|all done, time to go home and |
While still dark, Hubby had pulled the trailer right up to the barn where the outside lights had it illuminated inside and out just fine. Opie said NOPE. It was less a "I don't want to get on the trailer" than a great big "I'm not leaving my friends again, thanks."
He kept staring into the barn every time I stopped him at the ramp. That's a big old NOPE from me. He can stop and take a break from the circling as long as his attention is on me. There was a lot of drama and rearing and when I wouldn't let him throw himself into the side of the barn he tried to throw himself at me instead. After ten minutes I brought him to the ramp yet again and he dropped his head and let me pet him without paying any attention to the barn. I let him hang out there for a minute and told him he was a good boy before asking him to walk up which he finally did without fuss.
It was pouring rain the whole time, that good old fashioned sideways sheeting shit that we really needed but came at a rather inopportune time, which made the whole ordeal that much more fun. On top of that I'd woken up to my body being like, "Being a woman is great!" which is decidedly false. The easy hour and a half drive down turned into a two hour white knuckle bitch fest while my rig basically swam the last twenty minutes there was so much water on the road.
Up on the hill where the college is the rain had cleared up to a slow drizzle and I got Opie tucked into his breakfast under a cooler. He was kind of a distracted fuck the whole time as it was early enough horses elsewhere were also being fed and making noises that he had to pay rapt attention to. Obviously.
To make the whole thing more fun, as I backed Opie off the trailer Hubby informed me half his hind hoof was dangling off. I was like, wait are you referring to the blood on his leg? No, that was it's own thing. In the drama of flinging himself around the parking lot he'd managed to take a chunk off the outside of one of his feet and give himself minor road rash on the same leg's cannon bone.
|if you're wondering why he wasn't wrapped, it's because he|
somehow managed to get a bandage bow on a front leg on the
trailer ride down the day before and i was too paranoid to wrap
any of his legs the next day. joke's on me!
The chunk of foot came off with one tug and I rasped it clean to see if there was any real damage. Fortunately no, just cosmetic. The blood on his leg I scrubbed clean, dabbed some peroxide on, and it was good to go--really nothing more than a tiny spot of a scrape.
I finally got both of us dressed, attempted to dry my saddle off one last time before I got on, and then headed over to warm up. As we were walking by the barn the TD stopped me to tell me my stock tie was
I honestly thought she was joking at first. This is the fourth recognized show I've worn it to, including the day before, and no one had told me it wasn't allowed. In fact the TD at the show last month told me it was really fun and cute. BECAUSE IT IS. But no.
"The judge even said to me yesterday, 'What's the story behind that stock?'" Which I barely refrained rolling my eyes over because the judge was wearing a fucking bright pink sport coat so who is he to say the four inches of my light teal stock that's visible is offensive? And also I just didn't really believe her. Houghton is a conservative Christian college--one where unicorns are apparently the work of Satan. I don't fucking know. I asked her if she wanted me to change it, and she told me if I had another one I probably should.
Back I went to the trailer to change into my throat-crushing white stock where my sticky AF silicone grip asshole breeches glued to my wet saddle as I shimmied off and caused me to get a great big black saddle stain down one thigh. Then I got back on and soaked my ass through. SO THAT WAS GREAT.
|it's a pretty stock tie, it just chokes me out.|
The warm up was a mad house as there were five horses stuffed into the small size dressage ring because no one wanted to ride in the rain. Unsurprisingly it was actually less of a cluster than when I went back in for a quick t/c right before my second test and there was only one woman in there who managed to commandeer the entire ring and almost crush me into the wall with great fucking regularity. Because there's always a Dressage Queen.
Anyway, Dopes actually warmed up nice and relaxed and forward. The third rider in our T1 class had scratched all his horses for the day so it was just Opie and the lovely mare.
Opie was a thousand times more relaxed and focused than the day before. I think it helped that it was just Hubby in the bleachers and the photographer at the rail which was a whole lot less to get distracted by. He felt super the whole test, and after the morning I'd already had I was glad to have the good Dopie horse back in action.
We got a mix of 7s and 6.5s with a solitary 6 for the second 20m trot circle that kind of got away from me in the steering department. 7s for collective marks except for another 6 for submission with the comment "connection." "Nice pair--work to create a back to front connection to keep horse more balanced and through in transitions. Good job." Much more to work with than god damn "Nose out." 67% scored just under the mare for a nice big red ribbon.
We went back to the warm up since a bunch of people had ended up scratching for the day which left the show running early and we didn't have much scheduled time between tests anyway. One of the trainers in the ring was like, "There's that little baby Thoroughbred I love!" when Opie went by. "I've seen him everywhere all year and he's so cute!"
|it's true. he's basically the cutest thing alive.|
He'll be an easy sell if I ever can't get him on the trailer and have to leave him behind somewhere. Five dollars and he's yours so long as I don't have to deal with the drama anymore.
|alright, sometimes he does look a bit like a donkey.|
We didn't do much between tests. I parked Opie in a corner and hung out for ten minutes until the ring cleared of all but the DQ. When the ring steward said the horse before me was next in the ring I did a quick t/c with him and then went back over to get fawned over by the bit check volunteer.
This test wasn't quite as steady as the first one. It felt a bit rushed again and like I couldn't quite keep up. Still, mostly 6.5s, 7s, and 7.5s with a much redeeming and best scoring yet 7 for that fucking stretchy trot circle! I was pumped he actually went down and gave it the old college try for the very first time in a test. Sadly we ended with a 5 for the final halt because it wasn't immobile. Watch it--it's actually kind of funny. He halted not square and paused so I went ahead and saluted. Only Opie was like, "That's not right! We halt square always!" and took it upon himself to fix that mistake and square himself up.
7s and 6s for collectives with the final comment, "Nice pair--work to keep horse in front of your seat and leg. Be careful not to drive at your seat in the canter. Try to sit deeper and activate from leg to create energy. This will improve balance and connection. Good luck." This judge had great comments for both tests which I always appreciate looking back on to learn from. 66%+ won the class by a whole fucking lot. Like, embarrassingly a lot. I'm not sure what happened to the other two riders, but I'll take my blue ribbon and run.
|yay, not yellow!|
note stained brand new breeches.
And then I went home, took a shower, and went back to bed for three hours. Because I'm a grown up that needs naps sometimes, okay?