After her early morning bath in the dark I put the rest of my stuff in the trailer, put her boots on and went to load her up. It was still very, very early so the sun was not up yet. It was that beautiful pre-dawn time where there is a little bit of light, but it is still mostly dark. Lucky has been great with the trailer so there was no hesitation in my stride as I walked her towards the dark trailer. She walked on no problem and off we went. The hour long drive was okay. There was a person with road rage for the first part of our journey, but I just kept driving the right way and eventually they flew in front of me on a double yellow line (for the record I was going 5 mph over the speed limit because the road was flat and straight so I don’t know why he was upset)…right in front of a cop. It was THE BEST! Once he was pulled over the excitement for the trip was over.
I was finally hungry for breakfast on the hour long drive and went to get a granola bar out of my cooler when I realized that I couldn’t get to it…I had stupidly put my cooler on the floor of the passenger side of my truck…way to far away to grab while driving. I figured I would just get it when I got to the show. I had been planning on parking under the trees at the show grounds, but when I pulled in all the spots under the trees were already taken and it was only 6:30 in the morning.
I checked in and got my stuff out. Lucky got off the trailer like a total saint! She was calm and easy to work with as I tacked up. There was another green Thoroughbred at the show with a really nervous rider who walked right in to the warm up ring and closed the gate. The horse wasn’t being bad, she just made it clear that was her warm up ring… That threw me for a bit of a loop. I had planned on warming up in the warm up ring, not on the grass. I have found that the biggest key to my success with Lucky at the shows is a well planned warm up. I walked Lucky around on foot for a few minutes hoping they would open the gate…they didn’t. At 7:00 with 18 minutes to go before my test I had to get on. So I tried to focus on coming up with a good warm up and making a mental ring in the huge field so it wouldn’t seem so unmanageable.
I got on using the bumper of my truck (best mounting block ever) and Lucky immediately tensed, which made me do a sharp intake of breath. I slowly exhaled and asked myself what the Young Rider would tell me to do first and got to work. It was still hard for me not to let Lucky run through my leg without a natural obstacle to guide (I know, I know, the ring is a total crutch), but she warmed up well. I did a few trot transitions and before I knew it I was being called to the show ring.
To Be Continued…