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Since getting "tired" hasn't seemed to be an issue for us, we just added the whole division and called it good miles. I'm glad we did, since I think the more times we can get Prair in the ring for happy, relaxed rounds, the more likely she is to decide that being a Hunter isn't a scary experience.
Schooling Day was an overall success. It was just me and S with all the horses so I played groom and helped tack/prep/tuck in all the ponies. After the luxury of having full grooms at the Swiftwater show, it was kind of nice to get my hands back on everything. I derive a lot of satisfaction from organizing temporary tack rooms (it must be some long lasting effect of Pony Club rallies..) so I really liked setting everything up, cleaning everyone's tack and having neat tidy hooks for each horse and all their stuff. Very pleasing.
Prair's schooling day went well. I screwed up the timing for the jump heights in the schooling ring and Prair ended up working when all the fences were set to 3'6". I'm not sure she "needed" it, but she looked rad, and it reaffirmed my confidence that she will make a great 3'6" horse when she grows up some day.
Thursday saw the first actual classes and Prair came ready to work. The placings were kinda smeared around, but she and S put in (I think) their best rounds at a show to date. Two changes to Prair's routine may (or may not) have something to do with it. First, I scaled back her alfalfa pellets a few days before the show and during the show. Secondly, we tried Perfect Prep. Prairie was decided not happy about the Prep and stuck her nose in her shavings and hid in the corner after we squirted it in her mouth. She looked very disappointed in me, but such is life.
I've never used Perfect Prep, and frankly I'm skeptical of the claims most calming supplments make, but I can't argue that Prairie was a very good girl for her classes. She was still alert and intrigued by pretty much anything that moved - but she was more patient standing at the back gate and her eyeball looked less anxious about life. I think the Prep probably helped with that? It's hard to say. Most horses show relatively quietly at this location, so that could be a factor as well, but who knows.
The rides themselves were lovely. Still the same issues - lead change to the right, lifting her inside shoulder, etc.. but overall much, much better.
They placed last (lol) in both their warm up 2'9" class and the warm up 3'. However, they snagged a first and third in the 2'9" division, and then a third and second in the Pre Greens to finish the day.
Prair got a lazy hand graze, a bath and lots of pats.
The second day, Prair came out of her stall even more relaxed and ready to play. She had one course left for both divisions plus her under saddles classes so it was a pretty light day. The first class was her Pre Green Stake and she pulled off a second. Also snagged a second in the 2'9" over fences before nailing first in both Under Saddle classes to clinch the 2'9" championship and reserve for the Pre-Greens. She was like 2 points from Champ in the PreGreens which would have gotten a cooler ( a cooooolllllerrrr gosh darn it) - but alas, the elusive cooler remains on our bucket list...
The 2'9" Round
The Pre Green:
Super proud of both Prairie and S for their rides. Prair is looking better and better, but I know from firsthand experience how much better she looks from the ground than she feels when you're on her. There's plenty to work on, but feeling like we can actually close leg on her and move up to fences is such a tangible improvement I can't quite get over it.