I am bursting with pride.
Drifter went to his very first show this weekend. And he was a rockstar. He was a little nervous when we arrived, but settled right into his stall and from then on he offered a calm demeanor and willing attitude the whole weekend.
I honestly went into the weekend totally prepared for him to be very nervous and spooky, and was ready to do what I needed to make it a positive experience for him. I was already so proud to just be at a point where he was ready to go to a show, I even got a little emotional on the way to the show…before we’d even loaded the horses into the trailer!
And he was fantastic all weekend! He was excellent during our schooling on Friday afternoon, and other than one little bobble with the first jump we attempted, he was an angel. He popped right over everything without blinking, even with a couple of jumpers from another barn zooming around at speed. (Welcome to the warm-up ring, pal. It’s a whole different world.)
Saturday we had our equitation classes. We decided to show at 2’3″ in the Limit classes. No reason to push him. He was excellent! One run-out in the warm-up, but really I should’ve supported him earlier when I felt his uncertainty. After that, we went right over everything, got great striding and most of our leads.
Our final class was the medal, and he did great! It was his best course of the day. We were called back for the flat and he did great! He even had plenty of gas left in the tank for the hand gallop, but still came right back to a canter when asked. However, he was a little revved up after that and struggled with the canter-trot transition. He just wanted to keep on running! Even so, we ended up third in the class and I couldn’t have been happier! (And I just wonder how well we’d have done if he hadn’t had that bobble!)
Sunday were the hunter classes, and once again, Drifter was a total gem. I could tell he was a little tired and probably a bit muscle sore from the previous day (I was, too!). But he still tried so hard and kept his head on his shoulders all day.
We ended up 4th out of 9 in the flat, and I was thrilled! In the over fences classes, he had a harder time with his leads but I was still very happy with how he handled everything. We had a beautiful classic round – our best of the day! – until the second-last fence came down. Ugh, how disappointing! I think we got in a little too deep and he couldn’t quite figure out his feet.
Overall, I’m so proud of this guy! He did such a fantastic job this weekend. I wasn’t sure how he’d do in the show atmosphere, but now that I know he’s as calm and level-headed as usual when at shows, I think we are within pretty easy distance of some blues this summer!
Things to work on:
- Leads over fences
- Lead changes (which we have been able to do for about one week)
- Not getting to fast/rushy in the ring and staying adjustable
- Continue working on getting good distances