Sunday, September 12, 2010

First Show on Laddie!

Yesterday I had my first show on Ladd.
I rode him 3 times last week, all in my own wintec, and he was pretty good with it, and with the riding. Friday we had a club mounted meeting in prep for the show, and suddenly Ladd pulled some funny stunts...Like bucking when a horse passed at the canter...! What's up with that?! He wasn't doing that the other days!

Ladd is an OTTB. Having been a racehorse, it seems he had his ear twitched at least once or twice...and so is incredibly head-shy normally. On a small horse, this isn't such a big deal, but on Ladd...well, if he doesn't want you to touch his ears, chances are you won't get to. So he had some burrs in his forelock from probably July. I had to get those out for the show! Luckily I'm not short. I rubbed baby oil in with one hand, and then standing on tip-toes I reached up and slowly but surely got those nasty burrs out (all the while he acted like I was pulling teeth or something!). Of course, once they were out, his forelock was a greasy mess. Somehow, he seemed to admit defeat at that point, and obligingly put his head down to get his forelock braided...a miracle. :)

We unloaded rather badly at the show grounds...Bubba and Ladd were together on Jean's two-horse trailer, and when Bubba was taken off to get tacked, I wasn't ready to take Ladd off yet. Of course, once Bubba got off, Ladd immediately strained against the trailer ties to get out...on with the lead, off came the butt-strap, and he shot out of the end of the trailer. oops.
There are cows across the street of these showgrounds. Of course they fascinated him :P. I got on him and lowered my stirrups a hole, to get more leg around him, at least until I knew he wouldn't do something silly. I took him in the arena (alone) to warm up. He was just fine going left, and then had to spook at everything going right. Figures. :P The advertisements on the sides of the ring and some paint stripes threw him off.

Time came for first class, English Pleasure. I thought before I came that, if Ladd held it together, we could be in the ribbons. I think he would have been first class, but that at one point he broke to a trot from the canter, and I asked for it again right away, and he got it, but while moving back to the rail he did a flying change. I had to go back to the trot and pick it up again, and by that time it was a pretty noticeable break of stride, and so we didn't ribbon in pleasure. That was ok-I was happy that he held it together as well as he did.

Next class was English Equitation-Equitation judges the rider, not the horse (which is judged in Pleasure). We had to do an extended trot in that class, and after my work on extensions at camp, I could tell that he was truly extending and not merely speeding up. I think at the end the judge even complimented us on our extension :)
The pattern for equitation was really nice: Canter the length of the ring in a straight line and do as many lead changes as possible, simple or flying. I tried to avoid getting in on either end of the line, but of course this particular judge started from the middle and picked me to go first.
That's my face when she said "You're right in the middle. Thanks for volunteering to go first!".
Oh dear :P
I chose to do simple changes with Ladd because I know he speeds up during flying ones and I wanted get at least three changes in. I did a few strides of canter, right to a stop, and then the new canter lead from a standstill, four times. He was so so good! :)
And...we got a first :)

By the time Hunter Hack came along we got in and it was pouring. Ladd jumped fine (they're tiny jumps) and it was decent, but we were all soaked at the end and the ring was we opted to go home. That was fine with me-I would have only taken him in the western classes, riding English, to school him anyway. Ladd and I got first in Hunter Hack as well! :)

In other news, I got Daisy's new snaffle and love it. More on that another time. :)
All photos by my mom :)
Until then,

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