Sunday, April 21, 2013

Can you handle this much cuteness?!

As par the course for eventing things did not go as we had hoped.   But I cannot say that I am disappointed in either my daughter or her pony.  Were they perfect?  No.  But Elaina tried her heart out and in the end was beaming,  After jumping of course.  That is a proven genetic trait passed down from mother to daughter. I swear it is.  Look it up.  What a fun weekend!  The first event after the long winter is like medicine for the soul.  Seeing familiar facing, hugging friends and the busyness of the show scene.  It all keep us coming back for more no matter what.  This post will contain unmearsurable amounts of cuteness, stubborn pony tricks and memories for a life time and of course a corgi sneaking adventure!  My daughters introduction to eventing!

Pick kids up from school at 3pm on Friday with trailer packed with all the trimmings for the weekend including fuzzy pony 4 giggling girls, myself, tolerant husband and a puppy. Pick up my daughters Pony Club friend then hit the road for the next two hours, taking the back way as to avoid Indianapolis at 5pm on a Friday(made that mistake once hauling Steady, never again).  Unpack, settle Fuzzy Pony in, take daughter out to school a bit.  Realize Fuzzy Pony has her own ideas of socializing with EVERY SINGLE HORSE that she comes with in 20 feet of.  Made my daughter work for it but she won the war and we tucked FP in and headed to the hotel.  Took four giggling little girls and one tolerant husband to swim in the pool.  Dry off and head to dinner with some of the my eventing besties.  Ate some steak, called it a night and dozed off a bit after midnight.  Awoke grogily to my alarm at 6:30.  We all drudged our way through breakfast, packing up and made it to the HHP.  Side note: we brought Fuzzy Puppy along for the adventure also.  The hotel we stayed in did not allow pets..hmmmm.  So we smuggled a large sweatshirt up the back stairs and into our room that may or may not have contained the cutest 13lbs on 2 inch legs in all the world.  There will be no admission of wrong doing.  The sweatshirt was also of course smuggled back and forth a few more times because we all know large sweatshirts must go potty outdoors.
walking over to school on Friday evening.

My family must love stubby legged red things.

Show day!  Behind schedule of course I attempt to lunge FP which was again more interested in wandering around at her leisure.  If you are not familiar with the pulling breeds when they have it in their mind that they have somewhere that they need to be that have no issue getting there.  Even if there is a 150lb (give or take a few pounds) woman attatched to a rope attatched to their face along for the ride like a water skier on a deep sand arena.  I hate that about the breed.  What I do love about the breed is that they (or at least this FP on particular) never does it with any sort of meaness.  There is not a hateful bone in her body.  I mean she likes everyone but she can't help it that we don't all agree on where we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to be doing.  This was the theme of the rest of the day.  Told daughter to get ready I got FP ready and we took them out to school with about 30 minutes to spare.  To find out when we enter the warm up that they are running about 30 minutes ahead and there is one rider in front of her.  I laughed appoligized and said that we will not be going early.

They are just so cute, I can't help myself.

I was pleased to see that my daughter got right to work and FP was much better behaved today.  She was listening and obedient.  I was happy about this and relieved a bit.  So we did end up keeping warm up to about 10 minutes.  Elaina said she felt ready so we headed over.  There were three arenas set up inside one of the large arenas.  Theirs happened to be closest to the gate.  She entered at A and so it was her first dressage test.  Oh and her ponies first one too.  They started out nicely.  A little bobbling in the halt but a nice transisions.  Actually the entire test went really well.  Her gaits were nice and steady.  Her transitions were good and only two that were a bit ahead of schedule.  Elaina remembered her test with one little mistake at the free walk going from F to H insead of F to E.  Very minor especially considering this was the first time the kid has had the opportunity to actually ride the test in an arena and with letters.  I was quite proud of her and how she rode and how she handled herself.  Those were all the wonderful things that happened and I wanted to point those out first because they are the most important and 95% of what actually happened.  A very small part though taken quite seriously in the sport of dressage it that you must stay in the arena for the entirety of the test.  Oh the little details.

I could not fault my daughter one bit for the mishap.  She rode and did everything right.  You will be able to see on the video that you could not even see the dirty little stunt FP pulled until it was too late.  I already knew the pony has a problem with gates.  You can call it what ever you want but the pony knows where every exit is at all times and she will pull these stunts to exit stage left, or right in the instance when ever she thinks she can get away with it.  I warned my daughter of A and when she went down to that end to be prepared for it.  I did not mention the large arena gate that happened to be a few feet from the edge of their arena.  Appearently those little poles a few inches off the ground were not obstacle for FP whatsoevery.  I am not putting blame on anyone or making any excuses because it was no ones fault except for the pony and she is so inexperienced and so young that I can't even blame her.  It is what it is.  But I can't help but think if they had just gotten to ride in the center arena or if there weren't 3 crammed in the same big arena then it would have ended differently but it wasn't the case and it ended the way it did.  I was upset.  Not at anyone or anything just at the outcome.  I didn't want my daughter to see me upset in anyway because I knew she would take it to heart and feel she was at fault.  I told her she did a good job and sent her back with my husband to put the pony away.  I wanted to find the correct person to ask for permission to jump.  I didn't want this to be the way it ended for her.

