My daughter, Erynn, is a part of the Airville PA 4H group. Last year, if you remember, her first year on Stormy showing Western Gaming, she made it through Counties, then made it through Districts, and then went to States. Well this year, we had already planned that she would not be showing Stormy due to working on breeding her. Now that Stormy is pregnant, although Erynn is still riding her, we didn’t want her to endure the stress of making it to states as she probably would have again.
So Erynn decided to use her other horse, No Brakes, this year. No Brakes is a tiny horse (Icelandic Cross) with a ton of power. He has that name for a reason. Unfortunately 4H does not offer Jumpers as an option. Erynn loves Jumpers and she has taken both Stormy and No Brakes to jumpers shows. (There is a big difference between hunter and jumper – hunter is about the classic hunter look and “proper” details and form. Jumpers is kind of like gaming for the hunter. Jumpers is about speed, height, and power.) Erynn hates hunter, but figured that was the only thing she could compete with No Brakes in. He is not a hunter pony by any means.
She again qualified to move on to Districts from Counties yesterday on jumping 2’6″ (they don’t let her size horse do 3′ which is a shame because he jumps 3′ beautifully – he’s a jumper, all about speed and power).
Here are some shots from yesterday….
No Brakes is well known for his constant smiling. No, this is not because of a particular bit. He does this even in a bitless bridle or halter.
When I was doing jumper shows (I’m not doing them now due to my back injury), this was my most difficult thing to do. See how Erynn in mid jump is already looking toward the next jump? That’s telling No Brakes which direction to go after the jump. This will help him get on the correct lead. When I jumped, I was still going “Whew, I did the jump and didn’t die! OMG, I’m still alive! I did it! Oh, wait, there’s another jump? Where is that again???” I was not a very good jumper haha!
In contrast, here is what a typical casual jumpers show looks like….. Erynn and No Brakes from this spring….