Nyk, behaving himself
Here’s a quick run down of our trip down to Dayton. I always mean to write these posts when I’m actually at the show, but I usually don’t have time. I’m not quite sure why, because it never seems like I do much at the shows other than worry about falling off of my horses.
Let’s start off with the Great Dodge’em Car classes. Yes, that would be both of Blondie’s driving classes. I have never been in a driving class with more than a few other horses – this one had five. That’s about my limit, especially in a ring with very short corners. My horse does not turn on a dime, and these classes were painful. We looked like crap AND we almost had a collision. Good thing the old ladies know how to maneuver their ponies around road blocks. The first class took place in the mud. It was a sloppy mess. Not to belabor the point, but we didn’t show very well at driving. I haven’t driven her all year, and this show probably wasn’t the place to practice. Better luck next year.
Uneventful direction of the ring
Part of the frustration with the first class was that after one of the horses pulled a shoe, Blondie would not walk. I had to trot her around while the farrier was trying to nail the shoe back on, and by the time the class started again, Blondie didn’t have anything left for the first class. That just sucked. This happened every time she was going to show. Either a shoe came off or a presentation dragged on longer than it was supposed to, and by the time we entered the ring, she was all worked up over nothing. That was so frustrating.
The Goat Rodeos – These were Blondie’s riding classes. These, though terrifying, were actually quite a bit of fun. The first class was a limit class, so there were a bunch of other not so perfect horses to keep us company. It rained a lot in Dayton, and Blondie is afraid of puddles, so it was fun to show in this class, since the first thing she saw when we entered the ring was a huge puddle. So many of the other horses were making fools of themselves that we didn’t look so out of place. We had a little problem going the second way, when we almost took out the judge, and I even had to call a time out when the horse in front of us spun out. Blondie threw her head up, her bit flipped upside down, and the curb chain came off. I have only been able to call a time out once before, but this was a nice little break while we waited for M to come in and re-attach the chain. Caught our breath and even relaxed for a few seconds before heading back into the fray.
Where’s the judge? Let me at ‘em!
The championship class was much better. Best ride ever on Blondie, I think. At first, I hate to admit this, she had me a little intimidated, because she was acting like a huge wench. I was having a hard time keeping her going forward when we were trying to warm up and she kept crow hopping. D said she was sitting back on her hocks and that she looked really good. So I guess me feeling like we are out of control makes her look good. Great.
On the way into the class, I told D to pick a horse and we would go into the ring behind it. First horse dumped its rider. Right in front of us! Then there was a scared horse running around loose. Oh my! Not a good start. D grabbed Blondie and we stopped to regroup for a second, and then I said to hell with it, just get me in the ring! As we made our approach, he kept telling me to tighten up on the snaffle, more, more, more. Then I heard ok and we were in the ring. I bounced for the first rail to make sure I could keep her moving forward, and then the real fun began. I had to make sure there was always a horse in front or next to her. She is what M calls a horse magnet. She isn’t happy unless there is another horse near her. I am sure several riders are cursing me because we were either breathing down their necks or covering them on the rail. But guess what? It worked, and the only trouble I had during that class was at the walk. We ended up third out of seven, which is the best we have done in an ASB championship class.
Nyk was much more reserved, but I didn’t show him very well. I need to practice driving a lot more, because I have a very hard time changing directions and making it look graceful. I over bend their heads and it looks awful. Especially with Blondie, but it happened with Nyk, too. I couldn’t get him off the bridle and he kept jigging at the walk.
Veering over to get a better look at the judge
The first riding class wasn’t bad, and we finished right in the middle. The championship class was really frustrating, because I dropped the curb rein the second way and almost ran over the judge AGAIN! The poor guy must have started to have anxiety attacks when he saw me approach the ring. Dang crazy woman can’t control her wild horses! Argh! Up until that, the class was going great, and Nyk looked like a million bucks. Crap!! I let him down. How do you practice not dropping the reins??
I have to admit that all of the lessons I have been taking paid off, especially during the Goat Rodeo #1. I lost my stirrup at the canter, but did I care? No! I can ride without them now, and I can get them back without much of a fuss. So, yay! I didn’t fall off or panic, and just kept showing my horse.
The show itself was a lot of fun. The show organizers put on a great show, and they kept us fed. That was a good thing, because Laurie’s truck dumped all of its transmission fluid the first night, and we didn’t have a way to go grocery shopping. We needn’t have worried, because there was a hospitality tent set up with bagels, cream cheese, yogurt, fruit, OJ, coffee, etc. The first night, at 2am, we were forced to eat at Denny’s, which usually turns out to be an awful experience. I didn’t want to eat there again because it sucked so bad. With the food tent, we didn’t have to.
Happy and content in a crowd of strangers
There were snacks in the afternoon, and dinner parties at night, so we were well fed. During the day, we either grabbed burritos at Hot Heads or Chipotle, or one day we ventured forth to Waffle House. That was a trip, because even with a map, we had a hard time finding it.
Blondie is finished showing for the year, but Nyk still has two more shows. Now I have to put some of the things I’ve learned riding her into practice with him. My biggest problem with Nyk is keeping him slow and light on the bridle. It is so hard with him.
Next year, I hope we go to bigger shows. Both of the Ohio shows were fun, and there were more horses. We all kind of agreed that we would plan on River Ridge for next year. I want to ride there. Though maybe it’s silly to start planning for next year, when this year isn’t even finished yet?