Friday, May 6, 2016

April JCHSS Show - A Doozy!

I missed the very first show of the season due to crappy weather and I wasn't letting the weather screw me out of another show... but I should have. The show in April was absolutely awful. Despite the deceivingly sunny skies, it was COLD and WINDY. And when I say windy, I mean WINDY. Like, 30 MPH winds, steady, all day, with gusts of what felt like 150 MPH. It was probably the worst show I've been to in my life. Ever. I learned my lesson, and I will never show in winds like that again, for several reasons.

One of those reasons is because in nearly every picture taken of me, my face looks like this:

Lovely face!
It makes for such a pretty picture, amiright?! It was so windy, that hats were flying everywhere and the judges decided hats were optional. I opted not to wear mine, which also doesn't make for a very pretty picture. Not to mention the fact that my hair was constantly in my face, along with monumental amounts of dirt, blown in from the arena. Like this:

Because the weather was so awful, I only entered the most necessary of classes. Showmanship, english classes for the adult division and the stock type division, and the western classes for the adult division and the stock type division. No equitation, no trail, and no halter.

I don't have the showmanship pattern to post because the show is under new management and apparently the patterns are replaced on the website for each new show. I didn't save a copy for April, but I will for May, and that way I can post them here.

The showmanship pattern was quite fun. I think it went like this:
  • Trot from cone A to cone B.
  • At cone B, perform a 180 degree pivot.
  • Back from cone B to cone C.
  • At cone C, perform a 180 degree pivot.
  • Walk to the judge and set up for inspection.
  • When dismissed, perform a  270 degree pivot, and trot to lineup.

Lilly did a great job, and we placed first out of five horses. Even with all the crazy wind, she stayed very focused and I had no issues with her at all. We earned one PAC point with that win!

As you may remember, I bought a bunch of new show clothes over the winter, and I was so excited to wear them all, get cool pictures, and just feel amazing in them. (Thanks to the wind, none of that happened, but there's always next time, right?) Since I had new field boots and breeches for my english outfit, I was going to try and use my old fleece number pad so I could look extra fancy. I stopped using it when I had all those saddle fitting issues, then I went "casual" with my attire (polo shirt, half chaps, etc) and it was too showy. So I haven't used it in quite some time. Long story short, after getting it all set up, and using it in the warm up area, Lilly was having none of it. She started doing her signature "I don't like what's on my back right now" dance and I had to retreat back to the trailer for a very fast tack change.

It's so very puzzling (and frustrating) that a simple saddle pad can cause her to go from happy as a clam to refusing to move forward. She just does not like that fuzzy saddle pad one bit. I don't know if it's the thickness, the material it's made out of, or the way it sits across her withers... once I switched her back to the plain old quilted pad, she went along like nothing happened.

She was pretty crazy in the warm up area before our class went in, and by crazy I mean chomping on the bit and just acting very full of herself, but it was expected considering the wind. She was much better than most of the horses there, and I kept reminding myself that I was also pissed about the wind and the cold, so I just worked her through it. She calmed down for our actual class and we ended up with two fourth place ribbons. The classes had five horses in each.

Looking quite snazzy!
When it was time to change into our western attire, it was still cold and windy. There was no way I was wearing my western hat, so I decided I'd just wear my helmet instead. I also planned to take off the coat I was wearing before I went in my class (mostly so I could get pictures with my new shirt), but I remembered how much I was shivering in the showmanship class and I decided not to. At least you can see my chaps!

At least I was warmer with my coat.
I had the same saddle pad issue with my western stuff as I did with my English stuff. I bought a pretty new indigo saddle pad, and got a new felt liner to go with it. I got one that is contoured because I thought she'd like it better, and I made sure to get a really thin one to eliminate bulk. She didn't like the setup nearly as much as I did, and shortly after heading to the ring, the "I don't like what's on my back right now" dance made an appearance for a second time. I hadn't packed my work pad because I didn't think I would need it (should have known better), so I ended up putting her quilted english pad underneath the indigo pad.

So tell me how much sense that makes... she loves her western work pad, which is felt and about an inch thick, but doesn't like the thin felt pad I bought, yet is ok with the quilted english pad, but not the thicker fleece pad. I DON'T UNDERSTAND! At least I know how I need to pair my pads and saddles now, though. I guess I'll be selling my number pad and the brand new felt liner I bought.

Our western classes went fairly well. They were actually a little larger than the english classes, and we ended up with a fourth in the stock type class and a second in the adult class. I was very happy with her, considering how windy it was. I basically couldn't wait to get the hell out of there and I think she felt the same way.

Here's recap of our placings for the day:
Showmanship Adult = 1/5
English Stock = 4/5
English Adult = 4/5
Western Stock = 4/8
Western Adult = 2/5

Our ribbons!
We got enough points in the adult division to win Grand Champion, so we're starting out 2016 with a bang! It came with a not so fancy ribbon, but I got a $12 voucher to use on my classes for the next show. So we actually won money! I miss the bigger ribbons, but the voucher is so much more practical, and a great idea. I'm very much looking forward to the next show (which is this Saturday), and the rest of the year. Here's to windless show days!


  1. Grate on the show. Money is cool, but I'd still want a pretty ribbon.

    1. Yeah, and it appears they're going to be the same at every show. So if you get more than one, they'll all look the same. :(

  2. I hate riding in the wind! Oklahoma wind is awful, so I completely understand. Great job pushing through!

    1. No more wind! I feel awful for you if you have to ride in wind that that more than once per year (and even that's too many times)!

  3. Ack, way to brave the weather and put in a good performance regardless!