Friday, November 13, 2015

First Event Derby

Flash back friday here.  This show happened after the two day Jan clinic( day 1 day 2).
Who really needs to touch the ground anyways
 My horse arrived at the show relaxed and ready for business.  After watching Sprinklerbandit put in a good test I went and tacked up.  Prisoner cracks me up, it doesn't matter where I trailer to, he is 100% patient until I start to put his bridle on, then he decides that it is time to walk somewhere as I fumble with the buckles.
Pony face
 I did lots of walking around in the warm up, letting him relax and find out that it shouldn't be stressful.  We did eventually walk, trot, and canter.  He stayed rideable and mostly unconcerned about the other horses.
Someone needs a smaller saddlepad
 Finally it was time to go in the ring.  Other than wanting to look and the tiny arena fence instead of where we were going, he was pretty good.
 He loved the free walk as he always does. I got a confusing score of 6 on it though, with the comment good stretch shown.  Ummm, a 6?

Still stretching
 I definitely left some points on the table.  Mostly due to getting a bit rushed here and there as well as having not practiced in an actually dressage arena and having questionable geometry.
Not really tracking up
Over all I was really happy with it.  I don't remember our exact score other than it was in the mid 30's.  No complaints there since I knew right where I could have fixed things and shaved more points off.

Derp face at the judge
Happy with the effort

I forgot my gloves, shame!
Courage and Bacon had stalls, so I figured that Prisoner could enjoy the trailer.  It wasn't too hot, and he had a nice full hay bag.  Then it was time to walk the xc course, peruse the tack store trailer, and cheer on friends before I tacked up again.  I typically get way more nervous in xc warm up than I do on course.  There is just such a mix of nerves and emotions from all the other riders, combined with the lack of control from some pairs.  Prisoner was perfect though, calm, controlled, jumping well.  Sprinklerbandit snapped this picture before I headed to the start box, it pretty much sums up how I was feeling, relaxed and uber happy.
Smiles for everyone
We headed over to the start box, chatting with friends, petting my horse, and suddenly it was time.  I had been envisioning this being the first event on our path rolex #dreambigmuch?  He came out questioning but willing.
We got this
The first few jumps were very simple logs, a great way to start the course.  Oh, by the way we were signed up for Beginner Novice (2'7").  We cantered between, but I chose to come back to the trot for the jumps so that he could feel his most confident.
Ears pricked, ready to go

We hadn't schooled this jump the day before

But he was still willing
It felt like things were really starting to roll along.  He was just a tiny bit sticky, but still willing to go forward when I closed my leg.
Green but going
 We had a nice canter into the next field, and coming into the blue barrels (back at the trot)  I actually can't remember if he spooked at the jump judges on the hill (or if a different horse in previous years did), this is what happens when you do a show write up 6 months after the fact.  Either way he jumped it well and we were on to the next jump.

It was a little coop that he had jumped on the very first try the day before.
This one
Well, right as he should have been going over it, he ran sideways.  I smacked him once with the whip and came back around, but he said game over here is my middle finger (hoof?), take me home.  I was kindof flabbergasted.  I pretended I couldn't hear the jump judge telling me to leave and proceeded to trot over cross rails on my circuitous route off the course.  This was a schooling show, with the specific mention that if you weren't dangerous you could finish the course.

We got this
While rather (wildly) disappointing and frustrating, it is horses.  I couldn't take it personally, it was just time to keep training and put one hoof in front of the others.  We had several successful jumps, and I hadn't felt my old enemy fear creeping in, so I would focus on those.  They say the good horses are never easy, so keeping that in mind we would live to fight another day.  The best part?  Being surrounded by friends (and watching Alyssa make her first Novice look like a freaking walk in the park)!
Giant bag of trail mix for the drive home?  Check.


  1. Trail mix makes everything better, especially when you get that perfect bite of peanut + raisin + M&M, right? Green beans are all about learning and testing the limits. You guys look say Rolex, I say Dressage Finals! Prisoner is fancy pants!

  2. That free walk was at least an 8 damnit. And that trail mix was also awesome. You know who else was awesome? You. He is figuring this thing out, thanks to you.

  3. frustrating end to an otherwise great day! good for you for taking the longer walk home (annoying and weird that they wouldn't let you finish...) and hitting another fence on the way. definitely good for hard thinking pony brain while he figures out that it's actually supposed to be fun! also yay for no fear!!

  4. 6 on that free walk?! Wtf! Sorry to hear it ended on not-so-great a note but lots of nice moments in there :)

  5. What a year for all of us! I forgot that was Alyssa's first novice. She did crossrails the year before. ;-)

    Give yourself some time. :-)

  6. Just one rough spot in an otherwise good day is nothing to worry about with a young horse. Sounds like a good experience all in all.

  7. Pity about the blip xc & the free walk 6, everything else sounds frickin awesome. He is such a legend because of the work you put in *hugs*