Tuesday, April 15, 2008

JCHSS Show Number 3

The show was originally scheduled for Saturday, so Friday night I spent hours at the barn scrubbing all that white and trying to curry out as much remaining winter hair as I could. She sure holds on to that hair, especially the really long ones! We're almost there, though. I clipped her legs, her ears, her face, and as many of the long hairs as I could to make her presentable. Finally, after her mane was banded we were ready for Saturday!

I got done with her around 6:50 pm. Since she had been such a patient and wonderful girl, AND it was her birthday, I took her to the green grass patch and let her eat. I figure we better take advantage of it while it is still green! I think that was her favorite part of the evening. Imagine that... Since rain showers were in the forecast, I called the show hotline at 7:00 pm to see if we were still on. As it turned out, the show was rescheduled for Sunday. I wish they'd call it before 7, since by then I'm all done cleaning her up! So I turned my spiffy white horse out into the pasture Friday night and asked her politely not to roll, get dirty, or rub her bands out.

Saturday I made the trip back to the barn with my fingers crossed. The gorgeous sun and warm weather had turned into clouds and cold wind. Good thing the show was rescheduled! I found Lilly almost clean... not bad considering it was wet and muddy. She had some dry dirt on her back that came off quite well thanks to the ShowSheen. I had to redo a couple bands, but for the most part she was "good enough". It was way too cold to bathe her again, so into the stall she went, but this time with her Slinky hood to help hold down those day old bands.

I arrived at the show grounds at 10:00 am. I don't know why I get there so early. It just means more standing around for Lilly but since this is still so new to her, it is good for her to be able to watch a lot of the activities. While we waited for the jumping classes to finish, I signed up for my 7 classes, got some nachos for lunch and longed Lilly for a bit. She seemed much calmer than she did at the last show. Hopefully she's getting used to this and the newness is wearing off!

I got my english tack out of the trailer, tacked her up and went off to do some riding around. It was a new saddle, a new bridle, new girth, and a new bit. I couldn't wait to ride her around and see how it all felt. As we were walking along, though, she kept shaking her head like she had a bug bothering her. Then, she started twitching her withers, and eventually did one of those whole body shakes we all love so much. After putting my feet back in my irons and putting my butt back in the seat, I asked her to walk off again. She started swishing her tail, pinned her ears, and looked down right annoyed. Then she started swishing her tail, shaking her head, and did another whole body shake. At this point, I got off, pulled the saddle off, checked the pad, and checked her back. All looked well, but I walked her back to the trailer to switch bits and girths. I had another bit I wanted to try and I thought maybe she'd like the new bit better and thought maybe the new girth was pinching her, since it was leather and her other one was cloth. No such luck. Our second trip out she acted the same way. This girl was trying to tell me something! I figured I'd better listen before she started telling me in a louder way (ie with a good buck)! My great friend, Teri, offered me the use of her english saddle to see if maybe the new saddle was bothering her. She wasn't fond of Teri's saddle either but at this point could already have been pinched enough that she was just sore. I just don't know! Needless to say, I scratched my Hunt Seat classes. I'll be riding her later in the new saddle at the barn to see how she reacts to it. I'm thinking maybe it is too narrow...

Just to make sure I wasn't going to have to scratch all my riding classes, I threw the western saddle on her and rode her around. She seemed perfectly fine in western, thank goodness. Since my first class was showmanship I untacked her and got dressed. The nice, warm morning had turned into a windy, chilly afternoon, and when the sun went behind the clouds, it was down right cold! Maybe one of these shows we'll have nice weather for the western classes. The first show I went to took so long that western was held in the dark. That makes taking pictures tough! Then, at the show before this one, western got rained out. It was POURING and then the lightening came. This show counted as double points for the western classes thanks to that rain.

Showmanship went pretty good. There were only 5 horses in the class, though. I was hoping for more because unless I placed first in the class I knew I wasn't going to get any PAC points. We had to walk to the first cone, back 3 steps, trot to the second cone, do a 270 degree turn and then walk to the judge for inspection. When we stopped trotting to do our pivot, my lead fell from my hand a bit. I just hoped the judge didn't see it. So that was my bad... Guess I need to hold on tighter! Lilly was perfect and even backed nice and straight. I'm guessing he saw my goof because we placed 3rd behind a horse that didn't pivot... I can't figure out why else he would have dropped us. I read an article the other day that said judges are looking for my legs to be in sync with Lilly's legs, and ours aren't. I might have to practice that and see if it gets us some extra points.

My next class was halter. 7 horses in this class, and they were all really nice. Lilly and I usually don't place well in halter. In fact, we're usually second to last, no matter how many horses are in the class. She usually places above the horse that is obviously going to be last. So I didn't figure this one would be much different. She was such a good girl, too! She even fell asleep in line waiting to be inspected. I'm thrilled that she was that relaxed. Then I was even MORE thrilled when we were called 3rd! I was actually a bit stunned and was waiting for them to correct their mistake (that's happened to me twice!) but they never did. She really placed 3rd out of 7 nice looking mares and geldings. All this riding must be toning those muscles of hers! Of course, I needed way more than 7 horses in the class to get a PAC point. Oh well...

After the halter class, I ran her back to the trailer to get her tacked up. I always rush, and then I end up waiting a while. I'm just afraid of being late! This picture illustrates what I did for quite a bit of time Sunday. Even Lilly got tired of waiting and started yawning! Again, I'm thrilled that she's that relaxed. I'm waiting for the day when I have to wake her up and work to get her moving. Oh how I'll love it.

My first riding class was a GAYP class (go as you please). We don't have those up north, so it took me a bit to figure out the rules. They mix a lot of trot/jog, lope/canter classes here. If you go in walk/jog classes, you can also enter lope/canter classes. I'm not used to that. When I showed in Michigan, it was one or the other. You couldn't do both. Lilly and I, of course, are choosing jog for our second gait in the GAYP class and we're entering the walk/jog classes. We aren't quite ready to wow everyone with our lope yet (LAUGH!). She actually did fairly well in the class. She jogged pretty slow and we weren't passing everyone. Her head carriage wasn't where I wanted and I had to remind her to put it down pretty frequently, but she was much better at this show than at the last one. I'm pretty sure there were 10 horses in the class. I'll have to update the number when the show results are on the JCHSS web site. We ended up placing 5th! I think this was our first non-given ribbon. In other words, we didn't get a ribbon just because they place up to 8 horses. Such a good girl!

The last class of the day for us was walk/jog open. I was in there with kids of all ages and there were 11 horses total. We were instructed to enter the ring and find a spot on the rail. Well, Miss Thing wasn't keen on standing still in her spot, so we ended up dancing in all different directions until the announcer told us to go ahead and walk. I'm pretty sure they don't start judging until the announcer tells us to walk, but I'm sure the judge saw our ballroom dancing. She was a bit antsy the entire class and pretty much refused to set her head. Perhaps she was done showing for the day? Hard to say, but it was no surprise when we didn't place. My friend, Teri, did a nice job. Her horse, Jack, is such a good boy. I think they placed pretty well in all the classes they entered. She even stuck around to do a horsemanship class and trail. I might get as adventurous as her one of these shows. Lilly pretty much dictates what classes we enter at this point. I don't think she's ready for patterns yet. At least not the kind that requires her to be under saddle.

One month to go till the next show... I'd better get cracking! I'm starting lessons up again next week and hopefully Rob can help me figure out what to do with her when she gets uneasy and excited.

Stay tuned...

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