Friday, June 20, 2014

Alpine Preview - Pro Days

And we're back! I probably won't get to see the mare go this weekend with her HLL, but I did manage to sneak away to the show to watch both Pro Days with The Boy.  Juggling work, impending baby and all the impending baby obligations has left us a tad over scheduled, but somehow horse time always wins out :)

It was a lot of horse show hurry-up-and-wait (not shocking, but the weather was cooperating, and more importantly there's a super delicious taco truck with endless supplies of tostadas and enchiladas to keep the pregnant lady happy.

The mare was a rock star.  Period.  We decided to throw her on gastrogard for the second week and just see if that helped out at all.
Week 2 - got this.
I don't know if it was the gastrogard, or the effect of having settled in for a week, or all the extra trail rides - but mare was SOLID.  She was just that teeeeensiest bit more relaxed everywhere. In her stall, in the grooming stall, walking around... everywhere.

And boy did it show in her rounds.

Wednesday Prair had two rounds in Ring Two and a flat, and then two rounds in the big ring.  She looked decidedly better than last week, N was able to float her reins a bit, but Prair was still rather intrigued by everyone on the far side of the ring.  Small peek at the oxer set in front of the judge's booth, but otherwise pretty chill.  Usually we bring the mare out in between rounds just to reset and regroup, but N felt like she was calm enough that not only could they stay in but they could transition to the trot for their opening/closing circles rather than working through the walk.

I know that sounds like a super lame Hunter Detail, but with Prair being able to ask her to work and show her off a bit more is new... in the past we've utilized the walk for those extra precious seconds of calm and cool...  So, two rounds, both lovely aside from a couple peeks here and there.  Also new? No warm up classes, just straight to work.  A year ago I wouldn't have considered skipping the warm ups - but this week she didn't need them! (whee).

In an odd turn of events, Prair was a tad more tense in the Big Ring than she was in the smaller ring, but I think that's because her final two rounds were literally the last classes of the day and the wind was starting to pick up a bit making everything more... interesting.  Prair still looked lovely, and better than last week, just a tad more on edge than for her first few trips.

Our big success for those rounds was landing. every. lead.  That never happens.  Usually Prair prefers her left, and we end up with changes (albeit better ones!) to swap to the right.  It was really nice to see her following the reins and landing soft and ambidextrously.

Again, like last week there were two separate 2'9" divisions.  The one in the small ring (Low Working Hunter) and the one in the big ring (Schooling Hunter).  For some reason the division in the smaller ring was stacked with horses going in the rated divisions, and the division in the large ring was significantly less competitive.

Prair was rewarded for her efforts and came away with some good ribbons:

Wednesday Results:
Low Working Hunter 1        4th/10
Low Working Hunter 2        5th/10
Low Working Hunter U/S    1st/ less (not everyone hacked)
Schooling Hunter 1               1st/6
Schooling Hunter 2               1st/6

Thursday it all came together.  Prair looked spectacular, warmed up spectacular and I think gave us her best work yet.  She had two more rounds in the small ring and then her final two rounds and a hack in the big ring.

For her first couple of rounds N was even able to float the reins at the base of the jumps.  Prair was jumping up and through her back wonderfully and seemed totally chill and adjustable in between fences.  I was thrilled.  So cool to watch her finally start to understand her job and be proficient.  I think the decision to hold at 2'9" and have a confidence building week was a good one...

About an hour later Prair came back for her final two rounds in the big ring.  For some reason everyone joined the party and her classes were about twice the size they had been on Wednesday, plus we were in front of the judge who maybe didn't enjoy her quite as much... Mostly I decided I just wanted to finish the pro days on a solid, consistent performance and if Prair could do that I'd be a happy horse mom.

Boy, did she ever.  N laid down probably the most consistent two trips I've seen Prairie put in.  Her tempo was steady, she was easily moving up or holding to the fences, balancing herself... all in all just acting like a REAL HUNTER.  all grown up.  Sure it's only 2'9" but we'll get there.  I just love watching it.

The judge's must have seen some improvement from Wednesday to Thursday as well because Prair managed to pin highly in both rings - even taking a clean sweep of her Schooling Hunter division.  It was good enough for another championship along a reserve in the Low's.  That means 3 tri colors for three divisions (the low's didn't hack last week) and Prair's first tri-colors with N in the tack!

Hard to complain about a show that ends like that! The Boy and I made a quick exit after the final under saddle and somehow managed to still not be late to a cocktail event downtown less than two hours later.

I'm grateful I got to log some serious pony time before Miss Baby shows up, since we're looking to give Prair July off from showing, before hopefully being back on our feet to watch her go in August.

One final clip from the 3rd round in the Big Ring - so proud!

Thursday Results:
Low Working Hunter 3        3rd/10
Low Working Hunter 4        2nd/10
Schooling Hunter 3               1st/12 (more people joined the party)
Schooling Hunter 4               1st/12
Schooling Hunter U/S           1st/less (not everyone hacked)

Reserve Ch. Low Working Hunter 2'9"
Champion Schooling Hunter 2'9"

Pleased with herself


  1. Yay Prair! She just looks lovely in the videos. Huge improvement over the beginning of HITS with the pro in my humble opinion.

  2. So.Cool. That's a great update!!! Congrats! Can you do another baby post?? I am just so curious how you're prepping as you get near the big day! Just being nosy since I'm trying to get 'in foal' myself these days :P

  3. Woohoo Prair, she is killin it!
    Hope all goes well for HLL & that yourself and hubs enjoy the quiet before the storm and baby's arrival :-D

  4. Wow, those rounds were fantastic, especially remembering back to where she used to be. What a gorgeous mare you have! Good luck with all the baby preparing!!

  5. Wahoo! Congrats on all that satin goodness, and for Prair being a COMPLETE rock star :)

  6. Wow she looks amazing! Everything is coming together so nicely with her! As always I love watching her go :)

    The count down till little miss comes! :)

  7. Yay Prairie!! She is doing so great! Congrats on all the champions! :D She's been working so hard, I'm glad she gets to have July off. She will love that. I'm so excited about your baby and I can't wait to see pictures of her!


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