Monday, March 9, 2015

One Show Down....

First show with Sawyer under my belt! I can't say it was a success ribbons-wise (we didn't pin in any of our 4 classes), but it was definitely a wonderful first show for both of us.

Friday night I went out and just schooled Sawyer in the very tiny schooling ring, and he felt AWFUL. I was about to scratch. We were both just discombobulated and not listening to each other. I was super snug on the reins, so he was trying to evade. I would ask him to go forward, but because he didn't have enough space (it was literally 6 trot steps by 4 trot steps for Sawyer) to get warmed up, we just pogo-ed up and down. I think I hacked for 20 minutes and called it quits. Then spent a good 2 hours scrubbing him, trying to turn a yellow horse white.

"Chilling in my field was totally fine. Really."
That fitted pad slipped and slid everywhere, even with a "no slip" pad! Drove me nuts. I kind of want to breakdown and get a leather breastplate for Sawyer.

Saturday, I got to the barn about 1.5 hours before my classes. Luckily, this show is at the same facility I board at, so I just had to get Sawyer out of his stall, tack him up, and tack him into the ring to warm up. Because I had literally jumped the same courses (basically...) in my lesson last Tuesday, I could avoid schooling jumps. Schooling jumps in a schooling ring is my worst nightmare; switches my show nerves into a major meltdown. I flatted him for about 20 minutes, and he felt great, so we left it at that.

The hack was ... interesting. Sawyer was a champ at the trot, but we struggled picking up the canter to the right (my problem not supporting him fully). The number one thing Sawyer doesn't do (among other things) is halt. So when I heard the announcer say "All halt.", immediately in my brain, I thought "This is it. We're out of the ribbons." (never mind ALL the flashy horses- we never stood a chance). Turns out a rider had fallen off and her pony was running loose. I was so focused on our poorly executed halt, I didn't notice until the pony whizzed right past Sawyer's butt. After that small hiccup, we continued the flat class where we totally blew our right lead.

Casually trying to find a place where the judge will totally ignore us at the canter.

The O/F classes went pretty well; they had their moments, but I was very happy with them overall. Towards the middle of our last O/F, I just kind of quit riding, causing Sawyer to counter canter a jump, circle in front of another, pull a rail, and just in general mess up distances. He got tired and I gave up.

Overall, I realized we REALLY need to start drilling those canter leads; we'll never stand a chance if he doesn't have his changes, which will come when he starts getting his leads consistently. The biggest learning curve of leasing Sawyer, though, has been turning him. He handles more like an 18 wheeler, whereas Candy handled like a sports car. I need to make sure he has ample time to turn, and really make use of my corners.

I'm very happy with my first show with Sawyer. I'm disappointed we didn't ribbon, and frustrated at myself for not riding as well as I could have, but I think Sawyer and I are still figuring each other out.
No ribbons, but I'm still a proud step-momma!
I also celebrated my 1 year anniversary with my wonderful boyfriend (and designated horsey photographer). He's also been pimpin' out my blog. P is seriously the absolute best and I love him to death. Here's to many more years!
Isn't he handsome? He makes me smile.

I'm looking forward to our next show this upcoming weekend. My goal is to get him bodyclipped Friday so I don't have to scrub stains, and bodyclip Candy next week because of the spring temperatures.

In the meantime, 2 tests and 2 quizzes stand between me and my second shot at some ribbons!

- K & C & S