Saturday, March 21, 2009


What a day...

It started out quite cold this morning and was, of course, windy. The turnout at the show was impressive. I'm not sure where all those people came from! Needless to say, we waited and waited and waited for our first class. I arrived at about 10:30 and had time to clean Lilly up, eat a pack of chocolate donuts, band her mane, clean out my trailer, eat a thing of nachos, and then sit around watching all the other horses, before I even thought about getting dressed. When it was finally time for halter class it was about 1:30. During the 3 hours of waiting, Lilly the porker went through 3 flakes of hay. This is important later in the story...

Halter Class:
13 horses, we didn't place. Poor Lilly... I think it hurt her feelings that we didn't at least get 8th place! I reassured her that she was quite beautiful and the judge didn't know what he was doing.

English Showmanship:
Today we had a really wonky pattern. Picture 3 cones in a row, the 3rd cone a bit farther from cone 2 than cone 1 is from cone 2. So cone 1 and 2 are about 4 horse steps apart and cone 2 and 3 are about 10 horse steps apart. So we had to start at cone 2 and back to cone 1. Then from cone 1 we had to trot past cone 3 and do a big loop and come back to cone 3. It wasn't a circle, though, it was like a giant tear drop. Then when we got back to cone 3 we had to stop, do a 360, then walk to the judge for inspection. Lilly did a pretty good job. She backed really well and took right off when I asked her to trot. The tear drop was a bit crazy, though, and she nearly ran me over. Her pivot was decent... she's still not 100% with the new pivot and moved her foot at the last minute. On the old foot she was automatic and I never had to worry. Now I have to pay closer attention and help her along. We're getting there, though! So we ended up with 3rd out of 9. 1 more PAC point for me!

As far as the riding classes go, I think Lilly did a fantastic job. She didn't stomp her feet when we were on the rail waiting for the other class to leave! It was amazing, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. (I did work on it a bit at home, but she just tends to stomp when she's pissed) She didn't jump into the trot like a lunatic and moved right out at the trot. I was happy with her head set (even though it looks high and not level in the picture) and rode her with looser reins than usual. It tends to calm her... When I asked her to go low with her head, she would. It would eventually come back up, but would go right back down when I asked. I was really happy with her performance. I think she did better today than at any other show. Such a good girl!!

The classes were HUGE and one was split into 3 heats of 15. We were in the finals for one of the classes but never did place in any of them. It was easy to pick the top 3 horses, though, because the same horses were 1, 2, and 3 in ALL of them.

Western Showmanship:
Our pattern was only slightly better in western than in english. That tear drop pattern sucks! HAHA! Guess I know what I need to work on... jogging circles! She moved her foot during her pivot but stopped perfectly square when we stopped for inspection. I thought that might get us bonus points, but apparently not. We got 4th out of 8.
Like any good judge should, this one seemed to actually look at the horse and how well they're groomed. He pointed out to one girl that her horse had some shavings on his belly and that's why she didn't win. I'm sure my 'white' horse was counted down for being dirty and having red clay and remnants of green crap all over her legs. Not to mention the dirt marks from the saddle. If only she didn't have white legs and white hair right where the saddle sits. Guess she wouldn't be much of a tobiano then, though...

This brings me to my next point. Well, I actually have a couple. I need to rant...

I went to the show today alone. Just me and my horse. While I don't mind, as I've done it a million times before, it tends to suck in certain instances. I tend to wonder what would happen if I got hurt and couldn't drive home... Aside from that, I see moms and friends tending to horses in the make up arena. They're brushing tails, cleaning boots, offering drinks, or running back to the trailer to get something. They're there to say, "Hey! Your number is on upside down!" Or better yet, they're the one that puts your number on, so you know it's on right! They spiff up your horse after hunt seat GAYP while you change into your western clothes for showmanship. When you step out of the trailer, your horse is ready to go, western halter and all! My boyfriend tries to be helpful when he tags along, but he just really doesn't know what to do because he didn't grow up at horse shows. I could shout orders at him all day, but that's not cool either. So even when I do have company, I usually just ask them to take pictures and occasionally help out with the little things.

This is all going somewhere, I promise...

Today I could have used a horse savvy buddy.

