With only a few shows left of the season, Gracie and I picked up the pieces and blew them all away at Millside.
After what had felt like months since the ponies got to show in their division again, we were in store for a beautiful summers day at the show at Millside.
The set up for this show was on the cramped side, but it was run very well by a barn from our old Trillium Zone, and with a different show schedule for us to try out. The show ran over Friday and Saturday only, and Gracie and Riley only went on Saturday (Gracie didn’t go Friday to do the Developmental Hunters). The hack division started the day off bright and early for Gracie in the jumper ring. The layout of the rings put the jumper ring on the end beside the main entrance, to the other side was the warm up ring, and beside that the hunter ring. The hack division being right away in the morning meant it was constantly being interrupted by noisy trailers and trucks bouncing down the driveway under the trees. While Gracie was much more okay about this than some of the other horses, she still reacted a few times to the noises causing us to stay out of the high calls. When it came time for the pleasure hack she had gotten used to the distractions enough to float pleasantly around the arena and getting noticed again for a third place ribbon from the judge.
Soon after the hack division, Riley arrived to the show and I started warming him up to go first in his division. He took some getting used to in the warmup ring and horses jumping courses on either sides, but he pulled through much quicker than expected. Riley really impressed me with the little things this show. There were many instances where I though “oh great, here we go”, but after calmly nagging at him to move forward and “just keep swimming” he proved to me he can handle being a show horse. Everything went great in the ring for our rounds. He was brave to the fences and jumping well (for him), and the only thing that was holding us back were the lead changes. So then I tried to get after him. These attempted were quickly shot down when he began anticipating the lead changes, we lost impulsion, and then I lost Riley. I have to give him credit for trying, but the slowing down and bucking for a lead change was getting us nowhere, so I quickly changed pace and simpled the changes and worked to get the forward pace back. We finished on a good note and he deserved all the pats and carrots he got for his efforts that day.
When it came to Gracie’s turn to go in, there was much commotion at the in-gate. I did mention about the close quarters at this particular horse show.. and somehow everyone managed to cram in ready to go for ribbons at the in-gate while I struggled to keep a fed up Gracie walking and dodging obstacles and still stay in ear shot of coach to learn our next course. I’ll admit I was a bit of a stress-case at this point and Gracie knew it. The one thing I did well at this show, while I was a total stress case outside of the ring, I put it all behind me each time I went into the ring and didn’t let it affect my riding in any way that day. Gracie had some stunning rounds and got some good ribbons with the extra company than normal in the Modified Adults division. Here is one of our best rounds of the season.
Both of the ponies hacked great and got 6th and 7th with the company.