When 2013 started out, I was planning on showing my lovely creature as much as possible. I wanted to get a lot of miles on Simon and hopefully mold him into my good little show horse. Then he was lame for four months, and all my hopes were dashed. At the beginning of his rehab we switched barns, and I was just happy to be riding again.
Needless to say, the fact that we got our shit together enough to attend four CenTX shows this year and get some ribbons pretty much blew my expectations out of the water. It wasn’t a picture perfect year, but we learned a lot. I think we had a good mix of great rides that bring home ribbons and smiles and crappy rides that end of being good lessons for the both of us.
Rio Vista June 29
This was our first show back after the lameness, the first show with my new trainer, and my first time showing in true Texas heat (high of 107). I was so nervous and that didn’t do anything to help Simon’s anxiety.
Positives: Each course got better and better. Our warm-up had a refusal, there were some sketchy distances but we worked through them and got better each time.
Negatives: Horrible flat class shenanigans. Super nervous Simon and super nervous Lauren. I held him back too often and had a really inconsistent pace.
Original Blog Post: June Show Class Rundown
Ribbons: 6th in Beginner 2’0″ Equitation… our first ribbon ever!
Manor Equestrian Center September 14th
We took the summer shows off (July – August) to train and save some money… and it was a great decision! For the Manor show we rented stalls and were able to school the night before, which made a huge difference with Simon’s demeanor. It was our first time in the 2’3″ and I was proud of myself for not being terrified of the fence height.
Positives: Stepped up in height without scariness! Got the lead over most of the fences when I remembered to ask for it. Kept a consistent pace (doing the adds). Stayed nice and relaxed the entire time.
Negatives: Two awful flat classes (this is a pattern). Trotted simple changes for all of our courses because he didn’t seem to offer any hope of a change on the grass.
Original Blog Post: Never Give Up
Ribbons: 5th 2’3″ Hunter II, 1st 2’3″ Hunter Equitation OF (first blue ribbon!!!), 6th Hunter US, 6th Eq US, Reserve Champion 2’3″ Equitation
Rio Vista October 6th
This show began to show me a pattern of one day shows = Simon being a nervous nelly. Although we improved on our experience for the last Rio Vista show, it was still a rough day for us. Lots of anxiety on his end, which didn’t leave me feeling cool as a cucumber myself.
Positives: Stepped out of the baby ring, and kept a nice pace (doing the adds) on lines with real horse strides instead of shorter lines. Wasn’t scared of the jump sizes at all!
Negatives: Lots of open mouth, head shaking from Simon. Our pace wasn’t as consistent as it could have been, and we built up a lot of speed coming home. My eye was not great, and I pretty much botched one jump out of every course.
Original Blog Post: Can’t Win Them All
Ribbons: No ribbons, sad panda.
CenTx Year End Show
Best show of the year by far! The multiple day format led to a calm Simon and therefore a calm Lauren (until you set the jumps to 2’6″). We showed in more classes than any other show before, and went in the 2’6″ ring for the very first time!!!
Positives: Survived a 2’6″ division. Rode confidently in the 2’3″ and 2’0″ divisions. Had some courses with skip changes. Kept a consistent pace for the most part.
Negatives: Another flat class disaster (this is definitely a problem). Was too terrified in the 2’6″ to ride properly.
Ribbons: 5th in 2’3″ Schooling Hunters, 6th in 2’0″ Beginner Equitation
And because I am an uber dork… I made a video compilation of our 2013 year. I left a lot of mistakes in as well as what I think were stellar (for us) moments. It’s a mix of show clips and schooling clips, but it makes me happy to see our shaky start morph into a more confident finish 🙂