Picture this: I have a Paint. Her legs are white, her butt cheeks are white, and she's been eating lovely green hay all day long. She has also taken a dump in each and every class so far, twice at the trailer, and I've scrubbed her ass twice already. As we're trotting around the ring, I feel her back round up and I can see in her shadow that she's taking another dump. (Click on the riding picture above and check out her back legs... you can see the manure all over them!) Yay... It's my last riding class of the day and I have 2 classes between this class and my western showmanship class. This means I have to hurry to clean the shit off her legs, unsaddle her, change my clothes, get her haltered up, and be ready right at the start of my class because I'm 2nd to go for showmanship. I get her back to the horse trailer and assess the damage. She has managed to cover her entire back legs with bright green crap. Not only is it running down her cheeks, but both hocks are covered, the backs of her cannons look as though I painted them green, and the insides of her ankles are covered too. On top of that, her tail has been crapped upon and somehow she managed to get it all over the underside of her tailbone. So as we were trotting along, her tail was working like a windshield wiper to smear the shit all over the outsides of her cheeks. Fantastic... So I pull the saddle and work to clean as much of her legs as I think I have time for. Next, I hop in the trailer to get dressed. Now... my showmanship shirt zips in the back. There is a zipper from top to bottom and the only way to get that sucker on is to unzip it completely. So I have my arms in it now and I'm trying to zip it behind my back, without being able to see. I tried to pull it to the side to see the zipper bottom and managed to put the zipper together and work it all the way up to my neck. Next, I was bending over to try and get my boots on when I hear "ZIP"! I turn around to look in my tiny mirror and see that the back part of my zipper has just come apart. It is at this point that I realize it wasn't zipped as well as I thought it was. Have you ever had a gym bag or something that gets its zipper messed up? Remember how NOT easy is it to try and get that zipper all the way back to the beginning again to try and start over? Now imagine doing it with your hands behind your back... I got it about half way back down and it was stuck. It didn't help that I was in a huge hurry, but I was starting to think I wasn't going to be able to do showmanship because I wouldn't be able to get dressed in time! I contemplated doing the Incredible Hulk move and ripping the darn thing off! Reality hit, though, when I remembered how much I paid for the shirt...

So I took a deep breath and managed to get the shirt off and rezipped, and had a 'presentable' horse for showmanship, just barely. But it sure would have been nice to have some help today. Sometimes I feel like a schmuck because I always end up going to these things alone....

So I leave you today with my 'mean mug' face. It pretty much represents the day.

There was a professional photographer today at the show, so I paid $45 for a CD of 12 images. I think they turned out pretty good, and I hate going home without pictures!


  1. Hey you! Been wondering how things are going!

    Well boo that your day didn't go that well. But you did get some cute pictures (the first one is so cute!) and you seem pretty happy with Lillys performance, yeah! Sucha good girrrlll. Shes got a nice reach in her trot pic!

    That english pattern sounds RIDICULOUS you should be very proud of the third! Teardrops are obviously evil, lol.

    Lol that paragraph about her poo!! Gosh she didn't make it easy for you did she?? And I don't know HOW you got that showmanship shirt on, you deserve an award! I would have had a hissy fit!! You should have walked out of the trailer and found the nearest person and said uh, a little help?? LOL

    I wish we were only a few hours away instead of a LOT. I SO would have come and been your horse buddy! That would have been so fun.

    Congrats on your 3rd and 4th! More pretty ribbons to put up ;) I bet you were tired that night!! Doing all that changing of tack/clothes ect, my mom and I rode for not even an hour Sat just down the trails and I was so tired!! (well, with Dixie its more like a fight down the trails, haha)

    okay shutting up now, TTYL!

  2. I can't believe you've already had two shows and I haven't even been to one! *jealous!*

    I'm glad to hear she did well in her riding classes! :D Sounds like you had a wonky judge day. :(

    I know what you mean about not having horse partners!! My parents sometimes come to shows but I have been by myself several times. Even if they do come, they don't know very much so the most I can ask of them is to zip things and hold stuff. I don't even like them holding the horse. >>; I don't have ANY horsey friends here because I don't board and I don't go to a trainer's, so when I want to rant about horsey things... I have the internet! I have never known what it was like to be around people my age who ride until I went to college! And then I left... and here I am again. What I would do for someone to help me at shows... I don't know! When I train I try to get videos, because asking 'how does this look?' always has the answer of 'good' or 'bad because his head is up.'


    Also--Your showmanship shirt is GORGEOUS! *STEALS*

  3. Britnie: Yeah, it was one of those days, but it was fun spending time with Lilly, especially since she was so good!

    DIJ: Thanks! I really love the plum colored stuff! I'm glad the zipper didn't get ruined in my it of rage. :)