This past weekend, Chloe and I went to our first show ever together. I was a bit apprehensive, Chloe and I have never hauled anywhere and ridden right off the trailer and the last time she'd gotten in a trailer was back in October, when we moved to our new barn. I had it in my mind that since we are decidedly NOT hunters (video evidence to proves this shortly), that we would still go to Hunter day and use it as schooling and to teach Chloe about horse show life. I tried to keep my expectations and goals low I don't care if we don't get any ribbons (LIES AND PROPAGANDA! GIVE ME THAT SWEET SATIN!), I just want to get through the course with minimal blowing of OTTB minds.
I've really only been jumping Chloe consistently for about 5 months, with most of that consisting of trotting x's and single verticals. We've really only been cantering jumps for about 3 weeks and cantering courses for 2 weeks. We started with lots of forward paces and lots of long spots (JUMP ALL THE THINGSSSSSS!), but Chloe really has come a very long way in a short time and I can't stop smiling about this weekend!
|Ghetto photos from video, but it's what we've got!|
We got to the show and were lucky enough to snag two of the grass paddocks on the fairgrounds so that we wouldn't have to keep all 8 of the horses tied to the trailer all day, which in my opinion was the perfect situation for Chloe's first show! I turned her loose with her buddies and may or may not have suggested that she "self-longe" for a bit before our classes. She took my suggestion to heart for one trot across the paddock and then figured eating grass would be more fun.
The warm-up situation was a little crazy. We're talking several horses stuffed and jumping in a space about the size of a small dressage arena (probably smaller). Chloe handled being run up on, horses jumping and cantering past her like she'd been going to shows her whole life. She was a bit forward and up, not uncommon for her, but she listened to me the entire time.
We did a not to be judged round over the 18" course, just to see what she would do when she was in the ring. She went in and jumped around like a champ. Like a giraffe, but like champ nonetheless. Chloe doesn't really have her flying changes yet so we did a lot of simple changes on the course, which I think kind of helped us re-establish our pace throughout the course.
|I like big butts and I cannot lie?|
After the warm-up round, we started our 2' Schooling Hunter classes. For her first time out at a show, Chloe was awesome on all 3 courses. She listened when I asked for the downward transitions or when I asked her to wait in the lines and she did't get out of control. We had our moments of very forward and she is still a bit hollow with her head up in the air, but I think if we keep working on it, she will get there.
Our rounds were controlled enough to get us two 5ths and a 6th out of 10 or 11 horses! We entered the flat class for the hell of it because points and year-end satin, but we didn't place as Chloe misunderstood and thought it was Schooling Giraffe Under Saddle. Let me tell you, had it been Giraffe Under Saddle, we would've won that mother!
|Big butts, baby jumps.|
All in all, I couldn't have been more thrilled with my pony. My trainer got a new trailer last week that loads from the side and Chloe jumped right in (last time she was on a side load the ramp was a little slippery from the rain and she slipped off of it, making her leery of side loads and ramps.). She hopped off the trailer with no histrionics and hung out in a paddock for a few hours, jumped a few courses like she'd been going to shows all her life, played giraffe in the hack class (Okay Chloe, I get it. You do not like to Hunter.), won a few ribbons and then hopped back into the trailer like a rockstar. Unfortunately, I only got video of the warm-up and 1st round (Thank you non-horsey hubby!) but it is much better than nothing!
Warm up 18" round
2' Schooling Hunter, 1st Round
Jumper Day Recap coming soon!