My first class of the day was an In Hand class. It was Showmanship. Considering I had no time to put polish on TM’s toes, brush her tail or do any of those types of things I was not holding my breath for a top finish. As the class started and the first person began their patterns I looked at TM and could see that clearly she is distressed. Not only was her head sky high in the air, but she was literally shaking.
I knew I had 7 people in front of me left to do their pattern so I figured I had about a minute a person to get my pretty girl looking less like an animal in Africa and more like a horse! I started off working on her ground manners and just trying to get her to pay attention to me. I asked her to halt and stand, back up, walk on, etc. I pushed all thoughts of the show out of my head and instead just focused on getting TM to pay attention to me. When we were called to be on deck I brought her forward and watched the person before me go since I didn’t know the pattern. It was just a walk from cone A to B, at B trot and do a 10 m circle around the cone and go up to the judge for inspection. I could handle that. After one last halt and back it was time to shine.
I put on my biggest smile and tried not to nag at TM as her head went straight up in the air when we walked in to the ring. I kept on walking and just looked at the judge like I was proud as could be of my giraffe. When it was time to pick up the trot I looked at the judge and started jogging like it was nothing and sure enough TM picked up a trot right next to me. I tried to keep her pacing in mind so I jogged a lot slower than I normally would in order to match her gait. When the time for inspection came I did the quadrants the best I could, but I knew I had still messed up at least a little. As I walked to line up and saw so many other horses I got a little bummed. Trying to keep my Mare still was proving to be a job in and of itself though so I was only half paying attention when they called about the awards.
It wasn’t until the person behind me called out to me that I realized that TM and I had gotten 3rd place! Out of all of those horses! How cool is that?!?!?! TM had kept all four feet on the ground so far and with the lead line classes in the next division I had the OGD call The Mare’s Owner (TMO) to see if she could get there in time to register OGD for the class just in case TM settled down even more.
Up next was the Mare/Geldings class…i.e. conformation. I went back in to the line up and this time being near all of the other horses seemed to calm her down. She still had the nervous lip going, but she was standing still and being adorable looking to me for comfort. I was still a little unsettled about the whole trailer thing though so I wasn’t the rock of a person that I normally am for a horse during a horse show.
I knew that since this was a conformation class I was not going to place well so I just wanted to use the time to get TM to calm down even more. We did our thing in front of the judge and had some trouble getting her to stand up correctly, to the point where the judge said they would come back. My pretty girl was stretching out like she had a sore back…and considering I had tried to ride her in my saddle the day before I was thinking that she probably did. I was so frustrated at that point about my whole saddle situation that I wanted to cry as they called the placing out.
To Be Continued…