Remington and I after the pattern work in Jackpot Open W/T
Riskie and I in Sr. Showmanship
Today was a lot of fun. The morning started off with rain, which was disappointing because they did cut our hay on Thursday and it got rained on. I am hoping since it cleared up in the afternoon they will have raked it and it will be dry by the time they bale it... Anyway, RAIN! In the morning. I wasn't going to let a little rain ruin my fun so I caught my two grumpy horses and loaded them up. Aubrey decided to leave Chocolate behind today. She didn't think it would be fair to take her to a show when she hasn't ridden her in a few months, I can understand that. We got to the fair grounds at about 7:15. I sat in the truck for a good while to see if the rain was going to let up. I figured the horses wouldn't mind standing in the trailer, at least they'd be staying dry.
Once it got closer to 8:00 I headed over to register for my classes. I signed up for Sr. Showmanship and Trail with Risk, and Jackpot Open Walk/Trot Pleasure/Equitation and Trail with Rem. My first class was class #8 so I had lots of time to get ready for it. I unloaded the horses and Aubrey hung up their hay bags, that made them a little less grumpy. It was still spitting rain, but it was tolerable. The show didn't even get started until 8:30 so Aubrey, her friend Ben, and I just sat in the truck and watched classes until it was time for me to go.
Showmanship was my first class. There were 8 in the class. Risk and I went first and we had a really great pattern for the most part. Our back-up was slightly crooked and when I set her up she moved a hind foot as the judge started inspection. Then, I hesitated while doing my boxes and I thought I screwed them up. I was really disappointed that our pattern ended the way it did. As I watched the other people go, I noticed that I wasn't the only one making slight mistakes. There were people who took too many steps back, as the pattern called for 5 steps. There was another competitor who misjudged her distance from a cone and that put her in an awkward spot to pivot. A few horses stepped out of their setup, more noticeably than my own.
By the end of the class I was unsure how my own faults would measure up against my competitors, it seemed like nobody had a flawless pattern. It turns out the judge was on our side and we ended up placing 1st! I was really happy with that. Riskie is such a good showmanship horse, I can let her go all year without practicing and she still remembers what I taught her as a 2 year old when she was my last 4-H project.
After showmanship there was a lunch break so I saddled Rem up and took him into the arena to warm up. He did great. I wasn't sure how he'd react to all the chairs and people sitting just on the other side of the arena, but he did fine. He didn't even look at them. He sure has come a long way... He warmed up nicely so I kept it short and headed back to the trailer.
After warming Rem up I saddled Risk and decided to get trail out of the way. I was disappointed with the pattern because there were some really tight lope-throughs. I guess I shouldn't be upset with whoever made the pattern, but I just knew my horses wouldn't be able to do it. I know there were horses that accomplished the lope-throughs correctly, but neither of mine did. It was one of those situations where you needed all kinds of collection and I am not at the point with either of my horses at the lope. So, I ended up placing 4th with Rem and 5th with Risk.
My last class of the day was the Jackpot Open Walk/Trot Pleasure/Equitation. You had to pay $10 at the gate to enter this class and money awards were given to 1st through 3rd. I originally wasn't going to enter because I wasn't sure we'd have much of a chance, but decided it would be good for Rem and I was curious how we'd place since I've been working on his trot lately. There was a pattern with this class because 50% of the judging was Equitation (judging the rider's skills) and 50% was Pleasure (judging the horse's movement). The pattern was - Trot from cone A to cone B. Stop at B and back 4 steps. Trot past cone B and complete a circle continuing on to Cone C. Stop at cone C. My pattern went pretty smoothly, though I was a little disappointed that Rem threw his head out and grabbed the bit on our first stop. I also felt like I was working hard to keep him straight as I trotted out of the circle and to the last cone.
There were 8 riders in the class, and I didn't see everyone's pattern, but it is harder for me to pick out riding errors than it is for me to see errors in a class like showmanship. I think the class would have really been hard to judge because there was a huntseat rider, a few green horses with snaffles/bosals and finished western horses with curb bits.
After the pattern work we did some rail work. I am unsure how to present Remington as there is no written standard of how a mustang should be shown. I suppose it depends on the type of mustang you have. Western Arabian horses are shown with a higher headset than a Quarter Horse, but it is more acceptable for a Quarter Horse to carry his head slightly in front of the vertical where as Arabians are always on or slightly behind the vertical. I also didn't know how much contact I should have. I know in a cub bit on a finished pleasure horse you don't want any contact, but I rode Rem in a snaffle with two hands, so I thought a little contact would be okay. I just tried to show him to the best of my ability.
When we came in to line up, I honestly had no idea where I stood in the placings, so I was more than surprised when my name was called for 1st! I won my entry fee of $10 back and got an additional $10 on top of it. I was so proud of my little Mustang, because there were a lot of nice, finished Quarter Horses in that class!
I have video to share, but it will have to wait until tomorrow! It's getting late and I have to be up at 7 for our lesson tomorrow. Thanks for reading, I hope you all have a great Sunday!!