Report of Show #2

18 Jun

I would have had this post up earlier, except I somehow deleted the draft copy and had to start from scratch!

I’m thrilled to say that the show on Saturday was more than I could have asked for! I am so proud of Corona that I’ve been grinning ever since!

The day started out great, with Corona loading into the trailer with only a slight hesitation. I was so relieved at this because I’ve been working with him on loading and unloading since the great trailer meltdown of Show #1. Roller also was a very good boy and loaded without causing any rope burn injuries. Both horses were rewarded with maple crunchies for their bravery.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the venue as it was brand new and we’d never been there before. They had it set up with three HUGE sand rings, the first for trailer parking, the middle for the warm up ring, and then the third as the competition ring. With the venue being brand new, there wasn’t much landscaping done so it looked a bit vast, however I think this worked to my advantage because there were no trees or bushes to hide Corona-eating monsters that seem to follow us at shows. In the show ring, there were only 2 flower pots by the judges booth and while Corona looked at them, I guess they passed his scrutiny and he didn’t seem too bothered.

Our warm up went very smoothly. At one point, Corona squealed like a pig when I asked him to work away from Roller (yes, he literally squeals when he disagrees with something), but he quickly settled again and was very responsive and attentive to what I was asking. When we were called into the show ring, I took advantage of the previous riders’ slow exit from the ring, and took Corona on a walking lap around the outside of the ring so that he could have a look at things. He was a bit hesitant in some places, but there were no huge spooks. The judge rang the bell and we were up! I picked up our trot and immediately felt Corona tense up as we headed down centreline. His head went up like a giraffe and I thought, “oh no, not again!” We managed a halt with immobility at X (more than I could say for Show #1) and proceeded to C in working trot. I decided to do sitting trot for the test because I could feel how tense Corona was, and he tends to settle more with a lot of seat. Once we tracked left at C and began our first 20m circle at E, I could feel him begin to settle. I was very conscious of my breathing and trying to stay relaxed. It seemed to pay off because Corona was amazing for the rest of the test! The only spook we had was when a bird flew over and the shadow went right in front of his feet. It was during a canter to trot transition at F and Corona jumped a bit to the right going into the corner. I managed to flex him to the inside and then get our correct bend back before turning down the centreline at C however, so it was a good recovery! I was absolutely thrilled with our performance and was grinning like a fool once we completed our final halt at X. We left the ring and even the Boss said how happy she was with us.

We ended up scoring a 61.666% in our first test, which earned us 4th place in the class. The girl who came first blew us all away with a 68.333%, and then the scores for 2nd and 3rd place were 63.531% and 62.500% respectively. The comments I received on the test were not surprising to me. We lost marks for tension, suppleness and acceptance of the bridle and the judge noted that I should push Corona more forward to an elastic contact. I definitely agree with the comments and I think that as we work through our “show nerves” these things will get better and better.

My goal for the second test was to improve my scores and see what I could do to push Corona forwards. I was hoping to be able to ride the test in posting trot to assist with this but decided I’d see how he felt going into the ring and go from there. When it was our turn to go again, I once again took Corona on a walk around the outside of the ring and noticed immediately how much more relaxed he felt compared to the first time. The bell rang and I picked up the rising trot to see how it felt. He felt wonderful! I kept it up as we approached A and decided to go for it. We entered the ring at posting trot and there were no giraffes in sight! Halted at X, hindquarters bulged to the right (my bad) but immobility was achieved! Proceeded to track right at C and things just got better and better. I was focussing on keeping a good forward rhythm and at the slightest feel of hesitation I just did a few little plays on the bit to keep him focussed. We had an incredible ride and I could feel the difference in our free walk as well as with our 20m circle where we had to ask the horse to stretch forwards and downwards. This time, I was grinning like a fool from about a third of the way in! We finished our test and left the ring and I couldn’t stop praising my wonderful Corona! I was thrilled, the Boss was thrilled, and I’m pretty sure Corona was proud of himself.

We earned ourselves a 63.928% which put us in second place! The same girl won first place again with a score of 66.607% and the other scores ranged from 56.250% to 62.142%. As if this didn’t make me happy enough, I then found out that we had just missed being the reserve AA champion by 0.04%! Not too shabby!!!

Needless to say, I’m so proud of Corona and the effort that he put in from beginning to end. He was an absolute star all day, inside and outside of the show ring. His trailer loading was more than commendable, he stayed relaxed at a strange venue with lots of other horses around (some of which were being a bit naughty!) and together we achieved our goals!

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2 Responses to “Report of Show #2”

  1. FromtheHorsesMouth June 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    That is so, so, so fabulous! Congratulations! What a huge improvement from the last show. Keep up the great work :).

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