I stepped out of my comfort zone and took William to an indoor hunter jumper show in Newmarket at the Royal Canadian Riding Academy on Sunday. My coach Rick and I had discussed it a little bit a few weeks ago and he was interested in taking his young OTTB to get out and have his first show. We decided we might as well make the drive and see what's it like. At the very least it gets the horses out doing something and we could use it as a good learning experience.
I entered William in the 2'0 division and Rick had his horse in the 2'6. I left the farm at 4:30am to head out to pick him and Gryphon up at Winters End. William self loaded for me to help make my morning super easy. Gryphon walked right on the trailer also, and we were on our way.
The trip is just under 3 hours and is the longest trailer ride I have taken William on. The horses were excellent on the way up, and I was in tears laughing so hard having Rick telling me jokes and funny stories. I will say, it sure is nice to have a coach that is not only a great instructor, but he is absolutely hilarious.
We arrived and got the horses settled into their stalls. Both boys behaved perfectly, eating hay and relaxing while we unloaded the trailer and got our show packages. We walked the first course, and the course was definitely a strong 2'0 course. No lee way here with some 18 inchers which is what I was kind of hoping for he he. I wasn't really sure how this was all going to go since I have only ever schooled William over fences away from home once or twice. At home I usually just do one or two fences and I'm not sure I have ever done a full course with him. Thankfully I had my coach there to hold my hand and support me throughout the day. This is something I am just not accustomed to. In my entire show career, I have only ever once attended a show with my coach.
|Gryphon and I - note the Antares marking|
Since this was a schooling show we were allowed to buy a schooling round before the show started. I easily decided it would be in my best interest to do one and let William see the massive indoor, the tiny crowd, and the new fences with their fancy fillers and wings. I tacked up and headed to the warm up where I did a nice long and low warm up before moving onto some jumps, then headed to the main ring to do our schooling round.
I was anticipating him to be more reactive and spooky than he was, in fact - he wasn't reactive and spooky at all! He really surprised me. He trucked around the ring like he was ridden there every day and didn't bat an eye at a thing. I headed to my first fence with Rick helping me along the way and William popped right over. I continued on the course and William decided half way through that this was really fun stuff and he knew what he was doing. It was the first time I have ever felt William feel so confident and sure of himself. It was pretty neat.
Once it was time for the classes to start we made our way over and before we knew it, it was our turn to go into the ring. William was super and jumped very well. We had an unfortunate rail at the second fence but otherwise great. His straightness and adjustability are what need the most work, but that is just serious nit picking on my part. There were 7 or 8 horses in the division and even with our rail we ended up 3rd in the first class! Here is the video of our first class.
|that's horse show sexy right there...|
|Rick and Gryphon|