Tuesday, June 6, 2023

MDT Heirloom Show: June 2023 Day 1

 We actually made it to another show, without Cinder trying to destroy herself! We did another local/outreach show up at a gorgeous facility in Washington, about 45mins north of Cinder's barn. I had gotten a stall for the weekend, but we ended up just hauling Cinder back and forth both days as my classes were in the afternoon and Cinder very much appreciates getting turned out in the mornings. 

The show manager had sent out an estimated timeline Thursday for Saturday, and based off of that, we decided to haul up a little early and take advantage of the open schooling between the jumpers and hunters. For this show, the outdoor arena was being used for warm-up, and showing in the indoor, but they were opening up the indoor for schooling while resetting the course. Cin has never been to this facility before; A and I have and know it can be a lot for the horses to take in. 

We decided a little late that we wanted to put a ribbon in her tail, and there was a bucket of ribbons from TBird that IL was throwing away. We grabbed a red (1st place in Canada) and used that to make our ribbon. 

Cin hauled well and was good while we tacked up. A took her over to hand walk/do ground work in the indoor while I got my boots and helmet on, and then I went over and got on. The ring was a bit chaotic and Cin had nice hump in her back for the first few minutes walking around. But once I started to relax and put her to work, she calmed down. We only did walk/trot as both A and I felt it was a little too crazy to canter and this was just a "get to know the arena" pre-ride anyways. 

The one moment of cuteness

Cin then got untacked and got to hangout in the stall for about an hour while the cross rails division went. After getting re-tacked up, we warmed up outside and Cin felt pretty good. She was a bit strong, but not bad and I felt pretty good going into our only over fences round on Saturday. The course started with an outside line even though I've told the course designer, who is mostly a jumper, that hunters always start with a single fence. We cantered up to first fence with no issue, but Cinder landed and wanted to blow through my hand. I held her for the correct number of strides and continued on to the diagonal bending line. She landed off the third fence, gave me the middle hoof, and proceeded to morph into a giraffe/jumper hybrid. I got after her fairly hard because that is not acceptable hunter ring behavior. 

It was about here that I decided to ask A about putting a martingale on her, and possibly a different bit

I made the decision to trot into the next outside line to reinforce "you need to listen and slow it down". This outside line had potted bushes next to the standards that Cinder wasn't sure about and she drifted hard to the outside and ran out at the second fence. I brought her back around at the trot and we made it over. I decided to trot into the final diagonal line since at this point I knew we were out of the ribbons and we were just schooling. That line rode the best and I was a little mollified that we could recover. 

For our post round discussion, A and I agreed that we needed more bit than the loose ring mullen mouth for shows, and that trotting everything was the right call. We weren't sure if Cin got a little stage fright going into the ring alone, since she was chill in warm-up, or if she needs a longer warm-up, or if we should have done a cross rail round to get her in the ring first. Or some combination of the above. 

Not how the under saddle is supposed to end

I had been the first of 8 to go in the over fences, so we had a bit of wait for the under saddle. Cin was still a little tenser than I would have liked, but for the most part she flatted well. There was one moment going the first direction when someone got too close to us as we were coming down from the canter to walk and Cinder kinda slammed on the breaks and tossed her head, and I had to glare at the other women because hello, chestnut mare with a red ribbon in her tail. Stay far away. Going the second direction, as we were cantering around the corner next to the windows, Cinder caught a glimpse of the tractor driving down the road next to the arena and spooked hard. She spun in front of a jump and I started praying she wouldn't jump it. My right leg slid way back and my stirrup leather got caught behind my saddle flap and I knew if she jumped I'd fall off. She almost ran into the standard and I managed to cling to her neck and stay on. 

I was sure that was going to knock us way down the list. So imagine my surprise when we were called third out of eight. The announcer (who was sitting next to the judge) follows me on IG and after I posted the spook she messaged me and said that neither her nor the judge saw it. I told A as we walked out of the ring that we didn't deserve that ribbon, and she said I did for staying on. We untacked and started making a plan for Sunday on the drive home. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey, if the judge didn't see it, it never happened!
    Great job riding a spicy Cinder! You stuck with it, and didn't get rattled by her behavior. Nice work!