And yesterday was the first time I drove myself and PJ to a show. Although I was prepared to go it alone, I was very thankful that two friends came with me. The drive wasn’t so bad, mainly because there were very few people on the roads. I took it slow.
PJ was a trooper and got on with very little fuss and didn’t seem upset when we got there. He was all dressed up and shiny. The show was at the USET. Last year, he was a nut both times we were there. This time, he was “normal horseshow PJ” = a little up but not too bad. He warmed up great but then it all went downhill from there.
In the first class he spooked twice at the same corner of the ring. Instead of circling at the canter, we leg yielded. And it was a small ring, so there wasn’t much room to recover, but we did, just a little too late. Oh well.
We were supposed to have 55 minutes until our second class, and I had our entire warm-up planned with that in mind. Before I mounted again, I asked the ring steward how late the ring was running and she said 10 minutes. Great. I then planned for that. It turned out that the show wasn’t running just 10 minutes late but more like 30-40 minutes late. So I ended up sitting on PJ way longer than I wanted to, but I changed my plan to start schooling again when I had two horses before us left to go. Unfortunately, those two horses decided to scratch and because the show was running so late, I was told I had to go in right away. We were not ready. It was overall a sloppy test because PJ was grumpy and stiff. Add on top of that that it took 2.5 hours to get my score sheet, and I was really not happy. The person scoring spent too much time chatting and not enough time scoring.
And poor PJ was standing in the trailer all by himself. He had eaten all of his hay and like me, wanted to go home. I think I did okay driving on the trip home, too. PJ got off the trailer ver nicely instead of bolting off like he oftentimes does, so I’m hoping that’s a sign I did okay.
I have to just not worry about the bad rides, learn from what happened, and revel in the fact that I drove there and back without incident. This show may not have gone the way I wanted it to or expected it to, but I now have the confidence that I can show on my own. So look out for a big black horse cruisin’ down the highway to the next event!