Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One show and two lessons later . . .

I just started this blog and I'm already slacking big time. Tisk tisk! Anyway, I had a show back on the weekend of July 20th, so I have a long spiel about that. I'm just copying and pasting from a horse forum that I post on. No need to type that long description again.

I had a show this past weekend, and overall it was pretty good, er I mean GREAT! Everything went so smoothly this time as compared to last. There wasn't as much rushing.

I was planning on riding Duke in long stirrup only for both days. I schooled him Saturday morning and he was a gem. A younger girl was going to ride Baby, so my trainer had me school Baby as well. I never noticed how different two horses can feel. Baby and Duke are two very different horses (13.3 crossbred pony vs. 15.2 HUS/WP Paint), but I was thrown a curve ball when I got on Baby. I've been riding Duke since January, but I just felt way better on Baby and figured I'd ask the trainer if I could ride her instead of Duke. Fortunately, my trainer felt exactly the same way. She'd left a spot open for me on Baby's entry forms

Day continues and it is hot as can be. My division was nearing and I was falling into panic mode. When I was about to go into the ring, I felt like quitting. I just took a deep breath and went in and did my flat classes. That mare is a saint, she really is. She was packing my nervous booty around like it was nothing. She listened to everything, she was consistent. She even picked up her least favorite lead without collapsing on the forehand (although when two other horses closed in on either side of me, her entire front end just dropped . . . I got her out of there quickly). 9th in walk, 4th in walk/trot, and 2nd in walk/trot/canter.

Then came the jumping class, oh boy. Baby is a really pretty hunter, but when she does courses (at the canter) she really likes to get going, so I would have to keep my weight back for the whole course. You have the option to trot or canter the course in long stirrup. Trainer told me to trot it or canter it, but keep her under control either way. Well, we trot into the arena, trot to the first fence. She's doing great, not rushing. She jumps the first fence, canters out, and keeps cantering and cantering and cantering. She picked up the slowest and most relaxed pace. Either I was riding her well or she was just being lazy. I was having to push her through the whole thing. We had one refusal, but I got her back on track and we finished the course. Ended up placing 4th. I was so proud of her! Even the other trainers who know about Baby were just like "Wow, that's different." And that was the end of the first day.

Second day was the same with Baby. No refusals on the course this time, but the same relaxed, happy, consistent pace from the day before. The girl who was supposed to ride Duke that day never showed up, so I asked my trainer if I could ride Duke in pleasure pony. She was fine with it, so I signed up and got Duke ready. Get into the first class and Duke's walking calm and what not. Judge calls for a trot, and he zips forward like a bat outta you know where. I was just hoping it wouldn't end up like the last show where he decided he was afraid of a number of things including, but not limited to horses, ponies, saddles, bridles, flowers, grass, jumps, dirt, and air. Made it through the first class alive, and ditched the crop afterwards. He became progressively calmer as the next two classes continued. Last class was pleasure pony over fences. By this point, Duke had figured out that running around like a maniac wasn't the best idea, especially considering the weather (hot, hot, HOT!). The course was the same as the course in long stirrup, just higher. I was trying not to scream "Good boy" at Duke through the entire thing. He was just like Baby, calm, consistent, and completely unexpected. I had the biggest smile on my face by the last line (and I do not smile when I am on a horse).

I'm really happy with how the show went. My placings for the second day are at home, so I'll post them later. On a more negative note, I do have to rant just a teeny tiny bit. On Saturday, when I was schooling in the morning, I was taking Duke over some jumps. There was this group of girls standing in the arena next to one of the jumps. They were completely out of the way, and my best guess is that they were just watching people school. As I was approaching the jump they were standing by, I noticed that one of the girls was staring at me, no, glaring at me. It was a full on, condescending, "I know that I'm better than you" glare. I ignored it, or at least tried to. She hadn't really done anything wrong, she was just glaring. Not my problem. However, as the day went on, this girl and one of her friends would not stop staring at me. It was mainly just the one girl, and the other one just seemed to follow suit. I don't know who on Earth these girls are; I had never met them before in my life, nor had I even seen them before at the shows. Sunday morning rolls around, and I was standing by the ring holding my friend's horse. My friend was schooling a pony and had asked me to hold her horse, so I just watched them (too bad my camera was in the barn, they were looking really nice). Well, those two girls were walking past, right in front of me, not saying a single word, just walking. The one who had been glaring the day before takes a momentary glance at me, turns back to her friend, and says "I don't like her." This was literally my face.

I was looking around like did anyone just hear that? Pardon my French, but these girls don't even f****** know me. Not one bit. They don't know my name. They don't know what I've been through. They know absolutely nothing about me besides the obvious (I ride horses, I am female). I would have loved to hear that girl's reasoning as to why she doesn't like me. I understand that everyone has an opinion and not everyone is going to like you, but you better have a good reason as to why you don't like me. I told one of our horse show moms about it, and she told me to just let it go and be the bigger person. I know she's right, and I'm trying to be mature about it, but thinking of witty comebacks is soooo much fun
So, there it is, my weekend in a nutshell. Of course I have pictures, but I will warn you that my equitation as well as my picture taking skills belong in the garbage. I dunno what happened, but whatever happened I hope it doesn't happen again, ever. All the pictures of me are from the pleasure pony division. I'm still in the process of getting my photos from the first day. I've given up trying to get three in one line. It's too stressful.

I was dieing here. It was sooo hot!
Duke sporting our ribbons.

Jogging in for the o/f class.
How he landed on the correct lead with me being so off balance, I do not know.
Slowing down in the combination hack.

Another pic of me roasting in the midday sun.

Loading Vertical - 96% complete

Duke being a derp and me looking like a murderer

     And then there's everyone else . . .

A colorful line up.
No overjumping here.

Oh so pretty . . .
Can you tell she's HUS bred?

Duke's twin!

Duke's twin . . . again!

Just thought this one was cool.
He gets serious about his trot overs now.

The overly photogenic pony.
She's giving me the "mare stare"

Love this girl and her pony; she's so sweet!
Mane and tail are flying.

I want, I want, I want! Referring to the horse ;)
Pet your pony, er horse.

Another non-overjump.

Schooling the pony.
Showing the pony.

The pony getting frisky.
Push button horse

Blue and blue
A Paint mare for sale

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