|Bourbon after his win @ Petersburg!|
Soon Bub appeared with another horse in tow. We chatted a bit. And, I noticed Hannah had stopped riding and was just sitting there looking at me. I'm thinking there must be something on my face or...... Then I finally realize that the horse that Bub had walked out with was B! Oh, my baby! I was standing there talking (I know. I know. I'm always talking.) and I hadn't even noticed it was him. The whole time B was right there looking at me, waiting for some of my attention. I turned to him, tossed my arms around his neck and he just laid his head against me as if to say pet me. Where have you been so long? Pet me. And, I certainly obliged.
|In the winner's circle.|
In short order Hannah was warming up B, and he looked great. His head was REALY shaking. I taped it and sent the video clip to Scott. In almost real time he was returning my text and agreeing - very pleased. My turn to ride next. He felt different and the same, all at the same time. I was learning to hold him softer but keep his nose in check. Ride him slower and harder. All I knew is that I was confused. How can I do all of that at the same time. But I'm getting closer to understanding what it means and how it feels, and navigating the tightrope. Before I knew it, B was blowing hard and my lesson was over. Nooooooooo. I need to practices this about 50 more times. LOL. Oh boy. I haven't ridden him in months. Haven't seen him for more than two months. And in about five hours I was about to ride him into the show ring. Eeeks. But that is one of the main challenges of long distance showing. While I'm not liking it any better, after two years of doing this, I am learning to deal with it (a little better.). I just have to refer back to what I do know. My riding practice on Diva and Fash. And my past rides on B - especially the time this past Fall, when we really started to gel while he was home. Bottom line. I can do this. I just wish Scott was here. I hate him always telling me what to do. But, he sees a lot and ALMOST is always right. ( Oh, I hope he never reads THAT, I'll never be able to live with him). :)
|The whole team joins me and B after our blue ribbon ride.|
L2R - Jane, Carlan, me, B, Candy, Hannah and Bub.
I hung around and watched a few more horses get worked and then headed out. Carlan had called and would be riding Lil Wayne and her new horse, Shake N Bake. So I drove over to Bobby's to watch. First was LW - and he looked good. Then we went into the barn to watch Emily ride SNB. As a bonus, I got to ride SNB too. He's a little energizer bunny. Just goes and goes - like his name says.....he shakes. Fun! The remainder of the day was filled with lunch and getting ready for the show.
The ride to Petersburg was over an hour. But the sky was clear with blue showing through between the big white fluffy clouds. When we arrived, we pulled into the grass and parked. Right away I saw Hannah's trailer with B tied up, and munching on hay. I was especially happy because Jane, Carlan and Emily were all able to come to the show with me. So, I had a little entourage. ;) My class would be #13. Hmmm, I hope that doesn't mean disaster. I can be a bit superstitious. But, I looked up and the skies were still blue. I crossed my fingers. After class five I went to the car, got my show outfit and got dressed. Bourbon had been taken up and through the DQP, so I met up with him at the warm-up area. Hannah warmed him up and then I got a few passes in. Then we waited for our class to be called.
|Victory Lap - so fun!|
Hannah walked me up to the ring, provided a few last instructions, and in I went. As I picked him up and rounded the first curve my entourage cheered me on. Thanks girls! Emily was already taping me for Scott to see later. Now to concentrate. I watched Bs head just bob up and down. I heard his hooves hit the ground. I rounded the far curve and then the straight away. Hannah gave instructions as I passed. Check his nose. Slow, flat walk. Ok try. Try. Try. Keep him shaking and walking and slow. OMG. Finally the running walk. Yeah we love this part. We picked up speed. Weeeee. He's really fun to ride. Big and his stride covers the ground but soooooo smoooooth. My Cadillac. Whoops. Slower. ;). The reverse. Then flat walk and running walk. A few tail swooshes later and we were called into the line up. Anne Frank lined up next to me and we chatted a bit. She admired my saddle. I had bought it from her. I agreed it matched B perfectly. The judge came and we proficiently backed up on cue. Then the wait. But, in just minutes, number 222 was called - Watchin for the Storm! I could hear my entourage cheer, and also Bobby Kaye (who I bought B from) too. Woot woot! Our first ride this season and its a blue! I rode up to the winner's circle. The photographer took our picture. And Bub fastened the blue ribbon to Bourbon's halter. As the other ribbons were called, I gave B a pat. We waited and then we took our victory lap. Our names were announced again. I was very proud of him. I've seen many horses race for the exit, but B took his victory lap just like any other - well behaved. Or, maybe he was enjoying the moment as well, as he should!
Then it was picture time and congrats. Yeah! A big hug from/for Hannah. A number of smiles, high fives, and more congrats from other customers in the Hannah Pulvers (HP) camp. My first blue ribbon with Hannah when I was riding him. And, my very first ever Blue ribbon Victory Lap at a Saturday night Tennessee show! .... So happy.