Monday, August 25, 2014

We Survived and Conquered... Kind Of

The BVX Show was simply awesome - it was a lot of work and I am still feeling the ill effects of lack of sleep and four days worth of hard riding, but I am very happy I went and even more happy I was able to bring home a few ribbons.

Yes, we totally Dressaged it in my CC saddle.
On Wednesday evening we hauled out and got to the grounds around 7PM. Tacked up and rode the mare around a bit and she felt good, a bit fresh, but good. I hadn't ridden her for about four days, which was a bit stupid on my part, but life has a way of getting busy and I just didn't have the time to prepare like I initially would have. D (owner of Tally) said Tally trailered well and she seemed happy to be at the Fair - looking around and being quite curious and calling out to her stable-mates.

Thursday morning was Dressage. I had my ride times at 9:45am and again at 1:30pm and D was going to be my reader, and I would be hers. Since D was riding two horses, there was a lot of running back and forth reading for her and helping her switch over horses since the Show Office only gave her about 30min between horses (and she had to completely switch over tack!). My first Dressage test was a complete disaster. I was nervous, tense and bracey. Tally mimicked me and we had a bit of a discombobulated Dressage test which included some awesome Ay-rab giraffe impressions and some trotting during our free walk. We scored a very low, and embarrassing 48% which placed us DEAD last, although I cannot completely fathom why we placed as low as we did because several other competitors had worse tests than I did - complete with one pair who cantered pretty much the entire test.

Jumper pony in the Hunter ring, what what!?
We did redeem ourselves for our second test, although I was still nervous and Tally was feeling pretty damn fine. Our second test earned us a score of 56% which was a great improvement, but still was quite an embarrassing test. The judge was very inconsistent with the scoring and I heard of several other competitors who had very odd remarks and scores on their tests which didn't make me feel so alone and so shitty about my ride.

After Dressage Tally got her legs cold hosed because I'm a shit-show when it comes to legs. Being cooped up in a small stall all weekend drove me completely insane and every chance I could I was out walking Tally, linimenting and cold hosing her legs. You should've seen my freak out when she had GOD FORBID A SMALL AMOUNT OF SWELLING. PUFFY LEGS BE GONE.

Fancy Hunter.

Friday morning was Flat classes - Tally was very strong on the bit and literally ripped my arms off. She had NO brakes and we placed quite poorly in most of the classes. Having twelve other horses zooming around with a horse who hadn't been ridden much in the last two weeks was not a good idea. However, other than just being slightly out of control during our hand gallop, it went well. I literally was pouring sweat after each class because it was so damn hot and I am so out of shape that trying to switch from a extended canter to a collected walk was NOT fun. Oh, and compiled with the fact that our English Flat judge was a WESTERN judge, the pattern Equitation class was SUUUPER fun, NOT.

Look out, we are fourth place badasses!
 Pretty much none of the traditional English horses were in the ribbons - most of the Breed Show AQHA and APHA horses placed well, though. During our one Hack class, Tally and I managed to pull a fourth place out of six, which was respectable considering the girls in the class were all regular riders instead of being weekend warriors like me.

My last hack class went something like this, though:
"I'm so tired, maybe I'll just try and sit along for the ride..."
"Tally... please slow down."
"OK, hand gallop? We can... whoaaa ok now we really are galloping. Awesome... Tally please stop gaping your mouth open..."
"Oh, I lost my stirrup...."
"I give up."
I'm also not ashamed to admit that I went for a nap Saturday afternoon.

I did pull Tally out Friday night and we did some practice jumping because y'know, I've only jumped her three times since I've had her... 

Pretending we know what we're doing in the Hunter arena.

Saturday morning I pulled Tally out for Hunters and immediately I noticed she had gashed her leg. In short, I'll say that I went on to publicly cry and blubber like a fool in front of pretty much everyone because of how I must've hurt Tally and how she's going to die and so on and so forth... Stress and being tired is a fantastic combination.

Mare says, I do this shit in my sleep.
D, Tally's owner told me to shut up and ride and after much deliberation I got on and popped over a few warm up jumps and what do you know, Tally was just fine. Out of the four Hunter classes I was entered in, we placed in two and earned two respectable 6th place ribbons. Each class had about 10-12 riders, so I figure we did pretty darn good.

I was happy with our courses and although we did not seem to be the judges favorite despite getting all our leads (and perhaps being a teeeeeny bit too fast), I was happy that I didn't A) fall off or B) get any refusals. She was a perfect packer for me around the jump arena and I was very, very happy with her.

Posing in front of a jump we pretended to compete over with the ever-awesome Show
In all, the weekend was great. Tally is over at D's place until I can haul her back and overall I am very happy I went and competed although I probably looked like an unprepared, giant shit-show. Tally mare was good to me, and despite our short-comings I had safe, clean and quiet rounds in every class I did. It was a long weekend, filled with rodeos, hot dogs, horse shavings in my shoes and 4-H showers with no pressure. Oh, and I also got slightly intoxicated.

More photos to come!!


  1. Congrats on the placings! I always get frustrated when there is a western judge judging english at open shows >:[

    1. Thank you!! And does that typically happen in Open shows?? Because oh my goodness a lot of the show competitors were PEEVED.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! I was surprised I even came home with ribbons, given the fact that most of these competitors ride 5-7x a week on horse's they've owned for a few years!