast. We looked at the programme and took the plunge and entered.

Teddy, my son, has been riding on and off for a couple of years, on a loaned, totally unsuitable for a novice, pony once a week. This year, I put him on my saint of a Connie and said we'd better do something about this. Teddy, being a bit of a perfectionist, then spent the next two months doing very little other than walk and halt and the odd bit of trot out on a hack. I finally convinced him to move up a gear by taking him out on the stubble, facing him up the hill and telling him to get to the top as fast as possible. I haven't had my pony back since, and he's even popping a few small jumps. However, he declined to do anything at the Gymkhana on grounds of 'looking stupid' which, to be fair, I understand. He's 12, his voice has broken and he's at least 5'8" and everyone else he knows who rides has been doing it for aeons.

Tabitha, my daughter, was given an opportunity to ride a Shetland called Kipper 4 months ago. Up to this point, Tabitha's riding was largely on pink fluffy unicorns. Kipper has been there, done it, worn the tee shirt, won the 90cm classes at local shows, had lami, nearly died, and is of the opinion that it's his way or the highway. After two months of weekend riding, Tabitha's enthusiasm for riding started to dwindle somewhat. This correlated with the amount of time she spent eating dirt as Kipper voiced his opinion on trotting around the school, cantering around the school, etc. She has never really been on the leading rein, Kipper spends his time biting his leader on the backside so it was just easier to tell her what to do. In an attempt to reinstate the enthusiasm I introduced a few Pony Club games. Kipper knows his stuff here - no need for steering in the bending, or brakes in the potato race, he has it licked. And the smile was put back on the daughter's face. Back to the event. Given that steering isn't quite there, yet, we decided to do the leading rein classes.

Thanks to a fat mother, Tabitha achieved a second in each heat in the games. We were also just out of the ribbons in the 40cm jumping but had a double clear. That Kipper knows his stuff:







BUT... we managed to persuade Teddy to give something a go. We cobbled together a costume, which cost us all of £7.50 in materials and went into the fancy dress 'On Safari' and came a fabulous 2nd out of the biggest fancy dress field I ever did see.



Proud, proud mummy. And you just have to love a Jams.:D
 

Cowpony

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Fat mother? Wish my legs looked that good!

The zebra is fantastic! I would definitely have given it a first.
 

HeresHoping

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Aww, thank you, everyone. The other side where she hadn't rubbed was much better. As was her face at the start of the day. I think she may have used a few backs to rub her stripes off.

Kipper is awesome. We are so very lucky and very grateful for having him to ride. He is true Thelwell in that the better and more adventurous you get, the naughtier he gets. He flat refused to cooperate on our last stubble adventure, but the minute we headed for home he took off, dropped his shoulder, dropped Tabitha and disappeared into the long grass with a grin from fluffy little ear to fluffy little ear.
 
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numptynoelle

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Aaaah, what fantastic photos! That's EXACTLY what childhood and ponies should be :biggrin3:

Loving the knee action on Mother too - very tidy action, snaps her knees up like Milton :tongue3: :tongue3:
 

Spilletta

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What a great post and photos! Brilliant "Mum" jumping. It's brought back happy memories of my first ever rosette, a beautiful purple Clear Round jumping one. I was on my Shetland and was led round. Must be about 40 years ago - how scary!

Hope you have many more wonderful adventures together:)
 

Stockers

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Mum has missed her true vocation - she should be in Rio right now showing our lot how to win medals.

Fantastic report and really great pics - brought a smile to my face. Looks as though Mum and pony were going to part company in pic 2 where Mum jumped the bigger of the two!
 

Amye

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What a brilliant report! Your kids look like they had a fab time!

LOVE the zebra outfit. Do they do dress up for adults? Must try this with my giant grey at some point :D
 

HeresHoping

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Oh thank you so much, everyone. We had the best time - it was vicariously reliving my childhood and I was on such a high. Even him indoors turned up to watch!

I keep looking at my daughter, doing exactly as she was told over each fence and feeling so very proud. Ok, so the bum could be in the saddle, but hey, this was her first time over a course of jumps as opposed to a couple of cross poles at home and she had an absolute blast. She could have done it off the leading rein but I didn't trust Kipper not to duck out at the gate or choose his own course.

This isn't about me but as you've all been so nice...I used to be quite athletic... ex tri-athlete, you know :p (about 20 years ago). Rather disgustingly fat (2 stone heavier) and unfit these days. And the 40cm was a 2 phase|!!! Had I known I could have taken a breather for a minute after fence 7, we might have been a few seconds faster over the jump off. Unfortunately we went in second and the one before us was led by a 14 yo runner bean. I cycle 15 miles a day most days in an effort to reduce the blubber but I seem to have lost the same 7lbs three times over in the last three months and it doesn't matter how many hills you cycle up, it does absolutely nothing for your running fitness. I shouldn't be such a pig.:eek:

This was the inspiration for the zebra: https://youtu.be/PGXsUQdqo_o - that zebra was a grey arab x imported to Kenya from the US for the film. His name was Sadat and his stripes were painted on using cam cream and boot polish to start off with. But that ended up all over Tanya Robert's rather pneumatic bottom so they switched to ordinary paint. The poor pony was a zebra for about 9 months afterwards.
 
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