My first class on Saturday was at 10. The show was pushed back an hour because of the temperatures. M & D brought their turbo heater, so it was fairly warm by our horses, and their were 2 huge turbo heaters blasting away near the arena. Too bad they ran out of fuel at about 3!
I arrived at 8:30 to help get Blondie ready. My first task - taking down her tail. The horse's tails are braided, and then tied up, then covered with a sock. Blondie has a beautiful, long tail, and after unbraiding it, I spent about 15 minutes trying to brush it out. After we got her tack on, D warmed her up, (briefly!), and then I got on. The warm up area and the ring were very crowded, and when it came time to try to canter, I couldn't find an open spot to do it. The tangle of horses gets me frazzled, and when I heard there would be 5 horses in my class, I thought I would hyperventilate. It seemed too small with just two horses; I couldn't imagine what it would be like with 5!
Kim had a problem with my purple helmet and teal sweater; she said the colors clashed. Have I mentioned that part of this sport is dressing up? She insisted that we trade helmets. Hers is blue, which she felt would go better with my attire. Oh, yeah, she was wearing a purple sweater. Hmmmm....
They couldn't get the mic to work, so we sat around for about 20 minutes while they farted around with the equipment. Then it was decided that they would just yell the commands (it's not like the arena is so big we wouldn't be able to hear!). The mic then mysteriously became operational.
My debut class with Blondie will not go down in the record books as a shining example of saddleseat horsemanship. Once we got in the ring, the shithead broke from her trot into a canter. Of course she waited until the gate was closed, and we were being judged, to do this. I managed to get her back to the trot, but we kept cutting the corners because of all of the traffic. Then she wouldn't ride the corners at all. Grrr!
She wouldn't flat walk for me, and to be honest, I can't really remember, but I think she picked up the canter the first way when I asked. She fell out of it when we got into traffic, and then she racked around one full circuit before I got her cantering again. (I was told she looked very pretty doing it)
The second way wasn't much better. When we turned, she stopped. Stopped! Dead! She never does this. Right in front of D - I think she was wishing he was riding her instead of me! When they called for the canter the 2nd way, I was right behind another horse. I waited for her to get moving before I cued Blondie, and then her horse quit on her! Right in front of us with someone coming up on the other side. I don't think we actually collided, but M said she thought we did. Blondie trotted around the pile up, and it took a lot of effort to get her to canter.
Needless to say, we were fifth out of five in the first class. *sigh* When I left the ring, D said that Blondie got really hot. I don't know what to do with her when she starts getting all pumped up like that, so I was feeling rather dejected. He told me I just have to let her show - yeah, and she needs to learn how to freaking flat walk!
My next class was later in the morning, and I was the only one entered. My worst nightmare! M asked at the official's table if I could switch to another class, and they said that if the other trainers didn't mind, there was no problem. She picked a 17 and Under class that had 2 entries, and as the trainers witnessed my first attempt that morning, nobody had a problem with me entering. I was so glad I didn't have to ride in a one horse class!
The second class was similar to first. We were 3rd out of three, but I felt better riding her and she picked up her canters. She just pooped out the first way. Argh!
Kim was in the warm up ring when I came out, and she started kidding me about riding in the 17 and Under class (she's 14, and she should have been in the class!). I told her that I didn't win because they had to give me handicap points to make up for the age difference. One of the other trainers asked about the first class, and I admitted that we just sucked for that one. He laughed and said that's why we were there.
One happy surprise just before I left - Roxanne and Dave showed up! I haven't seen them since July. I think I might have talked Roxanne into riding in the next academy show. She has a young horse that she needs to get ready for the show season.
Hopefully, the plan is that I will ride Blondie more often now, so I can start to feel more comfortable on her. Part of my problem with her is that I don't trust her not to do something stupid. I don't know how to correct her when she does, and it makes me frustrated.