Show Report: Riding at ProAm 2017, or Showing Without My Security Blanket I

Saddle Seat Wednesday

Pro-Am Benefit Classic Horse Show of Georgia
April 5-8, 2017
Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter
Perry, GA, USA

132. Academy Equitation WTC Adult, 2nd of 2
133. Academy Showmanship WTC Adult, 2nd of 2
136. Academy WTC Championship, 5th of 6
All classes with A Woman of Design (Desi)
Thank you to Reagan Upton

Sam & I rock the Georgia National Fairgrounds. At the fall show, we are undefeated, four for four, two years in row. At Pro-Am, which tales place in the spring, we are almost undefeated. In 2014, we won two out of three. In 2016, we won all our classes, including a moderately large all-age championship. Us old farts gotta ride hard to beat the young & cute.

Not this year

Without Sam, Perry is not my happy place.

To quote myself,

Me: Was my first class as bad as I think it was?
Coach: Yes
[Show Report: Pro Am 2015, On Being Muddled]

Although Trump & I scratched out a win and Robert & I had fun galloping around the Championship, Pro-Am 2015 was not my finest hour. Neither was 2017.

Second of two can indicate a close race. Second can represent a personal victory. This was not one of those days. I would have been last in any company. There were no specific errors of course. Desi and I walked and trotted and cantered where we were supposed to. We got our diagonals and leads. There were simply an accumulated abundance of style and presentation flaws.

I pulled my socks up for the third class. However, the judge was done with me by then. Or perhaps I didn’t get my socks as high as I thought.

Possible Reason 1: I suck. Or, at least, I sucked on the day. Sometimes, you’re the windshield; sometimes, you’re the bug.

Possible Reason 2: I make the mare crazy. I have an electric seat. In lessons, I do not ride Desi with a stick. It was deemed that I would need to carry one in the show ring. I think the combination of me with a stick was more than she could cope with, causing me to ride defensively. Coach Courtney disagrees. She thinks the mare was perfectly fine and that I was willoming and flolloping in the saddle for my own ineffable reasons.

Either way, the observable facts are that I did not carry a stick in the third class and that the third class was, if not good, at least better. What if I had started off in the first class without a stick? Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Possible Reason 3: Clashing Styles. In my dressage lesson [Rodney’s Dressage Lesson], I was told to widen my hands, to look down at the horse (yes, he really said ‘Stop staring off into space.’), and to move my arms in rhythm with the horse’s walk. In my saddle seat lessons, it’s pinkies inside the reins, look up, hands up, hands together, and sit back (as in actually back toward the cantle, not just stop slouching). I have no doubt I will be able to ride both eventually. However, there may be a period of adjustment as I learn to run two sets of code simultaneously.

I know – intellectually – that a bad day at a horse show is still a good day, but I’m having a hard time feeling it at the moment. Onwards!

Pro-Am links [list]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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