Monday, July 18, 2011

WRC Children's Show and Elysian Fields Dressage Show

Well, my internet hasn't been working for the past week (which isn't really anything new since out here in the boonies you have to take what you can get) so I'm going to combine Bobby's hunter show and dressage schooling show into one post.

Last Saturday, CL and CL's friend took Bobby and Eve down to the Williamsport Riding Club Children's Show--under the supervision of their trainer and with me tagging along to ensure the mental well-being of one Bobby Magee. It was both Bobby and CL's daughter's first show and Bobby was a total superstar. I warmed him up outside one of the rings when we first got there. He was a little quick and looky, but he wasn't looking to spook or run-off. He just wasn't too sure what was going on and why there were so many horses. After everyone was done with their forty minute lunging sessions in the ring (oh, the joys of the hunter world), I brought Bobby in and walked him around for about five minutes, then did a lap each direction at the trot. He was much more calm after he'd figured out that no one else was too concerned about all the activity and I let CL's daughter get on him.

The trainer took over from there and CL's daughter walked and trotted him. He was striding out beautifully; looking alive and trotting big flatters him. I was standing next to a mom at the rail watching the warm up and she commented on how unorganized/unsafe the warm up was. No one was calling out where they were going, the trainers weren't paying attention to all their students, and kids were riding right in front of jumps as people were going over them. Yikes. Someone needs to teach these kids warm up manners! See this wonderful blog for how the warm up ring becomes the warm up ring. We went back to the trailer after about fifteen minutes to let them cool out and get ready for showmanship.

"look at me! i can be a show pony, too!"

CL's daughter had never practiced showmanship with him before and she didn't really want to do the class (neither girl did), but wonderful show mothers took over and entered them both. Bobby trotted off good for her (after much practice from trotting for his trainer and vet at the track, he's an old pro), but the girl backed him up on the wrong side of the cone, so the pattern was blown from there. They were unplaced in a class of twenty two. No surprise there.

definitely not winning any conformation classes any time soon

squared up nicely

"what's going on?"
We got him tacked up and hurried back up to the arenas, only to wait around for another twenty minutes while they finished judging the ridiculously huge showmanship and halters classes. Twenty minutes was probably the shortest time we ended up waiting between classes that didn't immediately follow one another. This show was soo poorly run; the pa system kept cutting out, the classes were way too big and should have been split, and the judges ended up calling out their own instructions because they had the western and english riders in different arenas but with only one person calling out directions.

His next two classes were walk/halt equitation and pleasure. There were twenty eight (!) riders in those classes. They divided the one arena in half for western and english and judged them seperately, but it was still a mess. Four year olds to thirteen year olds in a crowded arena trying to pay attention to their judge and try to figure out who the woman on the pa was talking to is never going to end well. There were a ton of almost collisions, especially in the western riders, but everyone was still on by the time it was over. Bobby got a second and a fifth.

Walk/trot equitation and pleasure were next. Another big classes--probably about twelve kids. This is the first time the PA system went out, and after the judge telling everyone to walk around for five minutes, he finally got annoyed/pissed enough that he started calling out what to do himself. We didn't know how anyone placed until they came out of the arena because we couldn't hear them; I was surprised the kids could. Bobby got a sixth and a third.

We had lunch break before finishing up the final class, another walk/trot that judged both horse and rider. Bobby was unplaced in fourteen riders. We sponged him off, let him graze a little, and loaded he and Eve onto the trailer to head home before any more madness went down.

size difference much?
Needless to say, Bobby got his gold star for the day and lots and lots of cookies afterwards.

"i've been a good boy all day. just let me eat my dinner!"
This Sunday (yesterday), Hubby, Bobby, and I popped off to Montoursville in the morning for a dressage schooling show. I only had enough money to do one test, so even though it was an easy-peasy one, I chose Intro B since that's what we're doing for his dressage test at his first event in hopes of getting some good feed back and putting us in a good place in two weeks. Bobby wasn't so sure why we closed the door to the trailer without Red or another friend with him, but he didn't scream his head off and was a very good boy by himself the whole time.

We warmed up for twenty minutes in their gorgeous indoor (ohhh sand footing, how I have missed you!) before heading out to watch the three tests before us and have a sneak peak at the flower boxes next to the dressage letters. We all know how scary and potentially horse-eating those can be.

bobby spots the other horses

me paying attention, bobby doping along.
Our test went....okay. He was pretty quick and tense and it showed in both my riding and our final score. He was bracing himself against the bit more to the left than the right, but he was very obedient overall and never once offered to spook or misbehave.

We ended up with a pretty measley 63.75%, but it put us in fourth out of seven. The judge told me after our test that he looked like he had a good brain and he was going to be a fun project. She told me to focus on overbending him, especially on circles, to build up his neck muscles because he was going a little U-necked. Her comments on the test were very helpful and it was definitely worth going to.

bobby not too trusting of the voices coming out of the scary monster cave/judge's booth.

goood pony!
looking cute with our first ribbon won together.
We were home by noon which was a fabulous result in itself. After giving everyone hay, Hubby and I grabbed some lunch at home quick before taking the puppies for a swim in true redneck style. Hey, just because you don't have a pool doesn't mean you have to suffer in the heat!

darcy and hubby cooling off in mahoning creek.

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