Monday, July 26, 2010

Show update

My niece and I woke up early Saturday to go pick up Grace.  The trainer was at a big paint show in NV so we were on our own for the schooling show.  Got to her place early and of course the gate was still shut.  I called her to ask if she could help and her poor nephew got the 6:30am wake up call to walk down with the remote and open the gate for us.  What a great kid!

Soon we had Grace out and groomed.  Loaded up our show tack and headed out.  The show was close by which was very nice but at an arena I hadn't been to before.  It's a small public riding arena but the footing looked good and there was a small warm up area too. 

I had my niece change while I got Grace decked out for Showmanship.  She looked gorgeous and we got many compliments from the other competitors.  Once I had her ready to go I handed her off to my niece to practice her pattern while I got us signed up for classes. 

We worked a little on her pivot and set up and then it was time to head to the arena.  My niece went first and forgot her pattern a little but otherwise they did great.  Got a second in their Showmanship class.  I had decided to give the 18+ class a try to so it was my first venture into the Showmanship world.  I wasn't nervous at first and had gotten the last spot out of about 5 or 6 so had time to watch everyone else do the pattern.  It was a simple L shaped pattern.  Walk from A to B then jog to C and halt.  Pivot 270 degrees and walk to the judge for the set up.  I'd watched almost everyone else screw up the pattern by not stopping in the right place slightly past C to line up with the judge.  The girl in front of me finally got the pattern right.  I totally intended to nail it and then got nervous and halted too soon anyway.  LOL.  We got set up quickly but then during the inspection Grace stepped forward and I had to move her back again.  Sigh.  We placed third which was good and I got a nice compliment from the judge.  She told me to work on the set up because Grace would make a very nice Showmanship horse.

Next was equitation.  We went back to the trailer where I discovered that I'd forgotten a cinch.  A really nice family let me borrow one.  Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.  We got tacked up but my niece was complaining of a stomach ache and decided to sit out of the walk/jog class so I decided to add and had her lay down in the car for a bit.  I think she was nervous.  I warmed Grace up a little.  Her jog felt ok and her lope was pretty good.  I took my niece's spot in the walk/jog class.  We didn't do as well as I was hoping because Grace wanted to be to quick and was looking around at everything new.  I think I focused too much on getting her to listen.  Probably just should have focused on me and let her go around with her head up.  In the 18+ eq class I felt her staring to relax at little but we still didn't manage to place.

Next up was ranch versatility.  We've never done this class but in the description it just said that you would also be asked to halt and back in the class.  My niece was feeling better so rode in the walk/jog class.  The did pretty well but her hat flew off during the first jog and she lost her concentration.  I'm just proud that she remembered to steer and it went smoothly.  I had entered the 18+ ranch versatility class and I was in for a surprise.  We were asked to walk, jog, extended trot, lope, gallop.  Then we had to halt, back and pivot to change directions.  Next we were asked to lope off the rail, halt and side pass back to the rail.  Then one at a time we had to lope half the arena and then gallop half of the arena and halt back where we started.  I had gotten the first gallop with the group but this time I got nervous again and I accidently got Grace with both spurs and she responded as trained and slid to a stop nearly ejecting me from my seat!  I couldn't be mad at getting exactly what I asked for...what a good girl.  Gotta work on cuing a gallop if I'm going to do that class.  We got going again but it was really still a lope.  While we didn't place it was the most fun I've ever had in a show class.  I think I'm going to work on this event.  I loved it.

Next we were entered in a walk/jog Horsemanship class with about 10 riders.  We went toward the middle of the order.  We were finally relaxed and clicking with each other.  It was another simple pattern.  Three cones in a row.  Walk from A to B.  Pick up a jog and jog a circle tracking right.  Contine jogging to C and halt.  Then back four steps.

We nailed the pattern and got another third.  I felt pretty good about it because we had a trainer enter the class on her old lesson horse and they won it.  I kinda thought it was awful of her to compete against the kids and ammys but I know it happens and the show let her do it.  I'm still counting that as a second place in my head and its the highest score we've gotten in a riding class.  Yay!

My lessons for the day...put my cinch in the saddle bag with my show saddle.  Dress down a little more for this schooling show if we do it again (and I absolutely want to!).  Most riders were wearing nice western shirts but not the blingy pleasure rail tops.  Lots of straw hats which looked so much less hot than my black felt.  Work on the gallop and practice my showmanship.  Grace seems to like the pattern classes.  It may be her niche.  I think I'm going to ask the trainer about learning how to do the trail patterns too.

Sorry we didn't get pics for you.  My camera broke and it's very hard to do pictures when it's just the niece and I and we're running around getting ready for classes.  Next time I'm bringing a friend to play photographer!


OneDandyHorse said...

Congrats! That is a great show! You placed well and you should be proud, it looks easier than it really is, you need to keep your horse focused, yourself focused and control everything that might go wrong... it's very tough! I'm glad you got ribbons! Keep up the great work!

Shanster said...

Sounds like a success! I forgot a saddle pad at a show once and had to beg/borrow one from someone. Absolutely - thanks to the kindness of strangers!!

I still dress up at the schooling shows which I do combat nerves when it's the real deal.. by making it as real as possible at the schooling show too!

Sure wish they'd make show clothes light and comfy!! I hear you!