My first time showing in hand – Trail Class with Pictures!!

So let me start this post by saying I have no idea what they are actually looking for in an In Hand Trail class. I knew I needed to use this time for schooling, so I just kind of did my thing and hoped it would turnout well in the end.

So here I am just walking up the bridge, acting as though I didn’t just see him being naughty for his mother in the hope he would just walk up. Notice the fact that Mr. Spoiled is looking at his owner because he didn’t want to do it!

I am not a good person to say no to, so I used the whip to tap him on the rump until he stepped on. Which he did…and promptly went off sideways. After two more similar tries the judge nicely asked if I wanted a hand since I was getting no points for this movement and it was a schooling show. I happily took her up on her offer.

Just by having her stand on the side my borrowed pony knew he was going to lose this fight, so he just gave up and went right over.

We had to trot right off the bridge which is where we ran in to trouble. The borrowed pinto was on top of me! It was SO annoying. I tried to fix the problem and let it go. We did okay on the next few movements, but not great. By the time we got to the mail box I was grateful to have something I knew we could do and do well!

At the end of course we had to walk into a set of poles and back out, which we did much better than Phoenix and I had! When they announced placings I must say that I was pretty happy with a 4th place finish! We did not get credit for the bridge and lost tons of points in the trot so 4th was good enough for me!

Since that show I have been working with this cute pony after my lessons on the weekends. Hopefully we can do better than two fours and a second at this show this weekend!

My first time showing in hand – Part 3

The pattern for halter was much less intense then the one for showmanship. It was basically a straight line to the judge with a turn right at the end. I knew that my borrowed Pinto was both cute and put together well so when it was my turn to go I got a big smile on my face and headed off. My temporary pony could have cared less that this was the class that all eyes were on him.

I had hoped that it was a good thing when the judge spent so much time going over my pinto. During line up she stopped again to look over him one more time. I had my fingers crossed that meant we were going to get another pretty ribbon.

Sure enough when they called the placing we had gotten 2nd!!!!!! Yay! I was thrilled that we had done so well in a conformation class. I had already known that his Mom had picked a winner as a baby, but it is always nice to do well in a show to confirm that. After that we had a little time off before the In Hand Trail class.

One thing that I love about this horse is that he is never scared of anything. He can be difficult because if he doesn’t want to do something, he wont do it, but at least he is not spooky. Because of the order of the show, his owner had the ridden trail class first. He was not so good for her. He didn’t want to go over the bridge to he kept rearing and was just a bear overall. The thing I noticed though was that he was just being a brat and taking advantage of his mothers kind nature, not that we was worried about doing any of the obstacles. Watching him with his mother I decided to let go of placings and use my time on the ground to teach him that he has to do things even if he doesn’t want to.

To be continued…

My first time showing in hand – Part 2

So luckily I got to watch a few people go before it was my turn. The my adorable pinto didn’t seem to care at all that he was at a show, which I took as a good sign. The pattern started with a square halt to a trot in a straight line to the judge back to a square halt. Not the easy start I was hoping for, but what can you do right? Our first halt was dead on, but while we were trotting my little pinto decided that he had to be on TOP of me and not next to me, thus making me want to fuss at him.

Instead of correcting the problem I just let it go and let him be all over me. When we stopped in front of the judge though I was impressed. It was almost square! What I can see from the picture now, that I could not see then was that he was resting his back leg. I love this horse, but he is just so lazy! We were then supposed to do a turn a 90 degree turn and walk off in to the lineup. Our turn was…interesting…and off to the line up we went.

The rest of the class all had issues like I had, with horses not keeping a respectful distance, not standing square, or just not behaving. I figured I would have a chance of maybe getting a ribbon since I was not the only one with issues. When the class ended the judge actually came over to talk to all of us. She was not happy with the quality of the class. She said that we had all given up, which was true. It was supposed to be showmanship and instead we looked more like a misfit parade than a show class. When my horse was on top of me I should have corrected him. When he didn’t stand square I should have made him!

As soon as she said what she wanted to say I knew that she was right. I was not confident going in that I had a chance of winning so I didn’t act like it. When she called out the placing I was pretty happy that I got a 4th place finish. I had expected to be out of the ribbons so getting something made me a very happy camper! It was time to reset now for the halter class. My Pinto is adorable and so I felt much more confident going in to that class!

My first time showing in hand – Part 1

So I just realized that I never wrote up my first in hand show! I wanted to make sure to do it this week because…drum roll please…I have my second one (and last show of the year) on Saturday. Please ignore my outfit, I don’t know what I was thinking…I clearly wanted to look frumpy and unkempt 😛

So I went to this show series with Phoenix and fell in love with it. It is held at a back yard barn and it is super low key. The people are fun and it is just a really good horse show. When I was able to talk my friend in to going and she let me show her horse In Hand I was just super excited, even though I have never done an In Hand class before. I took all your advice and now I can tell you how it went!

So the style of In Hand at this show is more Quarter Horse and less Sport Horse. Since this show is so low key I was not that worried about making a fool out of myself. Getting ready we decided against braiding. The horse also hates clippers so we left him with a hairy face. He did get a bath so he could be all nice and shinning white. This paint is adorable, but super lazy and super spoiled. His owner got him as a 2 year old and had trained him herself. While he was drying from the bath I practiced a little and was surprised at the horses lack of respect already!

