The show this past Saturday was one of those that I will record as another good learning experience and miles for my green horse. It wasn’t a disaster, but it wasn’t stellar. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a bit disappointing, but that’s horse showing!
This was the 3rd time we’ve shown at this facility (2nd time this year) and as one day shows usually go, the schedule is a little stressing for Simon. You may remember how nervous he was the first time out this year, and he was again very nervous on Saturday but I think slightly better overall. I lunged more this time (solid 20 minutes at least) and our warm-up went well despite the ring being crazy. Seriously I lost all concept of “left shoulder to left shoulder” because it was more “every man for himself”. I saw a full grown adult woman SMASH into a hunter pony and then not apologize. Fun times!
So we left schooling in the morning a bit frazzled (both of us!) but he listened and was a good boy. This show we stepped up to the middle ring instead of the baby 2′ ring. The jumps had real spread and the lines were set to a true 12′ stride. This meant that we were doing the ads at a working canter from him instead of the slower pace I am used to (aka comfortable with).
Our three goals for this show were to not have any run outs, improve on the under saddle classes, and get some skip changes instead of doing trot simples. The flat class goal was not met, because this show makes everyone flat first and since Simon gets so frazzled by the flat classes I wanted to have a relaxed of horse as possible going into my over fences rounds. Plus when I saw there were 16 horses in our division I knew there was no chance in hell anyway and saved my money, so no flatting for us.
That left no run outs and skip changes (change in front and then catch up behind asap), which was a success! Even though he was a bit “wild eyed and bushy tailed” for each round, he never felt like he was going to run out so long as I rode him to every fence. At least my nervous baby horse is brave!
As changes go, they weren’t stellar but we did manage to get most of our skip changes or land on the correct lead. There were a few fences he cross cantered, and the equitation rollback we counter cantered… but hey – we haven’t been schooling changes lately. He tried.
All in all each round was a bit quick, we did the adds (though could have done the stride), he probably looked a bit hot and there was at least one major mistake per time. Warm-up I jumped the wrong fence (well… at least that’s why it’s a warm up). Hunter I he picked up a bit of speed in the corners and our pace wasn’t very consistent. Hunter II he started listening really well (for a nervous Simon), and I totally botched the distance on one fence. Equitation I was exhausted and it just wasn’t anything to write home about.
Ribbon wise it was a bust. I knew it would be, but it’s still hard not to be a teeny disappointed when you don’t hear your name announced for satin goodness. But hey, we were reserve champion last time! That beat my expectations for the entire year. Plus, the 2’3″ division I did was “Open” so while there were a few horses or riders who were appropriately placed (it was called “Beyond Beginner” so this should give you a clue) – the over fences classes were won by a pro and several ribbons went to horses I know have campaigned in the 2’6″ for at least a few years. Oh well, that’s how it goes sometimes.
Now I’m scheming some ways to (show legally) help my horse relax via supplements and such. Our next and final show is a weekend show at the end of November, and it’s my favorite for the year so time to switch gears to that!