Friday, October 14, 2011

Ever After Mustang Benefit Show - Oct. 8, 2011

Reva and I went to the Ever After Mustang Benefit Show on Saturday, October 8, 2011.  It was held at the Hollis Equestrian Park on one of the most gorgeous fall days.  I showed here before with Dreamy and have always enjoyed this laid back show.  The judge was a great horsewoman Jan Neil, and while I cannot remember why/how I know her, I was really happy to show under her.  I think she is a fair and knowledgeable judge.  It was Reva's last show for 2011, which has been her first year of showing.  To say I am proud of her is an understatement.  She has been so good this year and allowed me to have a great time bringing along a young horse.

None of my friends decided to show that day, so I had to go alone.  So of course, I have no pics save for a few crappy ones from my iPhone.  :-(  Oh well.  I was not nearly as nervous as I was with Reva back in May, when I had NO idea how she would act.  So I was pretty comfortable showing her alone for the first time.  I knew she would be OK, but I also knew there would be decent people there to help if something went wrong.  The Hollis Equestrian Park is also only 30 minutes from my house, so my family was close by just in case.

We started the day with class #1 Open Fitting and Showmanship.  While I freely admit I do not like in-hand or showmanship classes, we have done them all year so I figured I might as well just suck it up and do it one last time.  LOL!  Reva was super good, standing quietly in the line up and moving correctly when I asked.  There were seven horses in the class, all sizes, breeds, and all ages of handlers.  There were a few that I knew would not be much competition (one horse was very dirty, for example) but a few of them looked really good.  We were at the end of the line, so I got to watch five horses before we were asked to walk, trot, and set up for the judge.

I noticed that Jan would give each handler a comment or two after they showed their horse.  For me, she just smiled and said "Very nice job!"  After she sent in her card, she came back through the line up and all she had for me was another smile and an "Excellent turnout."  I had high hopes of placing well.  They started with 7th place and went up, so I kept waiting to hear my name.  YAY for Reva mare as she placed first!  :-)  It was a great start to the day.

We did not have much time for the next class #6 Walk Trot Adult English Pleasure.  I tacked her up quickly in her hunt tack, having decided to stick with hunt seat since there was a hunter under saddle class right afterward.  No time to change from saddleseat to hunt seat!  There were four riders in the class: two were on Standardbreds (yay!) and the other was on a young Friesian mare (she ended up knowing me from SMDA shows which was cool).  I knew that Reva could be competitive, but at the same time she can be naughty and buck, so it could go either way.  Reva seemed very happy and relaxed.  She has shown at Hollis three other times this year, so it was not a new venue.  I was pleased with how she went, though she was a little stronger in the trot than I would have liked.  The warm up ring had been packed and I do not yet feel comfortable working her in a crowded warm up like that yet.  But all in all, when we arrived into the line up I was feeling very good about our ride.  Even if we placed last, I was still happy with her. 


But we placed first!  Yay again!  We were on a roll.  The next class #7 was Walk Trot Open Hunter Under Saddle.  There were five riders this time.  I had to ask the ribbon girl to hang onto the ribbon from the pleasure class since I had no one with me to take it and had to stay right in the ring to show again.  I felt that if I could keep Reva slow and steady, we had a shot at another win. 


We were doing well until the judge asked for an extended trot.  :-P  I know Reva has a nice big trot, but I have not really worked on it at all.  Everything this year has been about SLOW, SLOW, and MORE SLOW.  Hahahaha!  I did my best to ease her into a bigger trot, but whoa boy, that mare wants to move out.  She is a TROTTER after all!  LOL!  I rode her very tactfully and she only tried to buck once.  I do give her credit, as she tried to buck but actually listened to me and my driving aids.........that was pretty cool!  I figured the judge would not appreciate her moments of "exuberance" in the extended trot so we would not place well.  Either that, or she would forgive us a bit since it was a hunter class after all.  I had no idea what the others looked like, since I am very focused when I show, especially on a young horse like Reva.

In the line up the judge said, "What a gorgeous extended trot!"  That was pretty neat.  We placed first again!  Wooo!  It felt really good to be placing so well.  Reva was certainly showing me she understood what this showing thing was all about and seemed to be having fun.  The ribbon girl was very sweet and took our ribbons and prize bags (more on that later) back to my truck which was very close to the secretary's booth where she was working.

