MHSA Spring Show – Challenge of the Blondie, er, Breeds

*Please ignore the typos - this post hasn't been edited - help me out and email them to me :)***

After a meal at the Owosso Taco House, an incredibly dumpy looking little hole in the wall with surprisingly tasty fare, I headed back to the hotel for a much needed nap.  By this time, the mere thought of trying to trot Blondie passed the bleachers had my stomach in knots, so what better way to deal with the stress than a nap?

Awakened by a slamming door, a frequent occurrence here, as well as the screams, laughter and general commotion that unsupervised children seem  so willing to make, I read a little and then started getting ready.  I packed up my camera, which I have hardly been able to use, and headed back to the fairgrounds.

As I headed to our stabling area, Audie, on Summer, and most of the other barn people, were emerging from the arena.  That was pretty good timing, for a change.  I was still early, so Kim and I went to the 4H establishment for some fries and nachos (perfect pre-exhibitor food).  Kim was going to be driving Zeb in the first class.  I learned today that when showing in a driving class, I would be expected to wear a dress.  To drive a horse.  With dress shoes.  WTF?!  Whoever invented the rule book needs to be beaten.  What woman wants to walk through horse shit in dress shoes?  And what if you need to make a hasty exit from your buggy?  In your formal gown?  It just doesn't should like a smart thing to do.

I have discovered that it is very difficult to be a ninja photographer when you are also participating in the show.  I've hardly taken any pictures, because I was either getting myself ready, or trying to help get someone else ready.  By the time Blondie went Thursday night, it was too dark to get a decent picture, so a super-duper flash has been added to my wish list for the next show.  A video camera with a hard drive would be nice too, but that is, sadly, far, far out of the budget this year.  Maybe by next year, when Blondie and I will make a better team, and I can bribe some unsuspecting friend or family member into going on a little rode trip to the show. Heeheehee.

While I was able to watch Kim's class, I didn't get to watch her warm up.  She looked very fetching in her red homecoming dress, though maybe she was showing a little too much leg.  If the judge had been male, that would have been a good thing.  As it was, it's some lady who is struck by fits of blindness. 

Kim's was a class of one, which I always find to be a bummer.  A little competition makes for a more interesting class.  For not having driven much, Zeb and Kim made a cute pair.  I just love Zeb, and I hope that they buy him from the school.  Kim only had one really sticky moment, after the halt when Zeb started going backward and Kim was having a problem getting him going forward again.  When the announcer was calling her name, because the horse is owned by the college, he assumed that she was a student there.  That was pretty funny, as she's not even old enough to drive yet.

The most unnerving part of riding in a show is the waiting.  You wait until you have to get ready.  You wait until they start getting the horse ready.  You wait until the class is called.  It's very stressful, and there was a 10 minute hold called before we were supposed to go in so they could water down the ring.  Argh!  That's when Blondie gets really keyed up; it happened at the academy show, and when we finally went in, she was so pumped that she wouldn't do anything right.  Walking up and down the parking lot, she started getting agitated, and started trumpeting at the other horses.  She is so full of herself, and she really needs to concentrate on backing up her boastful behavior!

To warm up, we went to the Goat Barn.  It's partially under construction, so there were building materials stacked up at one end.  They made her really nervous, but she walked by them without being too much of an idiot.  Laurie and Gio soon joined us, and we trotted, cantered, and walked again before D declared that we were ready.  We headed over to the main ring, and found out about the hold.  D had us walk the horses up and down the parking lot, and try to keep them loose.  I saw that Roxanne was getting ready for the class, too.  It always makes me feel better when people that I know are riding with me.  Kind of stupid, but comforting none the less.

When it was time to go in, he told me to stay behind Gio.  Just stay behind Gio.  I trotted Blondie up to the ring, trying to avoid the rut that she's deathly afraid of that crosses the path.  The look on D's face was so funny when he saw us going toward it.  I think he thought that I forgot about it.  I steered her to where it wasn't as obvious, sat on her and really legged her to get her over it.  She hesitated a little, but kept on going. 

In the ring, I think a stayed a little too close behind Gio.  Blondie did seem more relaxed as long as she was following behind another horse.  She didn't even blink when we trotted by the stands, which were semi-full of people by this time.  Noisy people, might I add.  Unlike wimpy dressage or hunter shows, ASB and Morgan people are a loud bunch, cheering on riders and horses.  That didn't bother her, either.

The biggest mistakes I made were getting caught up in traffic before the first canter, and rushing the second canter.  For the first canter, I got stuck behind two horses, a misbehaving Gio being one of them.  He started veering to the inside, and I was afraid he was going to start his occasional bucking fits.  The second way I didn't get her set up properly, and she ran into the canter.  She kept ducking her head at the canter, too, which is something that I need to work at.

In the line up, she started her rude behavior again.  We were next to a horse that kept screaming, so my blonde idiot thought she had to join in.  Thankfully the judge started at our end, and Blondie backed for me, but then she would not stand still and D, standing by the stands behind us, told me to walk her in circles.  So much for displaying her manners. 

When the numbers were called, Laurie and Gio were 4th and Blondie and I were 5th out of an eight horse class.  Not too bad for our first outing together.  D said that I rode her better than he did the night before. 

I went to talk to Roxanne later, to see how her ride went, because I had tunnel vision and only saw what was going on directly in front of me.  She was disappointed with her outing.  Her horse acted up, and they didn't even place, which she said was the first time that's happened with him.  For the championship class, she'll be riding in a later afternoon class than us.  Laurie hasn't decided what class to take Gio back in, either, so I might have lost my blocker.  Good thing the championship classes are usually larger, so I should be able to find another unsuspecting horse to follow.