Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hunter Show Recap

Well I did it. I braved the Hunter world with Comrade.
We got to the show right on time, according to my schedule, and signed up for the pleasure division. Then I had to find Comrade's brain. He lost it sight seeing on the walk from the trailer. Thank God, I had time to work through his issues  in warm up. Once his bouncy, distracted jog turned into a working trot and his attention moved from the other horses and bogey men in the woods to me, I figured we would be OK.
I headed up to where Mom and Peggy were waiting and ended up waiting too. And waiting. Gotta love Hunter shows.

Comrade thought he should be able to eat grass while we waited. I had to disappoint him as that was not happening.
Finally after almost an hour, it was time to show. First up Walk, Trot. Ten riders meant keeping track of traffic. Let me tell you, this nearly 14.2h pony had to take the inside track and pass a lot of big horses. Was he perfect, no. We had some inverting and some calling but his trot was awesome. So out of ten, we got an honorable mention for 7th place. Not bad for his first hunter class.
Next was the Go As You Please. It was a no brainer that we would trot. Cobs are known for their trot and Comrade was showing everyone why. The worst part was that it took awhile for the judge to see all the horses, so we did a lot of trotting. Pony boy was great, but getting tired. What was great was that he stayed calm even with other horses cantering around him.
Then came Walk, Trot, Canter. I knew we were not up to par because they want walk to canter transitions and those are not a solid part of our tricks. Well we were worse off then expected. He got skippy in his trot showing his tiredness. Then I asked for left lead canter and got a buck. UH OH. Anybody having a flash back to the Spring Fling. Yeah, me too. I kept asking and got a few strides, then he bucked. And all that great push he had at trot, made for some really big bucks. As Peggy said, an angel was sitting on my shoulders holding me on him. Then we changed direction and they ask for canter right away. This time Comrade cantered for awhile and only did a few crow hops. After all his drama, he did a great trot to finish the class. And if you can believe it we got another honorable mention. I think it was for my bronc busting :)
All lined up
After the pleasure division, we had a break before the jumping class I was thinking about for him. I decided to do only one class, six jumps. Of course I realized after Peggy and I sat down to eat lunch, that I could have saved the class fee and just used the schooling time to jump the jumps. Oh well.
I changed into a polo shirt (it was really warm) and got him ready to play. This was the fun part for me. Comrade has not seen real jumps with standards, gates and flowers. We were only jumping 18inches this time. As I headed to the arena, we realized the schooling time was still going on. Jackpot, now I could work over the "scary" fence. I trotted him over a vertical like the one above. He did not even hesitate. Then we came around to the diagonal to a jump with a gate and flowers. Oops there go his brakes. I prefer a solid stop square with the fence to a run out, so I made him stand in front of the jump and think. Some guy thought I was trying to get him to walk over it and kept telling me to circle him around. He left me alone once I explained what I was doing. Comrade refused once more then went right over. Afterwards he went over the jumps great and even cantered off smoothly. He even jumped a vertical set at 2ft with no issues. I took him over the course, outside line, diagonal to the other outside line. He was super and those moments made my day. I decided we did not need to do the class. I accomplished exactly what I wanted. I would rather leave thinking he could do more than wish I had done less.
And this way I did not have to wait through eleven rides. Plus lucky me, I  still had to help unload and stack our hay delivery which was coming in the afternoon.
And here are a few more pictures, my photographer was not very ambitious so I do not have any of me jumping :(
This jump was similar to our scary jump we had to work over. Actually it is the one on the far right.

Both of these jumps were part of the course, the one nearest Comrade was the one that was raised to 2ft.

Handsome boy

Happy pony and the headless horseman ;)


  1. Sounds like he did pretty good for his first time.
    Love the pics, you guys look awesome. Good on you for staying on those bucks.

    1. Thanks Ruffles. I am still amazed I stayed on.