So what all does that mean? It means that my prep for my next horse show (the Arabian Region 3 Championship Show in Reno) waits until Thursday. OK, actually it means that my prep is on hold until Thursday. I spent a bunch of time last week after work sorting through all my show stuff figuring out what I needed to take, what needs to be replaced, and what all I have. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of the chaos that was our living room last week. I had horse "stuff" EVERYWHERE and I sat in Ken's recliner with my check list, getting up repeatedly to move stuff, find stuff, mark stuff off, and then pack stuff in the camper.
With all my horse related show gear packed in the truck and camper I headed down to see Blu for the weekend and to get all the show things in the trailer.
I had a great lesson on Saturday. The first time I asked Blu to lope I think I was in shock. He was so slow!!! I probably went 1/2 way around the arena thinking 'holy cow' but then reality hit because Todd yelled at me to collect Blu. Oops! Here I was all excited about how slow he was going, but I was also supposed to be keeping him collected. I digress a bit...I have a hard time remembering all the different things that I'm supposed to be doing all at once while riding...so occasionally things like that happen where I get all excited about something Blu is doing and forget about all the other things I need to be paying attention to.
You may be thinking "I thought Western riding was easy, what's there to think about?" Think again. I come from a Hunter Pleasure background (well, officially I guess you'd say my background was casual riding that happened to be in a Western saddle way back when, followed by showing in an English saddle in Hunter Pleasure and now since March 2011 learning, truly learning, Western Pleasure) and while I didn't have years and years of training previously I didn't truly realize how much direct contact there is with a horse in a snaffle bit vs Western riding in a Bosel or Curb bit. Until now.
Where was I going with this???? HA! collection and remembering everything....I was trying to keep Blu collected while also on a loose rein, using my body to slow him down, not the reins, while not using my legs (or spurs) too much. But I also needed to keep him moving forward, in a straight line, or bent around my leg when turning. Oh, and making sure he doesn't lift his head too high, or drop it too low, and doesn't push his nose out past the vertical.
Got all that? Or did you have to read it over to figure out all the things I was supposed to remember? Yeah, me too. :-)
We also spent the weekend getting everything packed in the trailer in preparation for the trip to Reno. That included pulling everything out of the trailer so we could start fresh and know what we were putting in the trailer. We brushed down (top and bottom) the stall carpets so when we put them in the stalls in Reno the floors will start out clean which will help with our grooming regimen (putting hoof polish on when the floor is dirt or dirty can be a true pain. For those of you who polish your toenails, imagine doing it outdoors, with your foot flat on the ground, in the dirt. Yuck, right?!). We then loaded up everything we thought we'd need. I checked things off my checklist and marked down things we still needed. Happily, after all that show packing and organizing, my "to buy" list is very short and has no 'big ticket' items on it (really Ken, truly).
So you've made it this far (maybe).
Ha - I'll bet you thought today's post was going to be about the party. Nope!! I'm really excited about the fact that Blu and I have qualified for our Regional Championship show. It's something I've never done and am continually pinching myself that I'm actually doing it after just more than one year with Blu. Remember when I bought him - he'd had only had 12 rides under saddle?!? From that, to showing in the Regional Championship show in 16 months!! Whoo-Whee!
But before I get to go to Reno we're having a party. On a Wednesday. And going to work on Thursday (and Friday).
For an update on the 4th of July/Baseball/Pool party with Fireworks you're going to have to wait until tomorrow (at least) for details. But I will give you a preview of the fireworks show....
We'll probably find more sparklers and ground bloom flowers inside the box but you can never have too many interactive (sparkler) fireworks. These sparklers sure aren't the 1000 degree sparklers of old - man, remember those....melting metal that you could write your name in the air with!
Happy Independence Day!