Show Report: Winter Tournament 3, Leeds AL

H'More sign Feb 2014 cWell, that was a struggle. Not the show. My rides were standard horse show classes. The day itself was a struggle.

My car is in the shop. Ironic, given yesterday’s repost suggesting a car for a trouble-free existence. Anyway. Last week, I was in a pissy mood. This was attributed to my being stuck out in the boonies sans transport. By Friday, it was clear that part of my attitude came from a bug in the system. No obvious ailment, but I spent the day huddled in bed trying to stay warm.

Previously, I had arranged to drive to the barn Saturday morning, travel with the horses, and stay the day at the show. On Friday, I decided to meet at the show, ride, & come right home. If I am willing to cut short a horse show, I must be sick. Oh, I was still planning to ride, I wasn’t that sick.

This may have been one reason I wasn’t stressing.

Woke up feeling much better. Decided to stay with the plan to drive in case I changed my mind. Started the packing for which I didn’t have the energy the day before. Only to have Mathilda spike a mild fever and refuse treats. Haven’t we been here before [Back: updates]?

Her chief minion tempted her with grazing. I ran to the store to stock up on carrots. Some grass. No dice on carrots. Never a good sign from her. She was clammy either from sweat or from lying down. Remembering my day under the covers, I heated two of Rodney’s back pads to cover her with warmth and wool. We also discovered that she had scrapped her fetlock in getting up. Mild, but it had to sting. We put on suitable goo. After about 45 minutes – whether from coincidence or supportive care – her fever had edged down & she was lipping hay. I left for the show, promising to return ASAP.

Driving to the show, I had to wonder if the universe was trying to send me a message. Every one of the three Winter Tournament shows has been a struggle to get to. Or not get to.

To finish this thread. As soon as I got done with the classes, I checked my phone. Mathilda was eating hay and leaving nose prints in her grain, if not eating any. Nothing much for me to do. I stayed at the show until my sense of guilt outweighed my sense of usefulness. When I came up the driveway, it was to hear that she was eating her lunch.

Whew.WT number 2014
Advanced Horsemanship WTC Adult – 5th out of 5
New horse for me to show & a mare at that. Maggie was a star.

Finished lower than the last show [Report] but rode better. I remembered to use my outside rein for the canter transitions, got both my leads, and I finished my passes. We haven’t debriefed at a lesson yet, but I don’t think I would have ridden much differently if I had been able to make it out to the barn in the intervening weeks. I still have lots to learn/adjust/adapt, but I didn’t backslide into hunt seat as much as I might have.

OTOH, if I had been riding regularly, I’d have been less sore afterward. Ouch.

Also on the plus side, my instructor thought the judge could have placed me higher without interrupting the time-space continuum & I was the only Academy rider. All in all, I feel better about coming in last than I probably should.
pink rosette
Advanced Equitation WTC Adult (Pattern) – 1st, or last, out of 1
Stayed on Maggie instead of switching to Sam, the SSF pattern horse. As the only rider, I wasn’t trying to beat anyone, just survive the class. Maggie got a little strong on the second canter. Galloping about was kinda fun, but since I was trying to look pretty rather than reach escape velocity, I elected to stop as soon as asked. No extra passes here.

For the pattern, she was as attentive as I could ask for. I got all of the pieces in the right order AND managed to be sufficiently organized to prepare for each piece. Go me. Granted, it wasn’t the most elegant ride possible. Smoothness was not optimal. While saddleseat allows for voice cues, I don’t think that means yelling HO! to obtain the middle halt. Ah well, first ya gotta do, then you do it fancy.

Ironically, it was a better than many of my dressage tests, as I was riding a well-schooled lesson horse rather than a mildly-trained, recalcitrant OTTB. When I got it right, the horse got it right. Immediate positive reinforcement.
blue rosette
Judge’s Opinion
When I lined up for the second class, the judge came over to tell me that I had, “The most beautiful riding legs.” To which the correct response was “Thank you.” rather than “So, last place? WTF?”

If my leg is technically correct, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, that leaves me with two questions:

1) What sort of disaster zone is my upper body?

2) I’ve always liked my legs. They’ve always done what I want. Do I like them because they do what I want or do they do what I want because I like them?

No pictures of us. Maggie in her driving togs at an earlier show. Photo originally appeared in Been There, Done That: Still more Winter Tournament. L to R, Courtney Huguley, Kathie Mautner, Maggie.

maggie driving

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