Naturally, because we had show plans mother nature decided to dump one or two more inches of snow on us, despite it being officially spring. Nbd tho - show day dawned beautiful with the expectation of sun and highs in the upper 50s. We'll take it!
In typical schooling show fashion we spent a lot of time waiting around. Isabel was a total pro tho (shocking exactly nobody) and hung out with me in the arena (dozing, actually) while I spectated and encouraged B through her two divisions: baby green and green horse. For a schooling show these divisions were surprisingly competitive - 12 horses each!! I was sure they would split the classes, but nope. B and Wick held their own tho - three 6th place ribbons and one 5th, all for over fences classes.
'what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine too' - isabel
(she has her own hay net in the trailer!)
Then came a quick schooling break where I warmed up amid approx. 15 other horses (who all could only track left, apparently? except, of course, when they were jumping this way and that with no warning...) and hopped a couple fences. Isabel was very relaxed and paid zero attention to the traffic and didn't look at anything. I jumped everything, called it a win, and headed back to the trailer to wait out the next two divisions before ours.
she is her own bridle rack lol
I entered the equitation division because it was the only one where every fence was set at 2'3"... the other options were intro hunter (2'-2'3") and low hunter (2'3"-2'6"). Right now I need to hammer into my brain that 2'3" is nbd. So really we should't be jumping anything less. And 2'6"? Soon. But not yet. Plus I thought that going the equitation route might mitigate any bias against Isabel's decidedly non-hunter way of going.
'mmmm hay.... wait, are you taking pictures?' -isabel
And actually for a couple hot minutes I thought we might be the only ones in the division. I was chatting with other riders warming up in the outdoor while we waited, and none seemed to be doing equitation, except for one ADORABLE girl (in a super chic pale jacket with matching brown CO helmet - snazzy!) and her pony, but she was just going to flat. Can we say champion of a class of one??? Haha... it was a fun thought while it lasted... :)
our two courses
Sadly we ended up having actual competition... tho oddly it was a slightly different set of riders in each class.
I thought our first course went pretty well. The first few fences came up very nicely in stride, tho Isabel was not playing the lead game very well so we had to do our little simple change song and dance after almost every fence. At least I avoided any cross cantering tho - a common struggle for us.
The lines were measured as either a balanced 5 or a going 4, and I opted to balance. The second line coming home tho I was a little late in my efforts and we had the rail. Then I rode her to a terrible distance at the barrels and we kinda ate it... which bummed me out bc SO MANY horses were spooking and refusing the barrels, and Isabel really gave zero fucks about it and I kinda wanted to show that off... Oops. Instead she just had to bail me out with a fugly jump. Oh well. We took third in that class (of 3).
Next course started at the barrels... and, well, we pretty much ate it again, and fence 2 too for good measure. Ughhhhhh sorry mare!! At least she kinda just tuned me out and took the longer distance when things got hairy (she says, 'hang on emma i got this!').
We were at least much better about leads tho. I pretty much figured we were not placing in this class after those first two jumps (esp since our class size had ballooned to 7-8) and commenced chatting w Izzy through the rest of the course, which actually went ok - including the 5 stride line home.
Then it was time for our flat class. Isabel thought we were jumping again and started a bit braced, and Judge caught us trotting at a moment when she was quite against my hand... but she settled soon and even stretched a bit on a relatively loopy-ish rein. Judge caught us again at the first canter when we misfired after getting run into the wall. Judge did not look at us again throughout the whole class... (trust me I was checking haha).
yep this about sums it up lol
So I knew we wouldn't pin. For the record tho, Isabel was LOVELY. She has discovered how to stretch at the canter (how long have I been bemoaning our canter woes??) and it just brings the biggest grin to my face.
we don't need ribbons to know she's a champ :)
I left the ring a little bummed, but reminded myself that this experience was all about mileage - and that my goal of boosting confidence at 2'3" was successful. I checked w B about the placings for course 2 (announced while I was flatting) just in case we maybe pulled out a ribbon. She handed me some 2nd place satin. WHAT?!?
feel free to chime in if you agree (or disagree) with the judge, and why!
In any case we had a really great time. It was a long day and the horses were very happy to be home again after it was all said and done. But I feel like both did a great job for showing in a different discipline, and I always enjoy the occasional return to my roots :)