I kept going back and forth... should I go? Should I not go? So I decided to head out to the barn and prepare as if I was planning to go. If any of those chores were too painful, then I was going to stay home. I packed my trailer, cleaned up my pony, and banded her mane, all with minimal amounts of pain. I actually think all that moving around helped a bit... things felt less stiff.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I was still feeling "good", so I headed out to the barn to get Lilly. Probably the most painful part of the day was hooking up the trailer in the morning, and then unhooking it when I got back. I sure wish I had a hydraulic lift on my trailer... pushing a button is much easier than cranking the handle about 45 times. (Yes, I counted...)
I was really excited about this show. This is one of the show circuits I begged to sign up for PAC and I sent in my membership after they were all approved. I had been looking forward to it for so long! Dislocated rib, shmislocated rib... I'm showing, dammit!
As it turns out, the show was pretty disappointing and I probably could have skipped it. The classes were a lot smaller than I anticipated and Lilly clearly wasn't in the mood to show. I guess I should have asked her before we left.
One of the fun things about this circuit is each show benefits some kind of charitable organization. Yesterday's show was to benefit Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program. They sell t-shirts at the show, and if you buy a shirt you can wear it in all your classes and skip getting dressed up. Since it was going to be 90 degrees, I decided showing in a t-shirt sounded like a great idea.
One of the not so fun things about the show, though is that you have to fill out a form for each class you're entering. So my back number, the class number, the class description, my name, my horse's name, my horse's age, my address, my phone number, my email address, sign and date... I signed up for 8 classes, so I had to fill out eight different forms. It took FOREVER to get done with registration. Note to self for next time: fill out those forms ahead of time! I may or may not have grabbed some extras before I left.
They also have three different pattern books that you receive when you send in your membership info. I hadn't received my books yet, so I wasn't able to look at the patterns ahead of time. You don't know if they're using book A, B, or C until the day of the show. Today they used A, so I started studying the showmanship pattern as soon as I left the sign-up table.
When I got back to my trailer, someone had parked super close to me and her horse's butt was about six inches from my horse's butt. Not only that, but her horse was tied really long, so had he wanted to, he could have stood even closer to Lilly. I tried to be polite, but I wanted her to know that she shouldn't have parked her horse trailer so close to mine. Back up some, pull up some, but get your horse away from mine. When I commented about how close her horse was to Lilly, she said, "Oh, don't worry. He doesn't kick." I wanted to tell her that Lilly kicks like hell and she might want to move her horse before Lilly nails him, but I didn't. I just stood there staring at her and she looked down at Lilly's hooves and commented that if they did start kicking that Lilly would get it worse since her horse has hind shoes and Lilly is barefoot.
I ended up moving Lilly to the opposite side of my trailer, got dressed, and headed up to the ring to practice for our showmanship class.
There were five different showmanship classes and we all had the same pattern. Some of the moms and trainers were complaining because they made the pattern super small. The distance between cone A and B was about four trot strides. So if you have a 8 year old showing in novice showmanship, chances are they won't be able to get their horses to trot in such a small space. So the judge made the cones slightly farther apart, but it was still quite squished together.
|Looks easy enough...|
Ummm, excuse me? Move your ass, mare!
I'm not sure how long it took us, nor do I know how many people were rolling their eyes at me, but we were backing through the cones if it took all day.
And finally we did, but we placed last out of five horses.
The open class was right after the age group class, so I only had time to run her out of the arena and desperately try to get her backing up. Wouldn't you know she backed without complaint or hesitation... we backed straight, we backed a half circle, and then it was time to go back in. When it was time to back through the cones, she said "screw you!" So we took another who-knows-how-many-minutes and backed through the cones again. We managed to place 2nd out of three horses, but only because the third horse backed worse than Lilly.
So I guess I need to practice backing around cones one of these days... that, or pray pattern book A never rears its ugly head again. Okay, so we'll be practicing backing around cones.
So that little performance put me in a cranky mood but we got prepared to ride in our hunt seat classes anyway. I haven't ridden hunt seat since I bought my western saddle, but the little voice in the back of my mind kept saying "it doesn't matter what kind of tack you're riding in... as long as you control the feet!"
We had some time to warm up in the arena and Lilly was doing great! She didn't really want to move out at first, but she did and when we practiced cantering, she felt really good. Our only issue was that she wanted to stay behind the bit. I kept working to get her to stretch out, but she never really got it and I think she was unhappy with the contact I needed for hunt seat.
Our first class was Go As You Please (GAYP) for my age group, which is essentially a walk/trot class. We had some good moments and some not so good moments. She was a bit slower than the other horses but I was overall quite happy with her. My non-hunter pony placed fifth out of five. horses.
|That's us... in the pink!|
|Bad pony behind the bit...|
|Trying to get her to move out.|
Does anyone know where this is going?
Yeah, when that sneeze came out I wanted to die. The intense pain lasted a few minutes and then I started feeling better, but I was no longer feeling as "good" as I was before the sneeze. I decided not to enter Lilly in the western pleasure classes, so instead we just did the GAYP classes.
|Looking ready for western!|
In our age group class I thought she did quite well. I rode her with the reins a bit tighter than I normally would, just so I would be able to keep her slower and we placed fifth out of seven horses.
|You really can't miss that pink shirt...|
|She looks western pleasure-y, no?|
|Lots of pink ribbons thus far this year...|
Okay, so I'm a few days late with the Star Wars joke, but I couldn't help myself. National Star Wars day is May 4th, for those of you who aren't fans...
Anywho... my ribs kept me up most of the night last night. Every time I changed positions they screamed at me. It's a different pain this time, though, and in a slightly different area. I'm not feeling the spasms as much as I was last week. It's more of a constant, intense pain that seems to be centered more in my back, rather than mostly on the left side. It also hurts to swallow, which I find odd, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow when my chiropractor is open again. I'm also hoping to visit my doctor tomorrow if she has an opening. If nothing else she can prescribe some medication to help manage the pain until I can get rid of whatever this is. I've pretty much drained the medicine cabinet of anything worthwhile.
All riding class pictures are from Facebook... but hey, it's better than nothing! I hope everyone had a great weekend!