I wish I were able to start this blog with a picture of all the fancy ribbons I won on Day 14, with more confetti filled fun blogs, but alas that is not the case.
The troubled started with our morning hack. As I mentioned in the previous blog, storms moved through the area overnight, and really hadn’t quite cleared by the time we needed to hack in the ring. The walk over to the rings was lovely and fine, but as soon as I stepped into the arena, the sky opened up to a deluge of pouring rain. If DC didn’t define WEF as his own personal hell of multiple arenas and astroturf before, the rain was the final straw. I’ve ridden him in rain before, but not in a place that is as busy and high pressure as WEF is.
I will just say HE DID NOT WANT TO RIDE IN THE RAIN. He wanted to be in his nice warm fluffy stall with treats abounding. Unfortunately, sometimes even green and growing horses have to do things they don’t like to do. So the day did not exactly start stellar.
When it was time to show, I headed back on a horse that honestly just seemed a little over it all. He was on good behavior, but I could just feel his approach and attitude to be lacking. Our school in the warm up ring was actually quite nice, but his heart just wasn’t in it. I know many of you will think I’m over anthropomorphizing the situation, but I just really feel like he wasn’t on his A game.
We walked into our first class with yet another super first jump off the left lead, a good outside line, a little spook around the end, a good 2 stride, and then had to go away from the gate on the right lead to the outside line. It was almost a carbon copy of the experience from the day before, he wanted to be spooky at the end of the ring, and didn’t want to get up the line and added. We finished nicely on the single. It’s interesting to me; this course set up of “line away from the in-gate on the right lead by the judge” has been at least 80% of my courses in WEF. Perhaps that is because they turn the lines around in each ring each day, but we show in a different ring so we end up with the same courses over and over, or perhaps it’s just luck. Either way our current challenge of right lead lines away from the gate is definitely showing itself over and over.
The second class was a handy, which also started really well (man I’m nailing those first jumps lately!). It started with a right lead roll back to a single, followed by a right lead loop (same jump away from the gate). That jump was better, and the loop was good. We went up the outside line on the left lead, and were a little looky on the end of the ring, not bad. The 2 stride coming home was quite nice. Then we had a tight turn back to a single jump on the right lead (again) away from the in gate (again). At that moment I think he just decided he had had enough. He propped and just didn’t want to go. Period. It was back toward the end of the ring where the rain monsters hid that morning, it was away from the gate, and he was just trying to see if he really had to do as I asked. I circled back around and did the jump fine, finishing with a decent trot jump and single.
So, it wasn’t good. Saddddd face. Bright side is I still wasn’t last. Mission still accomplished.
After discussion, Matt and I decided it would be a good idea for him to do him in the 3’3 perf just so he could get back in the (yet another) ring again. While waiting for his division, I met this super cute corgi puppy, Lady Bird.
DC headed to the ring with the most awesome Tino, here they are waiting together.
The 3’3 performance was so huge (56 horses) that they had to take a drag break in the middle. What’s better than one tractor dragging? Six of them.
Soooooo on to the bad news. All that I had left to show in at WEF was a single class in the international ring on Friday, and then a classic in the international ring on Sunday. Given his current mode of feeling a bit overdone, and perhaps a bit pushed, we decided that stepping into the international ring with a full on stadium and a course that looks like this:
was perhaps not the best choice.
Thus I scratched the rest of the show. Reaaaalllllyyyyyy saaaaaddddddd faaaacccceeeee
It just wasn’t the right thing to do to ask him to go in there and jump around when he’s feeling so very green. Can you tell I’m still trying to convince myself?
However, on the bright side I decided my next best course of action is to take DC to Gulfport. Matt is going for the next three weeks after leaving WEF. He’ll get the first week off to get some turn out and just relax, and then do a little showing weeks two and three. It’s a facility he’s familiar with, it’s MUCH MUCH MUCH lower key than here at WEF, and I think it will build on his confidence for our future showing.
Moral of the story is there will be continued showing adventures. Yay!!