January saw an onslaught of gear for the new horse. We bought, we oiled, we reviewed, we used. It was fun. I set some goals for Windsor and myself and we started making plans.
I also realized that in the first two months of riding, Windsor had yet to be a jerk. He was even, polite and proving himself to be a trustworthy amateur partner, something I had never really experienced. Such. A. Dude.
We start working on our foundation. Lots of lateral work, lots of small courses. Lots of adjustments for yours truly. Windsor gets stronger and seems to enjoy the work (even if there were no 1.40m fences in sight..)
March saw the start of show season. Windsor was prepped, I realize we have a nearly entirely new wardrobe for the show ring, and we get ready for California.
Prairie found a new home as a mama.
|love you. miss you.|
We dig into Windy's holes in his training and explain that yes he really does have to carry a 12' stride even if we were going slower than he was used to, but all the work paid off well when we got to Blenheim and had a great first show out together.
We start off with another week down at Blenheim. I move up to the 2'9" and Winds kept marching around the 3' Pre Green Ring.
We figure out he is NOT spooky or silly (while cantering through a herd of geese on course). In fact, he's a really, really easy horse to show. I still feel like I am driving on the wrong side of the road, but I get some confidence.
At home we rest, enjoy some cold rainy days and formulate the rest of our season.
We continue on quest to strengthen Winds' topline and get me to stop bracing my g*d d*mn hands. It's a struggle.
We go North to show for one week at Thunderbird. Windsy moves up to the 3'3" Pre Greens, I show the 2'9". He gets reserve in everything. Points for consistency?
And it rains.
(Apparently I only blogged about shows... huh).
June it felt like everything started coming together. We show two weeks up in the mountains, and Winds was a stud. He claimed his first championship in the 3'3" Pre Greens, won my Classic in the 2'9" and entered his first derby, and WON IT.
I nearly died. All of my horsey dreams came true in one show. All of them.
The second week, he managed reserve in the combined Pre Greens, Champion in my division and another blue in another Derby. We probably should have retired right then and there.
I start to realize that Winds is maybe part unicorn.
Windsy gets some down time, enjoys the big, grassy field all day and gets ready for a week of showing up at Milner Downs.
Milner is fun. It feels like camp. Everyone is nice, the field is gorgeous and the staff is so welcoming.
Oh, and Windsy goes Champion in the Pre Green and Champion with me in the 2'9". We skip our Eq and enter the Canadian Derby. He pulls down a score of 100 and claims second place.
Somehow we end up winning more money than the show cost and I go home with MONEY IN MY POCKET. I didn't know that was a thing that could happen. (It doesn't happen again)
I lose my brain and add an extra show in August. We show two days at Evergreen Classic in the PG and the Derby. Winds is TOTALLY off his game in his division and just looks bored and blah.
|Cutest Trot fence ever.|
Then he had a week off to enjoy grass before hauling back to Thunderbird for two more weeks. We get lots of reserves (again) both in the Pre Greens and my divisions. but the Headliner is definitely another 2nd in another Canadian Derby, and another 3rd in another USHJA Derby.
Dude has some Derby Chops.
September we (again) took it easy until Zone Finals, which we hauled into for two days only. Windsor told us he didn't mind showing indoors, and once again, got a little casual about his job at 3'3". He had two GREAT rounds, and two crap rounds which sort of blew up the division.
We spend ALL of October at home, which is the first month without a show since February. I realize this is INSANE and we relish our routine at home. Not a lot happens. I'm traveling, Winds rests and we lose a bit of our fitness (or at least I do).
We head to Cali for two weeks in Paso Robles. Gorgeous show park (aside from the tarantulas), great footing and lovely weather made for a really nice capstone to the year. Winds and I put in some really solid rounds and I feel totally ready for the move to the AA's in 2017.
Winds manages to win the USHJA Pre Green Challenge as well as snags 3rd a big National Derby.
Life plays catch up with us and Winds isn't the center of attention for a few weeks. We've been working on lots of flat work, poles and extra carrots. Nothing too exciting, but that's fine by me.
Points lock in for USEF and WSHJA, and it looks like Winds will be the Zone 9 HOTY 3'3" Pre Green as well as Zone Reserve for National Derbies.
|Also, Champion Supermodel|
Definitely a fairy tale year full of lots of learning and great opportunities to show. I'm not sure our schedule will ever allow us to be on the road so much again, so I'm glad I've got lots of ribbons and pictures and videos to commemorate such a rare and uninterrupted season!