Although it’s been a few months, we finally found our way back to a horse show. After our small colic scare last week, I wasn’t sure we would actually make it there, but the stars aligned and it ended being smooth sailing with no further tummy issues thankfully!
Prepare yourself for TONS of media in these posts! I was able to borrow a co-workers Nikon (Thanks S!), and Liana(aka the bestest friend and barn mate EVER) came and photographed the entire Bay Yard team during the show.
The horses arrived at the Texas Rose Horse Park on Tuesday to settle in, and they all got to hack and tune-up on Wednesday. The show officially kicked off on Thursday, and I drove in early to watch Rio compete with trainer Julie.
Due to this show’s schedule, we decided not to enter Rio in the 3′ green division like we normally would, and instead trainer Julie would just do a 3′ warm-up (the green division overlapped on Friday with the AdultAmateur division, which is way too many classes in one day for Rio). He did really well, and I was pleased to see that she got all of lead changes with no issues. Then again, just because she can doesn’t mean I can!
On Friday we decided that trainer Julie should do the warm-up again, and I would do the Adult Amateur o/f rounds right after. We are still figuring out the right routine at shows for Rio. This is my 3rd show with my barn, and so far he has always done the 3′ Green with trainer Julie before my division starts. We want to set Rio up for success since he’s still learning the ropes of this horse showing thing.
Although he has a GREAT brain, I can be the epitome of ‘amateur’ at times and can totally lose my head and make silly mistakes. I feel that it works better for him to get a few very correct rides under his belt so he knows what it’s all about before I come in with my bundle of nerves and throw the reins to Jesus while saying a prayer.
Trainer Julie had another great warm-up round on Friday, and then I hopped on. Trainer Stacie asked if I wanted to go directly into the ring, or go jump something back in the warm-up ring and then come back. I mentally freaked for a second (NO WARM-UP?!) but reasoned that Rio was ready to go and that I didn’t think jumping some warm-up jumps before going in would change anything other than make me even more nervous if it didn’t go well. I was already pretty jazzed, and felt that it might be best to ride off of trainer Julie’s round and just keep the energy flowing. So that’s what we did!
Anddddd it wasn’t terrible!
We got ALL of our changes and only trotted briefly once. Yes, we trotted, but I’m not upset actually. I never expected to get all our lead changes (the hard part!) and I knew we could fix the trotting problem. Other than being nervous and just feeling like things were so different from schooling at home, I was pretty happy. I mean, our canter was a bit quicker and flatter then I would want, and we had some not perfect distances, but no major disasters or oh shit moments.
Our second round was similar (briefly broke gate again whomp whomp) and he felt more strung out, like he was leaning on my hand more. I could also tell he wasn’t coming back as easily when I would ask him too, and was putting on more pace as the course went on. This really showed when we did the 6 stride line in an easy 5. It came up so easily that I thought for a second that I may have miscounted. NOPE! We really did do 5 in a 6.
Although our rounds were a big improvement from the past, a small part of me was still wishing that it was clicking more once we finished and the initial “THANK GOD WE DIDN’T DIE” wore off. I was wanting more of the feeling we have been having in lessons, more of the smaller nuances and incremental adjustments. At the same time, I realize that shows are really different from schooling at home, and that maybe I just need more time in the ring to settle down a bit and really focus on my ride. I was kicking myself a bit for not getting into the ring to school Thursday evening. Yes, Rio did the warm-up Thursday with Julie and did well, but I think that I needed to get in the ring for myself- even if I only did each jump once and was done in 15 minutes. Something I will plan for next time to mentally prep myself a bit better!
Overall, day 1 was a pretty solid success. I was really looking forward to Saturday, and getting another shot at showing our progress. Tune in tomorrow to hear how Saturday went as well as a boatload of media, including full videos of all my rounds!!!