Friday, May 16, 2014

Show Day 1 (return to the big, bad, indoor)

Turns out pregnancy brain and horse show brain are a terrible combination.  (have I already started a post with that sentence? can't remember... sigh).

I am about as spacey as spacey gets.  It's fairly tremendous, thankfully I am no longer trying to remember any courses for myself, as I'm pretty sure that even a rudimentary line-diagonal-line-diagonal pattern would be impossible for me to figure out (wait... what?).

Even sitting in the stands and watching 20 horses repeat the same three rounds I couldn't keep track of what course was the Large Hunter round and what courses were the Pre Green.  Not exactly an impressive showing.

Fortunately for me, neither Prairie nor my trainer are pregnant, so they had less brain interference assuming I stayed out of the way.
The gerbils don't need any help.
Apparently Prair was a bit of a disaster on schooling day, and still a bit of a disaster during an early 6am ride on show day.... Not exactly the best set up.  She looked pretty good when she came out for warm up, but a crowded ring (shared with Jumpers.. Prair discriminates against them apparently) along with some wind gusts billowing a giant tarp made for a less than relaxing start.  

Finally, N called it, figured she would be better off spending a few quiet moments at the back gate and we headed for the ring.

The first round was her Large Hunter round.. and it was not so bad! there were a few nice jumps, and Prair seemed pretty responsive and willing to re-balance after each fence.  The two stride was set on her harder lead, and coming home... so that was maybe not our best, but she managed it better than in shows past.  She almost jumped it like a normal horse, rather than squirting through it!

She had a couple minutes before her first Pre Green round, which to me looked a bit more on the muscle, but N was overall happier with.  Our only real issue was that Prair stalled a bit coming into the diagonal line and N opted to add and stay relaxed rather than goose her and make it.  I think that was the right decision, given Prair's mental state...

Finally, the second Pre Green round I thought was her best.  Her pace seemed pretty even, and although she wanted to invert a bit over a few fences, her single jumps were all nice and slow and round and soft.  So that's neat. I think she scored a 72 on this round... I missed the score on the first PG, but with the add I'm sure it wasn't spectacular...

Prair also had her hacks for both the Large's and the Pre Greens.  The divisions were large.. approx 20 in the large's and 15 in the PG (they ended up adding the 3'3" PG's to the 3' division).

As much as I love how my horse moves an I know she's "fancy," I'm often nervous in her hacks and worried she looks too strung out/on her forehand/'not engaged/etc.

Not this time.  She looked AMAZING.  more self carriage than I've seen, lots of spring to her lovely step and nice and relaxed while maintaining her shape.

So, naturally I was flabergasted when she pinned 6th in the first class.  6th.

Her worst hack ribbon ever.

That is until she got 7th in the Pre Green hack right after.


I know the Under Saddle is a massively subjective class, but even the gal who pinned first (on a cute but not very impressive bay) looked confused at the placings.

Oh well, not our judge, not our day.  In a way we pinned so low that I was able to ignore the placing and focus more on how happy I am with how the mare is going.  If she had pinned 3rd or 4th I'd be scratching my head and wondering what the hell was up, but 6th and 7th? Weird.

Just so I don't sound like a total ribbon whore, it's not that I always expect a blue on the flat... but it's weird when you're showing against all the same horses and different judge's put you in such a different order... but welcome to Hunter Land! population: CRAZY).

So that was our first day.  Some tension, lots of success and not so many ribbons....

On to the next!


  1. Most of the time in the U/S they will still pin the not so fancy horse higher over something more fancy if the not so fancy horse was doing well over fences, to preserve the fact that we are rewarding division champions for jumping, not just hacking. Anyways that is one way to look at it (and I got that perspective from a 'R' judge)

  2. Hacks are so subjective. A lot of them are really picky about way of go with headset and such. I know Prair goes with more collection (just from seeing some of your videos), so maybe the judge didn't like that? It's impossible to figure out. I agree with hunterland = population crazy!

  3. I automatically dislike any judge that thinks Prairie is less than perfect. Hell, half the time I think you're too critical. ;-) I love her from a distance, what can I say?

  4. U/S is so, so subjective. Even which division you're in comes into play sometimes for some judges.

  5. Boooo for subjective judges!

    Heres to a better day 2 :)

  6. Hey admiring your horse and being proud of how far she's come is better than a ribbon anyway hehe. She looks fabulous!


Related Posts with Thumbnails