Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Chicken

There are two big schooling shows for eventers each year - eventing being what Blondie does where she rides dressage, stadium jumping, and cross country jumping.  Anyway there are many smaller shows but the big ones seem to be the Spring Chicken and the Fall Pumpkin, both held at the Golden Spike fairgrounds.
Last Fall she went to the Pumpkin and took 2nd place in the Junior Grasshopper division, which is the entry level division
The Chicken was yesterday, and she decided to level up and compete at the Beginner Novice level, which is 2'7" or lower.
She was pretty nervous, and expected to not ribbon as she was competing against up to 19 year olds.  The Junior Beginner Novice had the most participants in it, with 22 kids.  I think I might have mentioned in a previous post, the scoring ends up being a lot about the dressage.  If you can nail the dressage, and make it through the jumping rounds, you do okay.  Bones and Blondie are really good jumpers, I think she rides him well, and I think he is really good about jumping most anything she can get him to.   I think they are a little more wobbly at the dressage, but he steps out really pretty and holds his head nice, and they generally look good. 
I have a hard time with this in my head, because a lot of the time I give the horse a lot of credit.  I think he is an excellent horse and we kind of lucked into finding him.  He has a lot of experience and he knows his job and seems to be kind of paternal about it, and I think he takes care of Blondie.  However, I think she does ride very well, and certainly does everything she can, and seems to listen to her instructors, who I do think are wonderful.

Of course it's not about who wins or doesn't, it's about how well you do against yourself.  However it's always nice to bring home a ribbon.  My parents came down to watch, I kind of emphasized that this is probably the closest show she'll do, and since it's a mini event they can see everything in one day, so they made the trip.  Because they were there, instead of mostly following Blondie and Bones around and running support for them, I kind of sat with my folks and narrated what was going on for them, and let Blondie kind of take care of things herself.  Hubby spent more time shadowing Blondie.  Because of this I got to watch more of the other girls in her division do their dressage, and I thought it unlikely Blondie could win against some of the better ones of them.  But she's had a couple of dressage lessons where the teacher has been working on the finer points of what they do, and I have to assume that these little details that I can't even see must be what make the difference between a good rider and a great rider, because after the dressage round Blondie was in 2nd.

They kept their 2nd place through the day - The only thing that would make them go up would be if the girl in 1st messed up, and of course they could have dropped if they messed up on the jumping rounds. But they didn't.  She came out in 2nd place and was tickled pink.

It was a great day and she had so much fun - the cross country ride was one of the best rides she's had in her life.
This is from schooling on the course before the event - something you only get to do if it's a "schooling show."

This is her dressage.  It's hard to get good pictures, as they're just kind of walking walking and trotting around.  

This is from her stadium jumping.

I spent half an hour trying to figure out how to make the video of the cross country smaller so I could upload it.  Apparently I am not technically savvy enough and I have run out of time for the day.  Someday if I can figure it out, I'll load it.
Yay Blondie and Bones!!!