The weather was junk though. I hate riding in the rain. I do dumb things in the rain. Combine that with the fact I hadn’t ridden a line in well over a week… well I was nervous.
Before I get into the actual showing part of the day I’d like to discuss preparation.
Step 1: arrive at show early and go check on horse.
Step 2: rescue barn from horse that is pissed off he isn’t out eating grass.
Step 3: take horse on walk to ring where friends are hanging out.
Step 4: have friend carrying around big thick socks joke that she should put them on horse’s ears.
After the above picture was taken it started to rain. And then kept raining all day. Luckily it was mostly a light rain so the footing in the ring I was to show in held up quite well.
Once I got on my horse for the warm up round
all almost all my worries went away. Tuck seemed to know that it was a show (or he was just sick of siting in his stall). He felt forward and powerful and the footing was fast. I knew that he’d be there for my requests to move up in the lines and not be bogged down.
Trot across the diagonal to the centre, walk, pick up trot to left, at the corner pick up right lead canter… yep we did it again. Seems to be our tradition. At least one course must start on the wrong lead. I called Tuck a brat and fixed it (the judge was in ear shot so I refrained from swearing). We went on to lay down a really good course. Got all the striding, lead changes and distances. Surprisingly we ended up pinning 3rd for this round. I guess the judge ignored our lead snafu.
Trot across the diagonal, insist Tucker keep the proper shape, pick up right lead (yay) and again hit every distance, make the striding and get every lead. We pinned 4th for this round.
Course 3: Equitation over fences. Right rein to black quarter line, to green oxer, to blue vertical bend to red oxer, to green vertical, rollback to blue oxer, to outside 5 stride, to grey quarter line. Same start as the previous course. No problem picking up the right lead. And that’s when I knew I wasn’t going to have an easy ride. I lost the power steering. Tuck decided that he knew what was going on and he was in charge.
Not a great time for that to happen! the course was full of turns. The first fence was okay, I caught him off guard with the inside turn to the green oxer, so that was okay. But then his little brain started turning and we had a late lead, and then a really hard time getting him to turn to the diagonal. The bending line took some work to turn him to the right fence. I was slightly panicked about the lack of steerability. This is not a good way to go into a rollback.
What I actually did: forget to ride away from the jump, screw the lead, panic he’s going to take over and jump the green oxer, turn early, don’t hold out for straight line, lose rhythm, end up only about 2 strides from the blue oxer, squeeze with all my power, pull the back rail.
We made it over but it was ugly!!!! From the the rest of the course was fine. Whether Tuck was taking mercy on me or it was back to normal straight lines I don’t know. We ended up placing 6th out of 7 for this round and only because one woman went off course.
After our flat lesson on Tuesday I was ready to kick some butt in our flat classes. Just before the start of the equitation on the flat I took Tuck down to the warmup ring. I focused on packaging him up with contact and driving him forward into the contact.
I always say that I’m not an eq rider. I just don’t ride pretty enough. But I focused, I tired to stay tall and be as quiet as possible. Every now and then (when the judge wasn’t looking at us) I’d remind Tuck with a little check of the rein where he should be. And can you believe it we pinned 4th out 7. Yay!!!
Back in for the hack class. I packaged Tuck back up and then leaned a bit forward and advanced my hands. He dropped long and low and continued to go around on a loopy rein. Again every now and then I’d package slightly and then advance my hands to get him to move back out. Again we placed 4th out of 7. Yay!!!