Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Show Day Remix featuring Horze Equestrian

Pretty complicated title for a fairly basic post. I had a wonderful show today, and I'm going to tell you all about it because this is what my blog is for. So, after my ride on Wednesday, I was feeling pretty pumped for this show, like, major pumped. I was so ready to kick booty, and, if I do say so myself, I kicked a considerably large amount of boo-tay.

I spent Friday afternoon and night with my trainer and Fifi. Fifi, Izz, and I had a sleepover in Miss S's play room. This is basically the ritual for every show. Spending the night with Miss S and some friends is a major part of the horse show puzzle for us. I rode Friday at the show grounds right after school, and I was feeling okay with how I was riding. My new gear had just come in, and the boots were pinching my ankles a bit, but it wasn't horrible. I was riding centered and confident, which is always good. The stiffness was there though. It wasn't as much as it usually is, but it was there and it was bothering me. It starts to hurt now when I get stiff in the hips; that's basically how I know that I'm stiff in the hips and not able to use my seat.

The funniest part of that night was when I asked Miss S how many students we had riding in the show, and she just replied, "20," with the straightest face. I put a hand on her shoulder and almost used her full name. 20 students? Really? We took 15 to our first show and vowed to never take more than 10 with 12 being the absolute limit, but no, she just had to break the pact. That's alright, I'm fine with that. Totally chill with double the work load to do in one day. No resistance is coming from my end.

I was also having trouble with the jumping thing. We're still at this point where I can't convince myself to squeeze with my upper calves over the jump. I should just super glue my legs before every ride. Then there was the whole coming up too early, not getting in two-point soon enough, yada, yada, yada deal that just kind of pissed me off, but it's not the end of the world. There is always room for improvement, and improvement is only possible with effort. I have plenty of effort to give with a dose of pure stubbornness to sweeten the deal.

Saturday morning came, and it was like 40°F outside, and I was just like nope.

You think I have time for this?
Odd part was that it got warmer, but once 1:00pm hit, the temperature just dropped. Come on, Mother Nature, have you ever heard of this thing called mercy? I didn't school in the morning, but others did. It had rained overnight, so all of the classes were indoors. I was kinda bummed. The lady who runs these shows has gorgeous jumps in her outdoor arena, and the footing is really nice, but the rain just ruins that for everyone. We school, we clean, we prepare, and then at some point the actual show started. I was in the barn doing chores, but I heard our horse's names being called so often. I shed one manly tear of joy (not really, I just wanted to type that so badly). All the lead liners did fantastic! We gained so many of them after the end of the summer this year, and they are all so adorable. I really do hope that they all keep up with horses because they could be very good at it.

I get to my first class which was Beginner Rider W/T/C, and another rider was on Baby in Walk and Walk/Trot, and I literally just went into the ring and got on with the angriest face because I was supposed to be in Walk/Trot with Molly, and I don't even know what happened. Something got messed up in the office or something like that, so the class started without me even though I was there waiting. Anyway, so I'm angry and nervous, and I got on Baby, and moments later the class started. I had my focus face on, but I didn't really know what was going on. I didn't know that they had split the Canter class, so half of the people were in the center, and I somehow just ended up on the rail first, so I just went. I'm pretty sure that the judge forgot to ask us to trot one way. As per usual, we went to the left first, and we all know how Baby is on her left lead, but today . . . oh my goodness, today she was so close to perfect that I literally just wanted to bend down and hug her in the middle of the class. She picked up the lead without a fuss and went around the ring so round, slow, and relaxed. I had to push her a couple of times. She was going that slow. Then there was me, the other half of the equation, suddenly figuring out how to properly sit a canter even though I've been having trouble for Gad knows how long (I seem to always do this at shows, it's annoying). It was the same exact thing to the right, cool, calm, and collected (we use that term loosely). We won that class.

Next was the jumping and oh Lord, you may have to read twice. Miss Cool Calm & Collected turned into Miss I'm Going To Win The Kentucky Derby If It Kills Me when the jumping came along. She's never been a calm horse when it comes to courses, but I know we must have looked hilarious out there, missed leads, awkward two points and all, but she was listening to me, and that is something that I value. No matter how excited or nervous she gets, she listens to what you ask her to do so long as you get it relatively close to the cues that she has been trained to react to. We didn't place at all in that class.

After that, we had a break, and I watched everyone else go in Baby/Green, then it was the Pleasure Horse/Pony division. We won the flat class and got a second in jumping. Even though she was still rushing and nervous, I finally managed to get those dang cues close to right. Not a single refusal and only one lead that I couldn't fix, but she jumped everything with  no fuss, so I'm happy. My two-point was better than in Beginner Rider, but still somewhat awkward. We're working on it. That is my main focus for now, two-pointing, which means that I'm going to be doing a lot of it during my ride(s) this week. We placed second in the over fences class.

I have another show on the 14th which is bigger but not too formal. I won't be able to wear my fabulous (and I do mean fabulous) new half chaps, but I do get to wear those Tredsteps again. Best breeches in the world. Those half chaps are of very good quality as well. Thank you, Horze and Tredstep, for keeping me functional and fabulous at the barn!

In regards to next year and shows, Miss S had to put me in my place. We had a long discussion (i.e. I was lectured for two minutes) about what I want to do next year and what I actually can do next year. Note to self: If you want to go to big shows, have big show talent. She told me that I was setting myself up for failure, and, as harsh as that sounds, it was really true, so my goals have gone back to the Hunter Derby because that's much closer to where they should be at this point. She wants to do one weekend of HITS right at the end of the show season. I think the last show is in August or September, and then she wants to do Pinto Worlds in 2015 MAYBE. It's still on the table, not something definite, but, if you want my honest opinion, it would make a lovely graduation present.

Look at my little champion!

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