Since our second show of the year is right around the corner I thought I should write about our first show. Let me start out saying it was cold. Really cold. Like no amount of clothing is going to make you warm kind of cold. When I got to the barn my car thermostat read 18 degrees! I needed to at least wash the mud off Savy’s legs and the water hose was frozen, so I happily carried my 2 gallon bucket into Megan’s nice cozy house to borrow some of her warm water. My shampoo and braid magic were frozen, so they had to be microwaved. Then I had to carry my big, full, very heavy 2 gallon bucket of water back to the barn. This did actually make me warm. And it made my arms and shoulders sore for 3 days. Savy seemed to enjoy getting her legs washed with the warm water, but she did not care for her mane getting braided. And the braid magic (which is basically heavy duty hairspray) made my fingers wet, which made them really cold. The time between my painfully cold fingers and arriving at the show is very blurry. I know I started to get nervous and I feel like it took me 2 hours to do my make-up and change into my show clothes.
Arriving at the show grounds. The nervousness had abated somewhat and Savy and I were doing pretty good. I manage to advert a wardrobe crisis by packing a complete extra set of show clothes. Next time I will definitely remember to bring my sewing kit. And I almost had to ride without socks because I stepped in a puddle while putting my boots on and apparently it’s impossibly to slip wet socks into tight leather boots. Luckily I had an extra pair of those too. In my purse. I’m not sure why they were there, but I know I had been carrying them around for a while. Finally I was all dressed and Savy was all tacked up and we headed to the warm up arena.
The warm up arena is a scary, scary place on the back of a 3-year-old mare at her first show. All the other horses riding past her in each direction all going different speeds really frazzled her. I felt like she might actually bolt. I think if she didn’t trust me so much she would have left me in the dust and high tailed it back to the trailer. The longer we were in the warm up, the more tense she became. I think she thought the other horses were trying to attack her, and I was starting to worry she would actually kick someone.
I was relieved once we were called in to do our test. At this point Savy’s mind was gone and she was totally in flight mode. I realized this show was going to be all about getting through our test and staying in the arena. She thought the judges booth was going to eat her, and she didn’t know what the sign on the wall was but she thought it best to keep a 10ft radius from it. Even Megan spooked her. Once we were in the arena my nervousness disappeared. The entire test she was bent to the outside (trying to look at the birds I think) and had her head straight up in the air. We still snagged a 4th place with only 1 point separating us from the top of the class. The judges comments were very nice and encouraging. She said Savy is a really athletic horse with the potential to go higher!!
I couldn’t be more proud of my sweet girl. Even though she was super scared, she was brave and really tried for me.