Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April BEST

This month, we had two shows and this past weekend, we were at BEST (Black Eyed Susan Horse Show Series).  This show is also at the PG Equestrian Center.  We shipped the horses in Friday evening, which is great since I had two horses plus Ronin to ride at the barn before going over.  We shipped over around 6pm to get the horses settled in for the night.  The show is only about 15-20 minutes from the barn, so it is very easy to get to.  I stayed the night at Amy's house (just up the hill from the barn - i.e., on the property) so that I didn't have to drive the hour or so drive home.  My division is the last of the day on Saturday and I needed to ride a horse at the barn before heading to the show.  So I drove down to the barn when the gates were opened at 8am and rode the horse.  I then got the rest of my tack and headed down to the show at 10am.  I had asked my friend to feed Ronin his breakfast so that I didn't have to worry about being there to feed.

Ronin enjoying watching the horse show
Ronin really enjoyed watching the show.  We faced the two arenas so he got to watch the horses all day.  He would grab a bite of hay, stick is head out to watch and eat, and repeat.

The horse show was huge!  There were 10+ in each division and 24 in one of them!  So needless to say, I had a long time to wait.  We ended up stepping into the arena under the lights at 10pm and the last class, the undersaddle, finished at 11:30pm.  Ronin was great under the lights.  He could care less about how the jumps look with the lights either shining right on them or back lighting them, which caused a few horses to take a second look with all the shadows in front of the jump.  The medal course was quite fun with a couple of roll backs.  Then it was right into the flat phase of the medal.  He was super and we won!  I couldn't be happier. 

Then the two hunter rounds and the undersaddle.  Ronin was a little confused since I had to get off to remove his martingale for the flat phase, then get off and put it back on for the hunter rounds, then get off again to remove it for the undersaddle.  He doesn't really need a martingale, but it helps to break up his neck and complete the look for the hunter ring (I know, all about the look in the hunters).  He was great in the first round and won the class.  I had a rail in the second class and by the flat, he wanted to be done and was quite up and not happy about having to show so late and so was I.  Way past our bedtime!

After the last class, we went back to his stall to untack and get him settled for the night.  Since we jump a few rounds, he gets standing wraps for the night to support his legs.  We only put them on for the show overnight and do not when they go home.  When they are home, they get to go out to their fields and walk around so they do not need them.  At the shows, they are in a stall and can't move around too much, so this is a way to help them out a little.  

Left the show at 11:57pm and arrived back at the barn at 12:18pm.  Quickly got into pajamas and right to bed.  On Sunday, our division is first at 8am.  So I got up at 6am and was back at the show at 6:30am to get him ready to show again.  Since he is grey, I had to use some green spot remover to clean him up a tad before he was ready to show.  Both he and I were quite tired and I made a few mistakes.  He was still great.  We were third in the medal, 6th in the first hunter round, second in the second round, and fifth in the undersaddle.  I was very happy with the second round and happy with the result.  We were both exhausted from the night before; we will just have to make it work.

Hopefully, the show management will figure out how to make the show run faster or reorganize the classes so that we are not going so late at night.  It is tough, the ring was run well, there are just so many entries.  When I received counts at 10:30am, there were 230 hunter trips, 74 equitation trips, and 12 flat classes.  And I believe there were more adds later.  So if you do the math, that is a lot of showing.  Here is the breakdown:
2.0mins/Rd + 10mins/flat = ~12 hrs
2.5mins/Rd + 10mins/flat = ~14 hrs

The courses were a little long and the typical estimate for a fences round is 2 minutes, but I think that with ponies showing and a long approach to the first fence, 2.5 minutes is more accurate.  So if everything runs perfect, it would be 14+ hrs of showing just based on numbers, plus you have to add in time to change the heights of jumps and water/drag the ring.  The show manager is very aware of the situation and is trying to fix the problem.  He was nice enough to compensate the adults who had to show so late by taking $50 off our entry fees, which was incredibly nice (it is better for him to give us back $50 than for us to scratch and to lose the $93 in entry fees for the day).

Well, this weekend we have a much needed break.  My husband and I will be having some fun with a friend and her husband visiting the Baltimore Historic Ships in the Inner Harbor and on Sunday.  We will also be doing some spring cleaning and exchanging winter clothes for spring/summer clothes.  Then Ronin and I have two BEST shows the next two weekends.  The first one is a MHSA Regional show with a TB show.  I am very excited about the TB show since Ronin was registered with the Jockey Club and he gets to do some of the special classes they are offering (a Handy Hunter class and a Hunter Derby)!  I also have IHSA Nationals the Friday before the TB show.  

1 comment:

  1. What a crazy weekend! And I cannot believe how long those shows were, especially considering you had to get up in a few hours to continue the next morning. Jeez you must be exhausted! Anyway, AWESOME JOB!! I'm so proud of you :)