June 1, 2015

Gentry's First Horse Show & Goals

I took Gentry to a MHJA show this past weekend! I was the announcer at the show and would be there all day, so I decided to take advantage of the situation and bring Gentry along. EB and Hugo also joined in on the fun. The show was held at Tri-H, the gorgeous barn that I boarded Rose at when I first moved back to Bozeman. It has recently gone under new ownership, and has been opened up to the community for shows once again. Pulling into the parking lot felt like coming home and it was a nice although bittersweet feeling.

Posers - happily my very dated, pre-baby show clothes still fit...barely.
Dang new hips! Time for some new TS breeches. Love that my old
Effinghams still fit perfect though!
My goals for the show were just to take Gentry to the show, throw him in a stall for the day, see how he handled it all, and let him get used to the scene. Anything above and beyond that would just be a bonus.

To justify my MHJA membership, I also entered him in the walk/trot class. I would say that for his first show ever, he was a good boy. However, he definitely needs more experience on the show grounds. We hauled in that morning and the walk/trot was the very first class...and one of the biggest classes. This meant he didn't get much down time to settle in before our class.

Next time, I will haul in the night before, despite the grounds being so close to home. That will give us the added bonus of schooling the night before. Assuming we will be cantering well by then, I will also enter Gentry in whatever flat class has the least entries, rather than the walk/trot...read on to understand why.

Walking down to the event barn

It had poured rain the night before the show, so the show got moved indoors. I am fairly positive that Gentry had never been inside an arena before, let alone among a huge group of other horses or riders. The whole thing kind of blew his mind, but bless his heart he handled it all well, despite obvious anxiety. I decided not to school him in the arena after hand walking him in there. He seemed rattled enough by the other horses, riders, and jumps that I didn't think that it would do us much good. Interestingly, he could care less about the mirrors in the arena. Perhaps a sign that we should just be dressaging?
Schooling in the outdoor after our class

Walk/Trot Class Re-cap:

To my surprise and dismay there were 14 riders in the walk/trot class. I assume people were using this as a schooling round. But sheesh! I think there was only one kid in the class. In my imagination I was going to be in a baby class with a bunch of seven year olds on their ponies, me looking like a total tool on my "big" horse.

The class started well. We had a nice walk and trot going on and our own space on the rail. Then the judge asked everyone to spread out. At that point the other horses started passing us in a huge mob and Gentry kinda lost his mind. He didn't do anything bad and was trying really hard to listen. However he proceeded to tranter instead of trot for the rest of the class. He was fine at the walk, but kept trantering at the trot. At that point I resigned to the fact that we would not get a placing and just focused on keeping him listening and calm to not cause a scene or problems for other riders. Then, after placings were announced the audience made an applause. That was his first applause clearly, and he spooked in place, but didn't' do anything explosive. Just startled.

After that I took Gentry to the outdoor schooling arena (hence the outdoor photos) to see if he could still trot, which he immediately did. So, I am rest assured that the trantering was indeed just his anxiety to the indoor/large class/new situation. I had to get back to my announcing duties shortly there after so he then spent the rest of the day in his stall, eating hay, and just dealing. Which he did well. At 9pm when the show ended and we loaded up to go home, he happily jumped right back on the trailer, and we were home just at dusk.

To conlude, I am very proud of the little guy. I think he handled his first show quite well and I can't wait to drag him to a few more this summer. We have a total of four shows in town to go to!

Kisses for a good job
Oh, and EB and Hugo took 3rd place in the walk/trot. It was Hugo's first show ever as well, and he acted like a seasoned champ. Granted being an OTTB, he's seen the "scene" plenty of times before, but it was a huge trust/bonding moment for the two of them. I am so happy for them!

May Re-cap

  1. Cantering & canter transitions - started working on this. Needs improvement still.
  2. Leg yielding - this has improved a lot, but still needs improvement.
  3. Pawing in cross-ties...still...this is going to be ongoing for a while.

June Goals

  1. Dressage Schooling Show on June 28 - Intro Level Test
  2. Cantering & Canter Transitions
  3. Leg Yielding
  4. Pawing in Cross-Ties
  5. Riding alone in our outdoor arena



  1. he looks so classy! sounds like a fun day, despite some pony nerves.

  2. You both look great :) Sounds like a positive first show experience!

  3. Awww he cleans up really well!! What a cute fella!

  4. You two look spiffy! Sounds like it was a good experience :)

  5. Gentry really is such a good horse. First show is a lot of new stuff and stress :-)



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