UPHA Academy Show – Canter departs suck

Ignore the typos - I'm too freaking tired to proofread this! 

After getting the horses unloaded and bedded down Friday night, I tacked up Blondie for a quick lesson.  M rode her first, and Blondie was not the best behaved horse I have ever seen.  She was skittish and jumpy, and M really had to fight with her to get her to stay on the rails.  After both of them had worked up a sweat, she had me hop on.

The first thing she did was chide me for being so tense.  I tried to relax, by not having developed any trust in my spastic horse yet, this was not so easy.  It also isn't helping that she's in season.  She is a bigger b!tch now than before!  Just in time for the horse show, too.

My ride wasn't too bad; she trotted fairly well, I kept her straight, and she cantered when I asked.  We had a couple of bobbles near the seating section, because she's afraid the bleachers are going to leap up and eat her, but it wasn't anything too bad.  Laurie and Audie brought Gio out while I was finishing up, and after throwing a cooler over a very sweaty Blondie, I went to watch them.

Gio was giving Laurie quite a bit of trouble, so M had her canter him.  And canter him, in an attempt to wear him out.  It worked a little, but he wouldn't walk straight, either, and when he starting drifting into the center, he starting turning and getting stupid. When Audie hopped on, he was very well behaved, so he was either extremely tired, or he likes little girls.

After getting the horses put away, we headed to Applebee's for some dinner.  It was about 10:30 by this time, and I was really tired.  I hadn't slept the night before, I was a little anxious about the following morning, and I'm usually in bed by 9:30 because I get up so early for work. 

I had the Cajun tilapia, and it was a little light on flavor.  It was on the low cal portion of the menu, so I guess low fat equals low flavor. Kind of disappointing.

By the time we got to the hotel, it was after midnight.  I'm glad that I checked in prior to going to the barn, because I was able to go right to the room and get ready for bed.  M bunked with me, and Laurie and Audie stayed at the Hampton, too.  The plan originally was to go swimming and chill a little, but this never seems to fit into the schedule.

I didn't sleep very well, but I managed to sleep through the alarm.  I woke up just as M was finished getting ready, and thought briefly about trying to sleep for another half hour.  Instead, I got up and prepared for the show.

After a shower, I head enough time to go to the lobby and get breakfast. I sat in the eating area, because for a change there wasn't a ton of noisy kids running around.  I really liked the Hampton Inn, and won't hesitate to stay at another.  Everyone were extremely friendly, and though not the greatest free breakfast - that honor still goes to the Embassy Suites, the french toast sticks were tasty, and the coffee was really good, too.  Not as savory as my Keurig single serve coffee, but good none the less.

After loading up my car, I headed over to the barn.  The show was supposed to start at 10, but the judge and the photographer were late.  I could have stayed in bed another half hour!  Damn!

Robert rode Blondie in the first class, and she was a bit of a handful for him.  She refused to canter.  In fact, she jumped, like a little jumping jack, when he requested she step off into one.  Later he said the stirrups on his new saddle were too long, and he couldn't get his foot in the correct position.  This made me a little nervous, because I agreed that we could just use his brand new, spiffy saddle with the pebbled pigskin seat that looked like a dream to sit on.  What if I had a similar difficulty?

It was time to warm up for my class.  The warm up area was so freaking crowded, my attempts to canter were laughable.  I finally went and stood in the middle with Laurie, D, and Gio.  Laurie was in my class, and I can't even remember where she placed in her first class.  It's all sort of a blur.  So are both of my rides.

During the final warm up before entering the ring, Blondie seemed so lethargic!  She didn't have her usual energetic trot.  I did keep her straight and along the rail like M advised, and was thrilled when she flat-walked for me. Then it was time to canter.  I asked, and Blondie wouldn't have anything to do with it.  I had to stop her and then she ran into it, instead of stepping nicely off for me.

The rest of the class was uneventful.  In the line up, the judge actually walked the line and gave pointers to the riders.  This was a first, and I liked it.  That's the whole point of the academy show, I thought.  She told me that our trot looked great, but we need to work on out canter departs.  Hmmm.

We were placed last.  This started to feel like the last academy show we brought her too.  Crap.  I wanted to do better, because I know that we both can.  Then again, if we're going to screw up, where better than the academy show?

The next class was basically a repeat of the first.  She wouldn't canter again, the first way, which is usually her strong side.   I had to stop her and then she ran into it.  Oh, and this time she decided to stop, right in front of the judge, and would not budge!  I got after her at first, but then thought it looked really obvious, so I switched my whip and waited for them to call the reverse.  

The judge told me to hang in there, and we would get those canters.  Grrr!   At least I got two of her three gaits (or two of her five gaits, if we were showing her gaited this year), so I feel a little better about that.

I hung around until after Sara and Zoe rode in their last classes.  Sara would have won her first class on Gio, but she trotted into the line on the wrong diagonal.  The judge told her if she's going to mess up, it's best that it not be the last thing the she sees.  Poor Sara!  M declared that she must run, not 1, but five laps around the arena for blowing her diagonal!  Zoe was wrong on Jimmy in her pattern class, but she swapped it right away. 

As usual, the day went by in a haze.  I never get enough sleep the night before.  I headed home, slightly discouraged, and found that I couldn't even concentrate on the 5th volume of Yakitate!! Japan.  This was a true indication that I needed rest, so I ended up going to bed at 7!  And I didn't get up until 6 on Sunday.  All that stress wears me out.

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2 Responses to UPHA Academy Show – Canter departs suck

  1. Mara says:
    So, did you have fun riding?
  2. Julie says:
    Yes, though I must admit it would have been more fun to have placed better!

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