This past Sunday my barn hosted a local member show, which is basically an elevated schooling show. In the morning school horse kids did classes, then there were classes for the boarders. In addition, a couple other very local barns trailered in to compete. Only the medal classes count towards our local association show season, and the rest are just a nice chance to get in the ring. I was looking forward to showing Ernie and getting to know him a bit in that atmosphere. I was honestly a bit nervous that I would revert to poor riding after how badly last show season ended though.
Saturday afternoon I got out to the barn and brought Ernie in from the pasture a bit early so we could school over the show fences. Everything went fine, he was of course his normal good boy self and earned all the cookies for carting me around. Evidently the jumps were set higher because the next day when I went to show they looked tiny!
Sunday I arrived at the barn way tooooo early. I got there at 1030, got on around 130, and started showing around 2. My first class was an equitation over fences class, and it just flowed so nicely. I almost wanted to quit while I was ahead! We did win this class too. Video below.
After that I had two hunter rounds. Both went well, although Ernie slipped in some deeper footing coming off the first line in the second hunter course and got a bit fiery for the rest. He listened of course but he ate up the lines a bit too much and it just wasn’t as nice. We got third and fourth in those rounds. A short break followed, and then we did our medal course. Honestly I didn’t think our medal course was that great – it was fine, but I had a few tight distances because I didn’t have my pace quite right. I suppose I’m being hard on myself there, it did have a nice flow to it. Regardless, we were in first after that round. For the test, you had to trot in and canter out a line and then do a left to right rollback followed by a halt before doing sitting trot out of the ring. After a day full of great lead changes you can guess that my left to right lead change issues came back to haunt me in that silly rollback! That moved us down to second place, but it’s an issue that has gotten so much better and will improve with time as I stop trying to pick up my horse and do the change for him, lol.
We did two flat classes after that (one equitation and one hunter) which went as expected. Ernie anticipates greatly once he has cantered so we really struggle with going back to trot after cantering the second direction. It’s a work in progress for both of us to communicate through that and find relaxation. I’m sure it will get better with time as well. We got third and fourth in those classes respectively.
I am just so happy with the show. It is so nice not to worry about what the horse might do and just ride. I find I can shift to trying to be a quieter and more detailed rider which I really enjoy.
Good boy Ernie!