Lessons Learned: Schooling Shows

Adult amateur event blogger Ainsley Jacobs has been chronicling how she finds the takeaway lesson from the good, the bad and the ugly in her equestrian experience. Her horse JJ has been rehabbing from a ligament injury for a few months, so during his layoff time Ainsley is revisiting earlier lessons in her experience. Today’s story is from March of 2015.

On course, JJ being perfect with his knees. Photo by Go With It Farm

On course, JJ being perfect with his knees. Photo by Go With It Farm.

Disclaimer: I know I’m not ready for an off-farm Novice event, but we regularly jump Novice-sized stuff during our lessons, so I figured I would give it a shot at a Go With It Farm show.

I had missed our first GWIF farm show in December of 2014 as I was out of town that weekend on vacation, so I was really excited to be able to be a part of the fun this time around. I liked the idea of riding in a setting both JJ and I were familiar with, pushing ourselves a little harder than we usually do in lessons, and getting great feedback from the dressage judge.

Both of our dressage tests were lovely, and our scores reflected that. We got a 29.80 in Beginner Novice B, and a 32.40 in Novice A. I would be super excited to have finally scored in the 20s, except that I know the judge was being a little nicer than usual since it wasn’t a USEA or GDCTA recognized show.

For jumping, we started with the Beginner Novice course and went double clear. The jumps were raised, and we went double clear for our Novice course, too!

Although this was not my first time jumping a Novice-height course, it was my first time doing it in a “show situation” with a little extra stress. I’m really proud of how well both JJ and I performed, and I loved being able to cheer on all my fellow GWIFers, too!

GO GWIF!! Photo by Go With It Farm

GO GWIF!! Photo by Go With It Farm


If your barn has a schooling show, GO! It’s a great, fun way to get extra show practice in a safe, supportive environment. Plus, you don’t have to pay for hauling or stabling!

Photo by Erik Jacobs/P.TEN Marketing

Photo by Erik Jacobs/P.TEN Marketing

Ainsley Jacobs is an adult amateur based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She started riding huntseat equitation when she was eight, and has tried practically every discipline since then. In 2014, Ainsley discovered eventing and it changed her life! She purchased her first horse, JJ Spot, in February 2016 and chronicles their successes (and struggles) of learning to overcome literal and figurative obstacles in her blog at www.RideHeelsDown.com.