The morning was bright and crisp, and unfortunately, again, I hooked up truck and trailer and Amber proceeded to buck and kick and smash and let me know that she was not up for another trailer ride. Well, too bad, pony. We’re going. Aside from that, though, she loaded right in and we were off!
I got there with enough time this time (thank god), and walked around with her a bit and “lunged” her with just her lead rope to assess her and see how she was. She baby jogged around twice (and looked okay) and then stopped and faced me. Okay, then. That’s always a good sign that she’s ready to get to the work and won’t pull any shenanigans (though, really when does she ever?)
So we geared up for our first class – ranch riding. I took her around a bit, loped a circle, and stopped. She felt good. Relaxed, not completely listening with so many things to look at, but she was really steady. So I repeated last time and stood around waiting. She seemed just so much more relaxed this show day, and I was thinking all that standing around and relaxing helped. I want her to think when we come to shows, she’ll get tired because it’s an all morning thing, but that it’s actually easier at shows. We sit and do nothing. Relax. At home we work really hard. And she was very much up for the “relax” portion of this show.
Since I focused a lot on relaxing, when we did our pattern, it wasn’t our best. She got a bit excited and distracted so missed a few cues, but I thought we did okay and got fourth! Out of 5 or 6 I think. So when back in the warm up ring I worked a little more on the canter, played around with a few lead changes to get her thinking about them for the reining, and then sat again to wait.
I actually really loved that go round we had. At the first lope off, she could hear someone kissing to their horse from elsewhere and got really upset because she thought it was me, but then settled so nicely. Our stops are….not really stops, and not nice at all, but she’s doing a try-slide-but-missing-it-and-collapsing thing, and I know that without slides we’re not going to score too well. Her spins could’ve been better, but I was actually quite happy with our circles. She felt really solid in those the whole way round, even though we missed our first change. I knew it probably wouldn’t happen because she was still a bit sore and she’s not good left to right, but we got the right to left one! She surprised me in her right rollback by jumping into the canter, and while it wasn’t really nice, I was very happy how hard she was trying for me. It earned us a tie for 4th in reining!
After that I hopped off and let her grab some water and munch on food. She was really doing well with the show that day, and I felt that our work for 2-4 minutes and rest for a while at the previous show really helped her this time. Like I said she wasn’t as on target with cues, but I’d rather start relaxed and work up to that since I can get worked up at shows and would rather she not take that cue from me lol.
Next was our horsemanship pattern. We walked around and chatted, got her a little warmed up with a jog, then popped into the ring to stand some more. She was much more responsive and calm in the thru-way walking into the arena. Before she was a bundle of nerves, but today it worked out! I really liked our horsemanship pattern better than the one last show, she was just a little touchy for the spin, and not quite on it for the simple change, and there was some tough competition but we still got 3rd!
We walked back to the trailer, got all of her tack off and then I was changing for the fun class which for October was the costume class! I had forgotten a bit of my costume, didn’t have any time prior to the show to get Amber anything really good to wear, and so we ended up with this:
All in all though, we had a blast. There was a hippy girl and horse, a faery and her unicorn, the evil queen and Grumpy, and Harley Quinn (who I couldn’t get a pick of). And of course, the winner – this little girl and her mini! Coincidentally, the pony’s name was Oreo lol.
Forty-five minutes later and we were ready for western dressage. My mom called for me again even though I’d wanted to have the pattern memorized; I’d just had a lot going on that I didn’t have it fully memorized. One of the board members took the video for me, and it’s a little choppy, but I’m glad she got video! Amber was really good, and you have an option to go one or two-handed, and for this one, I decided on two. Partially to practice my hand/arm/body position, but it just seems to flow a little better with two (which seemed to pay off since the judge really seemed to like my position – a 7.5. Wow 0.0).
I was….a little confused by this test. I thought the judge last show echoed my thoughts on the ride, but this one was a bit confusing. She was a USEF judge, but some things just didn’t make sense. Something that I thought she’d ding me for and even commented on it, she gave me a 7. And then one where I thought we’d get a slightly better score based on her previous notes she gave me a 6. I mean, even still I got a 35 and won the class (thankfully I wasn’t the only one lol), but it was just a little strange. I know I’ll have to get used to it since every judge has different preferences!
Either way, we were done! And silly, stupid Amber – I don’t know what it is about mares – or at least our mares – but she refused to poop or pee until she stepped into the trailer. She just HAD to hold it. I really don’t understand that lol. Just pee where you are, mare! But, I was very happy with our day. We got more points towards the buckle, Amber felt much better and the work in the walk was paying off! She was still a little short, but much smoother and cadenced.
We still have things to work on for the next show, but we get to relax a little since we’ve got 4 weeks until the one in November. And now, we have an appointment at the vet tomorrow to look at and inject her SI. So hopefully, she’ll be really ready to go for November!