Friday, May 10, 2013

There Was a Horse Show.

I think I'm too old for this.  I seem to say that after every horse show, and then manage to forget about it as I get excited for the next show.  Horse shows are exhausting.  They are fun... still... I think... but mostly exhausting.  I'm starting to wonder how much longer I'll want to do it.  Definitely still planning on at least one more show this year.

Anyway so yeah, there was a horse show.  We showed.  We survived.

Overall it was a good show.  Not our best show, but it was good. I managed to remember all my patterns!  I'm very pleased with our placings considering the rough day and how unprepared I was coming right off of the busiest part of my work year. I apologize for failing to actually write down the number of people in each class and even writing which ribbon was for which class. I'm usually really good at that. I had four 2nds, a 3rd and a 4th.  We did get High Point Adult so we're well positioned to be in the running for the Circuit High Point Adult at the June show.

The Day:
I arrived at the show grounds before 7am. I claimed the only open stall in the barn, moved my stuff in, signed up for my classes, then received a stream of apologetic and frantic texts about how BODH (Barn Owner's Dear Husband) was responsible for a dead truck battery and AAA would be there in 30 minutes.  Show started at 8am.  I was in class 6. Allright, things could be worse...

So I prepped everything I could prep sans horse, chatted with some old friends and sat down to memorize my 4 patterns.  As time ticked by I wondered if I might miss one or two of my English classes.  I thought, oh well, it's only $5 per class and at least I can show the western classes.... FRAK.... I forgot my western hat.  I could see it in my mind's eye on the shelf in the closet, just as it looked on Friday when I saw it and thought "yup, I need to grab that" ... but didn't.

At 9:45am the trailer arrived, we were still only on class 3, and the BO brought me 2 hats to try.  We moved in (all my tack was in the trailer) got a tail attached, got dressed, and got to the arena in PLENTY of time for my first class:

Open English Halter, in which we did not place out of about 12. Junior was very vocal during the class but he stayed put really well.

Adult Hunter Showmanship was pretty good.  We got second out of about 5?  The winner was a guy who has won the class all but once against me.  I only beat him one year he had a super-greenie in the ring who was not having it.  Junior was good and it was a pattern I've done several times.

Adult Hunter Under Saddle went well.  I think I got 2nd? Maybe 3rd out of 6?  I was able to warm up outside for a good while, thankfully those youth classes are LARGE.  They were having classes with 2, 3, or 4 splits of 12-16 each.

Open Walk-Trot Hunter Under Saddle was huge.  There were 40 in the class so we had 3 splits.  We made it to the final round but did not place.

Adult Equitation was kind of a hot mess.  The pattern seemed fairly straight forward and I thought we did fair. We were 2nd? of 3?.

We had a decent break before my western showmanship class, but I didn't have the energy to go ride and wearing him down sometimes makes him angry instead of relaxed.  So we rested, but Junior did not pee so I knew the afternoon would be a ticking time bomb of naughty-horse.

Adult Western Showmanship was pretty good.  I think 3 in the class and I was 2nd. There was an "N" shape and I turned the inside turn too tight, plus I was insufferably tired by this point and there was a brief moment I completely forgot how to quarter.

Adult Western Pleasure was funny.  There were actually some really nice moments where I was getting a great little jog and even a decent loose-rein lope but we were DREADFULLY inconsistent.  Thankfully there were worse train wrecks than us and I think we got 4th?  out of 7?

Open Walk-Trot Pleasure was good but we didn't place in a class of I think 20.

Adult Horsemanship started bad and ended worse.  I stayed in the ring after walk/trot and Junior wasn't enjoying the mass exodus of the herd so we were already arguing before the class even started.  There were only two of us and the other girl was on a somewhat unfamiliar horse and she didn't seem confident about the pattern so I volunteered to go first. The pattern seemed to be going as well as could be expected until the "halt" quickly escalated into a sidepass-to-turn-on-the-forehand-to-halt. Apparently there are no extra points awarded for creativity and we were DFL. Oh well.  I was just glad it was over with. Honestly, I was ready to drop and I still had to load everything up and get back to the barn to take out braids and then back to my house.

