Patti Strauch came to watch us show - and I want to send out a special thank you to her...because she took many of these pictures! Thanks Patti!!!
Okay - so here I was, at the beautiful San Antonio Saddle Horse Association show! I was so excited. It is a horse show that features both American Saddlebreds and Arabians. As many of you know, it is in the Arabian show circuit where you will find most of the sidesaddle classes and it was at this show that I was so excited ..because they added a class just for me! It was the Opportunity sidesaddle class that allowed any breed and any sidesaddle tack. Finally, I was going to get to compete against other sidesaddle riders!!!
..but I had one really BIG problem...ME! I keep getting so uptight and nervous that I became my worst enemy. Here was my weapon..wine. I drank about 2 full glasses of wine before I mounted Oliver! I am a (as my husband calls me) a cheap date, because I cannot drink any kind of hard liquor and wine gets to me pretty easily too.
..so here are some of my supplies by Oliver's stall.
..and if you were ever wondering what I wear under my skirt...here it is. They are kind of a stretchy riding tight with suede knee patches.
This is Erica. She came with Kelli, my instructor, and I to show her gelding Tribulation Force. She is helping me get my skirt on. Can you tell I am a bit 'sauced"? Trust me, my nerves were asleep! Also, take a look at the elegant brown top hat that one of my readers sold me! Thank you again Brita! It fits like it was made for me.
Here I am dressed and ready to mount. Do you like the vest I added to this outfit? I like the way the points show beneath my riding coat.
Kelli and Erica position the latter. You can see how I have picked up the entire skirt and laid it over my right arm before I get on.
..and I get on astride and then transfer the skirt over to my left side.
Then I throw my right leg over to the left side.
Here we are in the practice arena. Trust me when I say that I was feeling no pain and having a BLAST! Oliver was very amped up too, something that usually makes me very nervous.
We stood quietly for a few minutes as we waited for our class to be called.
..and here is a shot from the class. I was a bit disheartened to find out that I was the only one in my class. We did execute all the gaites and even though Oliver did NOT want to flat walk, he made a beautiful presentation and I was VERY VERY proud of my blue ribbon!! I do want to make a note about this picture. I shortened this jacket by 6-8 inches because it was getting underneath me when I showed in it a few months ago (very uncomfortable) and you can see that it was again doing it here, but because it is now so much shorter, it did not bother me.
..and that is the story of my first, first-place sidesaddle ribbon!