The weekend before last Stampede and I had another show. This one was at my barn again but hosted by another barn (called Just a Folly). This show also used a different photographer who took lots of photos of us and I was able to get a good deal on digital rights so yay for more show photos!
I decided to school over fences on Thursday for this show after the nervous horse I had last show. He always seems chill on schooling day but maybe it helps his brain. Anyways he schooled like a pro as usual.
Saturday from the second I headed to canter my first fence in warm up we were just on. He felt responsive and light and in a good mood. He felt like the horse I ride in lessons. I went into my warm up class with a plan to make sure I didn’t look at the judge’s stand to see if that would help our judge spookiness. Evidently that and having my friend R up there banging around for one of our regular rides took care of it because he gave it a glance then moved right along. The warm up round was great besides a slightly late change behind off the first fence that was set on a bit of an odd diagonal. The warm up was a blue/red and we got a blue. I only had one real class for the day because otherwise it was equitation day (which I haven’t been doing this year, I miss it!). We were literally having a flawless round then someone with hooves tapped the last fence with his foot and it fell. A bit of a bummer considering how well we would have likely placed but I was just so high on the feeling of such a great round and him being so awesome. Stamp got an A+ for Saturday showing!
Sunday the beast was a bit lazy off the leg to start in warm up but we finished with a nice move up to an oxer and headed to the ring. For the blue/red warm up he was a bit looky at the back of the ring, I think he was a bit thrown off by the light since I never ride him in the morning, but he listened to me nicely and clocked around. We got a bit tight in and out on the outside line coming home, but most everyone did get tight out because it was set short plus coming home. We got a red for that round. The first hunter round happened after the beast sat for a long time waiting for my barn mates to get rounds in. I need to do better at pushing myself into the lineup but Stamp doesn’t stand well sometimes so that’s hard. Anyways, as a result he was a bit of a grump off my leg heading down the first diagonal line away from home and directly away from the gate. We were tight in and the beast (all 18.1 hands with plenty of stride length) just would not go forward so we slipped a tiny extra stride before the out. Of course the rest of the round was then great. After that I firmly placed myself back in line to get into the ring without too much time spent sitting around. I was rewarded with my happy forward horse back and we zipped right around besides, you guessed it, knocking a rail. He actually hit it soft enough that only one side went down. Someone who was watching said the person before me had hit it and it was probably already on the edge. Oh well, such is luck.
Last we just had the hunter hack. I love the hack class. Stamp loves the hack class unless someone gets all up on him. Stampede was really good as usual although maybe not quite as awesome as he can be. I did have an issue where I called inside then the person proceeded to come in and almost run me over then continue to almost run me over down the whole long side by the judge. It was special. There were several really nice movers in the hack and we took 4th out of 7.
So that’s how you have a great show with not so great ribbons! I’m truly over the moon with how great Stampede was. He never grabbed the bit and ran at a fence, he never spooked at the judge, and he in general was so much less tense about showing. He might just grow up yet, lol.
Assuming the beast doesn’t come up with some malady we have one show left for the season, so keep your fingers and toes crossed for us.
At the beginning of the summer I was worried that the beast wouldn’t even be able to handle jumping with all of his back issues that have plagued us in addition to whatever other issues pop up. I know many people wouldn’t be happy doing the 2’6″ hunters on a special needs horse when they are capable of more but it’s been great for me. Stampede may never meet the expectations I had when I bought him (which isn’t his fault!) but he has taught me so much about patience, determination, proper saddle fit, and how best to manage his condition. Plus when someone tells me they love my horse or says how good he looks I know it’s really my work that got us there. He’s not easy but he’s a good boy deep down and tried hard.
PS did you see those awesome dapples in the last two photos? Love it!