Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saturday at DAHA

My boy Blu

I could have slept in on Saturday but Todd was showing horses in the Halter classes starting at 8am and I didn't want him to have to do all the prep alone.  So I got up and met him at the wash rack at 6:30am.  Yep, still dark out. And wouldn't you know it, the lights were out in our barn.  No other barn at the showgrounds.  Just ours.  Todd had his truck parked in the isle facing the groom stalls with his headlights shining in.  It helped a bit.

Little E and Easter were showing first thing.  Little E was in the first class of the morning followed by Easter a few classes later.  Todd was handling both horses and Little E's owner was also there to show in the Amateur Handler classes for both Easter and Little E.  I wish I'd gotten to see more of the halter classes but I was working on prepping Easter while Todd was showing Little E so I only got to watch a little bit once Easter was ready to go.  But what I did see was very pretty.

Todd and Easter trotting into the arena

What a beautiful mare

EF Easter Rose - Champion

Todd and Eclipse (Little E) - Champion

Both Little E and Easter each earned a Championship in their divisions.

With the day starting at 6:30am you'd hope that it would end early.  Nope.  Saturday was the longest show day I've ever been a part of.  The classes themselves went from 8am until 8pm and with Little E in the first class of the morning and Blu and I showing in the third to last class of the day that meant we were "on" for 12 hours, and adding a couple hours before the show and a couple hours after the show that meant it was a 16 hour day.  Ugh.

The Halter classes were over about 9:30am.  Laura was in a few classes in the morning with both her horses, Sebastian and Echo.

Sebastian in Arabian Western Pleasure

Echo in Arabian Hunter Pleasure

And Todd was riding Blu in the HA/AA Western Pleasure Open class before lunch - Class 125.  "Before Lunch" turned out to be 1:30pm if memory serves.

On the rail

Of course, it was worth the wait.  They were AWESOME!!!  I was standing on the rail with Ken and Laura and John watching the class.  Mom and Dad were on another rail taking pictures and videos.  I'm so happy there is video of the class.  I can watch it over and over again.

Todd and Blu in HA/AA Western Pleasure Open

I was on cloud nine when they announced Blu's number in third place.  There were some REALLY nice horses in that class.  Dad said there were 7 horses in the class though 8 were expected.

I think Todd was pretty happy with the results

 Hard to believe it's only been six months since I got Blu.  Todd has done an amazing job with this youngster.
I couldn't be happier

As I was hanging with Blu telling him what a good boy he was my friend and co-worker Jessica showed up!  She'd just missed getting to watch the Open class and I wasn't going to be showing for hours yet (though I didn't realize HOW MANY hours at that time) but Todd came back from a walk saying he'd post entered Blu in the Junior Horse Championship class.  It was scheduled for after lunch and Jessica was able to stay long enough to watch that class with me.

The Judge really watched Blu in the Junior Horse Championship class

They earned another third place in the Junior Horse Championship class.  What a day it was turning out to be.

Mom and Blu - what a great picture

Friday, after my classes were over, I'd been able to spend a couple hours with Mom and Dad sitting "on the berm" where they've got the tents and chairs for spectators and we enjoyed watching a lot of different classes.  That was the first time I've gotten to do that in a long time.  Saturday I spent my "down time" at the barn, sitting under the pop up looking at Mom's videos and photos from Friday, chatting with Jessica and hanging out with Ken.

Eventually I went to the camper to get dressed for my class.  I think I went there about 5pm.  Sigh.  Didn't realize I still wouldn't show for hours.

Here's a picture of Mom helping me put on my chaps from Friday - While it is possible to put them on yourself it sure is a help if someone else does it for you.  The contortions you have to go through to reach the zipper behind your leg while avoiding the fringe are hard.


By the time I was up in the saddle on Saturday for my one class the sun was setting.  We worked in the warm up arena and I kept watching the sky wondering if I was going to be riding in the dark.  Then they made an announcement that the final classes of the day would be moving to Arena number one which was lit.  Oh boy. I've never ridden Blu under lights, and haven't ridden him in that arena at all.  I was wondering how it all would work out.  

Turns out it was 95% fine.  

One drawback of the dark was that it was about impossible to get any photos

Blu went right into the arena at a beautiful jog and as we got to the end of the arena we went through the first big lighted area and I saw Blu's and my shadow and wondered how he'd do.  Fine.  Of course.  What a level headed horse I have.  It didn't phase him in the slightest.  Now I can check off "doesn't have a problem showing under lights."  We picked up the lope from the walk perfectly.  Ahh.  Heaven.  I was half way through the class and NOT wanting it to end.  I had a big smile going.

The only bad part of the class happened when the judge wasn't looking (thank goodness) - right as they were asking for the lope in the second direction, I'd released Blu's reins to allow him to go into the lope and right then, on our left a person on a bicycle rode right through the lights right next to the rail.  Now I'll have to say that I don't truly remember it as bad, but I do remember letting out a curse (gasp) loud enough that I looked over afterwards to see if the judge heard/saw.  And I don't curse a lot in the saddle.  So I know it had to be fairly bad.  When I'd left the arena after the class Laura and John were both telling me they thought I was amazing to stay on and ride through "it" and Todd said Blu's head was as high as mine and that I was a good rider because I rode through it like nothing happened.  I'll say that I did get Blu into the lope as soon as I could.  Probably only a stride or two later than I should have been.  And that Blu was nice and calm as we rode by the judge.  Ahhhh.  I made it!  We had a nice hand gallop and I was able to slow him down into the lope when they asked, too.  We did everything right.

We lined up at the end of the class and I was at the end of the line, closest to the rail where Ken and everyone was watching and I looked over at them and SMILED and gave them a big thumbs up.  I was so happy.  I didn't care how we did in the judge's eyes, I though we kicked butt.

Turns out the judge thought we did pretty well, too.  I heard my name called out for third place (there were 6 in the class I think)!  YAHOO!
Can't beat that smile

Though it's been a long day I'm all smiles

 I think it was about 8pm at this point.  I'd missed dinner (I wasn't hungry when they were serving the Spaghetti dinner at 6pm - I was thinking about my class and actually we all missed out on the sushi dinner we were planning on but since they were having a free spaghetti dinner those that were hungry did get to eat.) but I didn't miss cocktail hour.

John and Ken in Silky's

Brookside Equestrian Park where we were showing has an on site pub called Silky's (named after Silky Sullivan the Thoroughbred race horse that was famous for come from behind wins) and a bunch of us went there for cocktails.

A great way to end a long, very successful day.

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