|Like this one.|
FridayMuch like Thursday, professional obligations got in the way of my ideal show schedule and I found myself downtown giving a quick presentation at 9:30, which was about when S and Prairie were schedule to start their Pre-Green Division. I was pretty sure I could talk for 15 minutes, fly out of the meeting room and sprint back to the showgrounds in time for their Under Saddle class.
I nearly gave up hope when the meeting delayed an extra 20 minutes, but then S sent a text that the show was running Junior Hunters before the Pre-Greens which bought me some time.
I'm sure I looked like a crazy person while I paced neurotically waiting for the valet to retrieve my car from whatever neighboring country they parked it in, but they finally showed up and I zoomed off. I jogged up to the show ring (trousers, silk blouse, absurdly non-horse-appropriate-footwear) to find S and Prair snoozing ringside waiting for their flat class.
The pride to hear they had won both rounds over fences was only slightly mitigated by the fact that there was only one other horse in the division. Prair went on to win her flat class doing what she does best, and clinched a faux Champion since they wouldn't call it champion without a third horse (damn). I wouldn't really have cared about that much except for the fact that this show has cute COOLERS for the Champions and I really wanted one. Seems like winning a cooler is some sort of rite of passage for Prair becoming a real Hunter... but it's about the experience not the coolers...
Anyway, between Prair's wins (which each came with a $20 gift cert to my fav local tack shop) and S's early Reserve Ch. in the Baby Greens with the Big Guy we were off to a great start.
SaturdaySaturday came bright and early and I got to the show in time to watch the pony from our barn go in her Short Stirrup Division. God I love ponies. There were some cute ponies doing their thang which sometimes included finishing their courses but usually including some sort of pony shenanigans.
Prair had snoozed like a good girl and was totally calm when I pulled her out to walk around and grab some grass. Supermom made the trek to come braid the big girl up all pretty and also snapped
When Prair was all fluffed and buffed, we headed for warmup where the gerbils were decidedly not present. Prair had her quietest warm up to date and I was thrilled with how she was going.
|So happy. So, so happy|
|The problem with perfectly timed pictures is that you can't blame your bad Eq on an awkward moment...|
We were slated to ride two of our Hunter courses, one Eq course and then ride both of our flat classes. Remembering how out of gas we were last weekend at the Schooling Show, S had us ride our courses as early as possible to give us a bit of a breather before our Flat. It seemed like a great plan to me, though I was a little nervous since there was no warm up round for us to work the kinks out with - and so far I've always had one (which is a feature I like)
|The Boy helping with last minute prep (Prair likes ear massages)|
Apparently we really have improved because the judge agreed and put us 2nd behind a (very) cute, (very) typey hunter thing with a big butt, huge cresty neck, and adorable dapples. I would have pinned him first too.
|Last fence... lots of pace but still holding it together...|
|her hocks and tail crack me up in this.|
|I was grinning the whole course, even if we were in a hand gallop|
|Supermom not pictured, as she was taking SuperPictues|
I think we got a 71, plus 3 for the high options so we ended with a 74 which was good enough for 4th place (out of 7) for round one. Most of the rides were on much more polished horses (ie, no pre-greens) and the leader manged to break into the 90's with a gorgeous ride. I'll fully admit I don't really know how the scoring "works" per say, but the numbers seemed to match the rides well and I'd say the judge got the placing order totally right.
Then the only thing left was for the course to reset (again) for the 3' Derby which S was taking Prair in (whew).
Her course was decidedly tighter with more interesting questions and larger decisions to make about the high options. Sadly I didn't take a picture of the course, but S had a fabulous ride and took 2 of the options (one was a hellish rollback that wasn't worth one measly point) and they finished in the low 70's. I could tell Prair was a little agitated with the last round and really wasn't interested in focusing for another 2 minutes, but S really made it look smooth and easy. They finished 6th out of a much more competitive field of 11.
|favorite shot of the day|
|out of the two-stride|
The day finished well with baths all around (me included) and a good relaxed mindset to go into Sunday.
Sunday The Boy actually remembered our good camera so I have some video. I think our rides on Saturday were a bit more polished, but it's still nice to have a few clips as a benchmark. All in all I couldn't have been more pleased with Prairie's effort on Saturday. 5 course and 2 flat classes is a lot to ask of one mare, even if she is big and strong.