Yesterday, before dawn we headed to the equestrian center , Lauren and I along with Jordyn and Arianna. It would be the start of a long, hot day.
Jordyn and Abby got ready for Leadline first. They were both absolutely darling and excited to get on their ponies and head to the ring. Ally, Luke and baby Kendyll (appropriately outfitted in a horsey twin set) showed up just in time to watch. Jordyn was really happy to see them. The judge asked the girls for a walk, to demonstrate the jumping position and to reverse at the walk. Both complied and looked sharp with their helmets, boots, braids and bows.
Amazingly, both girls were judged as a tie in the class and both ended up winning nice blue ribbons and a silver plate. It is kind of a silly class yet makes all of us happy to see the little ones starting out on their ponies!
Lauren and Feather were off to do the “Green as Grass” class again. They actually did four rounds over fences (so about 32 jumps) which was a new record for the mare. Feather seemed to be remembering last show when she got spooked by the outside rail (of course, Dev and Lauren were blaming that on me) and Feather started all her rounds side-passing across the arena instead of nicely entering at a trot. But once she got going, she was steadier than last time, pulled more correct lead changes, was straighter and had better pace.
I enjoy writing my blog and appreciate those of you who comment from time to time but I have no way to know who actually reads the stories. We were acquaintances with the judge, someone I deeply respect, who we met through her Corgi. Sneaky (our Corgi) had an a short-lived affair with her dog, Nordic, that had produced no puppies. Lauren was going down the hated outside wall when a lady sitting with the judge, abruptly stood up and scared Feather even more. I heard the judge say, “Its alright Feather!” I knew they had not announced Feather’s name so was a little confused. Turns out the judge reads the blog! It is awesome to learn I have followers out there that I do not even know about!
Somewhere around round three, Feather was getting tired with the heat and decided to refuse the outside jump near me (wasn’t my fault!). It took Lauren a few tries and some gentle persuasiveness to get her back over the fence and headed to the next. Actually, this week was not as good as her first show but we did double the rounds and asked more of her. I was afraid we would have a little backwards before we got forwards momentum and we did. But as Dev kept reminding me-it was Feather’s second show. I need to calm down and let the mare have some time to learn.
We were not excited about going in for the flat class. There were over 15 riders and some very nice horses. We were both concerned about the outside wall and if Feather would just be too fussy (the flat is judged on the horse’s way of going, quietness, appropriateness as a hunter, ability to execute changes in gait from walk to trot and trot to canter and back to the walk). Head throwing, not staying in a nice balanced frame and moving too fast or too slow are all negatives in this class. But Feather did well. Walked in, followed another horse straight down the outside line and executed all the commands as well as could be expected. Maybe we should see if we can get a horse for Feather to follow through a jump course! That could work.
No ribbons for our attempts over fences-we are still chasing the first over fence ribbon, but Feather moved up from last show to a sixth place out of 17 horses this week. I was really proud of both of them. In the end, Feather will be a jumper not the hunter we are showing her as today, moving fast, landing from the jump, turning and moving on. But for a while, we must continue in the hunter ring so she can learn the basics. Both Dev and my friend Gaylyn were urging patience and pride. Patience in all we still needed to teach but pride in all she had accomplished so quickly.
I can’t wait for the next show and next. Each time we are a little better and more goes well.
After getting everyone home and Feather back to her pasturemates, Lauren and I spent the afternoon with mom. It was a good day. Made even better by the promise of our first break in the relentless summer heat this morning.