Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Yellow Day

Yellow is actually my least favorite color. I can think of two yellow items I own - a spring jacket, and the toes of my rain boots that are made to look like the yellow bills of ducks. But despite my aversion to it, yellow is the color of happiness. The color of friendship. I'm not sure what it says about my personality that I hate the color, but I just do. That being said, Sunday was a Yellow day in all the good ways.

Overall, Junior was the best he's been at a show. We still had in and out-gate issues but they were minimal and though I had to ask KAT to grab his head to lead us into our first undersaddle class, all the rest was no big deal. It was a tiring day and I really, really need a show mom! I just can't do all of that physical and mental preparation by myself for two disciplines! Oh, and it rained all day Saturday and Sunday so that always helps!

The day:

I was up at 4am. We were lunged and warmed up by 6:30am. The show started with jumping at 8:00am and my first class was #7 so I had a long wait.

English Showmanship

He did better than I expected, but I tried to square him too well and took too long so I forgot to start moving with the judge began his walk around. Woops. We got 3rd out of 4 only because it was clear the last team failed worse than I did.

English Pleasure
It was a decent sized class of around 10 but I didn't keep track. We had issues at the-in gate but KAT led us in and we were able to ride at will because of a tack change and that helped. He was very good in the class. The only problem was the last canter-trot transition where he wanted to keep cantering but the judge was looking elsewhere. We got 3rd and that's the first time we've placed in pleasure! I think he really likes the bit we've been using. Right away when I put it on he started relaxing forward into it. He'll listen to my hands with it and I don't recall him even once tossing his head or fighting with it. I think we'll stick with this one for a while.

English Equitation

We had several classes between so we stood in the breeze for a while and then took him back to his stall to pee and rest for a bit. When it was time for the class I literally pulled him out of the stall, walked to the in-gate, got a leg up, sat outside the gate until I was called in, and then did my pattern. He was AWESOME. He never got fidgety or jumpy. He was relaxed and did all the transitions I asked for. We had an issue when I asked him to turn because it took us a few tries to get him to realize I was asking for a different movement than backing. Once he figured it out he did a nice turn. KAT was pleased and I was thrilled. We rode the rail portion without issues and I concentrated on my position, which I'm sure I was not good with during the pattern since I was concentrating on him so much. We did not place in that big class but I am so pleased with how he did that I could care less. Big step forward for us.

Western Showmanship

By this time I was exhausted. It was already late in the afternoon and my brain was fried. For no good reason at all I stopped him about 12 feet short of the judge somewhere half between cones 2 and 3. I even surprised myself with the stop and considered going forward again but thought finishing the pattern in the wrong place was better than breaking it completely by adding a stop. I figured it was game over any way so I just did the turn and tried to set up but he wouldn't stand and the judge started moving before I realized it and blew the quadrants again. Super fail. I started laughing (quietly to myself) as soon as I was excused after the backing.

I didn't end up riding western because I was tired and sore and hungry and my saddle is heavy and I didn't want to change clothes AGAIN. Lame, I know, but I can make those choices. By all witness accounts I could have easily won the Horsemanship, though. Only two riders in it and KAT described one of them as "that train wreck in lime green over there." But oh well. He could have also been a total jumpy ninny in the western bit so I guess I'll never know.

I'm considering getting a lighter weight show saddle. Mine is SOOOOO heavy that I absolutely HATE carrying it around. I don't think it's all that comfortable either. Probably too big for me and not at all close-contact. I also don't like the color.

So anway, it was a good day. I am pleased with how we did, despite the brain farts and me being tired. Our next show is June 19th at the same place but we haul in the night before instead of two nights before. Maybe I won't be so tired that time!


  1. Congratulations on getting through that and making such progress - yellow looks good!

  2. Congratulations!! You both did great... even with a few hiccups in showmanship. It'll get easier every time you do a pattern. :) It feels extra good when the horses do well AND you get ribbons to take home.

    Look at you taking pictures of the patterns and posting them! (stealing that fantastic idea...)

    I know exactly how you feel about the saddle. Mine isn't super heavy, but it's a little bit too big and I've pretty much decided to sell it and get something else. It's really pretty and very comfy, but hopefully I can find something smaller and still have neat silver. English stuff is so much easier to lug around!

    Congrats again on such a successful show! :)

  3. Congratulations! Third is the charmer!

  4. Congratulations, sounds like a very good day:) Even when I come out without placing if I know my girl improved from the last time, that's reward enough for me as well.

  5. Congratulations! Wow! your doing all of that without help? I'd be exhausted too. Recruit one of your friends to start coming with you and train her/him to be the show mom you need. Just be nice. Some show moms take a lot of abuse. Haha!

  6. Thanks everybody!

    i2p: It's not stealing. It works well. They didn't have paper copies at this show, just posted on a board. I have an iPhone so I was able to carry the patterns around with me through the day. MUCH easier than trying to re-draw them!

    wilsonc: I had a great show mom at the show I did last September but she couldn't come this time. Hopefully Max's family will help me at the next one.

  7. Sounds like you guys did ok for your first show of the season!

    I'd love to be a show mom - I'm super organized and love shows but not showing. Too bad I don't live anywhere near you! lol

    Hope you can find someone to help you out a bit for the next show...