So I decided at the last minute to sign Baron up for a schooling show near my barn. The show was originally scheduled for Saturday but was moved to Sunday because of rain. So Sunday morning I put Baron in the round pen and let him stretch his legs a little, then bathed him and gussied him up for the show. It took some serious scrubbing and copious amounts of Mane N Tail shampoo to wash the Georgia red clay off his white socks. Loading him took longer than expected and I arrived at the arena later than I would have liked. I was so nervous my hands were literally shaking, and I had to get my number, tack him up and change into my show clothes in about 15 minutes in order to make the warm up. Somehow I got myself and him dressed and ready just in time for about 5 minutes of warm up.
Honestly, Baron did not even need a warm up. He was perfect from the minute we arrived at the showgrounds. (I, however, was a hot mess.) He was relaxed, ears pricked with interest but not headstrong at all, and he seemed to be enjoying the other horses and the commotion around the arena. I could not have been happier with him. He did everything I asked easily and with a happy attitude. You would have thought he had been showing his whole life. I guess a little schooling show is pretty tame compared to the racetrack!
So, on to our classes. I entered Beginner Level 1. First class was Walk-Trot Equitation. I rode terrible. I was still flustered from arriving late and my focus was off. We placed 6th out of 6. Kind of embarassing, but hey, that just gives me more gumption to improve.
Second class was Walk-Trot Hunter Under Saddle. By this class I had improved my focus and I was actually concentrating on riding well. We placed 4th out 6. May not seem like a great finish, but I was stoked!!! We moved up two places!
Next class was English Pleasure. We placed 5th. Not a fantastic placing overall, but Baron did so well with the new environment that I could not be any happier.
There were only 6 people in my classes, and only one other horse. Everyone else was an eight year old on a pony. Those eight year olds are hard to beat with their adorable show ponies! One problem I had is that Baron’s stride is so much bigger than a pony’s stride that I was constantly running up on top of the ponies. I kept having to circle around or cut across the arena so that I was not right up on a pony. I think this definitely affected my focus. Instead of concentrating on riding well I was trying to be polite and not run up on the ponies! Next time I’ll try to have Baron at the front of the line to avoid this problem.
I am planning on doing another show October 24th. It’s the same schooling group and I’ll do the same three classes. I had such a great time, I’m definitely doing it again!!!