Overall, the show went well. But I just can’t get him to go at shows as well as he goes at home and that makes me disappointed. That probably will just take time. Here’s how our day went…
I was a little surprised to see my car covered in snow when I left my house at 5:30 but it was surprisingly warm. Eva was right on time at 6:30 and we were ready. Our barn had a flood light but it was still very dark out. PJ had never been on this trailer before and b/c the ramp is so hard to lift, Eva puts a block under it, so the horses have a small step up onto it. I was dubious that PJ would get on but it took less than 10 minutes and he was loaded. We then went to get Eva’s horse and made it to the show before 8am.
However, because of the snow, we couldn’t school outside, so everyone rushed to get into the show ring to school before the show started at 9am. Once the show started we stood around the outside of the ring to watch the people showing until it was our turn. We didn’t have to wait that long because we were the fourth ride.
PJ was very good about being in this strange indoor with horses all around, people in the stands, and a lot of activity out in the hallway while people checked in, tacked up, and stood to watch. The only thing he did was look. Unfortunately, he looked at EVERYTHING. He listened really well to my seat but not at all to my leg, so when he looked, I couldn’t use my inside leg to bend him, I had to use a leading inside rein. Well, the judge slammed us for it. She thought that PJ was hollowing in reaction to my hands coming apart but it was really that I was bringing my hands apart to get PJ back into contact; I didn’t correct her at this point because I didn’t want to piss her off by disagreeing. We scored a 62% for second place.
Three rides later it was our second test. PJ’s second test has never been as good as his first and today was no exception. I think he gets tired and just pissy that he has to do this again. He bucked into the first canter depart and looked at every shadow and person and bucket. Again the judge chastised me for widening my hands. This time I explained why and she said okay but then I needed to keep asking him for something every stride so that there was no time he wasn’t trying to pay attention to me. Easier said than done with a horse who won’t move off your leg (and I had spurs, which I normally don’t ride in). We didn’t score as well this time. I’m hoping that with time, PJ will stop looking and I’ll figure out how to ride him within the test better.
It was bright and sunny by the time we loaded up to go home. It took a little longer to get PJ into the trailer (as expected), but not all that long and off we went. He seemed much more relaxed unloading at home than he normally does. Maybe he’s getting used this trailering thing. I pulled off his boots and unbraided his mane and turned him out. I’m sure he probably took a good roll but I didn’t stick around to watch because I wanted to get back to the show to watch Kelly ride.
I made it just as she was tacking up for Intro C and Training 1 – this was her Training Level debut. She did great and I’m just waiting for her to text me her scores.
Again, overall, it was a good experience for PJ and me. And I had a lot of fun because I knew half the people there and they knew us, as they were all pony club kids who Barbara trains on a regular basis. And really, isn’t having fun what it’s all about?