It's a different feeling not to show. No early morning rides, no memorizing courses, no ribbon collecting, no having to smile all around the ring; it feels great! Haha! I love to show, and I know I'll be doing it a lot more often in the future, but to sit back and enjoy for once feels pretty nice. It's like trail riding after a long ride in the arena. It feels good.
Unfortunately, my day was ruined by the ever present, stuck up, cocky, and/or unhumble (is that even a word?) riders. Please, for your own sake, take every ribbon you get with a smile on your face. Pat your horse after every class and after every round. No one gets first place all the time, and those who do are in for a disaster when they get something lower than that. Aim for perfection, but do not expect it.
Another good friend of mine also bought her first horse a month or so ago. This horse is an absolute beauty. RPSI 4 year old by Sempatico. She moves like a dream, and she has a temperament to die for. She's the calmest 4 year old that you'll ever meet. However, she requires a wide tree saddle, and my friend had to buy the saddle that the previous owner had. My friend's saddle was too narrow. At the show, there was a CWD vendor, and the woman who worked there was a professional in saddle fitting (she also works closely with my trainer's horse's chiropractor). Turns out, the saddle that came with the horse, nor my trainer's saddle, fit the mare well. Both pinched her shoulders too much, which, as I later saw, restricted her movement up front. As my friend was trying out the saddles, I was listening and watching really carefully to what the fitter was saying. It was a lot of what I've read in the past, just a more in depth and detailed. The only problem with all of this was that my trainer wasn't buying it. She wasn't liking what the fitter had to say. She said it was too much information at once, and it was a lot to take in (and the fitter was talking faster than a Ferarri), but it was all true. It seemed to me like she was pushing my friend away from the idea of a new saddle, CWD or not, which just made me shake my head. There was one point where my friend was trotting in a CWD that fit the mare better, and the fitter asked if we could see a difference in the mare's movement. Everyone was silent, except for me. I said yes. I don't have the best eyes (vision was 20/40 last time I checked), but they are sensitive to change and I saw a lot more swing and reach in the mare's front end. Maybe I'm crazy, just maybe, but that's what I was seeing. Oh well, I'm still young and inexperienced, so my opinion doesn't carry much weight. I did tell my friend how I felt, and hopefully she takes those words to heart. At the end of it all, I think I might buy a CWD.
In terms of showing, the day was spectacular. Everyone was on their A game and putting in their best effort over the two days, so I was happy in that aspect. My photography wasn't the best, but I got some good shots of the adult hunters and derby horses. I even found a Duke look-a-like! Anyways, enjoy!