Monday, June 16, 2014

Swiftwater - Day Two (and the rest of them..)

I really thought that with my job as "spectator" and "treat giver" I'd have so much down time on my hands I'd be blogging away with timely updates - but apparently not.  Also, I'm not sure if it's the nature of the hormones, or just that this is a total brain dump of unorganized memories from the show - but this might be a lackluster post.  I'll try to come up with some slightly more clever observations - but no promises!

We left off after Prair's first Pro Day which involved scratching the 3' rounds and pursuing the 2'9".  We still did both flats for the 3' divisions (go team), and ultimately ended up with two very respectable and dare I say attractive rounds at 2'9" along with great performances in the Under Saddles.

Very nice to see Prair get to work with N and do her job, as well as to see HLL give her such tactful rides in some rather crowded rings for the hacks.

Thursday we came out with the planning on two more 2'9" rounds in the second hunter ring, then two more rounds in the main ring for our "division" and an Under Saddle.

Once again, the rounds in the second ring were a tad edgy and Prair was extremely looky down the judge's line (mostly due some someone walking a dog on the dreaded far side of the ring...) but she held it together.

Her rounds in the main ring were better than the smaller ring but not quite as relaxed as day one.  I videoed the first round of the day (round three of the division) and you can see what I mean.

The fourth round was lovely mostly because I opted not to video it.  Prair snagged a 4th and a 1st for those last two rounds.

Finally we had an Under Saddle, which was uneventful since only 3 of the horses who jumped opted to hack.  Prair won the class and snagged a champion with an impressive 44 points.  I was a happy mama.

(short clip of the under saddle for posterity.. not actually exciting)

sidenote - some of you may remember that this show handed out beach towels for Champion last year... I have since cut mine up into groom rags but was thrilled to see that in addition to beach towels (not a fan) you could choose a gortex/fleecey blanket which was much appreciated given the thunderstorms and wicked breeze.  Hooray for functional prizes!  Actually they had LOVELY jackets, but that was for big fancy "rated" divisions only.. sigh.. next time!

Horse & Husband (husband dressed so I don't lose him apparently)
Long story short, Prair was much more manageable for the pro days than she was at this show last year.  Lots of the same issues - nerves about people/things outside the ring and anxiety in the crowded warmup ring and flat classes.. but much more manageable, and better quality work all the way around.

When I compare the videos they don't look that drastically different - but the mare is different.  She didn't take a 2 hour warm up, she wasn't rolling her eyes at the back gate, and able to stand and chill and hang out like a grown up horse.  Overall less anxiety - but maybe still not 100% in the ring..

Results from Pro Days:

2'9" Warm up                       2nd/4
2'9" Warm up                       3rd/4
Pre Green Under Saddle       1st/12
Large Hunter Under Saddle   1st/13
2'9" Warm up (Big Ring)       1st/5
2'9 Schooling Hunter 1          1st/5
2'9 Schooling Hunter 2          1st/5

2'9" Warm up                       6th/7 (OOPS)
2'9" Warm up                       2nd/6
2'9 Schooling Hunter 1         4th/7
2'9 Schooling Hunter 2         1st/7
Schooling Hunter US            1st/3

Friday was Equitation Day, which was maybe not Prair's favorite thing.  She was entered in the 2'6" Pre Adults and had some very tense rounds, complete with a few stops, which is a new thing.  Fortunately the Long Stirrup ran later in the day, so after a break back at the stall, they came out for another couple rounds which looked light years better.  I think Prair really benefits from having a "second" ride.  Whether it's because she has an early hack, or because her classes are spread out - she always seemed significantly less irritable the second time she is ridden.

So a note was made, and the mare got hacked early Sat morning before Hunter rounds.  The schedule was reversed, so the 2'3" stuff ran first, and we entered her in a warm up just to see how she was.... if she was tense, we could add more classes, if she was good - she'd go back and wait for her 2'6" stuff at the end of the day.
Prair and HLL 
Turns out she was pretty good! Even snagging a respectable 3rd in a big open class of 18.  Definitely an improvement over Friday... so the mare got to go snooze and enjoy some nap time.

I had promised The Boy we'd "leave early" on Saturday and have most of our weekend at home... but I lied.  We ended up sticking around to watch Prair's 2'6" rounds (a warm up, two Hunter rounds and one Medal).  She was much better for all of her rides and managed to place 3rd (again) out of 18 in the warm up, then 7th in both hunter rounds (out of 16) and took first in her medal (!).  there was also an Under Saddle at the end of the day... I didn't stick around for it, but she got second (behind another barn mate) which apparently made sense given her rather obvious objections to the traffic in the ring.

Get over it mare.

We weren't there to witness the end of the week with the final two rounds on Sunday, but apparently all was well and they finished the division with a 4th and a 2nd in a fairly large field.  (apparently the Pre-Adults are where it's at).

I was also happy to hear they got to go on a nice long trail ride afterward and unwind a bit from a (very) busy first week of showing.

This week I'll pop back up to watch pro days, but probably won't stay to watch the weekend, although last week the barn had five horses in the derby (three with juniors/ammys!) who finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 9th!.  Made for a very awesome victory lap and added some serious heft to the ribbon wall with all those neck ribbons!  So... it's possible I'll have to stick around to watch that again, but we'll see.


  1. What a great first week!! Congrats!

  2. What a show set up - love the colours!!!
    Yay on Prair doing better with a year showing under her belt - what a star!


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