Hattie has not been co-operating at all this week with schooling, preferring to go around with her head in the air, ears pricked forward and taking notice of everything going on around her EXCEPT the job at hand.
I got so fed up that I made Thursday our last schooling day of the week and just practised our left rein trot/canter/trot transitions and our individual show for about 10 minutes before going on a hack. Hattie was better on Thursday with our mini schooling session although she was still trying to look for any hay making tractors in the distance at some points!
On Friday, I scrubbed up all my tack and my side saddle and went for a hack on my astride saddle as I washed the linen on my side saddle and on Saturday, we went for a good gallop (again astride as I didn't want to dirty my clean Whippy!) to get any spookiness or pent up energy out of Hattie's system before our 14 mile round trip to the show on Sunday.
I find that whenever Hattie starts acting up in schooling sessions or gets really spooky out on hacks, that a good gallop is needed to calm her down. It worked as she was good hacking the 7 miles there and the 7 miles back from the school. We rode over train tracks, through road works, over highway bridges, some kid shouting "BOO" through the hedges at us, busy roundabouts and even a tractor with lights a-flashing pulling a vintage car without Hattie batting an eye. A real transformation from the other day when she nearly sh*t herself because the farmer left the gate near our field open....
The plan was to do Best Turned Out (a ridden class), Best Condition (an inhand class) and Prettiest Mare (a ridden class) but ended up somehow getting talked in to doing the Riding Club Horse & Pony class as well by persuasive horse show folk!
The weather was nice and hot, a change from the last two Diamond Horse Shows we attended where it's tipped it down with rain and very was glad for my nice new lightweight habit.
I was pleased how my new habit rode (the apron didn't flap up when I was cantering and the judge (and lots of people at the show too) complimented me on it but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's gotten a little too big for me from when I first ordered it and there is only so much I can push the buttons over before it loses it's shape. It's a bit big for my taste, in places where it wasn't when I first tried it on in December. Although I don't think I've lost that much weight since ordering it, I've toned up from going to Aquatone classes, etc and now find I can carry heavier loads and have the upper strength to deal with Jacob when he pulls, etc. I'll wear it to next month's Diamond horse show and see how it fits then (I always have my 1934 habit as a back up if it gets much too big for me next month) before deciding what to do.
It's a bit of a bugger really as I waited so long for it and it's the first habit I've had that covers my wrists. I'm glad that I've lost some weight but weight fluctuations are costly!!!
Our first class was Best Turned Out where we came first. The judge said that it shows that I take care of my saddle and tack and I presented a neat workmanlike appearance.
Us walking around in Best Turned Out...
The winners and our rosettes!
Hattie came 2nd in our next class, Best Condition, but the judge said that it was a close call between Hattie and the pony that won it. It was a NICE looking pony so we were beat fair and square.
Then it was the dreaded Riding Club Horse & Pony class. LOL, so much for "scrapping" that class as I had planned to do in my previous post on the subject. I suppose it was a good thing I had practised jumping the other week as I was absolutely kakking myself before the class. The only other competitors in the class were "no sense-no feeling" kids and teenagers that will jump anything and everything and here I am, 35 going on 36 with arthritis and various other ailments, and who breaks something as soon as she hits the ground. I fell off trying to mount on Saturday before our hack. What the hell was I doing in this class??
Nervously waiting and watching the competitor do their individual show and jump before me...
Anyways, the judge said that we could trot the fence as the ground was a bit hard but I elected to canter it as there was less chance of Hattie refusing. I believe in hardening a horse up by doing lots of roadwork and schooling on various surfaces paired up with a good farrier and hoof care so that when faced with a situation like showing on a hard surface, a horse can handle it without any ill effect.
So we cantered the jump, Hattie didn't rush and I didn't fall off! For some reason, she knocked it down. The judge said that I set her up correctly for it but it looked like that Hattie was taking the p*ss and trying to get away with as little work as possible! We ended up coming 2nd despite the knock down and the judge said Hattie relies heavily on me to tell her what to do and that she has to learn that when in the show ring, it's not sleep time. Basically, what the dressage judges tell me on my comment sheet- lacks purpose! I have to be more strict with her and ride her more forward. He said that I am a sympathetic rider and an capable of doing it and that Hattie is MORE THAN capable of doing it but that she's used to getting her own way in the ring and chilling out.
Here's the video of our death defying jump!
The last class of the day and a nice chill out class, was Prettiest Mare where we came 4th but also got a Special red and green tartan colored rosette as well (I think because I was side saddle). There was some mega cute horses and ponies in that class which was won by a lovely very fine boned chestnut mare called Highbent Sharina.
I really enjoy the Diamond Horse Show as it's a good fun show and I got some good comments and tips from this month's judge as well. He said that he will be back for next month's show (which will sadly be the last one of the season till next year) so Hattie and I have to work on being more forward so we can trade in our 2nd place rosette for a 1st place one!