I am not one to complain, so I just left well enough alone and went to put Lucky back on the trailer. They still had Junior In Hand Trail and with over 20 entries in the trail class I knew I would have plenty of time before I needed to saddle up. I watch a lot of people go in trail and was impressed. The obstacle people were having the hardest time with was the gate. I couldn’t remember how to do it (I know you want the haunches through first, but I couldn’t figure out how that happens) so I watched other people go. No one did it the right way, but a lot of people had really nice runs on the trail course.
One of the things that I have learned about Lucky is that when we are at a show, if I am on her she needs to be doing something. I can’t just chill on a loose rein. With that in mind I tacked her up and got her back to the ring with a few rides to go. When there were only two people left I got on and warmed her up by working on turns on the forehand, etc. When it was our turn to go I walked in to the ring and tried to have as loose a rein as possible, which was not so loose.
That being said Lucky marched on to the bridge no problem. I did the gate the wrong way, but at least we did it! Walking through a pile of tree branches and bushes was no big deal (we do that like everyday) and we rocked the jug pick up and trot to the next jug. We even got a square halt perfectly at the jug drop point. Zig zag poles were nothing, and with me on her back the L on the ground was a breeze.
I was happy with how we did, but not holding my breath that we placed top 6. When they announced the placings Lucky and I got 2nd!!!! 2nd!!! Out of a lot of people! The only person that beat us was someone who has done trail at the AQHA congress so I don’t mind loosing to them one bit. I was thrilled. I love trail and have taken many horses in trail and placed highly with all of them. I think I need to just do trail 😛 Can that be a disciple in of itself??
I untacked Lucky and put her back on the trailer. By this point she was giving me the hairy eyeball, and I was getting hot and cranky. With hours to go until my next class I settled in for a few hours. By the time I started getting ready for the riding classes it was 4pm. Lucky and I are used to dressage shows so being at the show grounds for 6 hours was a long time, especially for a black horse in nearly 90 degree heat.
With one division to go before pleasure I unloaded Lucky. Or should I say that I tired to unload my girl. You see, she was a little done at this point. She had been a total rock star, loading and unloading like it was nothing. I think she was just ready to go home because she made it pretty clear to me that she was not getting off. I ended up having to go up and get her and bribe her off with treats.
Putting on the saddle was a challenge, she was clearly telling me that she was done for the day. Instead of listening to her I carried on. By the time I got on I was riding a giraffe. I didn’t know a horses neck could go so high. I tried to warm her up, and she got better, but she was still tense, shaking her head and having trouble keeping a steady tempo.
When they called for the pleasure class I went in and started getting frustrated. There were over two dozen horses in a ring that was not meant for them. I am used to being able to change rein at will…these people didn’t get that and some of them had interesting steering. Even with that there were still horses with their nose on the ground poking along relaxed. As they got ready to start the classes I decided to call it a day.
If Lucky had been going along like whatever I would have pushed the issue. The bottom line was that there was no way I was going to place and I was having a hard time schooling her with not being able to do figures. I got near the announcer and asked to be scratched for the rest of the day.
I know, I know, some of you are thinking I am nuts.
This whole year with Lucky is to show her that showing is fun. She was not happy, and neither was I at that point. Knowing we didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell of doing well I decided that we had done enough. Am I disappointed in myself for giving up? Sure. But the bottom line is that Lucky did more than enough to make me happy that day so I didn’t feel bad about it. We schooled and worked all the way to the trailer, and she still stayed tense so I knew it wasn’t something that would get better with time.
After untacking her Lucky literally ran on the trailer. I was annoyed at myself for not planning my day better (maybe only putting her on the trailer once instead of 4 times would have made a difference) but I was still happy with my Lucky. We are getting better and better at every show. And had that been a dressage test and not a ring with tons of other people I would have kept riding. I just didn’t see the point in pushing myself or her in that situation. The next fun show isn’t until October so we will see what I decide to do then. For now I am just going to be happy with 2nd place finish in trail 🙂