I was very proud of myself that I was able to untack Phoenix all by myself and get his boots and cooler on. We did much better about being alone at this show versus last week. I put his cooler back on and asked my very non-horsey parents if they could do me a favor and just put the butt barn up when I got Phoenix in. Gennyral was a terror to trailer. My parents laughed at how easily Phoenix loaded up because they remember the whole process it took to get Gen in. Phoenix, on the other hand, will follow you pretty much anywhere as long as you have food. I said good bye to them and went to take all my show stuff and get Phoenix some water.
I wandered over to chat with Phoenix’s Owner and one of her clients who came to watch, and then we all wandered over to watch Speedy’s Mom warm up. I kept wondering why they were not announcing the results of my classes. It was not like I thought I had won, but I just wanted to know how the judges scored us. With only 6 people in one class and 4 in the other I knew I was getting a ribbon for my efforts. It was a cold day and after 20 minutes of just standing around watching Speedy’s Mom I got so cold I went back to my truck to get a jacket and gloves. It was when I went to yet again try and get Phoenix to take a drink of water that they announced the placings of both my classes at the same time.
I could have killed Phoenix’s Owner. There is no good sport here! Phoenix’s Owner won the training 1 class. On the horse who has only been in training for a few months. And who had hardly ever been off the property. One would think that I would be happy that my trainer won, but then one would be wrong :P. I was only bitter because before her test even started, her mare had decided that she didn’t really want to go in to the show ring. It took some convincing and reminded me yet again that the test doesn’t start until you head up the centerline. Which is a really good thing! I was so shocked to hear Phoenix’s Owner get called first that it took me a moment to realize that I had gotten 3rd at training 1. When they announced training 2 I had gotten 3rd again.
I went to collect my ribbons and told myself that being middle of the pack on a day when you and your horse are not doing so well really is an accomplishment. I wasn’t that I was happy or disappointed about the placings. I really hadn’t given much thought to how I would place. I walked into get my ribbons and was greeted with a fantastic surprise. I broke a 64%!!! On both tests!! Even the tough judge gave me well above a 60%.
Seeing those two 64%s I was THRILLED. Walking on air happy. I couldn’t believe how well we had scored! Or how consistently. Even just writing about it brings a smile to my face. Since I am sure you are all dying to know I figured I would share some of the judges comments with you.
At training 1 I got a 64.782%. I got six scores at 7s and only one 4. And I even got an 8!!!! The comments range from balanced to needing balance and from slight disconnect all the way to bracing. The final comment was that even with a few mistakes we are on the right track. She even wrote good luck with him. If I do say so myself I think that people find us to be a very adorable pair.
At training 2 I got a 64.642%. This test I got eight 7s on and no 4s! And I also got an 8 on this test! One of my 7s was the collective remarks as a rider so that was a big plus for me. The comments on this test ranged from obedient to loss of connection and forward. The most common comment was that he was on his forehand. Which he was. The final comments from this judge was to be more consistent and to get him more connected through the top line.
So overall they were great comments in the fact that they are things that I am working on. I left the show feeling so happy. I know that Phoenix and I have a lot to work on, but clearly we are doing some things right. Just like the show the week before this show made me excited for the future. If we can fix some of our problems think about how well we can do!
I arrived back at the farm first and felt brave enough to try and unload Phoenix by myself. And I am proud to say that I did it! That was such a huge step for me (Phoenix’s Owner laughed at how impressed I was with myself and the fat spotted pony). It is so sad to put your show things away for the winter, but the sting is a little less when you are ending on such a good show note. I had decided that I would not go recognized next year for a variety of reasons. Scoring so well at a show with tests that were not so good has given me a lot to think about.