In case you haven't read the "Why 'Wait for the Jump'?" tab, the name of the blog has a story. I do endurance now, but I actually did use to jump. I did it for 17 years. I was good at it. Good enough that I wanted to represent PR in the 2004 Olympics in showjumping and I had a trainer that both felt I could do it and was willing to take me there. That was one of my highest aspirations as a teenager, and I actually chose to do homeschooling my senior year in high school so that I could pursue my showjumping career full-time. I woke up at 5:00 am, got all of my schoolwork done by 10:00 am, and then went to the barn to ride all day long, up to 6 horses at a time in one day. I was hard-core. It was my life. I lived and breathed horses and jumping. This trainer sponsored me through one of my most successful years in the jumper arena when I was 17, and I became one of the top 10 riders in my division on the island. I aced my SATs and had the only perfect score in the English section on the island because I had more long-term goals: I wanted to be able to choose whatever university I wanted. I applied only at colleges in the US with intercollegiate riding teams, because I had every intention of continuing in the jumper arena for as long as my body would allow it. And I did it: I was accepted in my #1 university of choice.
And then life did one of its 180s and all of that came crashing down. Part of the story is in the A History of Horses tab. But that is why I don't do long-term goals anymore and why I don't let my life revolve around a sport.
I used to have a chronic problem of jumping ahead and my trainer was always shouting at me, "WAIT FOR THE JUMP!!!" Until he realized that I would sit back if he jacked up the jumps to 3'6" and higher. The jumping ahead has always been an issue in my everyday life as well: I am an impatient bulldozer (to most people's surprise). It wasn't long before my mom picked up the phrase. "Wait for the jump!" she would say anytime I was impatient about x life situation. This blog has never been about jumping. It is about horses and life and about waiting for things to come to you.
I do not have a ton of jumping photos. I jumped before smartphones and cell phone cameras were the norm, so we were limited to the times when my mom or later Carlos thought to bring the camera to the barn. None of the times when I jumped at my very highest are recorded on film because no one had a camera handy at the time. I don't have a single photo of me jumping Tamarindo, the horse that jumped only for me. I started riding in 1990 and didn't even see myself riding on video until 2005, when Carlos brought the professional film camera he owned at the time (remember he had a film degree prior to switching to nursing) and video'd me riding Divot at the barn in Tampa. I did a double-take.
"That's ME?" I exclaimed.
"Yes," Carlos said, surprised.
"I actually look like I know what I'm doing!" I said.
He looked at me like I had sprouted a second head, "Because you DO know what you're doing!"
You see, when you're a type-A like I am, you are never, ever good enough. Ever. Until you see yourself in action and realize that maybe you actually can do things halfway well.
From that day forward, Carlos took it upon himself to record media of me riding, in the hopes that one day I would see myself the way he saw me. This has expanded into almost every other area of our lives which is why this blog, my Instagram and now Facebook are FULL of photos and videos of just about everything.
|Divot again, at his first comeback show with me on board. I think he was happy to be back in the show ring. What do you think? ;)|
|Schooling on Grasshopper, whom I told you guys about in my previous post, in the covered arena of the Tampa barn.|
|My eq wasn't going to shine in a George Morris clinic but it was functional, and that's what my trainer loved about it.|
|More fences on Grassy. :)|
|This was a 3' oxer in the jump field. Again: this was nothing for the horse nicknamed Grasshopper.|
|In the warm-up arena at the one show in Pinellas County where I got to compete Grassy. That's my trainer in the purple and black, and his owner in the pink. The year is 2006.|
|2'9" jumpers on Grassy. Same show.|
South FL, 2010. Cloud was going to be my next jumper and even though he was a QH of unknown history, he was quite capable. I like my leg but I am ducking SO BAD here! He had a bad habit of rushing fences that made it especially hard to sit back and wait.
|South FL, 2011. This was little Bella, an Arab/Welsh Pony cross that my BM acquired for the lesson program. My BM was an...interesting character. Let's just say I never knew when the hell she was telling the truth about anything. Supposedly she acquired Bella for free and she had been a children's lesson pony prior. This little girl did great for me, but she had a typical pony temperament...and I could never get the kids in our lesson program to successfully control her! But I had a ton of fun with her anyway. Here I was making sure she really COULD jump...and it was true.|
The one and only time I ever competed in the Hunters. This was at a local schooling show. My BM wanted to campaign Bella as a re-sale project and since none of the kids could ride her, of course it was me showing her. She did fabulously.
|We won Grand Champion.|
(I'm not going to tell you guys we were the only ones in this division...hahahahaha....)
|On Pink, the OTTB mare that made me fall in love with mares all over again. She had been adopted by a barn mate who wanted a trail horse...and she ended up with this amazing beast of a mare that had the fanciest buttons. I had a ball working with Pink. There was quite literally nothing I couldn't do with her. She was not a fan of jumping, but we did it for funsies, just to see if she could. She said "yes" every time I asked. This was our first time jumping. My form is wobbly from focusing mainly on dressage, with a defensive upper body because I didn't know what to expect.|
|In this one I was behind the motion, but doing the best to stay out of Pink's way.|
|This is Mecke. He was my BM's personal horse. Can you say "overjump"???? I was jumped out of the saddle each time. I'm not sure how I stuck this! This was also in a TINY arena where we were ending up against the arena wall within two strides after this fence. It was nothing short of terrifying: I kept thinking Mecke was going to jump the arena wall!...which had a 10' drop into the neighbor's driveway on the other side. NO THANK YOU.|
On Liz's Q in 2014. I had not jumped in 3 years when this photo was taken.
|Lily's first jump school under saddle ever, taken at the beginning of this year. I had not jumped in two years since the time with Q.|
|Also on Lily. I never posted these here! It's a still from a video taken with my cell on the fence post back in July of this year. We were originally going to do a dressage school in the field in front of my BO's house and the jumps in the jump field were calling my name. I was in the Alta Escuela. We effectively jumped a course (hahahaha...) by stringing three fences together in a varying sequence. It was Lily's second time over fences under saddle, and the most recent time I have jumped this year. :)|