Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Red Dress Class..

I am still hoping that one of my friends took a picture or 2 of me riding. If not, you will just have to use your imagination! The red dress class was created in celebration of what we were raising money for, womens heart health. It was open to amatuers and professionals alike. It was a 3 gaited performance class leaning towards a pleasure horse as excellent manners were the rule, not the exception. This was the very first time I was showing Chippers. He is a wonderful accommadating horse who lights up at a show, really enjoying the attention. I still do not feel comfortable letting the grooms tack up the horses I ride aside. I do not speak Spanish and am never sure how much they understand when I try to tell them what staps go where. Right before I put on my skirt, I go into the stall and check. This time the balance strap was attached to the last billet on the near side. A disaster waiting to happen if it were to slide back, effectively becoming a bucking strap! Not exactly the "show" I am hoping to make!! I returned to the dressing room for a quick once over, slipped on my skirt and grabbed my whip. When I climbed atop the tack trunk, Chippers turned his eye upwards with a look of uncertainty. I had never mounted him off of a tack trunk before. He stood still, but I could tell he was tense. Once atop, I walked him down the isle a few steps and then turned him back around. The groom helped to tighten the girth one last time and Chippers groaned. I am not sure if he likes the sidesaddle as much as he is just a very good boy and wants to please his rider. We walked into the warm up arena. I was the first from our barn to mount up as 2 more from our bunch was showing in this very class. There would be 5 in our class and one riders was a very accomplished trainer. Chippers does not have the motion Oliver has, but he carries himself well and has a brightness about him with his ears up a good high head set. We trotted in looking better than I thought. I asked him to step up by clucking and tapping him on the shoulder. He barely responded. He moves well off of bilateral leg pressure, a cue I have not yet been able to replace with a sidesaddle aid. A lot was going on around the show ring. There was truck activity in the nearby parking lot. A buffet dinner with a VERY loud creeky ice chest, spooked almost every horse on the left side of the arena. We easily picked up the canter. half way around the arena something spooked Chip and he seemed to jump straight up into the air, coming down doing a most uncomfortable cross canter. I had to stop him and restart, a move I was sure would drop us into last place. He picked up the correct lead and again we were off. When the announcer called for a change in direction, I looked up into the stands and saw some of my friends from work. I took a second to say hi, comment on my mess up and then off Chippers and I trotted. He cantered like a dream and then we trotted into the line up. Melissa, the judge, walked around the line up of horses. I leaned down to kiss Chip on the mane to thank him while first place was called. The trainer rightfully won the class. Her horse and what I saw of the ride was just beautiful. They announced the second place number when I realized I did not have a clue what my number was, nor did I remember what Chip's registered name was! It was not until I heard MY NAME did my head pop up, my eyes widened and I looked around and said, "ME???" Then I let out a squeel of delight! I was presented with a beautiful frame, 6 roses and a stunning red ribbon. I also had the honor of leading the rest of the riders out of the ring in a procession before the winner took her victory lap. In a word..... it was a BLAST!!! Here I am with Leslie, the new assistant trainer at Bluebonnet Farms.
I know I have said this before, but this was the BEST show ever!


Michelle said...

Well done Julie! What a beautiful ribbon! I love it when shows go the extra mile to have something special for a special class.

Justaplainsam said...

Congrats Julie!! I hope one of your friends has pictures of you riding!