Sunday, November 17, 2013

Super Pony

Soooo many things to write about! I have had such an insanely crazy week I haven't had a chance to write, much less do any other unnecessary things like sleep for more than 6 hours. I mean, who needs sleep, right? But really, I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow. Like at least 12 hours straight.

How I kept my little piglet horse clean-ish overnight.

So, first hunter jumper show with Misty! I have literally jumped her maybe 3 times? And can we talk about how A-MAZING she did today?

Quick overview for those that don't want to read through the whole thing. Entered 4 classes, 2 of them 18" classes and 2 of them 2' classes. I've jumped her 2'6" but wanted to keep it small and inviting for her first time since we've never actually jumped a course (only maybe 3 at a time) and only plain white poles... No gates or flowers. One round was literally perfect, 2 sucked due to rider error and the last was just "meh" also because of me. But that one round seriously made it worth it.

Also warning, some complaining/whining ahead. 

All ready for our first class!

So, I guess we should go in chronological order. First was an 18" trot a course. Super easy to remember, only 6 fences... But I forgot my course. For some reason I thought the second jump was supposed to be a line so I circled while I kicked my brain into gear (4am mornings are tough!) and finally realized that it was a single fence. Duh. She did really well, but was understandably looky at the fences, but still responsive and never tried to refuse.

Second round was the perfect one. Like, I don't know how she could have done better. We got every lead, she maintained a lovely tempo and got great distances. We got second out of 10 (or possibly 12? I think a few people added after I checked in, but not sure). Sooo, that was kind of amazing. Have I mentioned that she is an awesome horse?!

I literally cannot get enough of watching this video of her. How does she look so good? I love it.

Ok, now for the not so good. First off, I am not a hunter rider. I've ridden in maybe 10+ hunter/jumper schooling shows over the past 12 years and one 'A' rated show with Jazz years and years ago. This is a major part of the problem. I feel like it's really, really hard to get into doing hunters without a trainer and going with a barn. I'm used to being the odd one out because I only take sporadic lessons and I've never been part of a barn. I'm very independent and I just don't tend to mesh well with a highly regulated program though I'm sure I would benefit from it a lot.

Anyways, so I had NO IDEA what was happening. I did class 15 and 16 and was ready for 17 and 18B. Only to find that they were going to run 18A, 19 and 20 first because those were all the 18 and under classes. I put Misty away for a while, then got back on in time for 17 and 18 to run. 17 was 2' Hunter and 18 was Long Stirrup 2'. So they called me over to do Long Stirrup and I thought "Oh, they're just going to run out of order, whatever" so I went in and did the Long Stirrup course. By the time I got to the 4th fence, they told me I was off course. Come to find out, Long Stirrup not only referred to class 18 but also to all of the classes for over 18 years old and thus I had gone off course and was disqualified.

I was kind of pissed, both at myself for not figuring that out and at the show management for not making it clear. In my limited experience, I have never had a show run that way, or if they do decide to do a class out of order, they make it very clear how it's going to go. I'm sure no one else had the problem because their trainer would be looking out for them, but I still felt like they should have been a bit more helpful, especially since it was a schooling show. I absolutely hate looking like I don't know what I'm doing and felt really embarrassed. Because I was so upset and fighting tears it kind of ruined my next ride. I wasn't as focused as I could have been and I was flustered so I didn't provide Misty with the support she needed and she fed off my emotions a bit. (When I get upset/angry I want to cry and I just can't help it. It sucks. But I made it through without shedding a tear!)

^^The not quite as amazing round. But really, looking back at it now, it wasn't that bad at all. 

So overall not a happy ending note. This is the third time I've been to that arena and the third time I've wanted to bawl because of it. I think the 3rd time was not the charm and I don't really want to go back there!

But I'm over it. The main thing was to get Misty experience and just have fun. I definitely had a ton of fun in the first 2 classes and I'm just over the moon with her. Probably am sticking to my plan of never again stepping foot into the hunter ring again though. Theoretically, I love it, but it's just really never been my thing and so I'll stick with eventing/ranch horse/endurance/dressage and the occasional jumper show because I think I have plenty to focus on there!

Other random thoughts:

If I ever show any interest in another paint horse, please please tell me no. Never, ever again do I want another paint. Misty's my fourth paint and it's just way. too. much. work.

Misty must wear a sheet with a tail flap in the trailer, otherwise she poops on the wall and then smears her butt in it. Lovely.

Bringing a blanket for my mom was a very good idea, must remember to do again because it was freezing in the arena.

Loved my outfit, lol. I kind of looked put together for once. I brought show clothes too just in case everyone was decked out, but it was 50/50 so I stayed in my sweater.
                 For reference, if interested, I'm wearing:
  • Ariat Pro Circuit breeches
  • Ralph Lauren lizard print belt (ebay score!)
  • Old Navy sweater in purple
  • Aeropostale polo shirt in gray (best/cheapest polos ever)
  • De Niro Leuca field boots
  • IRH Elite Ultra helmet. 
  • Also got to wear my brand new Roekl show gloves, first time having actual nice gloves to show in!

Trailer tack room mirror selfie, lol

Little children on ponies are the CUTEST THING EVER. There was a tiny little boy who was a GOOD rider and hearing him discuss his round ("I got some good distances!") was so adorable. I want my future child to be like him, lol. 

So many gorgeous horses. I think that the stereotypical "hunter type" horse is my favorite conformationally. They're just so dang drool-worthy.

Wearing spurs was good, though I did have to use them a couple times and Misty got a little "enthusiastic" about her flying changes, but not bad. 

Overall, it was a good day, I had a lot of fun and I'm a very proud horse mom :)


  1. You are dressed super, and you know I always find that sometimes I know more of whats going on than my trainer. It's always good to ask questions, though that show doesn't sound that organized that you went to and regardless of what discipline it is that blows.

    1. Thanks! And yeah, I wish I could have gone after a couple people so I could have watched and maybe figured out what was going on instead of being first in... But oh well, it happens!

  2. I like having Bay horses for the exact reason-the dirt doesn't show up as much. ;) Although if-WHEN-I ever show or rodeo, I'll probably put a sheet on or something to prevent dustiness. All in all, it sounds like a great show! Even through your mistakes, you can walk away and learn from them, plus you know your horse was willing and that's pretty much the most important thing. :)

  3. Oh my gosh, do I ever feel your pain...I always said that I would never own a grey horse, so I just ended up with a mostly white one. It's an unending battley to keep my horse at least semi-clean looking. #painthorseprobs

    1. Oh and btw I watched the guys looked fab!

    2. Thanks! The problem with me is that I love horses that are hard to keep clean: lots of chrome, paint/pinto, grays, appys. I want them all. But I hate cleaning them. I think chestnuts are seriously my favorite color and they never look dirty (well, comparatively) so I want one of those next!

  4. You guys look great and your outfit was perfect! I've been reading a lot of blog posts about non-hunters going to hunter shows and feeling frustrated, so I might write a post offering my limited knowledge. They are kind of a different beast.

    1. Thanks! And yeah, honestly hunter shows have to be one of the most complicated to understand disciplines that I've tried, and I've tried quite a few, but I'd never had that problem before with the other schooling shows or even the one 'A' show I did. I'd love to read what you have to say!

  5. Hunter shows are tough -- and really the order of classes is up to show management. Terms like "open cards" are really important to understand... unless you have ring crew that have absolutely no idea what's going on, which it kind of sounds like happened here.

    Sorry you had a bad experience with the people, but Misty looks STELLAR!

  6. Love reading about all these different classes... here we have 'show jumping' .... yep, that's it!
    Misty is gorgeous - worth all the washing :D