This past weekend there was another B rated show at my barn. I wasn’t sure at first if Stamp was going to be ready to show since he had a mild case of cellulitis pop up on a hind leg not long after the last show but we got it under control and I even managed to jump him the Saturday before and he was great. Since he’s not really the type to be scared of the jumps themselves (just all the other stuff, lol) I decided not to school over fences on Thursday and just do a nice hack around. It had rained the night before though and the ring we were showing in was complete mud soup. Stamp doesn’t do well in mud, he gets tentative and tense, so it was really pointless to try to work in there. So I went in the other sand ring where he promptly had a melt down about the banners along the side of the ring, the horses schooling out in the field (which he was closer to when we had just walked in the mud ring), the horses in the grass ring next store, and just general life drama. I ended up working him for over an hour just trying to get him to relax. We started on a small circle and slowly expanded our space. He never really got as nice as he can but he improved and actually cantered pretty nicely so we called it a night. Normally he gets Friday off then to give his back a rest but I was a bit nervous after our bad pre-show ride (that’s actually never happened before this show). I walked him out to the ring Friday evening though and he looked around but seemed pretty tame and sleepy so I let him have his day off and gave him a bath.
Saturday I only had a warm up, one over fences class, and a flat – all hunters. The warm up was rough as Stampede was terrified of the judge (which I planned for) and even with me making a big courtesy circle over there he still got crooked and quick in several spots. In the actual over fences round things were going okay until we came to a diagonal line coming home and he grabbed the bit and took off. I made the strides happen but barely and not without a hefty use of muscle on my part. So yeah that was not going to be a winning round!
The beast got to go back to his stall for a bit before the hack and went back into the ring all business. When he’s not alone in the ring he’s so much braver! He went around nicely as usual, I was very pleased with him. Then they pinned the class completely weird! I didn’t expect to win or anything as there were 11 of us in the class but we didn’t even pin. The fancy grey I thought would win was also pinned further down. Oh well, judges!
The photographer who did my shoot with the boys got the photo below on Saturday though. I love the way Stamp looks and I don’t look too bad either. 🙂
Sunday we had a warm up and two more rounds over fences to do. We posted to go first in our division along with two other girls from my barn and warmed up on the flat. Then our trainer didn’t come and didn’t come and we sat on our horses for an hour. It sucked and with Stampede’s back issues it’s never good for him to have my weight just sitting there for long periods. Finally we got to school over some fences in the warm up ring and the beast managed to trip and canter on his knees after a fence. We were both fine but I did have that moment where as I sat there nicely balanced over him as he bumbled along and wondered if he was going down. My husband said it was crazy how I was just sitting there while Stampede tried to pull it together.
Again in the warm up class I did a big circle to go over by the judge. He was much braver than the day before (as usual) and other than a bit of distraction over things outside the ring he put in a good round. Both of our hunter rounds were just okay – I kept bumbling my ins to the diagonal lines trying to avoid hitting the long spot I kept seeing – but I was happy with how Stampede pulled it together and also how he didn’t hold a grudge about my mistakes like he sometimes will. We got 5th and 7th out of 13 (extra people using the classes as their warm up for a hunter classic in the ring later) which I felt was correct given my mistakes.
So kind of a mixed bag overall but I think a good end to the weekend as far as Stampede’s efforts. I need to try to figure out how to get him over this fear of the judge particularly on the first day but he honestly doesn’t pay attention on a regular day when people are up there watching lessons. Not sure if it’s the extra stuff the judge has with them so might try having someone up with with a purse and papers and stuff that they can move around.
Now our next show isn’t until early August so we have a few weeks to work on some things.
Lastly, I bought one more photo from the shoot.