We had a short break until class #10 Walk Trot Adult Equitation.  We walked around, I gave her a drink of water, and we practiced the art of "doing nothing".  I have been teaching Reva that it is OK to just stand still under saddle, without having to fuss or shift her weight around.  She seemed happy despite the fact that it was a bit hot for October and her winter coat is getting thick.  Again, there were the same four of us from the Adult English Pleasure class.  Reva was excellent, with very decent trot work and only a small bit of initial rushing in the first trot (Do you want to see more of my extended trot? she seemed to be saying....)  We won again.  I almost started to feel embarrassed for winning all four of our classes.  LOL!  A few people made comments, teasing me to give others a chance to win, and while I knew it was meant to be funny it still didn't sit right with me.  Although I am competitive and enjoy winning ribbons, I am not a show off and I think I am very humble.  Besides here on my blog, I don't write about my horses.  I clap for everyone and say good job/nice work/congratulations to others.  Oh well.  The next class proved that we don't always win, which was good.  :-D


Reva was starting to get a little fussy.  We had to stay in the ring again, for class #10 Walk Trot Command Class.  There were 10 of us in the class, which meant that all the youth riders came back into the ring.  I was a little worried, since Reva has never done well in larger classes.  Showing with little kids makes me worried too, since if Reva is naughty I don't want to cause a problem for a young rider.  It never dawned on me until they called for the first trot that the kids might trot right up next to her, instead of staying well spaced.  A small pony came right up next to her left shoulder and she BUCKED all the way down the long side.  I knew it was bound to happen based on her slight attitude change in the beginning of the class.  Of course, we were called out since the command was to "trot" not "buck".  HA HA HA!  Though one of the spotters told me she couldn't believe I stayed on.  It is funny because Reva's bucks never feel that big to me, but apparently they are.  The only bummer is that because it was a command class, we had to go stand in the center, so it felt to me like I was teaching her that if she bucks she gets to be finished and go stand.  Oh well.  That is the way life is sometimes.  :-)  We placed 7th out of ten, which I was still happy with based on her silly bucking.  It taught me that 1. maybe back-to-back classes are not a good idea with her and 2. we have GOT TO work on having other horses trot up behind us.  I know she is young, but she needs to learn some ring etiquette.  It is time!  Sadly, I rarely ride with others, but I am guessing my friend Tania and her horse Otis might be able to practice with us.  At least if we can't do it this fall, we can work on it next spring.


Thankfully we had a break until class #18 Adult Walk Trot Over Fences (18") so Reva got to chill at the trailer, eat some hay, and drink plenty of water.  She is great at taking care of herself at shows, drinking and eating without any issues.  I was able to eat lunch and relax too.  It was hot and there was not much shade, but I had to remind myself that it was one of the nicest days we will see until next summer!  Winter is coming!  :-(


I did not have high expectations for the jumping class.  I have not worked on jumping with Reva that much and besides the one time at Nationals this past August, we have never shown over jumps.  I wanted to get her into the ring for the experience, and the jumps were teeny tiny (definitely lower than 18"!)  I don't believe in over jumping any horse, especially a five year old, but going over eight cross rails is not going to hurt her.  She is not a natural jumper, I don't think.  She tends to hesitate right before the fence as she learns to use and bounce off from her hocks.  Though much of that is simply strength and experience, so who knows.  She was willing and did not try to buck, take off, or have a rail down like she did at Nationals.  But she was not nearly as steady as I would eventually like her to be.  She got a little wiggly in some of her approaches, but again, that will get better.  We placed third out of three, which I was happy with.  We went clean and calm and that is all I can ask for right now.  :-)  (Side note: a fellow STB rider placed first which was great!  She was nervous about jumping but had a great round!  Yay!)


