Before my class
I'd like to recommend a new drink that was created at our table – their homemade Lemonade (Pomegranate flavor) with a shot of Sailor Jerry Rum – dubbed the “The Sexy Sally.” I’ll say it now, so that when we go back someday we can see if it’s on their cocktail menu and can “prove” it came from us. Their homemade Potato Chips were also yummy. My only complaint? Their prices were high.
Lunch was 6 hours before my class, so yes, I did enjoy the one cocktail. Would have liked to have another, though! But I wanted to be on my “A” game come 7pm when the evening classes began.
I spent the afternoon putzing around and anxiously awaiting Ken’s arrival. Oh, and napping on the chairs under the gazebo, beating the heat any way I could.
My nerves were doing really well. I was pretty surprised. Though I shouldn’t have been, (surprised, that is) because they came to the forefront later…but more on that later. Ken arrived about 5:30pm and I was over the moon happy to see him! A week is a long time to be apart. I’m not sure how we did it back when I was a consultant on the road five days a week, 45+ weeks of the year. Our friends Mike and Debbie came out to watch too! How fun to have so many people there to party and have fun with us. I enjoyed about 45 minutes of sitting and catching up/swapping stories before it was time to go to the camper to get myself dressed and ready for the class while the others got Blu all spiffy and sparkly. (It’s a great benefit that we have, being the super team we are, because when we’re not showing we get the other horse(s) in the barn ready for those who are showing so they can prepare themselves without having to also prepare their horse.)
My nerves started to get the better of me when 1) the heat became stifling in the camper – the AC still didn’t work because we didn’t have power to the camper and the generator still wouldn’t start! and 2) I could hear the announcer say 20 minute call to the time I knew I needed to be ready, to then hear him say 5 minutes later, 3rd call, which meant I needed to be up at the arena ready to get on Blu. Yikes! What happened to those extra 15 minutes? Then a knock on the camper door. I had to run! Crap. That started the heart pumping and the nerves jumping. Ah well, it was bound to happen, even though I truly tried to not let my nerves get the better of me.
Todd was riding Blu and he (Blu) was nice and calm. He switched out the snaffle for the Bosal and I mounted up. I was shaking with nerves! Poop (to put it semi-politely). Telegraph to Blu that I was nervous and voila! He picked it up. I take 100% of the blame. We worked in the warm up arena and I was glad the class before mine ended up taking a long-ish time. Because it gave me a chance to work through SOME of my nerves! It was like it was my first show ever! I suppose the thought of being at “the big show” finally got to me. They called for the class to enter at about 8pm. The middle class of the evening’s entertainment was ours. Half-Arabian Western Pleasure Adult Amateur to Ride.
Me and my best friend!
We entered at the jog and Blu was good. I even had my picture taken by the show photographer ( you can see the show proofs here ) and smiled. They called for us to reverse almost immediately, which is great in my book. Because it meant I got to switch things up a bit. Then they called for the lope and we got the correct lead (one of the main worries when going into the lope as to get the wrong lead is a disqualifying penalty) but we were fast. My nerves finally worked their way out into Blu and he went faster than desired. But I rode it well, at least, with 13 horses in the class. However, since this is the best of the best, having a fault like a fast ride doesn’t allow for a placing in the Top 5. (Speaking of Top 5, that’s how the awards go at this show. The Top 5 horses make the cut and if you’re not in the Top 5 you didn’t place. Then they pick the Champion and Reserve Champion out of the Top 5. It’s super tough competition, with horses from all over including
But I had fun, and was a very happy lady when I got into the line up. Especially when the photographer’s wife (his assistant) came up to me and said “I haven’t seen you all week and I’ve been looking for you” and then she called to her husband (who was sitting in the center area with the judges) and had him come out to take a photo of us. Actually, two. She was so cute, she told him he had to take two photos, one on each side because Blu had such a different look from either side. And I’m really glad she took two because I BLINKED in the first photo! Sheesh. But the second line up shot I love!
When we got outside the pavilion it was after 8:30 and the sun was setting. The clouds were a beautiful shade of pink, reminding me of the DAHA show in October (or was it September?) and my Mom, who took that great shot of Ken and I and Blu before our night class. And I knew my Mom and Dad had been thinking of me while they were somewhere around the
(s?) and I’m sure it helped me out
with all the positive ‘horsey’ vibes they sent my way. Shetland Island
With Blu put away, and me changed out of my new show outfit, it was time to hang out and chill with everyone for an hour or so under the gazebo. But alas, the life of a horse show continued and we knew we had an early morning Saturday, so with the firework from the Reno AAA Baseball team (the Reno Aces) shooting off in the background we all said good night and headed back to the Sands for what turned out to be our last night in Reno.
After the class - smiling!