Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Western Workout

Monday was filled with prep and practice rides. Plus a nice break for lunch at the famous Bell Buckle Cafe with Carlan and the girls.  The weather continues to be nice, although I think it's getting a little warmer into the 80s. 
B arrives on the show grounds.
I jump in his stall I'm so excited. 

It was also finally B time. The Hannah Pulvers stables arrived late in the afternoon to move the horses into their stalls. I think she said she has 38 here. Not every  horse is on the show grounds yet, but she did fill a whole row including 3 stalls converted into tack rooms.  The set up is quite the operation. And it seemed to work like a bee hive....controlled and organized chaos.   I had run to the airport to pick up the Allen sisters at 6pm, so I didn't ride until after 8pm. By then I was exhausted from the long day and missed sleep, but I wanted to ride.  I watched as Hannah warmed him up and then I rode too.  It is always hard to get re-acclimated. However he was going awesome. It was me who needed to catch up to where he is again.  I got a good feel for him during my ride...and rode him over and over in my mind as I dozed off to sleep back in my room that night.   My big B!

Tuesday I got in another practice on B, this time in English tack. I haven't rode him in English since last year at the celebration, almost a year ago. So I wanted

to get into that saddle on him before I rode him like that in the ring tomorrow. Our ride was awesome. So I felt really good.  
Getting ready for a
practice ride. 

Next I turned my attention back to miss Diva, she has a class tonight...and it's western. Oh, help us all!  The last time I showed her western in Wisconsin I almost took out the center ring and the judge, lol. But I'm in country pleasure tonight, so I can ride with both hands, which will give me more control of her than one handed that's required in the trail division.  

In the afternoon she was bathed and primped. Then before 4pm, when the show started, she got hoof polish and a final brushing.  My class was 50, which would be the 5th class of the 4pm set.  Her warm up felt good, so I was anxious to get going, and I think she was ready too. When they called our class, 26 riders lined up to enter the ring. We were about 5th or 6th to enter. That first loop through the arena felt good. It would be the only loop that was not congested. even though the arena is about the side of a football field, it's amazing how small it gets with a few dozen riders. 
Diva and I primping for out western class.

It took a while for everyone to enter...and then they closed the gate and put us to work. The flat walk, running walk, reverse and the same routine the other way. Diva was hitting good, she seems to have a nice lift in this footing, and shaking very nice. We are called to the line up....and soon after they start calling numbers to fall into the center. The remaining horses are put back out on the rail. It's going to be a workout!  Sometimes when there are so many horses, the judges make a cut and then rework the "good" group to decide the winners.  But as I get out on the rail, my number is called to fall in. Darn.  But wait!  As I fall in one of the girls says congratulations! What?  Oh, the group in the center is the workout group....and I just made the cut.  Yeah!

After a few more rounds of the horses on the rail, they call out a few more numbers, and dismiss the group from the ring.  They then ask the group at center ring to go back out on the rail.  And believe it or not, we completely redo the entire class. It's about a dozen horses now, so we're able to space out better. However Diva knew this was not the regular program, and she thought if she went fast enough, perhaps she'd get out or finish sooner. I had a handful of sassy I his workout.  But she did continue to shake and drive...albeit faster than I would have preferred. With just a leather curb, I had less control so I worked from my seat and tried to talk her calm. Lol. Thank goodness for the called lineup.'s over. I think that class may have been over 30 minutes. And the workout was long.  If anything, Diva never showed signs of tiring. 

As the ribbons were called, D got a piece of the action....6th out of 26!  And she was in the arena with some nice horses who didn't even make the cut. I was thrilled!  Woot woot!  Especially since it was western, a very very new endeavor for the two of us this season!  And we did NOT take out any judges or the center ring!  ;). Bonus!

The rest of the night I did what I do best....socialize like the butterfly that I am. I watched Carlan and Emily ride SNB, and helped out at the HP area as I could - hauling a saddle or buckling up a breast collar. I was exhausted, but happy with my western Diva ribbon. 

Wednesday is English day. And my first showing appearance with B. 

Stay tuned. 

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