Saturday, June 1, 2013

Columbia gold

It's the last weekend of May, and I am once again on my way to Tennessee. This time I'm really excited, as I will be riding at Columbia. I have never been there and I have only heard what a great show and track it is to ride. And whenever I hear about it, it is quickly described as the "mini Celebration".  (For my non-horsey friends, the Celebration is the largestest walking horse show of the year, where the biggest competition happens.)  So this comparison means a lot.   Columbia should bring in some wonderful horses, so it should be a good show to watch and ride.

My Friday morning was a blur of leaving home, catching my flights, worrying through a delayed connection, dropping by Carlan's to pick up my show outfits and rushing to Hannah Pulvers Stables for a practice ride on B.  I arrived at 130pm, late, but Hannah graciously provided me with a lesson. She already had Bourbon warmed up and so I watched her for a few laps, and then climbed aboard myself. I have to say it was an awesome ride. He was snappy and shaking and I was thrilled. Hannah had said he was working well this week....and it felt like it.  I continue to be amazed by Bs progress with Hannah and her team!  After my ride, I hung around to let myself relax at bit after the morning rush, and enjoyed watching B get his 'show bath'. I think I enjoyed it as much as he did. And he smelled so good afterwards. ;).  I talked with him for a while, while he hung out on the cross ties to dry. But it was getting late, and the HP team was putting on the final touches to pack and leave for the show. So I departed.

BBQ lunch from Sonny's.
Pulled pork w/coleslaw!
My next stop was the Winners Circle in Shelbyville, where I picked up a hat raincoat. If your hat gets wet it basically ruins it. And that can get expensive. It had been cloudy and threatening rain all day. I figured if I had hat protection, it wouldn't rain. Right?  Btw, it was a good gamble...we had beautiful weather all night at the show. Whoops, I should have given the spoiler alert.

Then I was off to Jane's to freshen up. And within minutes I was driving to Columbia. The drive was beautiful. Rolling hills and green green green. In 45 minutes I was there, and unpacking my show hat and chaps. As I stood by my car unpacking my outfit, I made a last second decision to change my color scheme. So I went from green and gold, to black and gold. It was a new top that I had picked up for a steal at a tack swap this winter. Very pretty Connie's Customs. Filled with crystals from the waist down on the peplum. Different, and sparkly. I think this will look nice out there on that big white track, as a contrast.  Then I pulled out a new gold show pad for B to wear.

Bourbon was in class 11. So I had time before his class and I watched.the country pleasure class and the aged horse trail class, which were 2 and 5. Afterwards I went to get dressed and off to the warmup ring to catchup with B.  He was already being warmed up, however he was being a bit of a handful. Obviously, he did not like the performance horses in the warmup ring with him, and kept scooting and trying to run off.  As I watched I just kept thinking that I hope there are no performance horses in my class. (that's a joke, cuz the classes are specific to the type of horse and shoes and such...again for my horsey friends, there would never be this kind of mixed class).  Whew.  Well after much warmup....since he was behaving so badly, up I went.  But I have to say he was an angel for me. Maybe it was because he'd been worn down, or maybe because all he wanted was for me to be up there. :). Yeah, I'm totally positive it was the later. LOL.  Hey, a girl can dream!

After what seemed like a long, fussy wait, (bourbon can be quite fidgety waiting around) my class was finally called, and up to the ring we went. I entered the ring second, behind The Honey Badger. (what a fun name for a horse!)  As I entered, Hannah wished me luck, and in I went.

The ring is a large oval, the track is a hard packed footing, and the center ring has a huge gazebo for the judges and their entourage. The track is edged with a tall white painted cement wall, and there is stadium seating on one side and a large grassey knoll on the other for spectators to set up lawn chairs or picnic blankets. It's very cool!  The whole place seems to be cut right into a hillside, and feels like a bowl, with the spectators along the sides and the track at the bottom.  The sun had gone down by the time my class came up, and so the flood lights were on, and it was bright and all lite up. That's perfect for those crystals on my show short. :). They'll be catching that light, so we'll twinkle our way around the ring.

Bourbon at Columbia.  Scott was able
to watch over the internet steam.
My ride was wonderful.  Despite Bourbon's antics during the warmup, he was an angel in the class. I started out slow and he just shook his head and felt timed up. As I came around the first pass, Hannah said that our pass was perfect, so I concentrated hard to keep him there.  It was a lot of give and take, but he definitely was ready to work, so it was easy to keep him there. We made it through the first way of the ring, and then turned around.  Then it was the flat walk the second way. It was a large ring and I could feel him getting tired just as they called for the running walk. Oh, I asked him for some more. On the far curve I started to talk to him, 'common B just a little more for me, almost done can do it.  You're doing so well. Common B let's go!". And I squeezed him up and released my grip a little, and he rose up in the chest and picked up speed.  "that's it B, good boy".  And around we went. Maybe a little too fast, but I feared slowing him, as he just may take that as the signal that we were done. So I urged him on.  They finally called for the line up. Whew, that was a long class, in a big ring!  But, it was exhilarating and fun, and I was so happy with my ride.  I parked in on the north side, right next to The Honey Badger. Hi Jordan!  We talked a bit about our rides.  I smiled. I was so happy. Clean ride. B really worked for me. No tripping. And I was still in the saddle.  The ribbon didn't matter, I personally had a big accomplishment with my boy.

As the ribbons were called we earned third place. A gold ribbon to match our gold color scheme. Jordan and The Honey Badger won the class. A great little Jose filly. But, I like to think we gave them a run for it. I really couldn't have asked much more of B. I need to slow down and make sure he stays timed up and shaking hard, but all in all, Hannah said it just may have been our personal best ride ever. Yeah!

I took B back the the trailer to be broken down, and did the same for myself. I packed up my chaps and hat, and then immediately made a detour for a country ham sandwich. I realized in that moment how hungry I was. I watched a few classes while I ate. Those who told me about this show were right. I watched some beautiful animals enter that ring tonight.

Saturday will hopefully be another opportunity to strut our stuff. I think it will depend on the weather. It looks like potentially bad storms. And the show is outside. We're planning to go to the PWAT show....all pleasure horses. Fingers crossed mother nature cooperates.

No comments:

Post a Comment