The tricky part was figuring out when to tack up Comrade. They changed the class order to put the kid classes earlier. After Comrade's blow up at his lesson, I wanted to keep the pony happy. Both of us sat half dressed for a bit before seeing the other Cob head to the arena. Then it was warm up time.
If you remember last year, than you know warm up was the beginning of a very bad series of events. I tried to keep a "Come what May," attitude as I walked around. I knew the other Cob would take the class so anything we accomplished would be a personal win. I put Comrade through his paces. Except for a wrong lead one time, he did everything I asked. He needed more time for suppling, but I also did not want to overwork him. I will take a bad frame over a grumpy pony. Considering how warm up went last year, this one was awesome. I could have cared less how we placed after finally getting a good warm up. I'm weird, I know.
|Screen shot of Comrade|
When the class started, I was feeling really comfortable. The first part is a judged hack. Walk, then trot, into canter then down to walk. Reverse and repeat. We had another wrong lead, but he quickly let me make the change. The ride was not our prettiest or most effective on my part, but he was obedient, forward and SOUND. The second part is a judged test, similar to a dressage test. I found this a little hard this time because the judge lined us up on the short end instead of the long side. This made some of the movement placing tough. This judge was really nice and went over how we could improve. For us we needed to think deeper corners and better extensions. Comrade lack of suppleness was showing. All I could think was, Redemption. We finally got to show some of his moves. The final part was confirmation. At the end we were, of course, second place. In my head we were total champions.
Here is the first class's video. I will warn you that Peggy got distracted watching us, she kind of forgot to follow with the camera. You can see he had nice forward motion. Everything else will come eventually.
Next up was the A/B class so we got a break before the champion class. The champion class had the two cobs and the one B. Lisa had already told me the champions normally take the class. I got to use the class to improve from the previous without the stress of trying to compete. It ran the same way as the first one, a hack then the test. Comrade hit all his leads and we did better corners during the hack. In the test, I kept thinking "step, step" to get him stepping under and suppling better. Our extensions were better and the final gallop was like freedom. We had achieved what we came to do and I was perfectly happy. No tears and no lame pony leaving the ring that day. The judge was happy with our improvements and seeing him round up at points.
Here is the second class's video. This one Mom took, but there is a part she was trying to find a better spot so it gets rough.
So I was chatting with Peggy when they announced the standings. They called my number as Champion. Say What???? Oh yeah, that's right the judge wrote the standings wrong. She was horrified. "He is a great pony, but you were my third place." I told the other Cob rider she won. She was so sad looking thinking I was hurt not winning. I told them both I did win, maybe not a ribbon, but for Comrade and I just finishing the two classes was better than a ribbon. Gosh, I think everyone else felt worse about me not winning than I did. Ah well, it went along with the rest of the day.
Finally after the super long day we could pack up the ponies and go home. This time the boys were tied on the same side loaded sideways. As we are driving down the road, Peggy notices a tail flying out of the trailer. I looked back and could tell by the color it was Comrades. His tired butt was sitting on the trailer. Peggy said she was going to have to stop and braid his tail. She did not want his tail damaged by blowing. We pulled onto 66, a two lane highway, with the thought of pulling over in Marshall. Then Peggy realized her truck was running at high RPMs. Sure enough out of 6, it was at 5. Slowing down did not help, so we had to pull over.
Mom and I took the time to braid Comrade's tail, while Peggy talked about the problem with a guy who had been there with his motorcycle. Then I called Peggy's husband to let him know and Mom called my brother who is a mechanic. In the end, the motorcycle guy figured it was a bad gauge. The truck did not sound like it was having troubles and there were no smells. We headed back onto the road cautiously.
At this point it was after 6pm. We were dragging. The plan was to drop me and our ponies at our barn, then Mom and Peggy would go to her barn to unload there. I fed the ponies, but could not put them out because Rosemary and Roscoe's muzzles were in our car at Peggy's. So I picked poop, checked water and generally tried to stay awake. When Mom came we turned the horses out, settled Winston and headed home at about 10pm.
I did mention this was the longest show ever, right? Now you know why it took so long for me to do the write up. I had one hell of a horse show hangover.