Friday dawned early - well, the sun didn't come up early, but the alarm went off early. The show started at 8am and Blu was in class number 3 with Todd up. That meant that I needed to be at the barn at 6am to make sure Blu was still clean (I'd bathed him yesterday) – he wasn’t - his legs needed to be washed again (brr) and to get him groomed, saddled up and ready for Todd.
I was able to get all my prep work done and Laura got her horse Echo ready (they were in class 6). My parents showed up before 8am and Amy and Cherie were there in time for the first class, too. It was looking to be a good day.
Todd mounted up and worked Blu in the warm up arena. I started smiling early and I don't think I stopped the whole weekend.
One of the little things about showing with a trainer who rides my horse is that it sometimes takes a bit of coordination to get our "colors" right. Western Pleasure means the women wear "bling" and the men wear simple western shirts. But trying to coordinate between the blanket that goes under the saddle pad to match Todd's shirt and my shirt (and if Sharon were in the show, her shirt) can take some work. Luckily for this show there was enough time between classes that I was able to unsaddle Blu and change saddle pads. So, I started with Todd's saddle pad that matched his teal shirt. Then I switched to my red pad that matched my red shirt.
Todd and Blu at the end of the Novice Horse class
Todd and Blu were in class 3 - HA/AA (Half Arabian/Anglo Arabian) Western Pleasure Novice Horse and they had a very nice ride. They got second (out of 3) and we were happy with that start after the issues we'd had over the last week. For me, I'm still thrilled when he beats any other horse (small of me, but there it is).
We went back to the barn and I changed out Todd's saddle pad to my red pad and mounted up.
Not sure what I was thinking here, but it must be my "game face"
I love this photo - heading into the morning light on the way to my first class
My stomach was doing a little bit of fluttering but really wasn't too bad. Looking back I can say that I truly did get back into the right frame of mind for the show in that I was there to have fun. I wasn't positive that Blu wouldn't stop dead in the class or have other issues, but Todd had spent some time with me yesterday and again Friday morning working me through the possible issues that I might run into and gave me the knowledge I needed to feel confident that I would be able to work Blu through whatever he put at me.
Turns out Blu wasn't perfect but I was able to work him through the different things he tried (moving off the rail when I didn't want him to, going too fast, etc) and made it through the class with me on top. (That's something I've been joking about for months, that my goal is to come through a class without coming off - thus "on top.")
I'm heading into my first class
The judge is taking a look at us
Blu looks so handsome.
Both the first and the second classes for me on Friday were classes I am happy are finished. I remember after completing the first direction of the first class thinking to myself that I just wanted it to be done. Sadly I don't remember exactly what went wrong, but I do remember asking him for the lope the first direction and Blu turned into the middle of the arena but the judge wasn't standing there so I wasn't in jeopardy of running him over (though Dad delighted in my response when, after the class was over, he said "you almost ran over the judge" - Thanks Dad.). I knew after the first direction that I wasn't going to place well in the class, and that freed me to school Blu for the second direction.
Here's a video Mom took of the second direction of the first class
I got third out of three and was still smiling.
My second class had more horses in it - five - and I still didn't have a great ride, but again, had fun and ended the class with a smile.
Lope first direction
In the lineup of the second class - happy for the first place winner
I love my horse
We were done with our classes before lunchtime. I took Blu to the wash rack and gave him a bath.
Amy and Cherie hit the road (they were so positive and uplifting throughout the day it was wonderful) and I spent most of the rest of the day with my parents watching different classes, helping Laura when she needed it, and generally relaxing. I rarely get a chance to sit and watch other classes in a show, so it was a nice change of pace.
Ken arrived in time for us to go to the Show sponsored Mexican Fiesta dinner. After dinner we hung out with Todd at the camper and watched as Angus and Annie played with Todd's 13 week old Jack Russell puppy Cooper. They got along surprisingly well considering the size (and age) differences. But I must say Cooper was brilliant - when he wanted to get away from our dogs he just went under the truck. Angus and Annie are much too big to get under there, so he had the perfect "time out" spot.
Now we know Cooper and Angus and Annie get along great. As did everyone at the barn.
Day one of the show down, two more to go.