On Sunday I got up and walked down the hall to the executive suite for breakfast. I used my frequent sleeper points to get a nice room upgrade to the Hilton honors floor. The hostess helped me make iced coffee and I had a fruit and yogurt parfait. It was very nice. They also have a cocktail hour each night, but I'll probably never take advantage of that since I'll be at the show at that time.
I then drove over to Miller to feed Diva. When I arrived she was all spun up. The horse across from her was gone from his stall to show in the versatility classes, the tractor was alongside her stall picking up the muck pile and making a lot of scary noises, and she hadn't been fed when the rest of the horses in the aisle got fed 30 mins ago. So all heck was breaking out. At least as far as she was concerned. She can make really fast circles when she wants to. Lol. I tossed hay, but it took a carrot and a little talk before she decided to forgive me.
About mid morning I tacked her up. I wanted to get her out and about. Plus, I wanted to see how she felt after that long ride yesterday. If she felt okay, I was hoping to ride her tonight at the Futurity. On the show bill there were a few non-Futurity classes mingled in among the Futurity big purse classes. And I had noticed there was an AOT (amateur owned and trained) class on the schedule. I was here, she was here, so if she seemed okay, I'd do it. It would be a good practice ride to see how she goes and a warm up for the week ahead. The practice ride went well, so I decided to sign her up.
With that done, I needed to get her ready. First stop was to Diva's southern farrier, Terry Morain, to check her shoes. I had been showing trail in Wisconsin, but planned to put her country pleasure this year at international. I was pretty sure her shoes were wrong. Terry confirmed by suspicion and got to work pulling and resetting her in the keg shoes she needed for this class of competition.
After that we stopped at the wash rack for a show level bath....and a few show sheen sprays latter she was looking good! I put her back in her stall, and went out to lunch with Tami while she rested. We've been having absolutely fantastic weather, so I was pretty sure she'd get some well deserved R&R and be ready for tonight.
Lunch was a good rejuvenation for me as well, and I was ready to get my show on once I returned. I went to my trailer and pulled out my pink suit with a red vest and cranberry crystal studded tie. (The tie was a gift I received from Terre H's friend Kim, who made it for me a few years ago.) I pulled red, pink and black ribbons for Diva and braided her up, and she also got a nice black hoof mani-pani. I set up her saddle in the warmup and then I waited for the show to start. The Futurity brings out the babies, so it was fun to see them arrive, get warmed up and groomed. Diva was completely fascinated by the weanlings. She turned her head and watched them walk by. It made me wonder if she would want one of her own. I think she'd make a great mom. ;)
Finally we were close to our class time, and I pulled Diva out of her stall, bridled her and took her thought the DQP checkpoint. Then I saddled her up and got going on the warmup routine. There were quite a few horses under saddle in the warmup, and so I thought it would probably be a nice size class. I watched the various horses and I thought there were a lot of really nice ones. Boy, I wonder how we'll do in this competition. They were moving nice. Good strides, good shakes, nice nice nice.
Class #10 was called and everyone lined up to go in. Diva and I entered third out if eight horses in the class. She rode right into the ring and set herself to work. The footing is wonderful. It was soft but not deep. It's dark red earth, and feels absolutely wonderful when you ride. I love this footing. I got on the straight away and diva sped up, so I had to hold her back a little. I talked to her....easy girl, easy. And I felt her soften and slow. Good girl, I said. I continued to talk her around the ring. And as I gained confidence, I softened my seat, softened my hands and basically got out of her way. The reverse was called, and I made her stand and wait. We had a pile up of five horses all in the same spot, and I paused to help space the horses out more. When I picked her back up, she just went back to it. She didn't miss a beat, she felt really good, even if a bit faster than I wanted her. When they called for the running walk, I let her go and she drove. Weeeeeee! I love riding this mare, she's all heart!
We were called into the lineup, and she pulled in and stopped. We backed for the judges and then relaxed. Nice ride. A good clean ride. Now it was up to the judges, and I hoped to get a ribbon for our work. It was the reserve (second place) when number 972 was called! Yeah!! I couldn't believe it. We pulled out of the lineup and over to the ribbon to collect our ribbon and a check! Woot woot....my baby girl made a little moola tonight! Tami greeted us at the exit with a huge congratulations, and Carlan, Katie, and Jane joined us for a photo in the winners circle. Katie asked if she could hold Diva's reins. Oh boy, you should have seen the grin when I said she could. Priceless! Diva bent down to greet her too. Diva even walked with her head bent down to Katie's level all the way back to her stall with Katie at the reins. Me, I floated back...absolutely elated with my wonderful, beautiful, talented girl.
After the class, Stacey, Jane, Carlan and I went for dinner. It was our annual international get together to commence the week's activities. I think of it as the calm before the storm The shrimp and BBQ ribs were great! It was a surf and swine. Lol.
I ran back to tuck Diva in for the night. It was midnight, everyone was gone, and it was just the sound of horses grazing on hay or snorting. I de-braided Diva's braids, tossed some hay, filled her bucket with water and pampered her a little. Our time. And I loved it. I'm glad we decided to do the class and I'm looking forward to the week ahead. I smiled as I hung her huge red ribbon on her stall door.