So yesterday morning started bright (well actually is was pitch black out) and early at 5am. Oh the joy, but I don't think I've ever been so excited to wake up so early! I was ready for the show. Got to the barn at 6 and powered through cleaning stalls. Tux was still clean and braided so I put his cooler on him and went to load him in the trailer. And he wouldn't go. I've never had a problem with him not loading, but I've never worked on it with him to get him a little less reluctant about it and I am planning on teaching him to self load but I just haven't gotten to it yet. Anyways, he won't have anything to do with getting on the trailer so we spend 15 minutes dancing around in the mud before I finally get him in. I was not pleased, my sparkling pony was no longer sparkling.
But he was loaded and we were off! 90% of the drive was on the interstate so it was pretty easy drive until we got to the exit. I have never gotten less trailer friendly directions from mapquest! The paved road was full of huge potholes, I missed the itty bitty street I was supposed to turn on to and couldn't find a big parking lot or street loop to turn around on so I turned around in a dinky parking lot. Thank goodness I am good at maneuvering a big truck and trailer! I may have trouble parallel parking my little car but I have no problem with a horse trailer :) Once on the little bitty road we had to drive through a residential neighborhood complete with speed bumps every 20 feet and me trying desperately not to run over foliage or mailboxes lining the street. Luckily once we got through there the barn was super easy to find.
Parking was fine so I opened Tux's window so he could get some fresh air but left the grate up so he couldn't stick his head out. I went and checked in - switched our equitation class from w/t/c to just w/t. When I got back, Tux had his head stuck through the window. Somehow he had figured out how to get the grate down. I tried to push his head back inside but he wouldn't do it so I opened up the trailer to get him out. He wouldn't budge. I couldn't get him to back up or stick his head inside. He was stuck (in his mind). It took quite a bit of prodding and pushing and smacking him in the nose until he figured out that he was not in fact stuck and could pull his head back inside. One lady obviously watched me amusedly from her truck. Yeah, thanks for the help... In the process of pulling his head back inside he ripped out a couple braids and a good chunk of hair. Just lovely. The best word to describe this horse sometimes is a complete nincompoop. Silly boy.
Once out we tacked up, I did my best to clean his legs up and redid two of his braids then we went to warm up. They had an outdoor to warm up in so it was a little wet but not too bad. We were really lucky that it didn't rain. He was quite well behaved though he really wanted to canter so I was just hoping he'd hold it together for our test. First up was Intro B - a very simple, easy and quick test. Just walk trot, make two circles and a free walk. Tux was surprisingly not afraid of the dressage arena or the big letters so that was nice. He was however afraid of the judge's table at the end and spooked at it twice. Other than that I felt the test went fairly well, we had a couple movements where he was counterbent but other than that it felt nice. After the test the judge called me over - I made an error. I was supposed to free walk from F to E, not F to H. Fail! That's what I get for thinking it was an easy test and not thoroughly reading it through.
We ended up with a third place out of 7 with a 55.94%. I was kind of disappointed in this score, I felt like she judged pretty harshly for an Intro B test at a schooling show! We got four's in both places where he shied at the judge and a 4 on submission which sucked. 5's and 6's on everything else with a 7 for our final halt. Overall, it was just kind of "eh".
Next up was walk trot dressage equitation. I let Tux eat his breakfast and then went to the class. There were 6 people. I ended up switching to walk trot just because I didn't want to wear the poor guy out and this way there was almost an hour between equitation and our next ride. Equitation went very well - there was no spooking at the judges table and this was actually his first time riding with other horses in a (very small) arena! He was so good save for a little buck he threw in there for no apparent reason. I ended up placing first which was a huge boost to my confidence. The judge said I had a great seat and leg and though I almost lost first place because of the buck, I sat it well so she felt like she had to give it to me. Yay!
I was quite pleased with myself as we were all filing out of the arena. I was walking Tux along on a loose rein when all the sudden he exploded and bucked me off.
To be continued...