Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fun show ribbon

So the Fun Show day has arrived! I'm anxious, but excited. This is a big show of the season, and many of the top horses will be competing. I got up early, got ready, ran to the closest Starbucks (of course!) and off to see Bourbon. All I could think of was seeing him. It's been 2 months, so I wonder if he'll remember me? And more importantly, would I remember how to ride him? Well the answer to the first question was a resounding YES! His ears perked right up and he bent down as if to say, "Hey where you been for so long...oh I don't care, you're here now, pet me!"

Then he was off to get saddled and into the arena we went. Hannah warmed him up, and he looked good. He had a little accident two weeks prior, and cut himself on a cribbing strip that had come loose. So 6" of stitches later he had been enjoying a week off on the mend. So he had only been back to work since Monday....but looked to be almost where he left off. Plus Hannah is a great rider! I hope to learn learn learn from her.

Next it was my turn. Oh he is getting SO tall! I keep calling him Cifford, as in the big red dog who kept growing! His personality is like his too! LOL. But really, the step up into the saddle is a challenge. We rode so I could get a feel for him, and Hannah provided a lesson. He is alot of fun to ride. His stride is huge and so he covers tons of ground quickly. So I have to learn that feel to gauge myself. It feels so much faster, but Hannah says its a good tempo for my flat walk. I get some more pointers...learn how to feel him drop in the shoulder and how to correct that as necessary, etc. whew, my head is spinning. He's much different to ride than Diva, and somewhat feels like I'm in England driving on the wrong side of the road. Everything seems the opposite of what I do with her. But that's what will give me variety, and hopefully I'll learn to be a better rider overall. My main goal this year.

After my ride I spend more time with B, while Hannah works other horses. She has 6 going tonight, with 5 of them, including B, in my class. So lots of work. We run out to have lunch, and then I ran to do a little shopping! I return to find the HP team loading saddles, tack and eventually horses. As the team pulls out for the show early, I went into the customer lounge to get myself cleaned up and hair done. Then off to the Celebration grounds.

The warm up area is a commotion of activity. It's a huge arena, with all the horses, riders, trainers and tack dotted along the wall area, with the center filled with riders warming up. I have to say it reminds me a little like the traffic in China, where there are no real driving rules, and everyone is just doing what they please in whatever direction. So it does seems surprising that more collisions of horses don't happen. I watch and hold Bourbon while his saddle and blanket are put on. This will be the very first time I ride in my new show saddle i got for Christmas, and brand new custom made show bridle that just arrived this week. He looks sparkly, that's all I have to say! Hannah warms him up, I take a few rides around in the danger zone....and then they call for my class.
B and me, just before our class in the warm up area.

I'm in the 4 and under Trail Ametuer class. It's a large class of about a dozen horses. And some of these horses are already world champions or world grand champions! Plus B and me. (LOL). So....HAVE FUN! Hannah has just sent in one of her 5 horses, and she's standing at the top of the ramp at the ring entry gate and turns to me, smiles and waves me in. Up the ramp I go, she wishes me luck provides a few last instructions, ans I'm in. I ask him to pick up and we're off. I must say We had moments of brilliance, mixed with a few rough moments keeping young Bourbon where I needed him to be, and doing what hannah instructed from ringside, but all in all a fairly good ride. Not perfect, but what I thought as I pulled into the line up at the end of the class.

You can view a short clip of my class on Youtube:

When the winners were called and ribbons distributed, I did place, although 8th. However, that I was is the ribbons at all is a score for us, as we have not placed in a big show like this one before. We're typically one of the horses left on the Tarmac after the ribbons are gone. So a good step forward. Plus I was beat by some world champions. So i like to think we were in good company. ;). Plus and We LOOKED good doin it!

Carlen and I enjoy the show.
My class was early in the evening, which was a bonus. I got to relax, have some dinner and enjoy the rest of the show from fabulous box seats ringside with Carlan. Tomorrow I'll ride B again for practice, and get started on improvement for next just a few weeks. I'm determined to now stay in the ribbons and move up the pecking order. Bourbon is a really nice horse, so we just need the time to get working as a team even better.
So Hannah has her work cut out with the two of us.

Thanks to all my family and friends for the well wishes and support! I'm amazed and appreciative of the messages, texts and emails. Keep them is unbelievable how much they matter when I'm here alone and long distance.

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