There are many ways to prepare for a horse show. The training, packing the horse trailer, the clothes, practicing braiding and all the endless little details that are specific to your horse. Will the horse load? Will he be good on warmup day? Should I bring the lunge equipment? Did I bring a mounting stool, wheelbarrow or enough hay?
This past weekend was a first show for baby Finn, who is 4. A home show, so no travelling or anything, but exciting and interesting because you never know what you are going to get with the baby horses.
Will he be naughty, frisky, cheeky, scared, hard working, or tire out before the end of the weekend? This weekend he was pretty great for a first show. Some good tests, some not amazing tests, but nothing naughty, cheeky or horribly disobedient. But there was an interesting “moment” which I would categorize as “you can’t plan for that”.
On the second day, I was the first rider for the morning. And while we were cruising around the outside before our test we were just coming up to the corner to go in front of the judges box. Well, as you can imagine he had a little spooky look at it, but in this moment he stalled and tried to spin. Instead, his back legs gave out and he sat down!
In that moment, I was thinking we were going to lie down in a slow roll over when my left foot hit the ground and I was standing on my left foot! I think that is what steadied us before he leapt back up to all fours, throwing me forward and I wrapped my arms around his neck just in case he decided to trot off. Thankfully no!! He scared himself a wee bit, we shook it off and proceeded in front of the judges booth – much to the surprise of everyone watching including me!
Later when I got back to the barn, it reminded me of other moments that you “can’t plan for” that happen at a horse show that have happened to me:
- Crows screeching and eating in the garbage cans beside the arena.
- The little designer trees falling down in front of you while you are doing your test, OR them falling down off the judges box and you can’t pass.
- Sandpipers in the arena with their baby birds squawking at you while they flap their wings because they are protecting their babies.
- Squirrels trying to hid nuts/food in the arena while you are riding. It was like trying not to step on the crazy squirrel who seemed to dart in front of me all the time. Horse I was riding at the time was interested in stomping on it!