I have so much to tell you, I am not sure where to begin.. so lets just start at the beginning! We arrived (Don and I) at 9:15am thinking by the schedule that I would show shortly after 11am. WRONG. It was closer to 3!
Remember - I have never shown with this group, so I was not sure what to expect. The show secretary and manager were so so nice!! The secretary told me that she was going to sneak out of the office to see me show. What a nice compliment! Although there did not seem to be that many people there, all the classes had at least 2 riders and some had over 10. After watching for a while, I realized why.. some people were showing over and over.. and some of the poor horses would come into the ring with several different riders. In a minute you will understand why I had a LOT of pity for the horses!
Don settled into a seat in the bleachers. I could not stand to stay up there for long. There was NO breeze at all up there. I spent some time with him and some time with the girls that were showing their Saddlebreds. I casually asked.. "So - what clothes are you showing in?" as I looked at their baseball caps and polo shirts. Looking at me dumbfounded.. they just opened their arms to show me that what I was looking at is what they would be showing in! WOW - and here I was with my total costume in tow.. complete with derby and gloves!
AS the time passed.. it started to get hot. I mean, it was hot when we arrived that morning - already a sweltering 90 degrees... but after 1PM, it was raising the mercury all the way up to 100. It was MISERABLE!
I decided to par down my riding attire too, ditching the jacket, belt, derby and the gloves and I was still sweating in a dangerous kind of way. I drank tons of water...as did Oliver (and I ended up only showed him in 1 class). I also waited until the last possible moment to get on him. This action took a toll on my skirt. It was a bit twisted and I never got it really under me the way it was suppose to be.. as you will see in the following pictures.
Oliver was a bit nervous in practice. I had to really hold him to flat walk and he was not too sure about a few things outside the practice arena.. but he has never done anything bad.. so I trust him.
After just a few moments of practice, we walked to the outside of the show arena and waited our turn. I was to show in 2 classes back to back, expecting 2 horses in one class and 3 in the other. Maybe because of the heat, the numbers reduced down 1 and 2 respectively. My friend Mary and I decided to just combine both of the classes and show together.
I was not sure what to expect as the female judge was wearing a cowboy hat and took a short office break right before our classes. That made me think that she was getting an idea of what to look for in a Saddlebred.. but I could be wrong.
Anyway, we trotted into the arena, Mary and her mare Faith, preceding me. Her mare blew up. We were far enough behind to just cut across the arena and by the time we got back around, she was going forward again.
Oliver was just amazing. His adorable head set, his chipper little trot, ears and tail always up having a good ole time! Me too - I had a ball! On the first direction, when asked for the canter, he rolled right into it. Coming around the bend, I saw Faith rearing straight up.. the kind of rear where you expect the stirrups to release! Oliver just did what I asked and we cantered around them at a safe distance. When asked he even flat walked like a gentleman. We reversed and out of the ordinary, the judge asked for a canter instead of a trot. Oliver did jump into this canter (a bit un-lady like) but it was a nice rolling collected and after watching the video, it felt more jolting than it appeared. We came back down to the walk, trotted and then came in for the line up... and placed second.
I won't lie. I gasped when I heard her number called and I felt disappointment. Faith is a young mare. She is a beauty and has more motion than Oliver ... but I thought with what had happened, she would not have tied for a first place.I am not angry. You see, this was without a doubt the best show I have had with Oliver. He was a STAR. I brought his bright red ribbon to work with me and hung it at my desk. I am so proud of my boy and cannot wait to show him more.
The next schooling show is on August 28th. I would love to do it again, but this month depends entirely on when my husband's surgery is scheduled. And - I also cannot wait to take him to Dallas in October!!
After the class, I went to get Don from his seat in the bleachers. He hugged me and whispered into my ear, "I don't know horses like you do.. but you were robbed!"
I just grinned.
We loaded up the trailer and started for home. The heat was oppressive to say the least. Our truck thermostat (which is pretty accurate) said...
are you ready????