Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Western Mare Gone English

So on Sunday afternoon I decided to haul out to the next town over and ride in their indoor, as they were having a "Jump Day" event. Basically, a bunch of gals got together and extended the invitation to anyone else wishing to ride, for a $5 drop in fee. I had been itching to go to the Fairgrounds since I got Suzie but with the amount I worked, the frequency of my riding and the anxiety I had not only about hauling, but "competing" I chickened out a lot.

So finally, I had the ability to haul. I had no excuses.

It was a pretty nice day; it started out quite cold and the grass had a thick layer of frost which took till almost noon for it to thaw! The BF and I hitched up the trailer at quarter to one (we were already behind as we were putting the roof on his shed) and seeing as the Fairgrounds are about 50min away, I was already freaking out. The event was scheduled for 2:00pm and with the amount of time we already had left, plus travel time.... it wasn't looking good.

I ALWAYS like time to get there, look around, stretch our legs and assess the horse before I put a foot in the stirrup - especially in a new place! On the way out there, BF and I reminisced about a horse show I had him haul me to... we were nearly two hours early and no one was even at the show grounds - not even the show committee. I have always been obsessed with being overly-early and perhaps it's just a way to cope with my anxiety, or it's just how I get "ready". Whatever the case, I wouldn't be able to prepare much for this particular event.

After some slight truck troubles, Suz hopped into the trailer willingly and we were well on our way. We puttered into the Fairgrounds at 1:58PM. Two minutes until the event started. I wasn't necessarily concerned with being scolded for being late - it was a fun event and there weren't any "rules" persay. However, I was concerned with how Suzie would react in a new environment. The arena was covered - would the flapping noises bother her? And when we arrived, all the horses were inside - would being alone while tacking up make her antsy?

I should really know my little mare better than that.... She loaded off the trailer calmly and quietly. She looked around for half a millisecond and then immediately looked at me like, "Okay, this is where we are. Cool." I giggled as I tied her to the trailer; she looked positively BORED out of her SKULL!

I quickly tacked up and literally hauled her off into the arena. Suz looked at the several other horses with minimal interest; even as a few geldings cooed at her and nickered away. So I hopped up and the rest was history.

She warmed up just fine; but her brakes really weren't there. I had to use much more rein pressure than what I normally would have to at home, but she was still quite well behaved.

When we did our jumping course, her face lit up and she exploded down the line, and that was when I realized she thought the little 18" cross rails were scurries. With the help of a friend who was there, we did a lot of circling before and after jumps, getting her relaxed and in a nice quiet lope to and from them. But, let me just say... my mare is NOT a jumper. LOL. She put in SO much effort over the tinest of jumps, stretching her neck out like they were oxer spreads. We had quite a few "oops" jumps, but we had fun and that is what counted the most.

No, she is not an English horse and she'd never pin in a 2' Hunter class, but she was quiet, safe and had just enough fire in her that I had to keep riding.

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