|and we had the braids to prove it.|
I got back from Chicago Thursday night and obviously went out to the barn Friday morning. I rode my horse, giving him a pretty easy First-centric school with a couple jumps over the barrels in the outdoor when we were done for funsies. I was grooming him afterwards while BM was holding a horse for the farrier, and it randomly popped into my head: "BM, do you have a prize list for the hunter show tomorrow?"
The smaller hunter shows around here offer a flat only division, and that was where my interest originally was. But this was a slightly bigger show and they didn't offer it, so after poring over the prize list we decided to just go ahead enter Level 1 Hunters (2'-2'3") ...at about noon the day before the show.
Preparation is not the name of the game. It's all about spontaneity and whimsy! Or just having no shame or fucks, call it what you will.
|the judge was hysterical and lent to my overall mood|
of giggling every time i went into the ring.
The show barn is literally right around the corner from our barn, so after a perfectly reasonable start we still had plenty of time to play over all the jumps in their ring and derby field. Hunters are so weird!
I didn't put spurs on because I was trying to go for the whole neutral hunter look thing, but also because I'm not sure I even own a pair of plain black spur straps at this point. My wardrobe is bling and color. #nochill That meant it took me three tries to get Opie to pick up the canter from the walk, but once he bothered tuning me in we didn't have a problem on the flat. Where it did come in was not having enough to back me up over some of the more heavily pimped out jumps.
I should first point out that this marks...maybe the sixth or so time this horse has jumped so far this year? For sure the first actual full course he was going to be asked to go over since our jumper night back in December. Plus since he turned into a know it all/doesn't actually know anything bulldozer cantering stadium jumps (fortunately not something that seemed to carry over to xc fences) the few times I tried jumping him this spring, I've only been trotting him up to jumps.
|blurry screenshots are the only jumping media you get. i wasn't able to find a free|
barn mom to give my camera to until our flat.
Nevermind though! Into the canter and off we went!
Oh my gosh, guys. This fucking horse is so fucking cute. He picked up the cutest canter and went loping over everything like he was the brokest, most idiot proof 2' hunter on the planet. The only problem I ran into was a bright yellow oxer with bright white boxes as fill coming out of a 4 stride line. Things Opie knows nothing about: oxers, boxes as fill, lines. I had to school him through it a few times before he finally felt confident jumping out of the line, but everything else? Easy peasy. He coasted right through the long diagonal lines without ever changing pace, he half halted off a breath, and I never had to touch his face.
|ears up, taking the cute gappy distance, loving his life.|
Feeling totally happy with him in the ring, we scooted over to the derby field for a quick romp which included having to step down a bank to get into the field. I'd watch two horses in a row launch off the bank, but our young Dopie horse? Who's never seen a bank before? He lowered his head to watch where his feet were going and stepped right off before strolling away to see what was next.
I pretty much spent the entirety of the show silently squeeeee-ing to myself. Remind me of this the next time he spends an entire ride rearing because I ask him to step his inside hind under more than one inch.
|probably the only person smiling the entire flat class.|
that stupid yellow castle line behind us was our bugaboo.
Praise the baby Jesus, we were the very first division of the day. He got to take a break for awhile while the ring got dragged and set, and then BM secured us in the second rotation (you hunters!) so one of my two barn mates showing in the same division and I could watch several rounds go first.
Of course the very first jump in the very first class was the only one I didn't school over. It was a fake stone wall single, but oh well. Off we went! Dopie gave it the hairy eyeball and broke to the trot a couple strides out, but I was able to leg him on enough that he popped over it from the trot and stepped right back into the canter. He floated through the first diagonal line no problem, jumped into the scary outside red line, and then wiggled to a stop on jump out--another box-as-fill oxer (that was a vertical when we schooled it before). We came back to it from the trot and he went right over, and then finished with another perfect diagonal line.
|i mean can you even?!|
I could not have given two shits about the mistakes. He landed every lead, he jumped the jumps he understood, and he never got flustered or upset. I walked out and was like, "HE'S SO CUTE!" and everyone at the gate was like, "STOP IT HE IS!" He hung out totally chill while we waited for our second class, and then back in for round two.
I was able to push my phone into BM's hand for this one so there's video evidence:
That fucking yellow line was nearly our downfall. I barely got him over on the second attempt and that was with a lot of clucking and a pony club kick. But he recovered just fine and finished like a very good boy. Oxers are hard, yo. Especially when you never, ever jump them.
He got to go back to his stall to hang out for awhile before going back in for the flat.
|it was dusty and breezy, but not ungodly hot for once|
There were twelve horses in our division, and as BM pointed out, "I don't understand why everyone entered their giant warmbloods in the 2'" so we ended the day with no satin, but REALLY WHO CARES?!
|"a strange show to be sure, but i'm not mad."|
--opie, for real.
Dopie went around a wild and wooly warm up jumping everything I put in front of him, he did both his courses like this was something we actually practiced more than
#childgenius sash hung around his neck Saturday, hands down.
We finished the weekend out by taking a group to the park. Fortunately it was super low key and we spent the majority of the time walking because the kiddo would have preferred to nap the day away.
|did thoroughly enjoy his splashing tho|
He gets a well deserved day off today, and then I have to figure out how to manage our rides in the upcoming death heat so we can get some schooling in before returning to dressage--and Opie's official Second level debut!--this weekend.