Saturday, February 8, 2014

WEF Day 8 - Show Day 3

Caveatitis continues with a shout out to my Afghanistan reader, in my head she’s a rider who is deployed in the Navy or some such honorable notion.  Otherwise, who in the heck in Afghanistan is reading my blog??

I am finally back in Florida, and happy to report that I did manage to get here with a rain coat, and additional t-shirts, with the ratio of t-shirts to weeks increasing dramatically.  However I didn’t manage to get here with any cute summer dresses or rain boots.   50% successful is still considered success in my world of packing.  I also was given this rainbow loom bracelet by one of my co-worker’s daughters.  

Just awesome.

Now on to Day 8

Yesterday’s showing experience reminds me of the Sochi Olypmics, so much potential with so much going embarrassingly wrong.  Maybe DC was just feeling sympathetic for his Russian kin and didn’t want them to feel badly about themselves. 
I arrived at the show grounds once again pre-dawn for a hack in the ring, and once again, there were a couple dozen horses in the ring hacking.  I join them merrily riding a horse that absolutely feels GREAT (in hindsight, perhaps this is where the trouble began).  He was light on his front end, moving beautifully off of my leg on both sides and really just hacked like a million dollars.  I suppose this is why people have pros ride their horses on a regular basis, the results are amazing.  

Matt had jumped DC around the previous day at another trainer’s barn, and reported to me that he couldn’t have been better, and jumped through the gymnastic set up beautifully.  While showing DC the jumps, I took snapped a few photos of them, as requested.  I have renamed Grand Hunter arena as Astroworld.  A defunct amusement park becomes the focal point for my astrolife.  For this day, they had some 3' running in the same ring, so full huge walls are gone, but you can still get the idea.

World's biggest trot jump.  Yes this was our trot jump.

Oh, you wanted Astroturf? How about a wall and a ground line?

Astroturf poles, and a ground line just for good measure.  Wouldn't want to limit the amount of fake fuzzy stuff.

Astroturf poles are fascinating.

Oh look!  A normal box, but an Astroturf ground line.

Can I eat it?

It comes in all shapes and sizes!

Could it be?

Yes it is, an astroturf carpet on top of the hay bales!

And lastly, what arena would be complete without astroturf role top?

I headed back to the barn feeling confident and with delight of how good my horse felt (the red flags continue to show themselves).  I then headed back to the horse show, and watched Matt show Lochinvar in a 1.35 class (one rail, darn), and did a little looking around at some shops.  Time quickly passed and before I knew it, it was time to go get on DC.   I headed back to the barn and found a horse that looked happy and content, ready to go (Lord if hindsight was any more 20/20 I would have bionic eyes).  

I got on DC and headed to the show ring.  He was so calm, brave, and relaxed (crap), moseyed right on up to the ring like the big adult horse he has become (double crap, can you see where this is going yet?).  Matt was in another ring schooling some other clients, so I waited for him to arrive before doing a little flat to get ready to jump.  He hacked beautifully, and upon Matt’s arrival, his warm up jumps could not have been better (WTF, how can I have felt so positive STILL to this point).  I walk into the ring feeling confident, knowing that my horse can really show his stuff, and that my riding was really just ON today.  

Then…..then I jumped the first jump.  We jumped it great, it was beautiful, and it was also FUNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!  Just ask my humpy-backed-head-disappearing-playful gray horse how fun it was.  It was SO FUN that after every line he required playing, head shaking, bucking, and hoppity hoppity hoppity-ing.  I happier horse could not be found.  An un-happier rider was also hard to come by.  He was just being absolutely ridiculous.  At one point I had to circle in order to not die from sending playing horse directly to a jump.  40.  Ouch.

Matt sent me off to canter some laps.  DC is just dead quiet in the warm up ring, laid back, nose poked out, normal DC.  I head back into the ring for my handy round, and found myself atop yet another horse that was having WAY TOO MUCH FUN in the ring.  Honestly, I coulda killed him.  Once again, I had to circle as I could not make it to the jump with a horse whose head was between his legs.  39.  It hurts my fingers to even type that.  I was however, not last in that class.  I feel great sympathy for whomever was.

Soooooooooo he was a green jerk face.  What else can be said?  

The day finished with our hack.  Since we did not jog (ha), I was the first in the ring for hacking time while everyone else tacked up.  He once again hacked beautifully.  But as soon as the rest of the horses were in the ring and they asked for the trot, the head disappearing, playful horse returned.  I KICKED HIS ASS.  That’s right in the middle of my A/O flat class at WEF, I yanked up his head, spurred the crap out of him, and spanked him with my right hand repeatedly (no, no whip just my hand as the most available weapon to my disposal).  Try to imagine a pony kid atop a naughty pony, arms and legs flailing as they try desperately from keeping the pony from running around the ring and flinging them to the ground.  Now you have a perfect mental picture of this moment.  Holy embarrassment.  However, after my temper tantrum, a lightbulb seemed to go off and DC straightened right up.  “Oh I’m not supposed to hop around the ring with my head between my legs?  Well why didn’t you tell me already??”  We ended up 7th.  Yes even after I pulled my horse up in the middle of the ring pony kid style, I got a ribbon.  I think the judge just respected my gumption or something.  But this 7th I can’t even be proud of b/c my horse was being such an ass. 

I won’t repeat what Matt said about this performance, but I assure you it was not a positive reaction.  “I’m rarely at a loss for words, and this is one of those times.”  He wasn’t upset at me, but DC is a better and nicer horse than that, and to take an opportunity like this and just squander it is of course disappointing.  Two trainers that I don’t know went out of their way to say to me “you really know how to ride a horse.”  Great, just what I was hoping to be known for.  

I finished my day with some so called retail therapy, buying a WEF soft shell coat and hat, and spying a few things I might just have to buy if I have another day like today. 

I also saw this belt that was exactly Scattered Oaks Colors, for only 189 dollars!  

So if any of you SOF readers want me to pick it up for you, just let me know, what a deal!

I also saw this Animo coat that is a pin stripe soft shell (note, it’s just as ugly as I imagined).

Printed soft shells just shouldn’t happen.

But also this super cool walker display.

Let's all just hope for a better day 9!


  1. Hello from Afghanistan......since the US came to my country it has been my goal to ride in the Olympics......Nah just kidding I am in the Army currently deployed to Afghanistan. I am an Adult Ammy as well and am living vicariously through you. lol It is my goal to show at WEF some day lol.

    1. Ahhhhh this is so exciting! You are by far my coolest reader ever.

  2. Oh I for got to add thanks for the shout out

  3. Good on you, Anna - for kicking DC's butt - I bet he'll think twice about having so much "fun" next time - you go, girl! PS. Have to get myself some Astroturf poles - nice...! And GOOD LUCK for Day 9 :-)

    1. LOL, I'm not so sure my trainer had the same sentiment, but what can you do?

  4. Overload on AstroTurf is enough to blow anyone's mind. Bummer on the O/F but it sounds like your under saddle would have been awesome to watch!