First off, I cannot believe this is my 300th post! Thank you to everyone that checks in an reads my blog, because without you all I might not have become so diligent and committed to blogging. So thank you all for keeping me going with it.
The schooling show went well yesterday. There were lots of "new" things for both Rose and I to experience. She definitely took it all in stride. Here is a video of EB riding her in the English Pleasure Green Horse class for those who just want to see pretty things go round in circles.
For those literary types among you that would like to read my long winded re-cap of the day, read on.
It was a beautiful morning with a glorious forecast of sunshine and forty degree weather. Unfortunately, I started out the afternoon arriving at my barn a half-hour late from my original time. I hate being off schedule, it gets me flustered, but I managed to over come it. I got to the barn at 11:30am. Since I'm still a novice at hooking up my trailer and really all things trailer related on my lonesome, I decided that hitching up would be my first priority. After that then I'd load the tack room and then Rose. It was a good thing that I decided to start with my trailer, because it was still partially buried in a couple feet of snow. Once I figured out how to put my truck in 4wd I proceeded to use a five gallon bucket to scoop any offending snow out of the path of the trailer, I then hitched her up. Hitching went fairly easily. That probably only took me ten minutes in total. Then I had to get it out of the snow bank. This took a tiny bit of rocking back and forth, and then we were out! I pulled around to the front of the barn when it donned on me that there was easily 18" of snow stacked on top of the trailer, which would invariably fall off en route. At this point EB arrived at the barn, so while she caught Rose and groomed her up, I decided to drive the trailer around a bit and try and knock off the snow, and within about ten minutes I had it all off. After that we loaded up Rose, who walked on just fine, as if she'd last loaded yesterday rather than over a year ago. I was very proud of her for that!
A half hour later, shortly at 1pm, we arrived at the arena. When we pulled in we immediately ran into TR, who came out to join us for the day to see how Rose would handle herself. TR turned out to be a great extra hand and I very much enjoyed spending the day hanging out with her. After I found a suitable parking spot where I wouldn't be required to back the trailer at all it was time to unload. Rose backed nice and quiet off the trailer and looked around a bit, but behaved herself well. I decided to tie her up to my trailer for the first time. It's something that I should have done a long time ago, and had I not been pregnant, would have. At any rate, I attached a blocker tie ring to my trailers tie loop, and let her stand there. She tested it once, pulling back, but did not get loose. I re-adjusted it, shortening the lead back up, and let her stand there for a long while. Eventually she got the idea and relaxed and cocked a foot. Good girl! For the rest of the day we either had her in hand or tied to the trailer. It was officially the first time I've paid for a stall/pen and never used it. Hopefully, if there is a next time, the weather will once again be sunny and beautiful and I'll just skip reserving a pen all together.
At this point the show was running VERY late. All the morning classes were western, and they had a huge turnout and a lot of pattern work. We were told that it would be an couple hours before our halter class. I'm not sure what time it was, but eventually they finished up with the lead line class and then took a break before halter. We used that opportunity to take Rose down to the arena and walk her around, since she'd never been to this facility before. She was a little overwhelmed by all the horses, especially one big quarter horse gelding that was prancing around and snorting his behind off like he was a stallion. Maybe he was a stallion. I didn't look. I just kept walking Rose around the rail of the arena. After a couple laps she settled down and was following me like a puppy dog with her head down and relaxed. Once she was relaxed they announced that it would be another fifteen minutes or so before they started the halter classes, so I took Rose outside for a little break from the 40-ish horses now crowding inside the arena. During that time they started the halter class, but the outside speaker wasn't working so we never heard! So big bummer, after all my YouTube and last minute halter practice we missed our class. Maybe next time.
After the halter class there were many many showmanship classes. This turned into HOURS of waiting. By the time EB's first English Pleasure class went I was 6pm. Egads. Luckily all three of those classes went quickly. Once Rose was in the arena she was all business as usual. She had a little spookiness at the end of the arena with the bleachers and some boys playing video games but got over it quickly. Much to all of our delight EB and Rose took 2nd place in their first class English Pleasure Green Horses, and 3rd place in the second one English Pleasure Maiden Horses. I decided to hop on for the third one, English Pleasure 19 and over. Rose and I took third place in that class. Since the English Equitation class was the very last of the day, and everyone at this point was tired and didn't want to hang around for it I scratch out of it so as to have help loading Rose in the dark. She was a good girl and loaded up on the trailer fairly easily, only pulling back once, but then walking right on.
After that Rose and I headed home all on our lonesome. Although I managed to drive the (sometimes fast) speed limit on the way to the show during the day, I was not so bold heading home. I'm glad to took it a little slow too, because the deer were everywhere! Once I got to the barn, I unloaded Rose in the dark. She was a perfectly behaved girl about it, waiting nice and patiently in the trailer for me to back her out. She was definitely relieved to be home, and as soon as I put her in a stall with her grain, she proceeded to pee for a very long time. Poor thing, it donned on me at that moment that she hadn't peed all day! Once she was done with her grain, I tossed her turnout blanket on her and returned her to her very grateful pasture mate. Then I finally headed home around 8:30pm.
It was a long day, but a fun one. And overall, given that Rose hadn't been off the property in over a year, or to a show in two years, and never to a chaotic one like this, she was a trooper and did a very good job of trying to take it all in stride. With a little more experience hauling to shows like this I think she'd easily get to the point where none of it phased her at all.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!