Bringing in the Year with Blues, Show Report, Spring Fun Show

On the day of the show, dude had a full dance card. We staged a reenactment later.

Stepping Stone Farm Spring Fun Show
Chelsea AL
Saturday 18 March 2023

Transformer (Optimus)
10. Academy Adult WTC Showmanship – 1st of 2
11. Academy Adult WTC Equitation – 1st of 2
Thank you to Sharon Gray and Whitney Cook for Optimus.

Halters were given out as prizes. Pretty snazzy for an in-barn show! I left Optimus’ winnings at SSF for him to use. As I have said elsewhere, Thoroughbreds want prize halters? They can go win them. [Collision of Worlds II]


Despite epic nerves in the days before (more on this tomorrow), I’m pleased with how I rode. Not just well, but rode well for saddle seat.

I remembered to support with the outside rein, unlike last time. [SSF Fun Show 2022]

I held my canters. Ditto & not unrelated.

I remembered a majority of stuff from my most recent lesson. [Optimus Returns]

I remember Coach Courtney talking about balance. So I thought about not flopping forward and thereby not flopping Opt onto his forehand. [Notes From A Lesson]


It was a brisk day. I was concerned that Optimus was gonna be lit. He was. It wasn’t so bad.

a) He had a class before mine, so got some steam out.

b) He’s a basically good dude.

Opt: Horses in the field! A break in the fence line! This! That!
Me: Keep your eyes in the boat.
Opt: Okay.

c) ASBs are used to going right to work. They are not used to floating around on a loose rein, being left to their to their own devices. That sounds nice to you & me but can be scary to a prey animal not familar with this maneuver. Picking up the reins reassured him that I had his back and he was not alone out there.

d) I need to keep reminding myself that my internal alarm is tuned for Thoroughbreds. Being on the alert to diffuse potential meltdowns leaves me twitchy about Saddlebred enthusiasm. As it has since day one. “Particularly given the Saddlebreds I ride versus the Thoroughbreds I own.” [Missing The Saddlebreds]


I remembered NOT to follow with my hands. This is so counter-intuitive for me. It makes sense here. ASBs are all about gather, gather, gather. Making a frame to contain, support, & show off the horse. So easy say; such a hard habit to reprogram.

As I said, I kept cantering! First time in four shows.

ASBs use so much outside rein. Again, they don’t want to be left alone to float around on their own.

Note to self, can’t use lower leg the way I am used to (or the way I was used to and the way I would like to be used to again. But I digress). I figured that I could do some negotiating with the upper part of my lower leg, just below the knee. Particularly for a simple command, such as Please keep cantering.

Thank you, Optimus!


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