Horse Show Success!

While I had planned to be a super good blogger and document this whole weekend through pictures and video, I dropped the ball and forgot.  Both days. 

Friday A (my riding, showing, and trailer buddy) and I woke up at the crack of dawn.  Right when I opened my eyes I could feel the pit in my stomach already.  We got down to the barn and groomed up the ponies, and got them ready to trailer to the show grounds.  I didn’t know how she was going to be, we hadn’t been to the Postime farm since our show with my last trainer in the beginning of 2013, and this time we’d be trailering in and going right into the ring, no stabling. 

I was nervous about how she’d be, would I fall off, would I be able to keep the contents of my stomach IN my stomach?  I was a ball of nerves. 

Got the ponies on the trailer (easy loaders for the win) and headed to the show.  My trainer was waiting for us at the show grounds, and helped me tack up Lib, talking to me while trying to bring me down to earth and relax me. 

We walked the ponies down to the ring and my trainer got on and started schooling Lib.  The show grounds looked pretty empty, which actually made me relax a bit.  Quiet show, great time to get back into the ring. 

My trainer schooled Lib on the flat pretty quickly, and then started over fences.  We’d looked at the course and jumps in our ring before we went into the schooling ring, and in addition to some crazy weird turns, the jumps looked more like 1.0 m then .85 m.  So my trainer tested Lib a bit, and after jumping her over a couple fences, she had my bring out the cooler to drape over the fence.  Funny how a small change can make the jump look incredibly menacing to the ponies.  After giving it the hairy eyeball and a good sniff, Libby decided it was nothing to be afraid of and went right over.  So to the show ring we went.

The plan was to have my trainer ride her in the red/blue, and then I would do her in the two .85’s right after.  So in my trainer went.  Libby seemed ok, no spooks at anything, but you could tell my trainer was working overtime.  She was talking a lot to Libby, over jumps and in corners.  Unfortunately for us, one of the wonky turns was just too much for Libbys greenness.  Her drift and lack of responsiveness to the outside leg was definitely the culprit and she had a stop.  Trainer came right back to it and she went right over it, and continued on without any other snags.

When she came out of the ring, my trainer was out of breath, and couldn’t believe Libby could be so tough.  With how good Libbys been at home, she said she was super surprised at how less confident Libby was in the ring.  Not necessarily meaning she didn’t want to jump, but she had to have help the whole way over every turn, jump, everything.  Hard to do on a relatively dead sided animal, even with a stick.  So she decided that she should ride her in the next two trips, and I would come back tomorrow, something I agreed to immediately.  I was in no mental state to help her along, and instill confidence in her, when I was so nerves and anxious myself. 

So trainer went in again, and this time everything went smoother.  Libby looked more confident, and because the courses were the same, she now that she knew where she was going, and she was on it.  You could see her ears perk up, her eyes lock on to the fences, and you could practically see her smiling.  My little hunter princess of a horse definitely wants to be in jumper land.  They ended with one rail fault, don’t really know what happened with that.  When they came out, trainer was very happy with how much she’d improved with just two courses. 

One more course to go, and even with the course changed for the second trip, Libby was cool and calm looking, intent on her job ahead. They went about the course without any incident, and she looked like a proper jumper pony! They ended up getting second for that trip so yay!!

Once trainer came out of the ring, she got off and put me on and I sat on Lib and watched A show, and waited.  After A showed, my trainer took me into the schooling ring and I had a mini lesson.  We spoke about how much better Libby got, and she was adamant about the fact that she is just green, not a bad kid.  The stop was just showing her greenness, and the fact that she went over it right after, shows how willing she is.  So we schooled over a couple verticals and oxers, until I could feel myself relax.  Libby was exhausted, so we stopped there, and headed back to the trailer.  Brought the ponies home and they got liniment braces, and wrapped their legs.  Lib was so tired she slept flat out in her stall for about 4 hours.  Oh tired show pony!

Saturday our classes didn’t go until later in the day, so we just waited for a text from our trainer saying to come to the show grounds.  Got there, tacked up, and trainer decided to just ride Lib over to the ring.  Took a look at the course, which thankfully looked much more like .85 m today.  Unfortunately though, whoever was the course designer decided to throw all the greenies for a loop a second day in a row with weird turns and a triple combination to a wide oxer.  Schooled for a bit in the schooling ring, even set up a mini in and out one stride, and she headed in for the red/blue. 

In the ring Libby looked relaxed and on point.  She knew what her job was, and you could tell she was being way more responsive.  Everything looked smooth, and as the triple came up I was just hoping Libby would go right over.  As they went through, you could hear my trainer from the gate screaming, “Come on Loo, hup!” trying to give her a boost of confidence, which worked.  Lib could have cared less about the triple combo, and went on to finish the course and the jump off without any faults!  Then it was my turn. 

While I was still super nervous, I knew I just had to get on and get in there.  My trainer kept telling me all she wanted from me was to jump one jump in the ring.  Just one, no pressure.  I do that and come out and she would be happy as a clam.  So after schooling a bit, I went in.  To the first fence, I choked up and got way underneith the fence causing us to have a rail.  Left turn to fence 2, which was a single oxer off the turn, and I got there kind of off the half step, but way better of a distance to 1.  Libby was listening, and I think it was after that oxer that I clicked and just went with it and had fun.  3 was a wonky turn from 2, so I put my leg on and spliced it a bit, no problems there.  Then it was the triple combo, I just sat back, put leg on, and opened my reins to channel her a bit, and she went right through, and over the oxer.  After that I knew I could just finish the course, and when I rode by the in-gate, I said to my trainer “I got this”, and continued on.  Rollback to a single vertical, and then rode all the way around the ring to an in and out, and we finished!

I was so happy I had the biggest smile on my face.  Yea we had a rail, but that was totally my fault, and Libby was listening and being a packer for me.  And she felt good, and you could tell that she much rather do this then go slow in hunter land.  I came out of the ring, and my trainer was so proud.  Our ride ended up tying for the fastest four fault ride which got us 5th so wooo on that!

Overall it was a great first show back, and although my nerves were terrible to deal with, I dealt with them.  And that for me is a small victory in itself.  Brought the ponies home and gave them lots of treats and made sure they were comfortable.  Can’t wait for the next one 🙂

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18 thoughts on “Horse Show Success!

  1. GO LIBBY AND SHELLEY! I am so, so proud of you for going in there and DOING it. I absolutely love, love, love what I hear about your trainer. So far, she's been so great for you both!

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  2. Congrats! I felt that familiar nervous pit in my own stomach as I read about yours haha! Sounds like a great experience for you both.

    -Lynn @OverFencesandUnderTrees

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  3. 🙂 Yes! I can actually say this was one of the first shows that I felt truly confident like I could handle things while I was in the ring and in the zone.

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