This weekend turned out to be a huge success! I am feeling very relieved after this experience. I was truly wondering for quite a while whether Archie would be able to handle the atmosphere and pressure of the show life. The first and only time I took him to a show was the first year I had him. I had no idea that he was as nervous and uncomfortable off property as he was, and after one class we basically had to throw him on the trailer and drive away quickly. It was really stressful and disheartening at the time. I have been slowly working over the past 3 years to reduce his anxiety both under saddle and off property. He is such a naturally talented horse that I love to death. After reaching the absolute end of my rope recently and finding myself crying in the barn after my rides we finally hit a breakthrough. As I said in my last post I felt we were ready to finally attempt another show, the test of our training. I am happy to report I was right, and I can finally see the light to the beginning of Archie and mines eventing debut.
Friday night I packed the trailer, my show clothes, and the most hunterish tack I could find, trying not to forget anything. I was going to bring Archie over to my friend Dana's place for the night and have a sleepover. Archie loaded onto the trailer great and with only a short trip he didn't sweat at all. I unloaded him and put him in one of Dana's freshly built stalls. His new best friend Quartz that he has been spending a lot of time with was waiting for him. He was happy and quiet in his stall, no worries, no stress so far. Yay! We decided to have a short ride and then prep the horses for the morning. Dana had just groomed a field and built a few small cross country fences. She has just been at this farm for 6 months so is in the process of constant improvement and building.
|Quartz waiting for Archie|
|The Studio at Danas|
|Our sweet ride|
After our ride we cleaned our talk, talked about life, braided, brushed and polished the ponies. We went to bed and tried not to get too nervous about our showing debut the next morning. 5:30 am wake up call came and we had coffee and breaky with the horses, loaded, and we were on our way. Once arrived at the show, we let the horses relax on the trailer for a while. This was good! Both stood and munched hay quietly the whole time. I was very excited about this as I really, really didn't want to have to deal with a horse who won't stand on the trailer quietly. This is no longer a worry for me. We unloaded after the first class and since there really isn't a warm up ring there, we just went for a quick hack around the property before our class.
Our first class was Green as Grass cross rails. A simple hunter pattern with 7 fences. If I forget this I will quit riding completely I thought to myself. Dana went in first. She trotted Quartz most of the class and with only a couple of gawks she went over all the fences without problem. I was up next. I went in the ring just thinking to myself - get a good canter, stay straight, don't move and everything will be good. I picked up a canter and made sure I had him going in front of my leg right away. I cantered to the first fence and he popped over it, stayed nice and straight onto the second. He went around the rest of the course like he had done it his whole life. He didn't throw his head, rush, go sideways, or balk. He cantered a nice forward canter in a consistent respectable pace. I gave him huge pats and a big hug when we left the ring. YAY! First course, a success!
|Cutest Pony Ever.|
|Couldn't figure out why this trailer was so tall!|
|Off to the ring|
|Archie flying over his tiny x rails|
|Relaxing after two tough classes! LOL|
|My past neighbour and her daughter - Blue on the right is 26.|
|Dana with my new neighbour and her Appendix|