On November 5, two weeks ago, we went to our second horse show, this one was being presented by CSU called the Show in the Snow. The week before we had been blessed with 8 inches of snow, and only about 3 solid days of riding, so I was unsure as to if I was going to actually make it to this show. I had planned on doing flat classes with him, but timeframes were not going to match up, so I thought I was not going to make it. My barn friends convinced me to just accompany them, school the arena and potentially do a cross rails class. At this point Chance had only jumped about 4 days in an arena, and I knew I was going to have to ask him to face flower boxes and other such scary things. Regardless, we went!
The warm up was pretty good. For never really riding with that many horses he did well. I kept it to a walk and a trot, letting him take good looks, but to work through it all. He was a little more keyed up than usual, but typical for Chance, he kept his wits about him. I asked him to take a couple of cross rails, and as I expected, the ones that only had poles he took just fine, but balked when it came to the flowers. With a lead over from another horse he began to take them like a champ. We completed every cross rail they had in the warm up, which I was thrilled with! To be honest, I was not sure how it was going to go. We did have one sticky fence, a larger spread going into the furthest corner of the arena, but we worked through it.
Well, based on the warm up, I signed up for both cross rail classes. The first one was a hunter class, and we went in, trotted all of the fences and even canted a couple of lines. He jumped everything I asked him to, save one refusal, and generally did AWESOME! I went off course. Yep. I ruined it for him. He did everything I asked and I got my butt disqualified because I went off course. What a bummer. I didnt think I was nervous, but I think I was so focused on getting him over everything, that I did everything in whatever order came to mind.
Before my next class some dear friends showed up to cheer me on which really made me feel great!! I cannot believe I have such awesome support, so I was really ready to show them I was better than going off course. Needless to say I got the course down pat, I watched my other opponent go first, I trotted an awkward circle, waiting for the judge, and we took our first line, took the first jump smoothly and then WHAMO he stopped hard on the jump that hard given us trouble in the warm up, so we gave it a couple of more tries, and he just was not having it. I guess I could have driven him harder, but I did not want to get in a fight his second time in a jumping class. So anyway, we were disqualified again. Bummer. The bright point is that I did request to give that fence one more go after the x rail class was over and the show manager agreed. Of course he trotted in and jumped it like a pro…. either I made some major rider error, or he just felt sorry for being naughty.
As a summary, despite being disqualified from both of our classes, one all my fault, and one shared blame, I think we did great. He handled everything like a champ, and was so patient while we waited for the rest of our companions to do their classes. For a four year old who had not gotten the opportunity to jump much, I think I asked a lot, and he just did his job. I was so proud of him, and of me. I received several compliments on his behavior. What a great day!!! And to top it all off we got our first jumping ribbons…. a second and a third…. hehe, well, maybe the show peeps were just being nice, but hey, we placed kind of 🙂