I got home at 9:30 and went straight to bed.  I didn't unload the car until Tuesday and I haven't been out to the barn since Sunday.  All my show stuff is still in a pile in the spare room and my back seat has a pile that goes back to the barn.

Sadly NONE of my show clothes sold at the tack swap, so at least I had something to wear for Showmanship.  :)  I obeyed the unanimous vote and wore the black shirt outfit for the riding classes.  I'm still hoping to get my 2 new pieces done for the June show, as well as trying out my new Hobby Horse EZ Rider show pants which I was too lazy to hem before this show!  


  1. Not too bad! but still its hard to do a lot of classes in one day, I guess that is why some people have staff!

    1. I know! I need a team of show-moms!

  2. Thank you for that very honest account of your day. I say this with real gratitude because I am entering my very first open show ever at the end of this month. Someone was trying to talk me into entering a bunch of classes because being a club member I can enter as many as I want for one price. She told me it would all be good training. I felt like it would be putting more stress on my and my horse than either of us are ready for.

    So after reading your post I can clearly see that just entering the classes I am truly focused on is going to be the right thing.

    I think the two of you look fabulous. The black shirt looks great, and to me it seems like a few ribbons is a good day...isn't it?

    1. I tend to over-do it and I'v often regretted it. I have a hard time deciding which classes to cut, though, that's my problem. I want to do it all! Last spring I only did the English, and that really helped lower the exhaustion level. At the June show I'm only going to do the 6 classes that count towards the High Point.

      I do agree that mileage is a good thing, but everyone is different. I've learned over our few years of showing that less tends to be better... unless he pees at midday and then he's a gem all day long!

      No matter what, you must do what you are comfortable with. Getting your feet wet with a few selected classes can build your confidence and be a positive experience for both you and your horse! There'll always be another show for you to expand into!

  3. Good job! I used to do open shows like that, and they were super super super fun but also really exhasuting.

  4. I am in much of the same boat, just not feeling the shows lately. I get pretty stressed about just planning the darned thing, then always feel guilty for spending the money. I so absolutely LOVE riding my horse somewhere else, testing what we know, and just getting OUT, but I always feel dreadfully disappointed later feeling like Im wasting my money if Im not placing big. Then I just wonder, as I always do, what the heck Im doing trying to compete against these people who have all this time, money, trainers, etc to help them get to the top. But I do have fun...

    This summer I want to go to ONE show, and its just a Playday. Its in two weeks actually and Im hoping the Fiancee takes me. I just want to go and have a little fun at a RELAXED show where the entries are small, and I dont feel bad for schooling my horse. Besides the lack of motivation this year, Im also lacking time with the wedding coming up. But Im cool with it. Who knows, maybe next year we all will feel a little extra excitement after having a summer off of the show string?!

  5. Sounds like a pretty good day even if you were exhausted at the end... and the two of you look great! Horse shows definitely make for a really long day. It seems like I'm usually home from shows around 7:30 or so, but my local show runs to arenas, so that helps push the day along faster.

    Did Junior do classes with his little lesson person too?

    1. Not this time, but they came to visit and got to watch at least one class. I'm pretty sure they'll show with me at the next one, though. It'll be really helpful to have them there to do stuff, plus we're loading in the day before the show so there will be less stress all around!

      I think two rings would make me more stressed! Unless all my classes were in one.

  6. Hi! I just found your blog and was quite surprised at how much we had in common. What is it with us anxious horseback riders???? My doctor has pressured me several times to get into therapy and maybe take some meds for it, but I always tell him my horse is my therapist...and sometimes the reason for my anxiety. ;) Anywho, I don't show, only because I would rather just trail ride and not deal with the stress it brings. Red, my horse, has been shown and placed pretty well in Western Pleasure, so I know he could do it, but I never had a desire to do it. Hahaha! I just became a horse owner in September, 2012, so I'm learning a lot. ;) You and your horse look great together, and I'm excited to read more. :)
    Kalin from