Harley and me - Delaware, 2006
Yesterday, even though not feeling my best (hell, I felt like crap), I packed up my car and headed to East Lansing and another academy show. Dean expressed concern over the wisdom of my decision; I explained that I had already paid for everything, so I might as well go. The clinic had refilled my prescription for a few more days, and I was hoping that I would eventually start to feel better.
M was sharing the room, and she was late getting to the hotel. I'm not sure what the big delay was; as soon as she got there, I fell asleep. Or tried to. The room was so bright! Why do hotels insist on shining huge spotlights into the guest rooms?? If I can distinguish the color of my shirt even with the lights turned off, it's too bright for me to sleep!
M was up at 6:30 to get ready to head back to the stabling area. She needed to feed the horses at 7:30. At this point I didn't even know which horses they had brought, or who was participating in the show. M told me that I was riding Harley, and since I wasn't feeling well (the coughing must have given me away), I didn't need to be there until about 9:30.
I hopped in the shower, hoping the hot water would make me feel better. No luck there, either. The water was tepid at best. Argh!
After getting dressed, I headed down to the Fairfield's complementary breakfast buffet. This wasn't too bad. I heated up a frozen Jimmy Dean bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit (oh, the calories!!), and took that and a cup of coffee up to the room. After eating and taking all of my medication, I started to feel better.
I wasn't sure how far the Pavilion was from the hotel, so I left for the show at 9. I knew that I was in the first class, and I get really apprehensive if I'm not there with enough time to get myself organized. I got there in time to help get Harley ready. I was in the saddle at 9:45, so I had plenty of time to get him warmed up. He was moving really well today, and as I was under the weather, I didn't have the energy for my usual attack of nerves. I just wanted to ride in my two classes and go back to bed!
The first class had four riders, and Laurie was one of them. She was riding Jimmy, and for some stupid reason, I always feel better if there's someone I know in the same class. It isn't as intimidating for me. They called the class, and I trotted Harley in the ring.
He was really, really good for me today! He actually flat walked instead doing his usual pacey, jittery walk. We nailed the canter leads in both directions, and he maneuvered smoothly through the traffic when there was trouble brewing with other horses. Going the second way, the horse ahead of us quit at the canter, and then it started hopping around; Harley steered right out of the way, without breaking stride.
In the line up, I was surprised when they called my number. I won!! My first blue ribbon!!! Yea, Harley! Yea, me!! I came out of the ring and both M and D congratulated me on a nice ride. Yea!!!!
My next class wasn't for about an hour, so I drank another cup of coffee and spent the time chatting and then helping Kim get Sammy ready. She was in a class shortly after mine next class. About 10 minutes before the class, I was back in the saddle, warming Harley up again. Maggie was riding him in the class immediately after mine, so when I came out, we needed to quickly switch saddles.
This class was just Laurie and myself, so it was like being at a lesson. I trotted Harley in, and he behaved himself again. I think Kim's lesson last week really helped me focus on falling back in the saddle, and M has been drilling us on transitions. It's not a race, set yourself up before you ask for one, and stay in the back of the saddle. I only tilted noticeably forward one time when I asked for a walk.
They called my number again!! I won both of my classes!! Joy! Now I have 2 shiny (plastic) trophies that I was able to parade in front of Dean.
Maggie and Kim were in several of the next classes, so I watched from the spectator area. Kim had a first and a second place, and Maggie had a second and a fourth place. I think she did better in the pattern class than the judge did, though. She should have been second, not fourth.
With the lunch break approaching, I started to gather up my things to leave. D said I should get the most improved rider award (if they had one), and I said I just need to be sicker than a dog every show. He suggested a stiff drink instead.