Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May Horse Shows

So the month of May was pretty busy for both myself and Mr. Ronin.  The first weekend in May was IHSA Nationals where I competed in the Alumni Over Fences class Friday morning.
6am - Schooling of horses
Course Walk

I drew number '6', which meant that I rode 6th in the 'order of go' out of 16 and the horse was named "Alabama", a horse that I had seen go on Thursday that was quite cute and very willing.  I noted that the horse was quite good at adding a small step before the fence if you leaned up the neck or didn't support with leg at each distance.  I watched a couple of horses go, then got on and adjusted my stirrups and got ready to ride.  I was happy with my fences as I was able to get her around well, just a tad deep to one fence, but I missed the last lead change for a few strides and the judges heavily penalized my score for it, a 71.  After all the riders went, I ended up 12th; oh well, there is always next year (and I have the Alumni Tournament of Champions next weekend on the 18th to look forward to).

After Nationals, I drove down to the barn to get the horses ready to go to the BEST horse show.  The horses were leaving earlier than normal (at 2pm) on Friday so that we could school a couple horses.  One of the young horses that I help out with (he is just 5) needed to be schooled as it was his first show since last season (August) and he can be quite a handful.  We wanted to make sure that he had time to settle and school well before he and his rider showed on Saturday.  So I hoped on him and schooled him around both rings.  He was great!  A little distracted about the ring when flatting, but once we started jumping he focused well and jumped around both rings very well.  I then helped one of our other riders school her horse too.  Her horse is normally very quite, but there was a giant flock of geese outside of the ring that he was spooking at so we did a lot of serpentine, circle, and transition work to get  him focused on his job.  Once he was settled, she jumped him around and ended really well.

Saturday went great for both Ronin and I and the whole barn.  I first rode the young horse in one division to make sure he went well as he can sometimes go 'green' when he goes in his first class.  He got good ribbons in his classes and went very well.  We only had 6 riders at this show (small for our barn), but we swept each division; we had Champion and Reserve (where we had two compete)!  Great day for the barn.  Then it was my turn to show and Ronin was super.  We were second and first in the fences class and fourth on the flat.  I was very happy with how he went and we were Champion in the division out of 8!  There was only one other adult, so we were combined with the Children's Hunters, so the class was a decent size.  Then the medal class, which originally only had 3 in it (needs 4 to go) was originally going to be cancelled, then another rider filled it.  So the class went and we were second.  The judge said that she had a really hard time judging the class as we were all good and even tested us the second direction on the flat by having us drop our stirrups.  Good thing I've been practicing for IHSA :)

Ronin very pleased with himself
This show was also a Thoroughbred Alliance show, so there were some special classes that I did that only horses who were breed to race can show in.  We were fifth in the 2'9"-3' hunter class out of a good amount of horses and sixth in the Handy class out of 19!  He was super.  He was good in the derby, but one of the fences was in a shadow at the top of the ring and was dark brown, so he didn't see it and stopped; but came right back around and jumped it great.  Lot's of horses had trouble at that fence.  The class didn't start til around 7pm and the lights had to come on.  Many horses didn't see the top rail at all and had it down.  Many horses also just had some trouble with the fences (even though they had jumped them all during the day) because the lights make the ring completely different and the ring only has light on the side and not on the end, which makes a lot of dark spots in the end of the rings.  I was still very happy with Ronin and put him to bed after the class.

The next day didn't go as well as the first as Ronin was quite tired.  In hindsight, I will never do that many classes again.  It is too many and not fair (I don't understand how people can do 2-3 divisions at every show!).  He was still good, but tired.  We were third, second, and third (two fences and an under saddle class).

Tired Ronin
Then it was home and back again the next weekend for a regular BEST show.  This time, we arrived at our normal time on Friday (leaving the barn at 6pm).  I schooled the young horse again and he was good.  We had 6 horses arrive on Friday and 6 more on Saturday morning, plus the 2 who come from another barn.  This was the biggest show for the barn so far this year with a total of 14 horses.  The barn did great and there were many champions and reserves over the weekend.  Ronin was good, but a little speedier than normal so we got medium prizes in the classes.  Third in the medal; third, second, and fourth in my division.  The next day, he was much better and we were third in the medal out of 6.  I thought I had a really good round, but the judge seemed to like the bigger, slower warmbloods.  Also, the lines were set very short, so we had a really hard time with the strides down the lines.  We kept getting out short, so we didn't place very well.  But he was good.

Had to add this pic.  As anyone with a grey horse knows, poop is the enemy of a clean grey horse.  I had picked his stall clean the Saturday night, but Ronin made a 'poop pillow' and his whole cheek, ear, and the top half of his neck was, quite literally, covered in poop.  I wish I had a pic of his head, but I was worried about getting him clean in time, so just bathed him quickly before my 8am class.

Thankfully, Ronin has a nice break before the next show.  He doesn't show until June 14-15 at BEST.  However, this weekend, my husband and I are heading up to NYC for him to run the Brooklyn Half Marathon on Saturday and for me to compete at Centenary College at the IHSA Alumni Tournament of Champions!  I am very excited for this and can't wait :)


  1. I've been waiting for this post! Sounds like things went really well :) That's not shabby for your first time back in IHSA and your horse looked really cute. Poor Ronin, he sure does look tired, but who can blame him? Great job to him just making it through all that competing (and props to him for attempting to cover himself in poop to dissuade you from showing hahaha)

  2. How fun I really want to do the TOC!

  3. Congrats on your successes this month, what a busy month! How fun!

  4. Hi! New follower via Lauren. :-) Sounds like a pretty rocking month!