What possible reason would you get out of bed at the crack of dawn on a Saturday?! To go to a horse show, of course!
I saw Louie’s owner twice at the barn last week and both times she mentioned that they were riding in a local show on Saturday and invited me to come watch. Sometimes I feel a little silly going to watch my “teammates” show because
I’m awkweird I wonder if they like having an audience/support or if that just adds more pressure. (I know, I’m so vain…this song isn’t even about me)
I debated this again, at length, when my alarm went off on Saturday morning, but she mentioned it TWICE, so I felt like it might be nice to go. So, I brewed a mug of coffee and headed out for a very foggy drive to the horse park.
It was “fog is scary, must go 20mph” day on the winding two-lane but I managed to keep my road rage in check, sat back and enjoyed my coffee. I pulled into the horse park just in time to watch the CobJockey whip out some serious dressage skillz and a few minutes later I got to see Lou in action too! This was the first time I’ve ever seen him at a show and it was really cool to see him being ridden by his owner! Back at the stalls, I chatted with Louie’s owner for a little while about her ride and we caught up about everything else. I gave her a chance to relax before XC and wandered away to check out the tack tent.
I watched some more tests and casually horse shopped, like you do, and then it was time for some cross-country. I drove our trainer from the stalls over to the course and this was the point at which I started feeling like a bad luck charm.
Jen scratched Connor after a disconcerting warm-up (who knew that plucky little fella could throw bucks like that!?) Then Lou’s owner had a couple stops and once during the course ended up out of the saddle and up on his neck but managed to right herself and finish the course. The consensus was that he never really hit that cruising speed where he was taking her to the fences, but this was like her first time around at beginner novice so I think she was still in good spirits. Lord knows I was impressed and a little terrified at the size of those jumps.
I watched one teammate show jump and then I had to head home so I could meet my friend and log some saddle time myself!
Cruiser allowed me to practice my JLC clinic takeaways and after much leaning, inverting, and rushing finally started to get the hang of what I was asking him to do. I felt like there were a few times when he got very light and gave me some very rhythmic, balanced trot in transition out of the walk. I spent most of the time reminding myself to manage my core, use my arms softly and independently of my torso (harder than it seems), and yeah, to breathe, because when I hold my breath as a misguided way to help keep tone in my core (I do this when I’m getting tired) I end up either bracing my legs in the stirrups or hanging on the reins.
It was a really nice ride and my friend finished up with some saddle-less Saturday. I opted out of that activity since all of my attempts at left lead canter resulted in bucking. Totally fine to the right, “nope” to the left. Cruiser is tall and can buck emphatically but he never pins his ears or seems to want you off, it’s more like “this is hard” or “you asked weird” or “I can’t even” so it’s not a scary feeling, just mildly frustrating more than anything.
Then on Sunday, my parents picked this guy up from “radiation camp” and he worked really hard all day to be the most snuggly and the most grateful cat in existence so we would never “abandon” him again. We won’t know for a few weeks how well the radiation treatment worked, but he is one happy boy and his family is very glad he is home.
Side note: The vet called daily with updates on how he was doing during the treatment and they told my parents he was “such a happy cat” and “we are really going to miss him around here”… cheesus crust, you should have HEARD my parents… they were GUSHING with pride that THEIR cat was the popular kid…
I nearly injured my eyes from rolling them so hard.
I hope you had a nice weekend!