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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Henry's First Show!


I finally got my ducks in a row and took Mr. H to a schooling show that was about 20 minutes down the road from my barn on Saturday.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to see what his brain is like off property and get some grown-up horse experience under his belt.  I’m happy I went but more than once I found myself thinking… “Why do people show?!  This is so stressful.”




This show had a bit more of a dramatic start than I’d hoped for!  When I grabbed Henry from the field he had a bump and scrape on his head, which I suspect was from a kick.  It didn’t seem to have a lot of heat or bother him too much but I definitely wasted a fair bit of show prep time in the morning humming and hawing about it.  Oops.


So I loaded him in the trailer and off we went (he loads like a dream, which I am incredibly grateful for). 


Note the scrape below his right eye in this pic



When we got to the show he came out of the trailer with a nosebleed.  I wasn’t sure if he injured himself in the trailer or if this was a delayed onset from the face trauma.  He was very snorty and whinnied quite a bit.  So as my husband and I tried to clean him up and assess the damage we both ended up getting sprayed with blood. 



Note the blood on my jacket sleeve... I am also strategically holding the reins to cover Henry blood on my breeches





The bleeding started to slow a bit and we assessed that it was likely sustained from a small cut on his nostril that he somehow did during the trailer trip (those tiny cuts sure bleed a lot!).  My parents were on their way and I called them to tell them they might as well not bother, my horse was bleeding and we had already missed the warm up.  ST was meeting us at 7:30 for coaching but I couldn’t find her anywhere.  The show took place at her barn and I was worried to embarrass her by riding around her beautiful facility on my bleeding horse.


Finally I tracked down ST and she told me he was fine (to be fair the bleeding had almost entirely stopped at that point).  And she would keep an eye on it while I was riding.  My husband carried a towel around just in case it started up again.  My parents showed up and I was happy they still came!
 

Off we went into the ring!  There were scary spectators, weird flower fill and a frightening judges table.  I was in the ring for about 10 seconds before the announcer said “You are now being judged.” 

Oh good. 


Does he look frickin gorgeous here or what?! 



This was my walk/trot equitation class.  Henry was definitely looky (particularly at the judges table) but he was fairly sensible.  I was competing entirely against young kids on slow moving plugs.  We had to circle quite a bit for spacing purposes. 


We ended up getting a 3rd place ribbon for this class, which I felt was incredibly generous! 


Next up was our trot pole courses.  It was the same course twice. 


My first go was pretty fugly.  Henry was really backed off and not moving forward.  This set him up to break into a walk or try to stop and stare at things a little too much.  The final “fence” faced head on to the judges table and was very close to it.  It took a few pony club kicks to get him over it.  Not beautiful.  6th place ribbon (out of 6 haha).


My second go was much better, but not exactly perfect either.  I finally got him moving forward but still struggled to move him off my leg to make nice corners/lines to the “fences”.  I think we trotted all the fences in this course…except a few walk strides on our last “fence” again.  Another 6th place ribbon.


Serious baby horse trot pole business




I was actually pretty pleased with Henry in the ring.  He wasn’t exactly set up for success (no chance to look at anything/warm up because of the nosebleed drama) but he tried his best.  For my own personal preferences I really enjoy riding a horse that has more woah than go when things get dodgey, and Henry is that for sure.  Things felt noodley and fugly a fair bit but I never felt like he was going to take off with me or do anything rude or foolish.


However he was not very patient waiting in between his classes, which did surprise me a bit as he’s usually super happy to park/chill.  I think there was just too much going on.  We were totally THAT horse/rider combo that can’t stand still and embarrass themselves.  He started backing up and wouldn’t stop, ended up backing into a wall and then a rake.  Knocked over the rake and spooked himself.  *facepalm*  He was also being super pushy with his head (which I suspect was probably uncomfortable from various trauma that day) which was super annoying.  I think he pretty much headbutted my entire support crew.





I had signed up to do the crossrails too but when I saw them adding flower fill… I was like…naw, we good.  We’ve never seen fill, much less tried to jump over it (some good homework though) and I felt like it was not the ideal place to try it.  As I look back I kind of wish I’d tried it but I felt like his brain was slowly leaving the building, so maybe quitting while we were ahead was a good idea too.


I’m really proud of Henry, there is room for improvement of course (like standing still like a normal horse in between rounds and not being so looky) but it was overall a decent first outing!   We survived!

38 comments:

  1. Yay!!! Way to go, you guys!! Getting the first one on the books is huge.

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    1. Thanks! I'm pretty proud of him :)

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  2. Congrats! What a great first show. It definitely get more fun when you've done it more and have the system down.

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    1. Thanks! I hope the next one goes a bit smoother :)

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  3. Yay satin! Sounds like it was both a fun and encouraging outing

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    1. Yasssss so happy with my satin. I was pretty proud of Mr. H :)

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  4. congratulations! his tail looks great!

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  5. That sounds like a super productive first show - nicely done! You both had nothing more to prove and stopped while it was still good - I think that's a huge part of creating confident babies. I'm another huge fan of horses that stop to think about things :)

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    1. I hope the next one goes a bit smoother but I am proud that he mostly kept his brain :)

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  6. I think that you made the right call- there are lots of shows ahead and starting slow so that he's fine with it is the smarter move.

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    1. I didn't want to blow his mind too much! There will be other days where we push more but I thought playing it safe on his first outing was a good call :)

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  7. I think Henry is a super star. He had a lot to deal with and he took it pretty much in stride for a young horse at his first show. In my opinion you did the right thing by ending when you did. You don't want to do too much right out of the gate. Nice show experience and he looks gorgeous.

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    1. I think so too! I was proud of the little dude :)

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  8. What a good baby horse! He is such a cutie. All things considered, it sounds like a good show experience with some satin to boot :)

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    1. Such a good egg! I hope our next outing has a smoother start :)

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  9. Aw what a tough start but he really looks gorgeous in the pics! Congrats on his first show!

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    1. Such a disaster in the morning! But we survived haha. Thanks :)

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  10. He's so handsome !! Well done on your first show :)

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  11. What a successful outing for da baby horse!

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    1. Totally! Such a good baby noodle horse :)

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  12. Oh my goodness, so much drama to start the day! I'm glad you were able to still get to your classes. And it sounds like he was a great baby for his first outing, especially given he wasn't able to get in the ring first for a good look around. I think you were smart to hold off on the cross rails class for now. Better to quit while you're ahead with a baby!

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    1. Such a stressful start, arg! He was a pretty sensible creature for me though :)

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  13. He looks great and such a brave first show for him. Congrats! You should def be proud of this!

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    1. Thank you! Yes I'm very proud we survived haha :)

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  14. Yay for the first outing together! Hopefully the next one is a bit smoother!

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  15. Blood and bumps aside, it sounds like a great first show!

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    1. It mostly was! I hope the next one goes a bit smoother ;)

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  16. I'm glad you stuck to it and actually went in there and showed! Sounds like he got some great experience. AND YAY SATIN!

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    1. SATTTTTINNN YAASSSSS! We survived, hopefully next time is a bit easier haha :)

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  17. Congrats on getting out there and showing! You guys look great!

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    1. Thanks! His tail looked extra fabulous that day ;)

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  18. Congratulations!

    So, third is white instead of yellow and sixth is pink instead of green? That's just wrong.

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    1. Thanks! Yes I think Canada has a different way of deciding their colors for placings than the US! Maybe it's similar to England? Who knows haha :)

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