Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our show debut!

September 25, 2010 was Steady's show debut.  Also it was my first show for 15 years.  Saturday morning I finished packing up, quickly bathed Steady and loaded him and Lily into the trailer and set out to our very first show.  It is about an hour drive.  I was going alone, but I did have a good advantage going into it because the show happened to be at the stable I have been taking Steady to for lessons and he has gotten quite comfortable there.  My trainer at our last lesson even turned on the pa system to get him used to it.  Though that was probably not all that necessary because he could care less when it went on.  She even threatened kareoke, thankfully it didn't get that far. 

Warming up.

We got there, unloaded and got steady prettied up, tacked up and me dressed.  Initially we signed up for 4 classes:  Cake walk, Open english pleasure, Open english equitation, and Open hunter hack 2'.  Most of them were later in the day.  As we were just hanging out I decided to sign up for the trail class last minute.  I was watching after they set it up and said what the heck.  I mean we really had nothing to loose.  We already paid to ride all day.  I was so impressed his attitude all day.  He was so sweet, obedient, calm when waiting and woke up quickly when it was our turn to go.  I was really impressed with his backing.  I have never even tried to back him before.  We have concentrated on moving forward thus far and have not done backing before.  We had to back in both trail and english eq.  Trail we even backed in an L shape and he did awesome. 

Trail class, we opened and closed a gate, went over trot poles which he kind of half jumped/tripped over...haha, it cracked me up becuase of his heart.  I knew going into it that they would probably pose a problem because they were placed so close together.  I mean the boy has some serious long legs and all the other horses were 15 hh or smaller.  He didn't skip a beat though and trusted me and went for it.  Next we were to cross a plank which he kindly refused and I had no intention of frustrating him over something we were doing for fun so I just passed on it.  Next was to move an object.  We were to pick up a ball from the top of a  barrel and move it to the next barrel.  No problem, well other than his height again I mean I really had to stretch to get the ball.  Then we were to do a side pass over a pole....hahahaha.  I walked up to it stood there, looked at the judge and said "haha there is no way this is gonna happen".  Last we had to back through an L shape, he nailed that.  On my way out of the ring I looked at the judge and said "not bad for a race horse".  I was beaming with pride and his calm, cool and collected attitude.  Heart of gold this boy has and he definitely takes satifaction in competing.  He puts on his game face in the show ring.  We placed 3rd out of 5!

English pleasure went well.  The only thing that didn't go right was he didn't pick up his right lead.  Which I just found amusing because that is the lead he always picks up.  It is the left that is his hang up and he picked that up right this boy.  We placed 3rd in this class.  Do I have to mention that it was 3rd out  of 3?

English equitation, I was not too sure what to expect with this or hunter hack.  I have never seen these classes before not to mention show in one.  The pattern; back from cone 1 to 2, 180 degree turn to the right, pick up right lead to cone 3, trot right diagnal to cone 4, halt stand 3 second.  I placed 4th out of 7 in this one!!  Again I am one proud Mama. 

While waiting for hunter hack he was even sweet and patient enough to let an eager 7 year old girl lead him around with me on his back.  She was relentless she wouldn't leave him alone.  I don't mind people loving on my horse but she was dragging him around even after I said don't trot with him she ignored me and kept trying to trot him. 

Hunter hack, pattern,  walk to cone A, left lead canter to first jump, continue canter to second jump, right lead canter to cone B, halt, back 5 steps.  He didn't pick up his left lead we pulled back and tried again and he got it.  He did great over the first jump and hit the second jump but didn't knock it down.  Which I didn't get to warm up over any fences so it was not his fault.  He didn't get his right lead but backed fine.  At the flat work he nailed it all.  What an angel.  We got 4th out of 8!!  I am so so proud and impressed with him.

I can hardly wait for November for our eventing debut!!!  It will be a whole new ball game but I am confindent that if nothing else, him and I can have a fun time!

I learned that my mindset toward showing has changed so much since the last time I showed as a teenager.  I think there is a few reasons for this.  One reason I believe is when you are starting from scratch with a green horse that each and every step of progress is a rush of excitement.  When you work so hard for each break through it makes it so much more valuable.  Then there is the fun factor.  I am there to have a good time.  As a busy, busy mom of 3 there is not a whole lot of me time.  This is me time and nothing is going to stand between me and enjoying that me time.  So placing is not all that important anymore.  The things that mean the most to me is where a we individually.  Maybe that has something to do with the fact that I am a homeschooler.  As a homeschooling mom you quickly have to get over the idea that your child should always measure up to the standards set by any said person or organization, as in public school, students that are the same age or overly opinionated people.  That education or self progression is not measured by a predetermined scale.  Instead by personal achievement and growth.  To be judged on an individual basis.  I think if we all sat down and thought about it we would see that this is true education(definition: the gradual process of acquiring knowledge).  So this is the way I see Steady and our relationship and progress.  It is not to be judged on one particular day, in one particular sitation, by one individual person(the judge), in a particular group of people.

Now I am not saying that showing is meaningless.  No, not at all but it is not, in my case, there to determine my opinion of me, my horse or our progress. 


  1. Sounds like you did well for you first show and had fun :) Congrats! are so right on that last point. I should remind myself of that more often :)

  2. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog :)
    I think you and Steady look great..I am so far from showing that it's not even funny! :)
    Well done and enjoy those ribbons..they would be hanging from my front door!!


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