*A lesson learned for next time...when you borrow someone's trailer, check that the walls are in good repair and there is nothing at hoof height that can be kicked off.
When my friend pulled up her rubber matting to repair the wall where Hattie had kicked off the plate, she discovered that the wooden floor was all rotten. It was probably a blessing in disguise that Hattie had cosmetically damaged the trailer as the more serious damage would not have been found!
So with 13 days left till the Side Saddle Area 12 show, we had to learn and practice our test for our dressage class in the morning and figure out what we were going to do for our individual show and perfect that for the Novice Equitation Class (Walk/Trot) in the afternoon.
Hattie HATES schooling and gets bored and sluggish so I basically had to ride in spurts of 20 minutes everyday going through our dressage test and the equitation show to keep her from getting sluggish.
Then after 13 days of early wake ups and preparation, the day of the show finally arrives! I managed to rent a GOOD trailer this time and Hattie travelled fine in it. It was SO HOT the day of the show and I really didn't fancy wearing my heavy black wool habit. We brought lots of drinks so that helped!
Us waiting to go in before the dressage:
I'm glad the dressage was in the morning before it got too hot but I was the only side saddle rider in it! The dressage portion of the show was open to aside and astride riders but if you rode side saddle, you got a special ribbon for it.
This was our dressage test (Pony Club D Test, Level 1):
A: ENTER AT MEDIUM WALK
X: HALT, SALUTE
PROCEED AT MEDIUM WALK
C: TRACK RIGHT
BETWEEN C & M: WORKING TROT
A: CIRCLE RIGHT 20M DIAMETER
A: WORKING TROT
BETWEEN A & K: MEDIUM WALK
E: TURN RIGHT
X: HALT, IMMOBILITY 4 SECONDS, PROCEED AT MEDIUM WALK
B: TURN LEFT
BMC: MEDIUM WALK
BETWEEN C & H: WORKING TROT
HEKA: WORKING TROT
A: CIRCLE LEFT 20M DIAMETER
A: WORKING TROT
BETWEEN A & F: MEDIUM WALK
FXH: CHANGE REIN AT FREE WALK ON A LONG REIN
H: MEDIUM WALK
BETWEEN C & M: WORKING TROT
F: MEDIUM WALK
A: DOWN CENTRE LINE
G: HALT, IMMOBILITY, SALUTE
LEAVE THE ARENA AT FREE WALK ON A LONG REIN AT A
Here's the video of us doing our test at the show:
That was probably one our best dressage tests ever and we got 4th place plus the special side saddle ribbon as well. Hattie was so good even though the flies were bugging her too.
Then after lunch was the dreaded Equitation class where your riding and turnout is judged! Luckily, I had sewn Hattie's braids in well the night before and trimmed her so she was ready to go but I had to make sure my hair was over my ears perfectly, hairnets in place over my bun (well pinned!!) and everything was clean.
We had practised our individual equitation show by doing a half pirouette at the beginning, figure 8 pattern in walk/ trot and going from trot to halt at X. Simple!
Then it was time to go in and the judge makes us going around the ring walking and trotting for what seemed like AGES before lining us up.
FINALLY the judge lines us up and tells us that for our individual shows, if we wanted, we could canter in them too. The other lady in my class said yes, she would canter! Oh no!! That was not what was supposed to happen!!
I knew that if I didn't canter too, that it would probably affect our placing so had to think of a NEW individual show with a canter in it right there and then so we did this:
Our salute at the end of our individual show- much relieved that it was over!
In the UK, once you do your individual show, the judge scrutinizes your turnout. EVERYTHING is inspected, even under your apron or if your veil has a crease in it! The other rider got admonished for having her veil on her chin instead of on her jaw!!
The judge said that our turnout was very good, the only thing was that I needed to get a show shirt with a smaller collar as mine was a bit loose around the neck. I asked the judge if she knew of any brands that would suit a large bust as I have problems finding shirts that fit me in the bust but that weren't too big everywhere else! Unfortunately, one of my horsey friends who likes to tell it like it is, said out loud for everyone to hear "Yeah, Leila has big f&@*%# t*ts!" I was MORTIFIED and the judge was very well spoken and posh, pretended not to hear, LOL! With friends like that, who needs enemies!
Anyways she suggested a shirt with stretch fabric or a teenage boy's shirt.
The judge said that I needed to neaten up my saddle pads so they weren't so obvious (I later noticed that the more experienced competitors used brown pads). She also commented that my saddle was pinching Hattie a bit on the shoulders but that is a story for Part Three of this blog.
Then we were lined up and were told our placing, Hattie and I were first!!! We got a red 1st place rosette and then a special Side Saddle Association 1st place rosette for being members of the SSA.
Me with the special SSA equitation rosette:
My beautiful Hattie with her first place rosette!
As we were leaving the ring, the judge asked if Hattie and I were going to be competing in the next class, Restricted Equitation (walk/trot/canter, a class for a bit more experienced riders who have never won a qualifying equitation class). I said no and the judge shouted at me saying, "AND WHY NOT???!!!"