Sunday, July 14, 2013
Weekend 3 of Horse Shows
This weekend was the 3rd consecutive weekend of hauling Grace to horse shows. We came away with some new pretty ribbons and even more show ring confidence. We are one month away from the Region 1 AQHA Show. I have a list of things to train harder on between now and then, but most of all I have really enjoyed sitting on Grace in the show pen. In the last two weeks I've had 2 different people ask if she was the same horse that they've seen me show before, they were sure that I had a new horse. That to me is a huge compliment, and it speaks volumes to Grace's change in demeanor in the show pen. One of the judges from last weekends show was a steward at today's show. She told me today how much she enjoys watching Grace and again described her as a "nice working horse". I've always thought the world of my mare, but having other people tell me that they like her when I am at a horse show is a new experience.
I wanted to keep a close eye on Grace over the last few weeks to see how she held up to hauling and showing. We had hot days each weekend and our hauls were between 40 minutes and 2 hours, this weekend was the only weekend that she didn't overnight at a showgrounds as we were able to come home for the night on Saturday. Grace felt the most tired to me today, I had to keep my leg on to keep her going. She was also a little cranky when tied to the trailer, giving me her mare ears and stink eye when I would approach her. She was wonderful when I was in the saddle, no attitude and no ear pinning, on the ground she was letting me know she was tired. The footing at the club we were at today is deep, and not at all like the footing that I condition her on. There have been complaints about it since the club put it in early in the spring. They replaced it this last week and it still needs more time to settle. I could feel Grace working really hard to get out of it at the lope, I only took her in 4 classes 2 of which were patterns. When I was asked to add the Quarter Horse Pleasure class I declined, I didn't want to push Grace when she was already tired and I didn't want to spend any more time in the deep footing. I will say that in footing that deep Grace's lope was lovely, and very ridable. I even won a championship equitation class under one of the judges, it was nice to be able to sit the lope without stirrups. We also won Western Riding under both judges, I want to sharpen up our changes before Region 1. At the last two shows I felt like the flying changes were a bit late and could have been cleaner, but the pattern itself is at least 100 times better than last year.