This past weekend has been very informational, and quite the learning experience for my mare. It was Heidi’s first time away from home overnight. She stayed two nights and two days on the show grounds, and she was wonderful! Some of my hair fell out, but she was awesome! I thought that being away from the farm and Frank she may be anxious, or moody (Mare problems) but she was wonderful, calm and level headed. So here is the summary of what happened over the weekend.
Friday was a tough day because we stacked our hay for the year in the loft, that took most of the day. My ma and I loaded the trailer and got Heidi on around 7 pm then was at show grounds at 8 pm, found my trainer, and immediately tacked up and rode. Luckily because it is summer, it stays light until about 9:30 pm. My trainer and I rode and were the only ones in the ring. This allowed me to acclimate Heidi to all the weird things about a dressage ring. The judges booth was not as big of a challenge as I thought it was going to be, neither was the canopy tent or the signs that were hung on the wood. She was a doll! It was very odd that Heidi did not spook at anything… Then the fun began, once the horse was settled in the barn my mom and I had a “Mother-Daughter Bonding Time” by setting up the tent, in the dark, with not flashlights, and the worst part of it was, we were so tired that we could not sleep. It was HORRIBLE! Total of sleep = 3 hours.
Saturday went well, mane was braided, horse brushed, saddle cleaned, test one rode, received a respectful 4th place, she was really uphill and moving forward, but consistency was the problem down the sides, we are still working on consistency for transitions. Test two rode and received another 4th place, this was her best test of the weekend and the score confirmed it. After her second test Heidi was dead tired, and so was I, no caffeine was drank so we substituted for wine at dinner and met up with old friends to sit around and talk horse talk, met new friends who we enjoyed talking with. We met a really nice lady who was explaining the whole back story of western dressage and how she learned of it. < Photos taken by my friends husband, they both were very sweet to take photos for me.
Sunday everyone was tired. Heidi was exhausted, this is her first show and she is not used to riding and all the pampering, it made her a bit moody today. Also today she seemed to have gone into a cycle of heat, coincidence that her neighbor was a stallion? I am thinking biology started to take over and her hormones kicked in, the stallion was such a good boy too. Well her test today was not as forward and smooth as the first two and we had a behavioral incident, but she placed 5th and overall she had a fabulous first show and weekend away from home.
In the end it is not about the placing or the scores this time. This time was mainly about her being away from home and going in the ring and performing. I did find out that I have to put a red ribbon in her tail, and that not many riders know that it means my horse kicks. Saturday Heidi did fine, but Sunday she lost her cool and kicked out at another horse. No one was hurt, and my suspicion was confirmed that she needs the red ribbon and I will do my best to keep her away from others.
I am so proud of her though, she did fabulous!
Next month though her jump training is being increased, to move her along.
Happy riding! Namaste!