Our First Show

After riding my dragon all through schooling the night before, I had no idea what horse I would have on the show day. I got there and after registering, finding my trainer, and watching some adorable pony crossrails I went and got O.

She was completely relaxed with the general hub bub, and stood nicely by the outdoor rings while I scouted everything out. That said, I wanted to lunge her, because at this point I know she is a big ole faker. Tossed her on the line and had NOTHING. She was more interested in trying to stop and eat grass than anything else. Once again, I still kept her on it for a bit to try to take any hidden edges off.

After tacking up I realized that I truly hate my white show pad. It will probably be going away…it does not fit my saddle correctly and drove me nuts. Anyway, so just ignore that.

I got on O and meandered our way to the warmup ring outside. To start she was forward, but not nutty.

A less wild picture.

A less wild picture.

Of course, the second my trainer got there, O’s baby brain must have started taking over, because the not-so-pretty dragon horse came out. I would ask for the canter, she would scoot forward and flail her head around. After seeing pictures, I realized it looked exactly how ugly it felt.
Totally ineffective riding in action....trying to circle and slow.

Totally ineffective riding in action….trying to circle and slow.

Also, our nice canter from earlier was gone, and we pretty much were operating at a hand gallop, with me half halting like a mad woman.

Vrooming around.

Vrooming around.

The phrase, ‘ride the horse you have that day’ really came into play for this show. We hopped over a single warm up fence…

Awkward sauce trot in photo.

Awkward sauce trot in photo.

And then it was time to wait for my classes.

In between her frantic bursts of walking, there was a few seconds she stood quietly....ish.

In between her frantic bursts of walking, there was a few seconds she stood quietly….ish.

I went in for the warm up round and the jumps were lovely, everything else was a train wreck. We practically ran around the ends of the ring. That said, she did get two flying changes. Afterwards my husband said it was her trick to optimize her stride power for better ability to drag me around.

After a brief chat with the trainer, we decided that O was simply too excited about this, and we needed to have a teaching moment. We opted to trot into all the lines, and if she was quiet then let her canter out. The next two courses went much better. We got another flying change, and she was more receptive to my aids. It still wasn’t pretty, but we survived. We even got a 6th in one of the classes. The other I ended up 8th out of 12.

Not really much to say about the flat class. She flailed and ran, and I failed at stopping her. We didn’t get last (yay?)-but we weren’t top 6.

Here’s some slightly blurry stills from the clips! I’ll try to post them later this week…even if they aren’t pretty.


End of story: we made it through our first show!

End of story: we made it through our first show!

There was so much learned this weekend, and a ton more to learn before we head back to the show ring. Next show is tentatively planned for end of May and is off-site. Lots to do!

18 thoughts on “Our First Show

  1. Even though things were tough, it sounds like you handled it well! I;m glad you made it through all of your classes, got over all the fences and made the best out of what you had 🙂 Sometimes, that’s the hardest thing of all!

  2. I’m glad you both are feeling better though! That being said, I never get anywhere cantering Wiz around in circles- he’s a TB, he can go forever. When I lose his brain, I have to disengage him- take away his neck, do lots and lots of transitions, trot circles forever, lateral work. That being said- good job taking initiative and deciding to just trot even though it meant no ribbons. Better to have that schooling experience for the future 🙂

    • We worked hard on getting her to focus and soften using figure 8’s, up and downward transitions, but unfortunately they weren’t as successful as I was hoping in warmup. That said, she was a very good girl when we trotted, so hopefully we can cement that shows are not a wild place into her brain for next time. And hey, we did manage to squeeze a 6th place ribbon somehow!

      • I meant like making the decision to trot knowing it likely wouldn’t place high, my bad 🙂 yeah wiz can be crazy and sometimes nothing works! TBs 😉 but good job just creating a positive first experience to build on. You look good though

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