Almost a month ago I went to my first horse show in almost 2 years! Originally the plan was just to bring Dobby and Inca to the Pine Hill schooling horse trial. We signed Inca up for Beginner Novice and Dobby got to do an Intro dressage test. The weekend ended up being quite busy though!
The week leading up to the show the weather was sketchy. I thought the HT might even get cancelled. When things were up in the air Trainer threw a curve ball in with a schooling jumper show… When the show wasn’t cancelled she figured that the jumper show would be a great warm up. It was perfect for all of us that needed to knock the dust off or had green horses.
I almost didn’t go. Who was I to try to take 2 horses to 2 different horse shows my first show back… with a baby. When I mentioned that I might not do both trainer of course said that there would be plenty of help. There always is with my awesome new tribe and when she assured me we would make it work it eased my nerves. Sure enough horse show parents, kids, and Amanda to the rescue. I went into the weekend super over whelmed and anxious but I really shouldn’t have worried. Team work makes dream work after all!
When we arrived at Pine Hill and got the horses unloaded and settled Amanda helped me by lunging Dobby to show him the sights. After getting to take everything in in hand it was time for me to tack up and climb aboard. I was ridiculously nervous. I am so glad that we got there nice and early though as it was a perfect experience for Dobby to see the warm up. He was seriously great and I couldn’t have asked for more from him.
After Dobby’s ride it was off for a quick SJ course walk and then it was time to load Inca up to head to the jumper show. While I was on the fence about going I am so glad that I did. It was a great opportunity for me to get in the arena and get rid of some of my nerves and anxiety about showing.
Inca was a little star and was totally un phased by the rather hectic warm up. When we went in for our classes she was all business and so willing. I made plenty of mistakes but she didn’t care. Even when I forgot part of the course she just rolled with it. All in all I am so glad that I decided to go as it really set me up going into Sunday.
I tried not to be nervous on Sunday but I couldn’t help it. I had 4 ride times to juggle with two young horses and a baby. Thankfully I had one of Trainers younger students there just to help with Bea. Having her there to help watch Bea and Amanda there to keep me on track made the day go pretty smooth. The organizers were kind to me as well and my ride times were great and there wasn’t too much scrambling.
Inca’s dressage test was first and went pretty well considering it was her first time in a court. I have been tricked into not taking any kind of contact which wasn’t great but I went into the arena trying to remember that Trainer said to actually ride the horse and not just sit on her. It wasn’t perfect but we rode the test in the right order without drama so I can’t complain. We even scored a 38 which I thought was very fair!
We had a bit of time before stadium and it was enough for me to kind of psych myself out. When I got on for SJ warm up I didn’t have the right attitude and it was showing. I was getting frantic and upset for no reason. Trainer handled my break down well though and I was able to rein the crazy in some. When we walked into the arena for our round my only goal was to finish. I was going to get it done come hell or high water and that attitude is just what we needed. Once I trusted Inca like I had the day before things started to flow better and we had a double clear round moving us up to 5th place.
It was Dobby mans turn now! I took him out for a lunge that morning just to be safe. Warm up was a bit… exciting. It was a much more overwhelming environment for us than the day before. Dobby tried his little heart out though. With lots of circles and changes of directions we kept the hamster on the wheel long enough to knock out our Intro A test. Was it pretty? Nope. Was I super proud? You bet. We stayed in the arena and that was pretty much my goal. It wasn’t smooth but there were no explosions and I consider that a win for the baby horses first time in a dressage arena at his first horse show.
Last but not least was the best part of all. CROSS COUNTRY!!! I hadn’t run xc in 2 years and was so anxious to go out on course without Annie. I can’t really explain it but the whole day was pretty emotional and walking into the start box I was so excited and nervous at the same time. Inca was a machine. She was super honest and forgiving. It felt amazing to gallop over the last fence. We were double clear which pushed us up to 4th place and we even won the watchless award for our division!
All in all it was a great weekend. There were some speed bumps along the way but I was able to push through. Not too shabby considering I have only really been riding again for about 5 months. I sound like a broken record about this but I really wouldn’t be able to do it without everyones help and I am grateful to every person that made the show possible for me.