When I woke up on the day of the show I felt calm. I think all I needed was a good nights sleep and the knowledge that my trainer would be there in order to calm down. I was even up before my alarm went off at 4:30am so I had plenty of time to stop at Dunkin Donuts for a Hot Chocolate to warm up before heading to barn in the 20 degree temperatures. Talk about a good way to start your day, there are few things so comforting as a hot coco and knowing you get to spend the day with horses. I even hooked my trailer up first try in the dark. Things were definitely looking up.
Driving in to TM’s barn all I could see was the outline of her hooded head. I must say that out of all the horses I have seen a Sleezy on she is the only one who hasn’t seemed bothered or ashamed of it. After a quick clean up of her legs and a brushing out of her tail my trained showed up ready to load her. My little rock star marched up and on to the trailer like a seasoned pro. There was no hesitation, no backing, not even a quick sniff of the ground. She was ready to go somewhere and show her stuff, which made me feel like everything was going my way.
The Local Show Grounds is literally 3/4 of a mile away. If there was a shoulder I would just walk her over, but with a 45 mph speed limit, 2 blind turns and no shoulder I figure it is worth a trailer ride. We pulled in at 7am (about an hour before the first ride) and realized that we were the only ones there. My trainer told me that was a good thing. TM can be totally herd bound so being alone would force her to look to me for comfort. I had over an hour and a half before my first test so I unloaded her and walked her all around letting her get the lay of the land.
I let her just chill with me for about 30 minutes before we went back to the trailer to tack up. TM handed everything like a pro and was okay when we put the saddle on (she exploded at our first show together when saddled). I took a few deep breaths and got myself ready. TM was being great. I had 40 minutes to warm up before our first test (our second test was only 15 minutes after our first) which was plenty of time to get her to relax, and really relaxation was my only goal for our tests. As I walked her over to the mounting block TM started to look around, which made me nervous. Luckily my trainer was still there so we got me to be calm and focused, which made TM calm and focused. We were having a brilliant warm up when my trainer signaled to me that she need to leave. She felt confident that we were looking great and that we didn’t need her. As I watched TM get floppy ears I have to say that I agreed. We were looking good and we would be fine on our own. With 20 minutes left until my time I felt like I could handle things on my own. As I watched my trainer walk away I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I am a show pro and I would be fine.
To Be Continued…