Today Rosalicious went to her second show, to do the same two classes we did the last time. Just a nice, easy Adult Eq division with a walk-trot class to get her used to things.
Today went much better than the last time, in terms of her getting used to showgrounds, me conquering the hop ‘n’ spin, and the giraffe-neck of last time not making an appearance. At first, she actually was a little more unsettled than last time, snorting and not standing well for getting tacked up. When I mounted up she speedwalked in a direction of her choosing (towards where I had handwalked her earlier), and we had our only little tiff of the day.
“that way!” she said
“no. This way!” I replied, with a big opening left rein and a kick
“noooo! THAT way!” she responded, with a half hop and attempted pop of the shoulder to the right.
“no… This time I actually mean it, darling.” with a couple swats of the crop and a growl.
That was the last I saw of the attempted Hop ‘n’ Spin move all day. Though she bulged and tried to get opinionated a few times, I think we may finally have that kicked.
Anyway, onwards we went to a warmup area behind the jumper ring, as we had gotten there a little too late to warm up in the actual ring. She started out a little quick, but settled VERY quickly at the trot. Even taking nice big steps and rounding her neck in a way I’ve never seen her do before. Her first canter was lovely, but her second got a little strong- going downhill and away from the trailers she just wanted to go. It was hardly terrifyingly fast, but she wasn’t listening, which is a worrying feeling for any rider. Fortunately (well, sort of), her fitness level is not that high yet, and the solution to this problem was turning her uphill, where she promptly ran out of steam.
I kept her busy for a while just doing lots of little patterns, taking her over some interesting terrain where she had to pay attention to her feet, etc. When we came back to the walk, she was trail-quiet Rosey again. On a floppy rein, and “grunting” with every step. Her ears were even flopping.
Later, as we moseyed towards the ring, she started getting a little antsy and worked up again, so I followed the same drill, just asked her to work around and got her attention back, and it worked very nicely.
When we entered the ring, she was very relaxed- interested in everything but not jumpy. Remembering the trouble I had last time when taking her off the rail, I immediately cut across the ring with her, and made a little circle. She was fine with that. She started off her W/T class with a bit of a high head but not nearly as quick on her feet as last time. Our major problem was her trying to watch what was going on outside the ring, on the side opposite the judge she was very interested in a couple of spectators and the woods (not in a scared way, but a way that suggested she was trying to identify what types of trees she was looking at). At the lineup, she stood like a real lady, on a totally loose rein, not worried in the least about the other horses stepping ahead of her.
The second class went very well- she picked up her first canter like a champ, and though she was a little quicker than I’d like at points, she was very relaxed, and we had a grand time. The second direction, we missed our lead, I think three times in a row, which was her telling me, “hey dork, quit your leaning!” it just took me a little while to get the message. Oh well. Again she stood in the lineup perfectly. Such a lady!
Our ribbons were fourth and fifth, respectively. It might have gone better if I did not look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. (I apparently need a strict lady with a ruler to follow me around and smack me every time I slouch).