Saturday, July 6, 2013

Red, White, and Pink?

My schedule is starting to become routine. 

Rain, check. 

Coffee with Jane, check. 
Practice ride at Hannah's, check. 
Back to Janes to ready, check. 
Off to the horse show, check.

I do make a nice departure from routine and go over to meet Carlan to watch her ride at Bobby's. Well I guess I've done that a few times too. But today we watch Emily ride. And I have fun giving her some pointers. Love it. And frankly she is really coming along. This is her first show season. And she is taking lessons and it shows. Nice seat, good posture and confidence. Plus it doesn't hurt to have a perfect, cute horse like Shake N Bake to do your first season. 
Katie get a ride on SNB too!

In addition, we have a little cookout. Bobby's at the grill when I arrive and it smells really good. Leftovers from the holiday party from Rhonda's. We all get cheeseburgers, beans and chips. And dine at center ring while Carlan works her horse. She looks great too i think as I munch. Then BJ brings out this tall grey shaky thing and I can't help but ask for a ride. Whoa he just shakes all over and that head shake is crazy. I'm laughing at all the motion. And this skinny little boy is only 2!!!  He's going to be very famous one day. I'll look forward to seeing him at International. He should bring some good competition in the 2 year old class for a new client of Bobby's.
Carlan enjoys her Wisconsin
Cheese curds!

  BJ also gets on him in the round pen while Bobby holds the lunge rope. This is the third or fourth time he's been ridden and you can tell he's squirrelly about it. But BJ has a great seat and the horse  goes round and round. Learning to balance a rider and walk at the same time. It's a short ride but certainly must have given a good experience. I'm reminded in that moment of all the rides I made here at Bobby's. All those young horses I rode in this barn. And how little Bourbon was once upon a time.  He's come so far in the four years I've had him. He was just a yearling, the age of this generator colt when I got him. And I remember the day BJ rode him like this for me in the round pen. And believe it or not, I rode him too in there. That was the day I bought him. Unbroken, and a skinny little thing. Great memories.  We also watch as they round pen a pretty generator coming 2year old.  This one will be haltered at Woodbury (if the rain doesn't keep folks away). And he sure  thinks he's pretty, if he must say so himself. All stretched out and proud.  

I look at my watch and realize I have to run.   The show starts at 530p tonight and it's almost 330 already.  So off to Jane's, which is just across the street and then off to the show. 
The Champions arena. Huge!

The show is held once again at the champions arena. The rain has continued to fall and so the Ag center is not going to see action this weekend.  My class is 8, so I watch the country pleasure class, and Hannah ride in the lite shod classes before going to put my outfit on. Tonight it is my turquoise saddle pad for B and the white top with the pink and turquoise flowers around my waist for me.  One of my very favorites. I plop on a cream hat with my turquoise crystal headband. There, I'm ready. 

I watch as Hannah warms him up and he looks awesome. Just like yesterday and earlier today for my practice ride. My few loops through the warm up ring are good too and I park into the area where all the Hannah Pulvers horses are being readied, and wait. As I glance over my shoulder to watch the riders in the warmup I see this is going to be a big, competitive class with lots of really great horses. And I recognize quite a few.  I turn back and think to myself, don't freak yourself out. Your doing well this year too. Maybe one or two of them saw B and he made them nervous too. ;). Yeah, all of them are freaking out because YOU are here. There, that's what I'm talkin about.! Yeah THEY are freaking out.  It's like thinking of the audience in their underwear when your giving a presentation. Any thoughts to keep your confidence. LOL. 
Bourbon's pad and saddle
are waiting in warm-up.

Then my chaps are rolled down and zipped (thanks Jason for helping), my hat is pushed down one more time for security, I take one more deep breath and tug on Bs reins. I walk him out of the warm up and down the lane towards the champions arena. This is probably a few hundred feet. And there are horses and people all coming and going, the DQP station to the left, and a bit of chaos. To keep it interesting.  It's kinda cool to be up here above the turmoil.  I can see ahead and I watch Bs head bop as he walks. I can feel each of his steps. Before I know it I'm at the arenas, Hannah is there holding my bridle and talking to me. She smiles up at me and says you can do it. She's always there, right there, making you feel like you can. She's amazing. I think she's putting 3 or 4 horses in this same class, and she makes you feel like you're the only one.  Thank goodness she's there. I always feel alone. Wait as I look up Carlan is waving at me. And Katie too bouncing and waving. Yeah!  I smile back at them, look back down at Hannah as she pulls me up the ramp and releases me into the ring. I take hold, set him up and I'm off!

Bourbons happy to be rid of that crowded aisle and in the open ring. The footing is like clay and a little sticky. Plus B is so big he's sinking in it. I can literally heard suction sounds as he moves. I need to urge him on in a few places and feel him labor a little. But I also here him pounding in those straight away's. Bam bam bam bam. I set him up in the corners and release him in the straight away's.  Bam bam bam bam. The crowd is huge and whistling and hooting. Calling and cheering. It's a big class and more than a few times I'm navigating traffic.  And B, he's a good boy, he's just focused on getting himself through that clay.  For a split second I'm amazed at how good a boy he is with all this noise and activity. Oh thank goodness the class is called to the lineup. That was a long class. 
My outfit.  Ready to show.

As the judge walks the line, he stops to have me and B back, and he looks up under my hat at me, as if to see who I am. I get this strange feeling that he liked B and was curious as to who I was. Weird. Although, I'm sure he has no idea who I am. LOL. But I obviously got his attention.  And, I did. As the ribbons are called at the Money Tree charity, we get a piece of it, a fifth place for the pink ribbon.   Not the hoopla of a first place winners circle of last night, but in the top ribbons!  I'll take it. With this big show weekend, I get a great tailwind for going into the International. In fact my season has been spectacular so far. 2 blues, 1 reserve,  a third place and now a fifth. A ribbon every time he's gone into the ring. He's in there. He's improving over last year. I'm disappointed this wasn't a higher placement, but many people tell me I had a good showing. And I know I had a good ride personally. And me and B are really gelling. And so as I tuck my pink ribbon into my clothing bag and take off my show outfit I smile. I'm now off to the international with a full ribboned season. Score!

I enjoy watching the show the rest of the night. Amazing horses, a huge crowd. The gloom and rain did not keep this show from happening. In fact, it may have been even bigger just because everyone needed to get out and socialize and chase the cabin  fever and gloom away.  On my way home I call Scott. He saw the class on ReprTV and thought B looked awesome and should have gotten a better placement. My honey, my biggest fan, gave me no less than second. I love him. And for him I wished it was a first or second. ;).   Maybe for International, when he comes down, maybe for him at least one more first or second!  The goal.  Fingers crossed!!!

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