We Sizzle in the Summer

Today, Sara and I headed back to the lovely Watts Way arena for our fourth Working Horse Central show. I’d hoped Drew and I had improved enough to get some significantly better scores, but, I’ll have to be satisfied with knowing we’ve improved regardless of our scores. I’ll just keep trying.

We did have fun!

The big highlight for me was watching Saragorn and their blossoming partnership. Now that Aragorn is feeling better in his feet, he’s just amazing to watch.

She also had fun. One of the auditors was kind enough to take these great photos for us.

They were beautiful during the dressage patterns, and would have been even better over the obstacles if it weren’t for “user error.” Many of the competitors had some lapses, so she wasn’t alone. It was still great to watch.

He’s in such good shape.

As for me, I remembered most of the patterns for dressage, but honestly, I’m just not good at running beside a horse, and have no idea how to do some of the requirements I was unaware of. So, bleh. I tried. And he turned right much better!

There are no photos of that, so here is Drew looking cute.

I did way, way better on the obstacle portion, getting lots of 8 out of 10. Drew trotted, too, though apparently broke gate (started walking) but I had a hard time noticing. I dropped my whip, but still did 3 barrels the harder way. I was proud. I even nicely changed from leading him on the left to the right.

Barreling. I’m behind him.

Unfortunately, I totally didn’t do one of the easiest obstacles. I even prepared for it! But people were asking Sara questions as she called the numbers, and skipped it. I got a 0. No one even told me!

We did well checking the mail.

I’m not upset about that, though, because stuff like this happens! I just know I’d have gotten a very good score if I’d done that right. As it was, I got a good one. Sigh.

We RAN when we were done. We were so happy. That’s before we realized the oopsie. I can’t believe I can run that much.

We got to meet some new people at the show, which was fun. We also got to see great improvements in some familiar faces. At least one horse was so calm and compliant and her rider so composed…it was hard to tell they are the same pair!

Hard work pays off!

Every single horse had such kind and caring human partners! Even when mistakes happened, the riders were patient and encouraging to the horses. I was very impressed.

Another beautiful horse with a great bond with his rider.

Now for the highlight of the show. The final part is where riders see how quickly they can go through a set of obstacles. There are many ways for this to go horribly wrong. But damn, Saragorn put on a real show. Sara didn’t play it safe, and Aragorn was up for the challenge. They NAILED it both in execution and speed.

I’m the old woman reading the obstacles Sara

There are no photos of this, because I was calling the order of obstacles, but when Sara finished, she urged Aragorn into a canter and took a victory lap, waving gleefully. It was great. Sara said it was a lifelong dream come true. I was so happy for her!

My happy friend.

I guess it’s time to dust off my self esteem, which is low for reasons not having to do with my poor horse and his need to learn more. It’s more than the return to the Dark Ages. I’m needing some encouragement and had hoped for some today. Eh. Humanity is hard. Look at these horse pictures.

We are so grateful to Tarrin and her family, the lovely scribe, and everyone else who helped with the small but mighty Summer Sizzler Show. It was hit, but the show started early and got through it!

Happy judge and scribe

I’ll treasure my happy moment when I thought Drew and I had done well!

Drew looking particularly bony at 5:30 am

Horse Show Live! Drew Lives!

Today we went to our first live horse show. All of us lived. We each have things to work on, but hey, that’s the idea! I enjoyed putting on my fancy, if unflattering, outfit and showing off Drew’s cuteness.

Cowgirl and friend.

Sara and I enjoyed taking out Tillie the Trailer out for her first spin. It went great. The facility was gorgeous. There was a beautiful covered arena and actual bathrooms.

Drew and I did two tests, functionality and trail. He did well on the first, though I messed up some. On the second one, he would not trot. That messed up our score, but it was good to not keep pressuring him.

Here we are not trotting to pick up the jug.

He was sweet, though, and was not phased by all the new sights, sounds, and people. He seemed to be having fun. How about that? He liked the fancy stall I rented for him lot, too. Mostly he liked all the food.

Mmmm.

Sara and Aragorn did really well, too, and won their group. There were some ups and downs, but I was impressed with their performance. And Sara looked really good!

Looking good!

I learned a lot from the other competitors, too. Some of the folks from last week were also there today. I found them smart and brave, especially the ones who put their horses’ needs first.

Saragorn in the beautiful arena.

I’m fine with how we did, though I know we could have done better. But now we have an idea of what we need to work on. I sort of feel silly having a bunch of ribbons even though I’m the only one in my category at the moment.

Oh, geez.

But, hey, I did well. I could have chickened out and not gone, because it was cold. Or I could have messed up so much I’d have disqualified! So, I won. And so did Drew.

We are lucky to have had the opportunity. Tarrin and her family sure worked hard on the show. And the host was very kind.

They got banners. But they were ready to go home and not cooperating!

I have to say my favorite part of the whole day was spending time with Drew, watching the others, and bonding. It feels so good to be with his sweet spirit. I think I’ll do another show at some point.

It does feel like we have a clue when we are in such a nice spot.

By the way, I never won a ribbon for anything before. Probably that’s because of never entering contests. You gotta enter to win. Ha.

Drew Gives a Belated Birthday Gift

Drew is a young horse, so he has his moments. He can be pushy and disinclined to pay attention. And he’s had a couple of challenges with his health and scary trucks. But, this morning he had his turn to give me a birthday present.

Show time!

We went over to Sara’s new dressage arena area again today. The first two times we went to practice at her location were not too great. I did a few things to help out this time.

First, we walked through the pasture rather than over by the cabin. That way, even if a loud truck went right by him it would be further away. I also made sure to warm him up in the round pen with a lot of cantering before we headed over.

He still doesn’t like the tree corridor but did better today. Apache also always disliked that area, even before the trees. I think the electric poles bother them.

After the scary trees came green grass!

It was time to do the second part of our Working Horse Central Spring Virtual Show. It was really windy as usual, but my hat blowing off in our practice pattern didn’t phase him. We did our Functionality test in one try. It had its flaws, but he didn’t run me off the course or refuse to walk like he did last time, and he trotted most of the time he was supposed to trot. He backed up crooked, though. Still, we did it!

Sara and Aragorn did great, too. It sure is nice having her Peavo to video us.

When we got done and I was getting out of my fancy boots, Sara tried an experiment of ponying Drew behind Aragorn. It went pretty well! Once I clicked to tell Drew to move, he followed. They even went through some obstacles.

The idea is that Sara could ride over here and then I could ride Apache and she could pony Drew so we could all three practice. I think we would need a hitching post or something for the inactive horse, but it could work

I did a video!

She is going to do stuff with Sully, the beautiful mare she’s borrowing to have her colt. So that would be another horse friend to hang out with.

Now I plan to rest a bit and have a belated birthday meal this evening with my patient husband. A fine weekend!

Crissi McDonald

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