We were only supposed to have three classes left, but they added in two barrels classes.  I entered Reva in the walk trot one, since they needed at least five to run the class and I got talked into it.  I retacked her up in our Western gear and changed my clothes...I decided to try her Western since they had two Walk Trot Western classes at this show.  It was sort of a silly last minute decision but I figured why not.  LOL!  I tried her out Western for the first time on Tuesday just four days before this show.  It was sort of a silly last minute decision but I figured why not.  LOL!  I tried her out Western for the first time on Tuesday that week and she was super good.  My saddle fit her well and I was able to ride her in her normal snaffle and show with two hands since she is only five.  She picked up on the jog very quickly, which was surprising.  I figured she would want to careen around at the trot and I would scrap the entire idea.  I rode her Western again on Thursday and she was perfect.  Seriously had a perfect, slow, comfortable Western jog!  Who would have thunk!?!?!  ;-D  


We did the Walk Trot Barrels class and Egg and Spoon in our western tack.  I don't think my orange colors that I used with Dreamy looked quite as nice on Reva, but that doesn't matter.  She was such a good sport about trying barrels.  She had no idea what I wanted, but she tried her best.  We were not terribly fast and I had to post in my Western saddle (LOL) but we ended up second out of 6 riders!  So I guess we were fast enough!  Egg and Spoon made me giggle the entire time.  I have not done that class in forever!  I was pretty sure the egg would come off immediately, but I made it around at the walk and then into the trot for half the ring until it popped out!  LOL!  I ended up in second out of five riders.  That was pretty funny.  The young rider who won would have trotted around all day, as she had her thumb beside the egg.  ;-D  But I thought it was neat to see her smile at having won, so it is totally a non issue.  Ha ha ha.  


Lastly we had our two Western classes: Adult Walk Jog Pleasure and Adult Walk Jog Equitation.  I was seriously bummed that we were the only ones (so of course we won) because I wanted actual competition!  Reva was perfect, walking and jogging like we had been doing it all summer.  I was so impressed with her jog.  Even the judge was surprised, commenting to me in the line up that she couldn't believe how good she looked Western.  I love that Reva has successfully shown hunt seat, saddleseat, dressage, and now Western and all the judges have made comments about how she looks good.  :-D

Reva ended up winning the Walk Trot High Point Champion of the day!  Yay!  We were given a very nice black Rambo saddle pad from Dover Saddlery. 


So overall it was a very successful day!  We earned great ribbons in large and small classes, I showed Reva all by myself for the first time, and we debuted in Western tack after just two practice sessions earlier that week!  As much as I wonder if I should have "specialized" in just one seat with her, I am happy we tried a but of everything.  Her basic training has been solely dressage and I truly feel that is the best way to start a young horse.  And Reva picked up on everything so quickly, I thought it would be fun to try lots of different things to keep it interesting for her.  As her canter improves, I have hopes of going walk/trot/canter with her next year, but time will tell.  I don't want to push her and I won't show her 3 gait until her canter is correct.  I have time, lots of time, and I want to train her correctly.

We won lots of cool stuff!  For each first place ribbon, we won a bag of goodies or a saddle pad!
We won some really cool stuff!  I love receiving items I will actually use instead of plastic trophies.
  • Black Rambo pad with the Dover Saddlery emblem (for the high point award)
  • Two white Centuar saddle pads (perfect for embroidering something!)
  • Bag of Applezz N' Oats horse treats
  • Bottle of Absorbine liniment
  • Two bottles of Cowboy Magic detangler and shine (never tried it, but it looks cool!)
  • A small jar of Lederbalsam (love this stuff!)
  • Two small spray bottles of Eqyss Marigold Rehydrant Spray (never tried this either)
  • Two Farnam health care record sheets
  • Equimax magnet
  • Nutrena heart girth tape measure
  • Two gift certificates to Andy's Agway (totaling $20)
  • A large sponge
I asked a young rider to take our photo at the end of the day!
She is so darn cute!
Ha ha ha, not impressed with the photo taking!



6 comments:

AareneX said...

Hooray for Reva! Excellent work!

Jessica said...

Cowboy Magic Detangler is my favorite tail product!

Dressager said...

Sweet!

Laura said...

Congrats to you and Reva on another great show! How cool they gave out useful gifts as well!

Too bad about the comment that person made - I'm sure they were just joking, but it wasn't really necessary to say that to you.

If only they knew the amount of hard work and long years that you put into your riding and training... Then they would know that you had earned all of those ribbons...

SprinklerBandit said...

Super cool! That's quite a haul from a show. Well done.

LiveToFly said...

Wow! Great job!!!! Reva is doing so well!