Up & Down …, Show Report, Winter Tournament 2018-19 #4, Riding

Adventures in Saddle Seat


Me with the three boys: Whiskey, Parker (hidden) & Sam.
Photo by Katie Anderson.

Selfie with Parker (left) and Sam.

Alabama Winter Tournament 2018-2019
Heathermoor Farm Riding Academy
Moody AL, USA
Hosted by & originally scheduled for Stepping Stone Farm
Saturday, February 9, 2019

1. Advance Horsemanship WTC Adult – 2nd of 5
2. Advanced Equitation WTC Adult (Pattern) – 3rd of 5
With Sultan’s Miracle Man. Thank you to Courtney Huguley for Sam.
7. Pleasure Horse or Pony WTC Adult – 2nd of 4
With Jazz In The Park. Thank you to Natassia Gardner for Parker.

First Class: Show Your Horse
I’m proud of this one. After the last show [Riding Vs. Showing], my eyes-on-the-ground pointed out that I often don’t get it in gear until the second class. This time, I was determined to ride hard out of the gate. I tacked up as soon as possible and sashayed into the ring.

I knew that Sam had a long day of toting littles on his schedule, so I kept the actual work to a minimum. Lots of walking and standing, the occasional brief trot. Basically, what worked to warm him up at the summer show last year [Getting The Band Back Together].

Second to a fancier horse with a suit rider. Go us.

Second Class: Walk of Shame
Sam rocked it. Me, not so much.

After abbreviated rail work, we lined up for the pattern. Numerically, I went first. No problem. The first movement was to trot down the long side with two changes of diagonal. As I came around the corner, I realized I was on the wrong diagonal. I switched. Then did my two required switches. Wasn’t sure if my bad diagonal counted against me. It wasn’t good, but technically the pattern hadn’t started yet. Maybe.

Nailed the canter circle. Halt. Trot back to the line-up. Rats, I’m on the wrong diagonal again. Switch. No, phooey, I was right the first time. Switch back. I was pretty sure this time counted.

It’s a bad sign when the judge talks to you as you leave the ring.

Judge, chuckling: something, something diagonal. I didn’t get the exact words, but the sense was, You know you screwed up your diagonals, right?
Me, nodding and pointing to Coach Courtney: Yeah, and I’m about to get yelled at.
Coach Courtney: No, you are about to get shamed. (Points to outgate.) This is the walk of shame.

There is no excuse. Diagonals are 100% rider. As a feeble explanation, the deep footing changed Sam’s way of going just enough that I had trouble feeling it. Seriously. I had to stare down at this shoulders to get a clue.

I guess this proves it’s hard to be good for two classes in a row.

Third Class: Whiny Little Princess
I want to ride Saammmmm. At all the shoooowwwwws. Waaahhhhhh. What do you mean that’s not possible?! Foot stomp.

At my last lesson, Coach Courtney asked me to try an almost new-to-me horse, Parker, show name Jazz In The Park. I’d ridden him once, years ago. Alright, sure, fine. If I have to. Since Winter Tournament is the time to try new things, I offered to show him in the third class, but only the third class. That way, I could try a new horse, would still have Sam for the Horsemanship Class as planned, and, if Parker and I had a Whiskey-style meltdown [Report], it didn’t affect ALL of my series awards.

I sound so reasonable, don’t I? Let’s be clear. I did not want to ride Parker. I did not want to show Parker. However:

1) I need to get comfortable with other horses in general

2) If I plan to show at the big shows this year, Parker is likely to be the available ride.

3) The last time Coach Courtney asked me to try a horse, it was Tigger. That worked out okay [Elusive].

The second place was nice. I was mostly pleased that I got through the class without clutching at him, or at least not too badly, and not riding like a hyper-defensive sack of potatoes. There was even one moment when I asked him to move on and he zoomed down the long side in proper ASB style. I will deny this if quoted, but I can see why people might like riding a game horse. It was nice to use the accelerator pedal without prompting a debate.

The Class That Wasn’t
Earlier this year, there was vague discussion of adding Hunter Hack class for Milton and one of the ASBs who shows in hunter. The “Hack” means that after the group WTC, the entrants line up to take a jump or two! An alarming thought, but what better way for Milton and me to make our jump debut? A familiar environment, a supportive crowd, and total control over setting the jump.

I don’t know if we would have been ready, but we definitely were not after taking two weeks off in January [Dunno]. As it turned out, the show wasn’t at SSF. Not worth hauling Milton and the hunter ASB over for one class.

Well, it woulda been interesting. Woulda derailed my brain for the rest of the classes.

… and Round & Round, Show Report, Winter Tournament 2018-19 #4, Driving
Previous Show [Riding Vs Showing, Show Report, Winter Tournament 2018-19 #3, Riding]
All Winter Tournament Shows [Winter Tournament Posts]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

5 thoughts on “Up & Down …, Show Report, Winter Tournament 2018-19 #4, Riding

  1. I know nothing about showing, but I think I would have been pleased? So congrats, if you feel you’ve earned them. And on a side note, this made me chuckle: “I can see why people might like riding a game horse. It was nice to use the accelerator pedal without prompting a debate.” I have to agree. New horse does (on occasion) think the ask is something to debate. Previous mare (whom I still own and ride when weather permits) always has her game face on. Apples and oranges. And although this just might change someday, I still prefer zipping over debating.

  2. Hey those are some nice results – esp nailing the first class, congrats!! I usually take a little bit to click into gear too, so I need to remember to “sashay” into the ring right away next time too lol! And good for you for trying out the new horse even if you weren’t so jazzed (puns lol) about it. Sounds like an awesome day overall!!

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