Thursday, October 2, 2014

HT summary

This past HT was my first experience hauling out to a show on my own. Sure, I haul out every weekend for lessons, but this felt different. On top of it, the barnmate who entered the show with me scratched a day prior with a lame horse. 

So as I drove to Isabel's barn in the pre-dawn of Sunday morning for my requisite chores... I experienced a somewhat overwhelming fit of the feels. I was planning to travel to this show alone, and would have one friend (a profesh horsewoman, thank god) meeting up with me in time for the jumping phases. 

That still left me with a few hours solo, including the time I'd need for course walks. To date, Iz had never been left on the trailer for any length of time, nor had I ever attempted tying her to the trailer. So... I felt a bit at sea. 

I calmed myself in the pre-dawn drive by saying: 'it'll all feel better when the sun is up and you are too busy with chores to care.' And guess what: this was true. 

also turns out that she ties. who knew?


Plus, it turns out there is a SERIOUS upside of being nice to the barn kids: they are downright giddy to be asked to accompany you to shows! That's right - I invited my fave 16 yr old barnmate and her friend to be my 'crew' at the event. And they were sooooo happy! 

My young barnmate is an accomplished-horsewoman-in-training, so I was comfortable leaving Isabel in her care during my course walks. And her friend (who hails from a horsey background but is new to the hands-on side of things) was there to prevent intense boredom. 

Phew. You have NO IDEA what a relief it was for me to have those extra hands confirmed. Next task on deck was PACKING. As is known, I haul out every weekend. But this was different. 


I wanted ALL OF THE THINGS at this event. Buckets? Yes, all of them. Folding chair? duh. Hay?? Yes. ALL of the hay. My grooming tote? Only if it's stuffed with candy canes



Stuffing the trailer was more of the same: tack? Yes. But... saddle? Uh, yes. Ok... but bridle too??? uhh, YESS. Then rider essentials... check check. and so much more hay??? double check. 

I knew I had dun good when the folks in the trailer next to us needed a hole punch and I could say "oh here, use mine!" Yesssss :)

Once we were on OF property, things settled nicely into gear. We set up shop quite close to the lesson shed, which meant that I used that 'normal for us' mounting block every time. Not sure it was even necessary tho - Isabel travels like a mofopro. 

Anyways, the 'showing off-property without a trainer' thing wasn't as big of a deal as I expected... Because the quick moments I *did* have with my trainers had seriously positive repercussions on my rides... so I can't really claim to be un-coached. Nor do I really want to.



I was also extremely pleased with Isabel's behavior. She never screamed or acted restless or spooky or anything around the trailer. And she stayed tied to the trailer (with a twine breakaway loop just in case) for about an hour on two separate occasions. 

This gives me a lot of confidence about future events. All in all, I'm not sure this event could have gone any better in the 'non-riding' aspect. I am SO THRILLED to be able to haul out on my own, and crew my own self. It's a lot more work, sure, but in a way more relaxing? 

Regarding the 'riding' aspect of it: there were some holes uncovered during our rounds. We have a lot of work to do - but nothing unexpected. 

This outing didn't necessarily show our abilities to the best of our potential, but it provided a true demonstration of our current level of training, on average. And that's what matters right?

20 comments:

  1. Wow, sounds like a great trip. Wonderful confidence builder. Iz looks pretty proud. Yay! Congrats on awesome day

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! it turned out better than i could have hoped - and Izzy is nothing if not proud lol :)

      Delete
  2. That's fantastic! You and Isabel have a good thing going there. Congratulations on a successful trip out all by yourselves!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to haul by myself to shows all the time. It's hard work, but there are a lot of bonuses too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. very cool! i never even really considered it to be possible before reading other bloggers who do it all the time like it aint no thang. turns out - it isn't!

      Delete
  4. Yay for a great time! It's hard going out by yourself sometimes! My dad started teaching me to drive the truck and trailer before I got my drivers' license; he stopped hauling me to shows as soon as I turned 16 LOL! Having a crew of tiny barn people is SUPER awesome- they can be so useful!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha i highly doubt anyone would have trusted my 16 yr old self with a rig lol... but seriously - idk what i would have done without the help - sooooo grateful!

      Delete
  5. The first show by yourself is pretty nerve-wracking. It's a lot of work, and it helps to have a horse that ties and is cool hanging out unattended (or having a stall for the day)... but, it's also great to know that you CAN DO IT! Plus, you don't have to share your beer with anyone if you don't want to. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks!! it's good for me to know what a cool customer isabel is now... who woulda thunk?

      and also - in my frantic preparations, can you believe i FORGOT the beer??? stupid maryland and its stupid blue laws: no buying packaged alcohol on sundays... next time i'll plan in advance lol

      Delete
  6. You are so badass. I would have been nervous without more support from a trainer at my first HT. Great job to you and ponykins for doing so well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aw thanks! it wasn't as nerve-wracking as i expected actually (esp knowing that they were around in case i needed help). i mean, we go through all these years of lessons, we must have *something* figured out, right?

      Delete
  7. You are so much braver than I! I've never trailered out on my own anywhere. You seem like you've got a great system in place and were able to enjoy it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! idk if it's bravery, or just working really hard to make it feel routine. who knows - maybe when i go off-property to somewhere that's actually new to me, maybe it'll feel different? but yes - systems definitely help!! :)

      Delete
  8. I can't imagine going to shows with a trainer or a lot of friends--it's hard enough keeping my micromanaging bitchiness to myself with just poor old Hubby around who knows the routine as well as I do. But I will say the actual physical act of hauling by myself still gives me the heebie jeebies. Kudos to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea... i am with you on wanting to micromanage.. and i definitely don't want to worry about entertaining folks who aren't familiar with horses while i'm busy scrambling about. i think the trick will be just figuring out who that 'core crew' is.

      and the hauling thing is no big deal! sure the first few drives are done white-knuckled, but just turn the music up loud enough so that you can't hear your opinionated mare scream every time you hit a bump, and it's smooth sailing ;)

      Delete
  9. Woohoo, congrats! It's always fantastic to overcome stressful stuff and come out smiling at the end. Congrats on your ribbon, and +5 for barn rats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! and i LOVE barn rats - mostly bc i enjoy treating them in the way that made *me* ecstatic when i was that age. i remember how special it felt when an adult let me handle their horses

      Delete
  10. Congratulations on a successful trip! And barn rats are definitely an essential part of showing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you!!! and the barn rats have already signed up to accompany me to any future events - yes!!

      Delete