Monday, April 21, 2014

Ponies Show the Hunters!

  Jessica and I spent our Easter Sunday at a local schooling show.  This show is at a new facility about 30 minutes from my place.  It was held indoors with the warm up outdoors.  The weather has finally turned a corner and we were blessed with a decent temperate and actual sunshine.  

  We both entered the 2'3 and 2'6 hunter divisions.  William has only shown cross rails once, and 2' jumpers once.  This will be much bigger than we have shown and the hunters are a little out of our element but we were going for the purpose of schooling and getting around some fences with a little more height to them.

  William was in a funny mood from the minute our day started.  He let himself out of his stall again (becoming an everyday occurrence now) and was greeting me in the doorway when I went to feed the horses in the morning.  He had a bit of a fit on the trailer right before we left when he saw Parker being turned out.  When I tacked him up at the show - he was being a dink and then when I was on his back, he was backing up around the parking lot and refusing to go forward.

  In the warm up he settled down but was threatening bucks at the canter.  We went in for our warm up round and he jumped everything first time - no looks or stops at all.  I was happy with that and since our division was first to go, I headed back to the trailer to change his saddle pad and put my Ogilvy half pad on.  I removed his shaped fleece and put a PolyPad on with the Ogilvy and he seemed a bit happier.  Thank God I had that and my cross whip still in my tack box!  I also moved his saddle back more as he seems to hate when it is anywhere near his shoulder.

 Our first round started off well, we popped into canter and jumped the first two lines nicely.  On a turn to the third line William slammed on the brakes and it took some good Pony Club kicks to get him going and over the first jump on the line.  He wasn't spooking or stopping at the fence, he was just being a bit of a nappy brat!  He did this again down the 4th and final line.  Needless to say we were last in that class but we got around.

Willy and I in the 2'6 - Photo by Jason Scourse

  For our second round in the 2'3 I got my whip from the trailer and just as I entered the in gate I gave him a good hard smack behind the leg.  Wouldn't you know it, we picked up a beautiful canter and jumped around the course nicely.  He got all his changes and had a nice smooth ride around the course.  This continued through to our 2'6 classes in which he got every distance, lead, and jumped extremely well.  He was also super in his very first flat class with other horses.  Out of 8 riders we had multiple 4ths, a few 5ths and 6ths.  I won't pretend to be a hunter expert but I will say I think the judging was a miss.  Not just for me but for Jess too...her horse was spot on all day and neither of us really came away with anything decent - although Jess did win the second 2'3 class.  Some of the winners were what I would call interesting choices.  This is why I don't show hunter though - too much subjectivity for my liking!

Jess and Mia in the 2'3 - Photo by Jason Scourse

  This I think is the problem with schooling shows sometimes, judges know the other riders or the judges are just pulled from any random spot to fill the day.  I am however thankful for having shows like this for my young guys to be able to go out and get experience.  I am also thankful that this is not my go to competition life, because I might rip my hair out by the end of summer trying to understand the placings.  

 All in all I had a great Sunday at the show.  William turned his attitude around and showed he is ready to start jumping some bigger stuff - and soon enough start his eventing career.  Can't wait.

{ This post is day 16, letter P of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2014. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }


  1. I'm not sure about where you are but in the Hunters even at a schooling show, boots are not allowed on the horse, Dunno if Jess had them on in every class but she would place bottom for "wrong equipment" (just me speculating off the one pic and no offense meant at all, both horses look cute and overall it sounds like you guys had a good experience out).

  2. Yes, you are definitely right about that. I'm not sure if that came into play as she did win one of the classes...but it's hard to know at these shows. Sometimes they are allowed, sometimes they aren't. We should have asked the crew if they were judging that. Thanks for the tips :)

  3. He looks like he's being super good! Especially after a good smack ;) Hunter judging can be really confusing, hard to offer any insight without videos. Could have been a lot of things but I'm glad that he ended up being a good boy and I can certainly empathize with being a bit disappointed in placings :-D

    1. I have video of his nappy round, but no others (of course). I think Jess has video of hers though...going to see now...

  4. Sounds like a great way to spent the Easter Weekend!

  5. You guys looks awesome!

    Henry lets himself out of his stall too so now he lives with a chain around the gate lol!

  6. I just love looking at the photographs. Beautiful.



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