After not showing since… February? I finally agreed to show again. I almost could have showed last weekend but didn’t and then agreed to show this weekend. For what it’s worth, it was both a better decision and a worse decision. Better because as it turned out I got to split the hauling costs again (yay for $34 hauling!), but it was hot (last weekend was humid as hell and rainy, but not sunny so…?) and sunny and hot and I don’t do heat. (Plus, the jumps were tiny and everyone basically agreed that we didn’t care and just not to raise them for the horses (it was a combine pleasure pony/horse division so they just left the fences at 2″)). Honestly I was hot and didn’t care. Other negative for this show? Pleasure is normally 2 flat and 1 over fences. This show was 3 over fences and 1 under saddle. Under saddle in pleasure is Ranger’s strength normally so… But, it turned out to be a positive…
[We didn’t end up having a lesson on this week as my trainer was at a show so I just went out and rode and had to force myself to jump a bit. I trotted and canter and Ranger was tired, I was tired and thought, “he’s perfect, why do we need to do more?” Meanwhile the teenager in the ring with me was doing mini courses and all that. Meanwhile I was happy just to sit on Ranger and plod around. That said, we did (eventually) pop over a few fences. Our hay bales in both directions (yay! the tug method worked beautifully!), a skinny single a few times, and the outside single. With a little nagging, we did our outside line twice as the first time I had no pace (nerves… — in my defense, the second fence was a solid 2’6″+ (though it felt bigger) oxer that I’m not entirely sure I should have jumped outside a lesson–not that Ranger had any issue with it…) and added for an ugly 7, the second time I had pace and rode for a nice 6. We called in a day and went for a walk to cool out. Then I bathed him, scrubbed half his grass stains out to see how clean he’d be on Friday… Very. I just had to wash his legs. And he stayed clean outside overnight in a storm Friday night into Saturday. Good boy!]
So the joys of hunter shows. We got there at 12:30 and my ring was just getting ready to start short stirrup eq. So I got to watch Ranger and his kid. He was adorable though they didn’t get much love from the judge. He was in the bottom of the ribbons, but looked adorable doing it. Kid’s eq wasn’t bad either. After that it was down to the trailer for grass and water and then time to watch the other ring for a while. And wait. Because that’s what you do at hunter shows. Wait.
What felt like a couple hours later (and probably was), it was time to retack Ranger and realize that pretty much none of the girths in the trailer fit. I managed to squeeze him into a stretched out 44″ (I had a 52″ in my car… that wouldn’t help either)–we usually wear a 48″? I guess I need to keep an old girth of Subi’s around just in case… Too many pony girths! And hit the schooling ring. We had a ring conflict as children’s horse/pony combined was about to start right as I was heading in to school (my schooling break consisted of short stirrup hunter and pleasure pony/horse combine) so I made the executive decision to school myself. For right or wrong, I basically went in, jumped everything once in 1 direction (all jumps we were to do in both directions but whatever), didn’t die (though people started falling) and then one of trainer’s kids told me I could stop and leave so I did. Whatever, I was fine with it. I needed to jump something and the schooling was for me, not Ranger. Sorry Ranger.
Then it was untacking and saddle swapping for short stirrup so that Ranger could do that division. He did decently over fences (2 seconds and a first) and then AGAIN failed under saddle. Seriously, this judge did NOT like him under saddle. Then it was a saddle swap and my turn. By this point, they had decided only to raise the jumps to 2 ft and put small gates/boxes under what didn’t have stuff, but when my coat went on and I declared my goal wasn’t to pass out, I decided I really didn’t care. I was told I need more ambitions goals. But, think back to my first show when the goal was not to die. I think not passing out is a fine improved goal. At least I’m not worried about not dying!
So first class in and I go in and promptly pick up…the wrong lead because I’m a complete idiot. But, whatever, we never had the goal of picking up the correct lead right?
Second class, I almost forgot the course right before walking in. The course was fine. Goal was the pick up the right lead. I stopped caring after that part. Nothing to write home about. My turn to the inside single sucked as I turned too late. Oh well. The rest was ok. And with all our courses we cross cantered a lot because it’s Ranger and we don’t exactly have our changes so whatever.
Third course. Same as the first. Right before the first jump there’s a nice crash in the other ring. You should be able to hear it. I don’t know exactly what happened other than it sounded like someone crashed through a jump? No one died or fell, but… It was really loud. I was dead at this point so survival because the goal. Spots became long. Or short. And ugly. I barely had a canter at the end. I don’t know how I made it out of the ring. I was dead.
Somehow I still needed to hack. Oh how I just wanted to die instead. So we hacked. I was dead. And the ring was tight since all the jumps were still up and there was no where to go… It was fine. I rode around on a loop and got my leads and rode fine. The judge did everything she could to find something wrong. Hacking is our strong suit. Which is why we were third. Then they announced the o/f portion and I managed a 1st (1st course, must have missed the lead…), 2nd, and 2nd. So, my strong suit of the hack was our lowest placing portion. The judge did NOT like Ranger on the flat. Though the 3rd was his highest placement u/s that day.
Ended up Reserve for division which was fine. Thank you Ranger for carting my butt around and keeping me in the saddle. You are 100% the best!