The show last weekend was somewhat of a success. Saturday was not a success. I fell on Saturday. Baby was just progressively refusing to pick up her left lead last week. We got one good transition on Thursday (but Thursday was eh so we don't talk about Thursday), but that was it. She kept picking up the right lead or just not picking up a canter at all. She's never been a fan of her left lead as we all know, however this is completely different from dropping on the forehand for the lead.
|This is why we don't talk about Thursday.|
I got Baby out to school again (eventually), and she was still not picking up the left lead well. She stepped into the right lead from a halt, but the minute I asked her for the left, she went hollow and trot around like a confused giraffe. I checked her over, felt her legs, checked her feet, put a hand under the girth, under the saddle pad, nothing. I had Miss S get on her because I really didn't understand what Baby was doing. She got the lead fine (-____-). To add onto the list of not so nice things, Baby was also stopping at the jumps. Baby doesn't stop. She veers. She side steps. She takes really awkward distances, but she does not stop. I finally got her to jump something nicely on her left lead a couple of times, then I took a little break and went in for my Medal round. She refused the first jump, which was approached on the left lead, but only after picking up the right lead upon entrance and forcing me to switch her. I brought her back around and asked for the lead again. She picked up the right lead, I broke to a trot, asked for the left, she picked up the right. By this point we were in a complete disagreement, so when we went for the jump a second time, she refused, but harder, then put her head down and backed up. I went through the steps of falling — down the neck, monkey hold, slip to the left, then plop! I've actually never fallen off at a show before. When I stood up the reins were around me (h0W?????). I gathered myself and walked out, but the walk to the gate was pretty far, so my first walk of shame wasn't exactly enjoyable, but just how enjoyable can a walk of shame be? As confident as I looked walking out, I was immensely crushed. I'm not a crier. I hate crying in front of people, and horse people can be quite judgmental at times. I stood around for a while, and one of the mom's walked over to give me a hug. It was a safe enough moment. I cried. I was truly excited to try the Medal, and I hated that my first experience with it was this, BUT these are two day shows that we do. I only had 24 hours, give or take, to try again, and that's what I kept thinking of. Plus, the Medal course was the same as the first course of Jr. Eq. I could do it again after the hack. I got back on after a little while and tried to go over the schooling fences again. Baby stopped. I gave her one good kick because at that point I knew she wasn't in pain or uncomfortable. She was just being a little shit. I went over the schooling fence three times, then I went in and did my course. She refused the first fence. I kicked her again. I think I momentarily went insane after that because for half of the course distances, equitation, and leads didn't matter at all. I was covering ground. I did not care that she was going fast. I was making her go fast. Thank God it wasn't pleasure. As we approached the middle of the course, I backed off, and she slowed down by herself. She did the next three fences perfectly, then broke right down for the trot fence and did a nice halt. The second course was much better. No refusals, just close distances (which she actually preferred all weekend, not like I honestly have a problem with it as opposed to going over invisible water jumps). We didn't place in either of our courses, but we got 5th out of 10 for the hack, which was nice.
Sunday was a complete turn around from Saturday. She was so nice for schooling and picked up her left lead every time I asked (still got those hollow trot steps occasionally). She was landing her left lead for the most part. The first schooling fence we did was a little cross bar at the trot. I kept my leg on her, and I think she had a traumatic memory of Saturday (heck, I had one too). She went over it fine. We schooled an oxer a couple of times, and she wanted a close distance, plus I was not feeling the long distance because it was really long, and Miss S kept telling me to take it and I was like, "Naahhh," so I didn't take it. I placed 4th out of 5 in the Medal. I kept missing my diagonals in both of my hacks. I got a 4th and a 6th both out of 11 for my Jr. Eq. courses then a 3rd, also out of 11, for the hack. I'm not exactly sure how I got that 3rd. The judge must have completely ignored my sitting trot. It just wasn't good going to the left, then, by the time she asked when we were going to the right, I quit. My legs were tired. I was already happy with my day. I was so done that I made Baby jog. I guess slowing your horse's gait out of laziness gets you high marks in equitation classes (that's probably a tip that even the AA riders don't know!).
I was genuinely happy with my weekend. I was also tired, but that doesn't matter as much. Baby was tired too. She was completely asleep when I was taking out her braids. I started singing to her. It was adorable. All my new stuff for this year works great! I'm still in the process of breaking in my boots, but the coat is nice and I look pretty good in my new shirt. Placings aside, I looked cute.