Sunday, November 3, 2019

Season Wrap Up Hunter Show

This was an invitation only hunter show. Only the best riders from our immediate area were allowed to compete, and Opie and I were lucky enough to be included.

HA, I kid.


The only reason we would ever get invited to anything is for entertainment value. Like the court jester. Sign us up for that job.

a very regimented group of hunter princesses. clearly.

It was, however, essentially a closed show. Our barn and the barn directly behind us got together and were like, "We're gluttons for punishment hard work and general mayhem--let's put on a hunter show for all our riders to wrap up the year!" Or at least I assume that's how the conversation went down. There was a massive turnout though, and it was a super fun, relaxed, and run to the minute show. Which really probably marks it as one of a kind in the hunter world.

We'd originally only signed up for the 2' division, but the day before they created a hack division so we added that on as well. There always seems to be some derision when I mention our apparently Only in the Greater Rochester Area hack division. It's three flat classes, sometimes with a fourth that includes a single jump. Is it a real division at a rated show? Does that even remotely matter in this situation? #nah

bonus points for getting to layer up and wear a sweater instead of my paper
thin hunter shirt and jacket. negative points for brand new not even remotely
broken in tall boots.

I followed BM and her second load of horses with Opie. When we arrived, his BFF was hand walking in the outdoor and they immediately started screaming for each other like complete drama llamas. I got Opie unloaded and brought him over to join Easy immediately. He looked like a serious fool as he pranced on his tippy toes to the his Hello Kitty jammies.


He had to get tacked up at the trailer by himself at which point he finally tested the knotted rope halter I got him specifically to address his occasional setting back. It worked like a fucking charm. He hit that fucker once, went straight into the air, and then sullenly stood like a perfect gentleman while working on his hay bag. Teach you to have bad manners and break my halters, sir.

Fortunately that was the extent of the drama for the day. He warmed up like a pro and melted down the lines in a crowded warm up like he'd been huntering his whole life.

Our hack division was first, and it was the most fun I'd had in one of these ever. All the others I've done have been w/t/c both ways, the end. The judge actually ran these like real flat classes. We got to do such exciting things as sitting trot, canter to halt, halt to trot, backing up on the rail, change direction and immediately back into the canter. Literally the basics of hunter flatting but so much better than the usual boring carousel rides.

Opie was a little tight, and I had to keep him a little shorter than usual because he would get quick instead of forward. I had to sneak in a few monster half halts when the judge's back was turned, but overall he kept his shit together and was able to stay on a long-ish rein. We ended up fourth in hunter something, second in equitation, and third in hunter pleasure.

and no, i did not get good media. SORRY.

Our over fences classes were immediately following. We had casual 50mph winds and heavy, heavy rain at the end of the week so the back half of the ring was flooded. They decided to make the course as short and simple as possible which was totes okay with me.

After a perfect, short schooling over an identical course at home the day before and then having a flawless warm up jumping, I went in expecting Opie to flow right over everything easy peasy. That was not the case. I don't know if he was just tight and cold and unfocused from standing ringside for ten minutes waiting to go back in, or it was a classic case of "Carly goes in the ring to compete and all things go to shit"--or both (it was both, probably leaning heavier towards the latter)--but the first course was not great and the second was somehow even worse.

Well done to my barn mate for standing at the exact right spot to not make them look like the shit shows they were. I had to bring Opie back for a complete regroup after that pumpkin line because he landed so unbalanced both times that there was no salvaging any gait in one to two strides. Oh well. He jumped the jumps, and that's better than nothing. We got a 5th out six for the first course because one rider had a rail, and then a 6th out of six for the second round.

We finished with our under saddle class. I had to boot Opie back into the ring because he was les tired by this point, but he'd reach a happy (for me) medium of kinda tired and kinda grumpy but gonna werk real hard in hopes I'd let him be done. He was straight struttin' and on his game. That earned him his first hunter show blue--it also got us a 1st through 6th for six classes, and when I came back from dropping he and his bestie back home one of the girls handed me a reserve champion for one of the divisions.

one of each!

Overall I wish we'd been able to jump the jumps as well as I know he's capable of when it actually mattered, but since hunter shows don't actually matter matter to me, I certainly didn't finish with any bummed out feelings. I had a ton of fun showing with a great group of kiddos from my barn, and we got all the satin for all the things. Not a bad way to descend into utter winter darkness!


  1. It’s pretty awesome how he can rock it in the dressage ring, go a hunter pacing, and do a hunter show all without much fuss.

  2. He just looked like he got a little green. I didn't see anything horrific at all! He's really jumping cute, look at those knees in the screen shot!
    I've never seen hunter hack classes at the shows I go to, but I do know they are more popular with the breed shows. Quarter horses especially.

    1. If you could have seen the lines from the sides instead it would have showed the level of fuckery that truly went on. :P

  3. How fun! And in the videos, Opie does look GREAT haha <3 YAY RIBBONSSSSSS

  4. He's seriously the perfect all-arounder! Look at the all the satin!

    1. Good at all the things, but not great at anything!

  5. Well done. I love how balanced you stayed over him no matter what spot he took or how gangly he got with his stride.

    1. He taught me not to fall down with him very early on lol.

  6. I love how you literally got one of each ribbon haha!

    1. I had been passing them off to barn mates and it wasn't until I was done that they were like, "LOOK AT THIS RAINBOW!" because they know my ribbon ho-ness lol.

  7. Honestly there should be a special prize for collecting each of the ribbons - variety ftw ;)


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