Show Report: ETSA Spring Classic, Cleveland, TN

TN facilitiy

And the winner is Sam Willie. In the morning, it was decreed that I would ride Sam. However, halfway through the day, Lola decided she’d Had Enough. She was done showing and no one was going to change her mind. The resulting horse shuffle put me on Willie. After a quick swap of pre-ride visualizations, I was good to go.

TN halter plate

The only problem with the first class was that Willie’s trot is so smooth, I couldn’t for the life of me see or feel my diagonal going in. It must have been correct, as we won the class.

Omens where good for a second win. In the previous Academy divisions, the judge had shown a fondness for pining the second class in the same order as the first. Now that Willie and I had gone around once, I saw what an old pro he is. I realized I could leave him to his job and really concentrate on getting my hands up, bending my elbows, sitting back, and so on, and so on. I tend to be overly busy, so I tried to sit still and quiet.

Given equal equitation, the judge had also shown a preference for horses who were rocking on. In leaving Willie to his own devices, I may have dialed it back a notch too far. Even the most seasoned performer likes to hear cheering from the peanut gallery. Willie was still lovely, but perhaps more Ferdinand and not enough Fiery Steed. Nothing major, just enough to slide me into second. So, my next goal is to figure out how to encourage the horse without fiddlin’ and fussin’.

Post-show naptime.

Post-show naptime.

Blue and red ribbons. The streak continues.

Photos By Nat
ETSA Spring Classic > Saturday Morning > Classes 61/62 Academy Equitation/Showmanship WT-13 & Over. Brown jods, yellow vest, helmet. As before, please click, enjoy, but do not download without paying, from this or any photographer’s site.

While you’re over there, check out Saturday Evening > 81. Open English Pleasure Walk-Trot, Any Breed, Stake: a saddleseat Friesian, an ASB, a huntseat Friesian, and a saddleseat Belgian. One of the Friesians & the Belgian were also in 63 Open Pleasure Driving, Any Breed, Stake.

TN sign

Activity in the aisle.

Activity in the aisle.

Mother, daughter, & horse get ready to show.

Mother, daughter, & horse ready to show.

TN panel

Categories: Horse Shows, Horses

14 replies »

  1. The Belgian alone is worth the price of admission. Surprised they didn’t attach a fake tail to him though!

    I’m curious: the photographer seems to go out of his way to snap riders when they are in the ‘up’ phase of posting, which in other disciplines would generally be considered the wrong moment. Not the case in saddleseat?

    It’s like a whole other planet …

  2. At today’s lesson, I asked for clarification on the posting pictures. The goal is to get the horse when the rail leg is up. Of course, this puts the rider at the top of a post. Some photographers have taken to shooting when the horse’s near leg up so that the rider is sitting.

    On a victory pass, the rider deliberately cross-posts, so to be sitting when the horse looks best. This may be why ads and magazines so often have pictures with ribbons fluttering. The image has been staged so horse and rider are optimum.

  3. Back in the day, I used to read the Saddlebred mags and my best friend and I used to scan the photos looking for the “photoshops” (this was way before real photoshops, of course), but photographers used to paint on ribbons! Fun times for teenagers. 😉 AND, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

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