Monday, April 20, 2009

First Horse Show!

We went to our first show on Saturday and Bear was a super star! He was fine when we got out of the trailer, but the longer he stood there with three people rushing around trying to do horse show things the more he fed off that energy and got VERY antsy! Once I had him tacked up and over to the warm up ring to lunge, he was back to his usual self and was behaving despite being pretty hot. He relaxed a ton after lunging, and I had no worries about getting on. He was great. It never fails that there are a hundred unsupervised kids running there horses all over the place and trying the jumps in the warm-up only to have their horse bolt off sideways into traffic. Bear saw it all and was very patient with everyone!
Bear with his head sky-high checking out the horse show world
Our first class was walk-trot Pleasure First/Second Year Showing (for the HORSE). This isn't always made clear whether the novice/green applies to the horse or the rider, but at this show that had clearly marked in the program: pleasure= 1st/2nd year showing for horse, equitation=1st/2nd year showing for the rider. But its not regulated, and as I saw the riders move out of the line up, there were most definitely 10 year olds on seasoned show horses! Oh well! I really don't care that we didn't place! Even if there had been 8 of us, I still wouldn't have placed. But I had chosen the class specifically because I thought it would be small, and there were 16 other horses in it! Overall it was a very good warm up for him. He was very hot starting at the trot, and spent most of the time looking around with his giraffe head way up in the air! We had a couple good spots where he would come back to me and actually work on the bit for a few strides, but he is still very inconsistant. Training-wise I knew we weren't ready to really be competitive at a show, but experience-wise I wanted to get him out for this challenge.

Our second class was a walk-trot horsemanship pattern class. I was really proud of him with that one! My main goal was to keep him collected enough to not go all over the place on the circles, and trotted fairly round circles, and maintained a nice slow even trot. I was so excited with the first circle I took for granted that he would stop at the cone since that was supposed to be the easy part for us! I asked too soon and we stopped short, and then he didn't want to settle down into the halt and just kept dancing! So I finally gave up and just moved him into his pivot which started bad because of the dancing, but ended alright. Second circle not as good as the first but not shabby. Then the second halt was better, but not straight and I was so excited about showing off his backing skills that we backed WAY more than four steps! Oh well. All the mistakes were mine, and over all I was really pleased with his effort. And I have a video!

Our third (and exhausting final) class was equitation. Watching the couple classes ahead of mine gave me an idea that I was up for a challenge! I had just been talking to a friend earlier that day saying I felt out of shape because I hadn't risked doing work without stirrups on him yet, and of course that ended up being what the judge was asking for! The same friend happened to be at the gate when I went in and commented on my being very brave to do the class! It proved to be absolutely exhausting! Bear was pretty darn good, but kept trying to stop at the gate, so I guess he thought it was a good time to quit too! We were asked for a sitting trot, then sitting trot without irons, then back into a posting trot without irons, then pick up your irons at the trot, then two point, and finally an extension of the trot in two point. He wasn't a huge fan of the irons bumping his sides, so in our pictures of the no irons work his expression progressed from happy to slightly irritated. We were all grumbling and crabby by the end! I'm pretty good with eq classes at the schooling show level, but doing it on such a young horse was definitely more of a challenge! We ended up 5th out of 8 which is not bad at all!
Off to a good start

No irons!

Just trying to stay up in two point when my legs were SO tired.SO tired, and making a face about it! Although Bear seems fine.

Overall I was pleased with the day. He stood around for hours between classes, and he was very brave and sensible about it all. There was no running down ponies, no freakouts when horses came right up on his butt or cut him off, he was quiet in the line ups, overall SO good. I'm a proud mama!

1 comment:

fernvalley01 said...

Congrats looks like a great day!