Giant eventing moose showing his happiness to go someplace by literally dragging me onto the trailer? Check. (Although also very rude.)
Giant eventing moose transported to and from the show by his owner? Check.
|that's right! i finally drove my own rig for the very first time!|
clearly i took it very seriously.
Okay, so those of you that drive your own truck and trailer all the time by yourself won't care, but go me! Nobody died! It was actually really easy, and I might be doing it again on Wednesday to go to a gaming night. Event horse to barrel horse. That's how we do.
Right, nobody cares about that. On to the show recap.
We got to the show a lot earlier than I had planned on, so Bobby got to hang out and polish off his flake of alfalfa and dump two full water buckets over to play swamp pony in while we went and walked the cross country course first thing. That must have relaxed him, or he's so used to hanging out at BH that he was relaxed anyway, that he warmed up very quietly and politely.
|my solution to hiding his neon pink ears?|
fly bonnet ftw. swat does not wash out, you guys!
We had a minor discussion to the right when he reminded me that he does not do the bending or the relaxation or the obedience in that direction. We actually spent quite awhile working on this Friday and he worked himself up into a serious tizzy over it. I didn't want to revisit that right before we went in for our test, so I had to let it slide.
This show is so well organized (I'm looking at you, WRC) that they were running about fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. Since Bobby was being such a pro, it worked out perfectly and we headed in pretty relaxed.
He had some moments where he got a little tense--mostly in his medium walk work--and the judge marked him down a bit for tightness in his left canter as evidenced by his curled up neck. You can also see at least one time where I had to pop my outside rein to get his head back up. Overall though, it wasn't a bad test, especially for this venue with horses running cross country right behind you which is very exciting for a jumping moose.
We scored a 33 which put us in second after dressage. The judge's end comment was "A well ridden test--work to improve suppleness in body, showing correct bending." Yep. Exactly what we're working on right now. I got a lot of really good comments from this judge, so I can't wait to work on them.
Because we'd already walked the cross country, after dressage we went down and hung out in the shade to watch the BN stadium. The puppies were happy to mooch pets off of everyone they could, though they were extremely concerned about the Belgian hanging out ringside. Apparently ponies are not allowed to be that big.
|too lazy and too hot to change into my black breeches.|
I finally headed back to the trailer to get Robert tacked up, and we went over to warm up. He was a complete rock star warming up. Steady, forward, listening, all the things.
Then we went into the ring and Maniac Magee reared his giant lug head.
The first two jumps were an easy six stride line. Bobby went in five, and then almost went right through the rope fence of the ring before my one rein stop and feet up to his ears got through to his fucking brain. I literally brought him to a full halt before picking up the trot and coming around to the next fence. I let him pick up the canter when we turned in, but then had to do another lay back and WHOA half halt between the next fence--set on a really tight bending line--and then again after the next fence to make the sharp right turn.
|oh, sure. it looks calm.|
Jump five was set parallel to the long side and then an immediate left turn to six. Bobby went flying over five and there was no way I was turning him in time to get any resemblance of a normal jump to six so I circled him between the two. I knew I was going to pick up a fault for it, but I wasn't really concerned about placings, and he needed a schooling "Pay the fuck attention, ass hat" more than we needed a clean round.
We finished with no rails so that was at least a win. I wasn't even upset with how cray cray he was. To be fair, he's had a lot of time off, and almost no jumping lately. Plus our stadium rounds have never been particularly..."good".
And that, dudes, is one major win right there! I actually went into a show with the mindset of "This isn't a big deal. I'm just here to have fun." And that's exactly what I did. Yay, me!
The course was perfect for the first event of the year. Straight forward galloping fences with plenty of room for adjustments in between. I knew that if Bobby was in his event horse mindset, all I was going to have to do was sit there and let him run.
Fortunately, that's exactly how it went and he cruised along like the good pony he can be when not in the confines of an arena. I just showed him where to go and told myself to sit up instead of pull back if my own brain got a little squirrelly, and Bobby responded to me riding like a normal person by jumping everything in stride.
We only ran into two problems. The first was the water. I should have brought him back to the trot since it was the first time he'd seen water on course in over a year, and from the direction we came in it had a bit of a lip to drop into. He wiggled to a second's stop, but I tapped him on the shoulder with my whip and he stuck his feet in before leaping the rest of the way in and cantering out easily.
It took me a second to recover my reins, but I managed to get him pointed to the right fence in time and he jumped that without a problem. The last two fences were double barns. I wasn't doing much actual riding since he was on autopilot for the rest of the course, and I think the quickness that the next jump came up after the first caught him by surprise when the rest of the course had been long stretches between efforts. As such, he pretty half assed puttered out to the side, and I let him do it. I circled him and he popped over easily.
|out of the water|
Even with the run out, I was really, really happy with the course. Bobby was totally game, and I totally stayed out of his way for once. Aaaaaand, I didn't psych myself out for one second. Fuck you, jumping nerves! Win of the day.
Of course there's helmet cam as well:
We ended up in fifth place for our division.
|why yes. i did spill that snow cone on my white breeches.|
thankfully stain stick works really well!
And everyone got ice cream for the ride home, except for Robert who got a giant bag of homemade horse cookies in his show goodie bag.
|no, they're not beggars.|
I had a shit ton of fun at this show, and it made me appreciate such awesome secretaries and organizers so much more. No nerves, fun on cross country, ice cream, and significantly under the gas budget. What more could you ask for?