I went back and found her on the verge of tears and all it took was me saying hey let's go ask for permission to jump for her to just crumble.  She was upset and crying.  I am not one to play into tears I don't mind them because we all have to cry sometimes but I also know you have to rationalize why you are upset.  So I made her verbalize why she was crying.  I asked if it was at her pony.  NO.  Is it that you got eliminated.  No.  Then why?  "because I had more time to practice and chose to go early and I should have taken the time I need and had".  Damn that girl has her head on straight.  I said well it is a good lesson to learn and it is a good place to learn it at a schooling show.  And the good news is that we are going to have to enter more so that we can get it right!  I did make her ask for permission to jump.  We all have to learn to suck it up and move on and not all 9 year olds are capable but my awesome daughter just is.  She choked up a little while asking but it was good for her and it didn't really matter once she got the answer she was wanting.  YES!

There are not many pictures from show day.  My nervese were at an all time high.  My husband had to do the video taping because I couldn't handle doing anything except watch on the edge of my seat.

So we ran back and got FP ready again.  Again warm up went well.  She seemed to be listening and she was jumping well.  We headed over.  You will get to see on the video it wasn't a perfect round and there were she had two refusals and BOTH again were issues with the gate then not getting straight.  FP paying far too much attention to where the exit was.  A very serious problem.  That yes we knew she had at home but did not realize that it would be such an issue at a new place.  I mean she walks through a gate once in her life and then becomes obessesed with getting back out.  Weird?  But in the end the smile on my daughters face was the only thing that mattered.  She could have cared less about a score, a ribbon or even that her pony wasn't perfect but that she went out there rode her best and got to do the thing she loved with the pony she loved.  I hate to brag but I am doing a damn fine job with this one!!!

One one hand it was not how we imagined it turning out but the things that are the most important to me were accomplished.  Safe rides with a smiling face! 
About to go into stadium.  Elimated?  Who cares, I get to jomp my poneh!  And that is my popcile of a girl in a pink coat in the background.


  1. Aww, listening to you being a kind, encouraging 'mom' in the videos actually made me tear up a little! You were right - I totally did not expect that to happen in the test. As they trotted in to the arena I thought 'gosh, what a huge entrance, no wonder the pony swerved out' - but nope! Not a bad test at all apart from that though. What was it the judge was saying to her at the end?

    Can't believe she's only nine, what a attitude and level of understanding. Neat kid!

    P.S. What do you drive that fits five kids, two adults and a puppy - AND tows the horse float?? Impressive!

  2. Your daughter handled the competition with grace and she should be very proud of her accomplishment.

    What can you do? Haflingers are very smart ponies. I am sure she will be able to anticipate her pony's antics in no time and prevent them next time.

  3. Aw too bad on the elimination. Man they are CUTE though!

  4. Super cute! Sounds like Ms Poneh is going to teach excellent life lessons as well. :) Better be careful or she's going to want to share Steady with you in a few years.

  5. Aw, what a GREAT post! Three cheers for your daughter!

  6. adorable and may I commend YOU on the calm, clear help you offered her...LOVE it!! No stress in your voice. Shows can be SO stressful and heart breaking, so awesome that she left smiling!!!

  7. Aw, what a mature, good kid! She will learn a lot from this and be even better next time :)

  8. Oh ponies!!! Sounds like you should be very proud of your daughter and man she has a good head on her shoulders!

  9. They look super!!! A bummer about dressage. I agree, I think the pony was being a stinker. But your daughter rode with such class and grace! I'm not sure I would have remained that calm with that little stunt. haha. :)

  10. Your daughter did a super job Amy! We missed the dressage test, but watched her jump round. I was very impressed with how she handled the minor refusals - she is a great little rider!

    Someone on FB posted a link to the photographer's page that was at the show and I saw some pics of your team! I will send you the link on FB, if you don't already have it.

  11. First off they are soooo adorable!!!! What a cute team! Second you must be so proud of your amazing little daughter! She did such a fantastic job! A lot of kids would have completely lost it as soon as the pony stepped out of the ring, but she totally held it together and finished her test. What a great first show!! They are going to be superstars with a little more practice (and some work on bratty pony behavior LOL)!!!!

  12. She is learning some great life lessons on that pony! Fun to read all about it!


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