Saturday morning I woke up to a dark, cold and eerily quiet house. It was the Hubby’s Saturday to work, but usually Wyatt is up and already talking a million miles an hour. After peeking in his room and seeing him not there, I called Hubby. Apparently Wyatt woke up Saturday morning telling Hubby he wanted to go to work with him. Huh. When I hung up I was still in my pajamas and it was 7:31 am. I looked around the house thinking about the free morning I now randomly and unexpectedly had. I knew of a local schooling show happening that day. Go or stay home? At 8:04 am I was pulling out of my driveway with Eeyore tacked and loaded in the trailer. Don’t ask me how I managed that.
The rest of Saturday was spent in bliss. Well, with some boredom mixed in as I waited an eternity for my classes to come up. That could have been abated by not showing up at 9:15 am when my first class didn’t go until 12:30 pm, but I had reasons for wanting as much time as possible at the venue. And at a hunter jumper schooling show you have no idea when the classes are going to depending on how many show up to compete.
Eeyore was absolutely amazing all day long. He handled the warm up really well with only one early temper tantrum and a little bit of distraction with the happenings outside the ring. Really the only time he got nervous was when a guy walked by pulling the squeakiest wagon on earth along the longest path possible. Even I wanted to stab my ear drums out with pencils by the time the guy stopped freaking moving.
After getting on and warming up, we stood at the trailer for a couple of hours, then I got back on to warm up again and wait by the in gate for our turn. There were horses and kiddos everywhere with kids hopping on and off, riders thrashing whips around in boredom, lots of tears as people left the ring with performances less than their expectations, and mild chaos and do you know what my Big Orange Butthead did? Well, besides sidle up to the awards table and try to eat the ribbons? He napped. As I sat on him not wanting to get off and back on yet again, he dozed in the sunshine. My heart melted right then and there.
My first course finally came up as the 11th class of the day and was an easy loop along the outside four cross rails, twice. Outside line, outside line, repeat. It was a nice warm up round to test him entering the arena to work alone after dozing.
The trip around was mostly uneventful and we left all the poles up. I laughed out loud after fence four when Homeboy slammed to a walk thinking we were finished and then got all surprised when we did the four fences all over again. Sorry Buddy!
But we were clean and ended up with a second place! His first official show ribbon!!
Then we went back to wait by the in gate amid the chaos once again. My next class was 15 and in between there were a few flat classes that went on forever and two sit a buck classes as well. Eeyore went back to sleep.
My second class was another hunter round this time all set as verticals and with the diagonal lines added in. We entered and he was much more aware of what was expected of him and went to work much quicker. I still let us coast to the first fence, but he took it no issue and off we went for a fun round.
We trotted a few times and weren’t very hunter-y so didn’t place but he never said no and he went clean and I was very happy with that.
Thankfully my last class was right after this one and I was fourth to go, so we went back in fairly quickly. This was a jumper round and the course was a bit funky looking on paper with some nasty tight turns, but I figured at 2′ I could walk the lines if need be.
Eeyore entered ready to go. Since we had just run a course and everything looked the exact same, he pretty much figured he knew where we were going. Sorry big guy, but this was a different course. He locked on to the wrong jumps a number of times, but he was willing and we both had a complete blast out there.
And you know what? We rocked it!! We cantered 90% of the course, took the turns sharper than I would have in the past and I had a face splitting grin the entire time. I realize we weren’t really flying but it felt like it at the time and I was having the time of my life out there. So was Eeyore. It was the best 1:38 I’ve spent on a horse in my entire life.
Unfortunately M had some technical difficulties so you don’t get to see my best round of the day in full but here are the first 5 fences that she did capture.
I stuck around until the end of the class juuuust in case and ended up with 6th in a field of 13. I was thrilled!! After that I packed up and headed home. We had been there for five hours for three classes. It was a long but glorious day.
I just…. I just can’t put into words how amazing this show was for me. Spending five hours with Eeyore let me bond even more with my goofy oaf of a horse. I had three clean rounds around three different courses and came home with two ribbons. I never once felt fear. Even my nerves stayed at home and all I did was go in and have the best time ever. Having snuck this show in I feel way more prepared for the HT now and am loving this horse with every fiber of my being.