Last weekend was our first outdoor home show for the season and it was definitely a loooong week. My husband and I both took the whole week off, so we spent the first few days of the week catching up on barn items like buying a pallet of bedding and moving hay between the barns. Due to the fact this show included all the circuits for our local association, we schooled Wednesday then showed Thursday through Sunday.
Leading up to the show we had some killer hot and humid days, so even going into schooling day Ernie felt tired to me. It didn’t help that we needed to school in all three show rings. We did a quick buzz around each ring with no issues but even then we were both quite hot and sweaty. Thursday we just had two Thoroughbred hunter rounds in the grass ring. I had opted out of doing a warm up because it’s usually not an issue, but the grass ring is a different animal for us and it probably wasn’t the right choice. We had an uncharacteristic stop in our first class (video below) where he seemed to spook at birds flying off the fence or something. Our second round was improved but not up to what we can do. Looking back I think he was already a bit behind my leg on the first day.
On Friday we had one Thoroughbred over fences round and the hack, so I did add the warm up. We still had some kinks to work out in the warm up so it was the right call. While I would still say he was a bit slow off my leg, he came back great for our hunter trip and we won the over fences class (video below). He actually felt like he was moving well in the hack but we didn’t place.
Saturday was our busiest day with all of my equitation classes, one hunter round, and a hunter hack. Our morning equitation classes were a real struggle for me because he was so behind my leg – not something that has happened before this weekend! During our small break before the rest of my equitation classes I grabbed some small spurs and that fixed the issue instantly. We won our low equitation over fences trip and got second in the related flat. Ernie then had a long break before our hunter classes. I left the spurs on and he felt great for our hunter over fences round where we came in second. He also placed in our hack class to finish out the evening.
Going into Sunday the forecast was not good, and as expected I woke up early to rain. My remaining two hunter trips were the first two classes starting at 8am. I walked Ernie in the aisle for a few minutes to help him get warmed up somewhere dry before getting ready so we could minimize our time in the rain. Honestly Ernie was great and just jumped right around for me in the downpour and sloppy footing. We ended up getting some good ribbons in those classes and reserve champion in that division for the weekend.
I had originally planned to do the Thoroughbred classic as well on Sunday, but with the rain and it being in the grass ring I decided to scratch. I’m sure some people think I’m a bit too careful, but I hope to spend years with Ernie yet and I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Ernie had a couple days off and we are now just doing flat rides until we leave for an away show this coming Thursday. Looking forward to another show weekend with my pony!