This past weekend I rode Annie in her very first horse trial. The weekend didn’t go as planned but I will share about it in a few sections so bear with me for the long post – or just scroll through pics haha. First I will start with Annie’s general feelings about horse show life. She got of the trailer like an old pro and minus some initial hollering was settled in nicely. Her laid back demeanor about new places probably contributed to my underestimating her greenness. I officially am the craziest horse lady of them all and bought these cheap mat sets at Lowes to line the concrete stall floor with – that will definitely be a post coming to you soon!
Unfortunately for me it stormed on Wednesday and Thursday so the green horse was already going into the weekend under prepared.
Friday brought a dressage lesson where trainer suggested that while the nathe might work for us at home I had a very braced and stiff horse at the shows. I agreed and we ended up borrowing a KK which did seem to improve her rideability. On Friday Katherine rode her first Training dressage test and stadium round landing herself a solid 2nd place standing! To say that I was proud would be an understatement. I can’t wait to see where her wonderful horse can take her!
I felt okay going into Saturday knowing that while dressage probably wouldn’t be beautiful it would be a good experience for Annie. Given that I am still getting used to my new dressage saddle I opted to ride exclusively in my jump tack.
Dressage was truly anything but pretty however I was incredibly proud of Annie for keeping it together in a very busy arena with a stressed out ammie on her back (the zipper on my breeches broke while I was changing and I had to borrow K’s (thanks dude ILY!). The judge gave us a well deserved 45 and commented on all of the things that we need to work on aka EVERYTHING – I appreciated that she made kind remarks about the fact that Annie seems to have a lot of potential and thanked me for patting Annie’s neck when she was nervous. She also said that I was a tactful and patient rider which helped me to recover from the worst dressage score I have ever gotten.
Between dressage and stadium I had to procure some new pants. Luckily I was able to find some good ones and I am hoping Riding Warehouse is as awesome as usual and will take care of me. Sadly the borrowed bit didn’t fit Annie properly and she had some rubs. This made for a super unpleasant stadium warm up with me running back to stabling trying to adjust my tack. Luckily last week I purchased these cool acavallo gel bit guards and that combined with a different bit had me riding the Annie I know and love.
Her little brain was fried though and while fences 1-5 rode well the B element of a 2 stride was just a bit too much for green baby brain to handle and we were TE. I was really disappointed but it left me with even more determination to get a ton of lessons and come back even stronger for River Glen in 2 weeks.
Given that our issues in stadium were due to greenness and not dangerous the judges allowed me to still run cross country the next morning. Annie warmed up very well and was super rideable. She was awesome to the first 3 fences but grabbed and ripped her shoe off and we ended up unable to finish the course.
Even though the weekend didn’t go as I had hoped I am still really proud of Annie. She tried her little heart out for me despite being very nervous. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this talented little mare and I.
Tomorrow I will announce the winner of the Annie’s Equine Elixir and Savannah treasures contest – until then I will be reading up on dressage legal bits I can try out!