It takes 3 years to make a hunter. It takes 3 years to build up the fitness, the adjustability, the style, and the finesse that make up a competitive hunter horse.
As if the delayed and then delayed again show season kick off wasn’t enough – next came the rain.
HSE show 1 weekend began on a high note with Gracie coming away with Reserve Champion of the Developmental Hunters with coach!! Below is one of her rounds.
The next highlight of the day came when I catch rode my friends green warmblood in my Equitation under saddle class, and pulled through with a silver medal.
As the sun set at the end of the day, I tucked Gracie and her buddy away in their stalls for the night, and headed home. This being one of the furthest shows of the season, I napped at home then was off again in the early morning to clean up after the girls and their slumber party at the show grounds. Pulling up I glanced at the rings and grumbled to myself about how muddy grey pony was going to get today, then set off to start scrubbing her white. No sooner than the second I had completed her tail braid and was spritzing her with show sheen did the unthinkable happen – the show was CANCELLED. Being one of the first to arrive I first spread the news to coach, then began painstakingly removing every last braid from her mane. At least she wouldn’t be getting muddy today…
HSE show 2 returned the following weekend. Gracie having been excellent for coach the previous weekend, I decided on the return to this venue I would not enter her into the Developmental Hunters this go. A few minutes later upon taking a look at the ring and – gulp- a combination.. Cooooooooach… will you navigate my pony today..
So of course she was perfect and the combination didn’t even phase her day 1. Onto day 2 and… rain!? Sure enough, upon Gracie and I entering the ring day 2 the skies opened up on us, then stopped, then started again when I got back on for the under saddle classes. The plus side was the suction-cup affect it had on my seat with the saddle for my Medal flat phase. And hey, we even finished Reserve Champs in the combined Modified Child/Adult hunter division that day. Below is our medal trip where we skipped one lead change, but she was brilliant and brave to the jumps.
After the first few show of the season was cancelled due to a Strangles Outbreak, we started the season off at the end of May at Eden Ridge Equestrian.
The layout of our classes for the show weekend started off on Saturday with the Hack Division, followed by the Hi/Lo Developmental Hunter Division and then my Equitation class later in the day. Gracie started her first show off in the Hack Division a little overwhelmed. After mussing through her first experience in the ring, she got ready with my coach next for the Developmental Hunters.
Gracie entered this ring with coach for the first time since the Hack in the morning was in the other ring. Coach took her time and walked the long way on their mission to the first jump, keeping her straight when she started to look or move away from things that caught her eye. Gracie wasn’t spooking at the jumps themselves, but when something elsewhere caught her attention and you lost all straightness to the jump, she would stop. Including warm up rounds and the division itself Gracie went in for 5 trips with coach, and continued to become braver every trip. Lead changes were still a work in progress, so every lead change was simpled in this small ring in order to break this experience down for her and to only worry about getting her around the course for her first show.
Day two of showing were my jumping divisions with her. The numbers were small enough at this show to combine my divisions for ribbons to be the Modified Child/Adult Division, and the Modified Child/Adult Medal. We were back into the big ring that I had hacked her in the first day. Gracie went in more confidently for her warm up trips than she did the first day, but I still had to work to keep her straight and focused on the jumps. Videoed is one of our best rounds of the show; she had settled down a lot more by her 3rd course, and we were both breathing a bit more by then.
This show also had a Hunter Derby! Although we lost our straightness in the combination and were not able to complete our course, I got some of my best jumping pictures of the season from this course that we went into without a warm up round.
It was a great first show out for my green girl!
How was your first shown out this season?
Aaaaand, we’re back!! Greys n’ Bays is back from a show season hiatus!
Who is that stunning dapple grey featured in this post you ask? Well, my little green ottb mare to be exact!
This time last year, I had just purchased Gracie out of a field and from being off the track for a year. This picture was taken from the THJA Championships at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park a few weeks ago, where we got to compete in ALL of our divisions this year.. and did I mention Gracie was RESERVE CHAMPION of the Modified Adult Hunter Division and the Modified Adult Medal on the South West Trillium Zone!? Well she was. And I’m pretty darn proud.
More about our week at the THJA Championships to come, but first, a week of posts to recap our season this year.
What goals have you accomplished this show season?