We were running late so we loaded up and headed over. Luckily, the show started late so we had plenty of time to do one last go over and make sure that we looked as good as we could possibly look. The first class was showmanship. The one class that I really had no idea what I was doing! They gave us a pattern which was pretty easy and lined us up. I looked around and instead of seeing 3-4 people doing In Hand, we had over a full class. If I wanted a ribbon I was going to have to earn it.

Still Scared…but I did a canter half pass!

So I am still a bit weary of the Schoolmaster. I know I should be over my little spill by now, but for some reason it is still making me nervous. I have always had fear issues with riding. When I first started with my trainer 13 year ago I had been riding for several years and my fear issues were so bad that I would only walk! She had me back to to normal (w/t/c and jumping) within a few weeks. I trust her, she knows when to push and when to just let things be. So knowing I can get over my fear issues makes me even more mad that I have them!

I am fully aware that I get like this sometimes. I also know that get over it. My trainer has always said that I am allowed to be scared in my head as long as it doesn’t show in my body. So for the past several weeks I have been working on still riding and using my body correctly, even though my brain is not in the best of places. I know I am fine, I just get nervous and over correct for each spook. The good thing is that when people watch me ride they don’t seem to notice I am a little worried so at least I am living my trainers fear mantra.

So yesterday I had a lesson and it was going well. The best way I have found to combat my nerves is to keep busy, something my trainer is more than happy to go along with! That means not a lot of beaks and being totally focused my whole lesson. The Schoolmaster was in a good mood and being perfect so I had a feeling it would be a good lesson. Towards the end my trainer and I were working on lateral work at the trot making it progressively harder. We went from leg yields to shoulder ins to haunches in. I was starting to get tuckered out when my trainer told me to pick up the canter. My first response was “why?”. She told me to not think and just do it. After getting a nice forward canter she told me to come to the centerline and half pass out. I answered back that there was no way I could do that. She told me to just try. So I took a deep breath turned down the center line and focused on shoulder in on the diagonal line.

And guess what? IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I half passed!

It is one of the coolest feelings ever!!!!! I did a simple lead change because I was getting tired instead of doing the work for the flying change and went to try it in the other direction. My first canter half pass was clean and beautiful! My second was a mess. That was okay though because I would expect something to not be great when I am learning. I was so happy I did it though! So now I can say that I can leg yield, haunches in, shoulders in and half pass at all three gaits!!! I can’t wait to ride again on Wednesday! Maybe doing fancy things is just what I need to stop being a baby!

My Poor Pony…

I feel so bad for Gennyral right now. He is not a hot weather horse. He never has been and I don’t think he ever will be. Add to that the fact that Gen gets a nice, healthy, thick winter coat every year and this time of year is hard for him. You see, we had a warm snap this week. Two days were over 90 degrees. My poor little pony was roasting! He was covered in sweat and was so hot he was even having a bit of a hard time breathing. Lucky, a nice cool shower and hanging out in a breezy shady area made him feel a lot better. His winter coat is not even all the way in yet! They say it will drop 20 degrees by tomorrow so at least there is some relief in sight.

EAT on Dr. Phil today

Sorry for the lack of posting but I have been crazy busy! With fun things, but it is still busy. I just wanted to give you all a heads up for two TV events this weekend. The first is that today on the Dr. Phil Show one of the therapies that they will be showing is Equine Assisted Therapy! How cool is that? I am recording the show and can’t wait to see what they have to say about it as a treatment option. As my long time readers know, I am a certified therapeutic riding instructor as well as a certified Equine Assisted therapist. Not that I do much with those certifications, but I have them!

The second heads up is for Sunday at noon. They will be playing 90 minutes of WEG coverage!! Even though I am still a bit indifferent about WEGs, I am making sure to record it. Not just because I want to see the opening ceremony, but also because I want NBC to realize that there is an audience for equestrian events!

I will leave you with a picture of HRH Gennyral (you know…His Royal handsomeness) being goofy last night.

Sometimes you read a blog post that is just so dead on…

that you have to share it.

Check out the post today from Tucker the Wunderkind

I often wonder what it must be like to be horseless. I got a taste of it going back from two horses to just my Gen and two rides a week. I cannot imagine my life without going to the barn everyday. I just can’t. I don’t know what normal people do after work everyday and I don’t ever want to know what a weekend is like without horses. I know my family thinks that I am crazy for all the money I spend, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Are you excited for WEGs?

So with only 3 days to go until WEGs a lot of people are in fever pitch. I am sad to say that while I think it is cool…I am not that terribly excited. I am looking forward to reading the Regarding Horses Blog and watching the NBC coverage Sunday at Noon, but I am not planning my life around it. I will say that I did get a spark of excitement knowing that watching this 30 second promo on the today show! Anyone super excited about it? Or are there more people like me out there who are a bit indifferent about it?

I know Devon was not going to be great…but I still wanted to go :(

I am so bummed right now! I just found out that Dressage at Devon is not the last week in Sept like I had thought. Nope. It is the first Sat in Oct!!!! Why is that a big deal? Because I have a family obligation Sat night Oct 2nd. That means no Grand Prix tests under the lights for me. I am so upset! This is the first time in a long time that I am not going. I know that it will likely not be the best year with WEGs going on, but last year the riding was very sub par and I still had a great time going. I am hopefully going to head up on Sunday at least to get some shopping done (not that I need ANYTHING…but you know…can’t hurt to look!). Anyone out there going this year?