Zoey did very well at her second time showing, she did all the same classes as last year, trail, novice equitation and novice western pleasure. Saturday she took seventh in western pleasure and Sunday she took 7 in equitation. Her ribbons match her lead rope.
The day after Thanksgiving marked the first day of Zo and mine second time trying out the show-pen thing. I felt more relaxed this time around than last time, and I’m not sure if it’s because of the three glasses of wine I had the day before or because it was a seemingly familiar environment. We started the day off warming up in the outdoor, a first for the two of us, and then headed on in for some Trail. This year’s course consisted of a gate, trot poles, a bridge, more trot poles and a chute to back through and trot out of. Coming to the gate first, we were unable to complete that obstacle and when we approached the first set of trot poles and I asked her to go over them, she politely declined and went around them instead–but she did every other obstacle without much issue, we did break gait during the second set of poles and we went too far out of the chute, but compared to last year when we completely went off pattern, that was pretty great for her.
The others from my barn all did very well in their classes for Friday, with everyone earning a ribbon I believe. Friday came to a close and a group of tired horse people all bid each other farewell as we waited for Saturday to arrive.
Saturday was rail classes day–Zoey and I weren’t riding until later in the afternoon, so I got her out in the late morning and worked and rode her, she did great, then I got her out again later and rode with the people from my barn, where she once again did great–then we all headed down to the pavilion to wait for our classes. I believe the first class we rode in was Novice Western Pleasure–I don’t know why I’ve always been a fan of western pleasure, but I just am. Nothing makes me happier than watching a good Trail horse or a good Pleasure horse, not one that looks like it has a bug up its butt when it moves, but one with smooth forward motion, a low head-set and a certain feeling of ease about it. I was the most relaxed I’ve ever been and I blame being too tired to be stressed for that–that was I think the most amusing thing we’ve done though, even more amusing than her “I think not” response to the poles in Trail. Picture a 15.2-16hh, stout Paint mare, with a “big” trot, amongst a bunch of short, little quarter horses, all barely jogging on the rail. We were passing horses at the WALK. Our trainer told us to stay on the rail, which we did honestly try to do, but every horse on the rail walked maybe a quarter of the pace she was walking and in a matter of minutes Zoey would wind up with her head almost up the horse in front of us rear end, so then we’d have to go around them–and it was worse at the trot–we passed everyone and it was honestly the funniest thing ever. Our next class was right after that one so we stayed in the arena and did essentially the same things as in the first class. When we were done with both classes we both exhaled at the same time and headed back up to our barn to untack and breathe a little. We received 7th in Western Pleasure that day.
Sunday was the final day and I can honestly say by that point I was exhausted and just ready to be done and go home. It was the worst day warm-up wise, Zo seemed over all the horse-show buzz and I was stressing internally about homework coming up and the fact that we were doing two additional classes. Our trainer wanted us to ride in the warm-up for all the riders down in the pavilion and that was way too much for us. We quickly exited the warm up which was filled with what seemed like a million riders and did a little bit of riding on the outside of the arena, before heading in for our class. These two classes, 28 and 29, were, I think, the most stressful seeing as they had the most riders and I do not handle a full arena very well. Somehow we survived those two classes and we managed to survive the last two classes as well and received 7th place in Novice Equitation this time around. Reining was the final show of the day, which our three riders did very well in, and then we packed up horses and tack and headed back out to the farm—where I ended up being snowed in at until Tuesday.
All in all the show experience this year was much improved from last year and anxiety aside, ended up being fun too. All the horses did well and all the riders received a ribbon or two or more in their classes.