Thursday, March 3, 2022

MDT Winter Show: Aka Ciner's Hunter Debut

 Cinder made her hunter and equitation ring debut last Saturday. The show series we did last fall added some hunter and medal classes to their prize list for this year, and since the facility is only about 15mins away from A's training barn, we figured it would be a good way to end Cinder's month up there. 

She was initially skeptical of people up there, but once she realized they wanted to pet her and tell her she's pretty, she was perfectly fine with them

 We signed up for the 2' hunters and the 2'3" medal class. Our classes were the last of the day, which was nice because I could sleep in. The show manager had sent out an email with class counts and approximate start times and when we pulled up to the show, they were on time. That's a first for a schooling h/j show!

All photos bought from Kayla Norene Photography

I hand walked Cinder around the indoor (where we would be showing) while the last of the jumpers schooled, then tacked her up. Unfortunately as we were walking to the outdoor to start warming up, they brought out the drag to drag the indoor. It made a huge grating sound along the ground behind us, and both Cinder and I spooked hard at it. I lost my nerve and asked A to get on to school Cinder first. She did (bless her) and said Cin was a little jazzed, but once she put her to work she settled down. Once the indoor was open for schooling A took her in, and other than a little gawking Cinder was fine. I got on to jump a few things and then it was show time. 

Our first round was our best. Cinder was a wiggly to the single diagonal off the right (the above fence) and tried to slowly duck out, but I pushed her forward and we got over it. The second round had a four stride bending line, that on paper looked doable, but in reality wasn't. We went first in both rounds so I got to be the guinea pig. I mean, if I had really angled the first fence and bent the hell out of the line, it was possibly doable. I did not do those things and ended up circling. At the end of the round the judge called down that the line was not ok and once they moved a fence out a bit, offered me a reride. We were able to make the line this time, but unfortunately had a rail down at another fence. 

The fences were a soft 2' and Cinder was less than impressed

There were six of us in the division and for the under saddle the judge had us all trot together, then split us for cantering. I was very happy with that decision, as there were two kids on ponies with questionable steering and the arena was small. Cinder was a little more up in the flat, not dropping her head as much I would have liked, but handled it like a champ. There were two very nice horses that I was sure would place above me, but we ended up second!

We went first in the medal and I could tell Cinder was tired. She held it together pretty well, except she pulled the wiggly/run out move again and this time I had to circle. It felt like an "I'm tired, do I have to?" stop, and once I re-approached and really put my leg on, she was fine. Once we were done I hopped off and since it had started to rain we untacked quickly and put Cinder back on the trailer. I figured I wasn't going to be called back for the test with a stop, and I was right, but when I went back to get ribbons, they were doing pictures and kept asking me if I wanted to bring Cinder out. We ended up fourth out of six for all our over fences classes. 


It was a great first outing and first hunter/eq ring experience. I'm so happy with how well both her and I handled everything and can't wait to get back out in the show ring.


  1. So exciting! Congratulations, sounds like a great day!

  2. Nice job!! There's nothing more chaotic than a jumping schooling show. Sounds like you guys did absolutely great!

  3. Aww yeah congrats on your hunter debut with Cinder!