In Which The EuroPony and His Reformed Hunter Princess Return To Their Roots

Yesterday Dino and I successfully completed the very first show of our 2014 season, and we had so much fun!

The day started out nice and relaxed. Michael, Amy, and I didn't even leave to go get Dino ready until about 9:45 in the morning, which was awesome. I love not having to get up at an ungodly hour to go horse show. We stopped at the show on the way to the barn so I could get registered, get my number, and see how things were running. My divisions weren't going to run for at least another couple hours, so our timing was perfect! Everything was going smoothly, except for the grouchy secretary lady who tried to tell me that I had to pay the $5 EMT fee for each class. Um, no. Sorry. Anyway... on to prepare the pony!

I had bathed Dino the night before, so he was all spiffed up and just needed his tail brushed out and a quick once-over with a brush. He was a little fidgety from being in his stall for a few extra hours in the morning, but overall was in a good mood. Loaded like a champ, as usual. We drove the long, tedious 10 minutes to the horse show, and homeboy was totally content to just chill on the trailer and stuff his face for a couple hours while his human team watched the show. I am so fortunate to have a pony who doesn't need a buddy to go places.

When we got to the show the weather was miserable. Cold, cloudy, drizzly, ICK. But miraculously, as soon as I got on to school, the sun started coming out! The conditions ended up being totally perfect.

All smiles in the schooling ring
Originally, they had one schooling break scheduled for four divisions. It was INSANE. There were about 16 horses in the smallish ring, and people were just STANDING IN THE MIDDLE and making it ten times more chaotic than it had to be. I was just trying to find enough space to canter, never mind jumping, when they announced that there was going to be another schooling break before my first division. I got out of that ring as fast as I could, and then got to school for real after the Children's Hunters were all finished up.

Dino. Was. WILD.

Fire-breathing dragon.

Killing it. 
He was booking around at Mach 10, and definitely got 5 strides in what was supposed to be a 6 stride line. This was an early indication of how my day was going to go. But I was having an absolute blast, laughing at my furry rocketship and whooping as he launched himself over everything. Love that crazy little man!

We went in for our first hunter round, and Dino was pretty sure that we were doing the jumpers. I had to make him chip in to most of the lines so he wouldn't blast away and leave out strides, so some of our jumps were a little ugly! But we got around and he was confident as hell.

Pretending to be hunters.
Somehow, we managed to pin 6th out of about 12 horses in the first round! I was very pleased with my little dragon-pony.

The second hunter round was laughably disastrous. Dino somehow managed to go EVEN FASTER, and my over-zealous whoa-ing cost us a rail when I insisted that D not leave from 2 strides away, and instead jump from a more reasonable distance. Clearly, no ribbons for that trip. But it was incredibly fun! At one point during the course I found myself saying, out loud, "SLOW DOWN, YA NUT!" Hilarious.

We sort of look like we know what we are doing. 

This is what happens when the pony is forced to chip in to every line. Lovely knees. 

And then there was the hack class for the hunters. Dino was also PRETTY SURE that this was a situation in which he was supposed to go as fast as possible. I was trying to let him go all huntery on a loose rein, but that just resulted in him breaking into the canter at inappropriate times. No ribbon for my little racehorse in the hack.

Attempting to keep him from running away with me while still looking pretty...

After 2 hunter rounds and a hack, I was hoping that Dino would be just a little bit tired for the equitation so that I could ride him like a normal pony.

And he was! Our first trip in the eq was a MILLION times better than both hunter rounds. Dino was so much more obedient and adjustable, and even though we had to trot a lead change, I was absolutely THRILLED with how we did in the first eq class! No ribbon, this class was even bigger than the hunters, but I was incredibly happy with my pony and my ride. The second trip in the eq was the best one of the entire day. Dino was totally on it, and we just had one flyer of a distance, but otherwise it was a near-perfect round. Sixth place for us!

Equitating like a BAMF.

And this, my friends, is how it's done. 
The equitation flat class was, however, the crowning achievement of our day. I was really looking forward to doing well, since I could ride my pony more like the dressage superstar that he is and show off our partnership in our true element.

Dino was PERFECT. Absolutely stellar. He went in a beautiful frame for me the entire class, and held it together even when we got boxed in by 3 other horses during the canter. We were rewarded for our awesomeness with a 2nd place ribbon. I couldn't be happier or more proud of my little man!

Serious faces.

"These are my concentrating ears"

EuroPony totally nailing this flat class thang. 

Love this little dude!
We had an incredibly successful, positive, FUN day at the hunter show! It further affirmed my belief that we truly belong in the jumper ring and the dressage court, not the hunter ring, but my pony and I had a total blast together doing something fun and different. I got the exposure and experience I wanted for the both of us, we were both over-the-top confident, and I HAD FUN ALL DAY.

I couldn't have done it without Team PONY'TUDE rockstar pit crew Michael and Amy. They both stepped in to help with every little thing, and were so fun to hang out with all day. Thank you both! I love you!

My champion <3 
I can't wait for the next show. Team PONY'TUDE is going to kick some serious butt in 2014!


  1. Yay! So glad this time around at HGF was much better than the first! And LOVE all the pictures :)

  2. Woohoo! So glad you had an awesome time, and NAILED your Eq flat!!

  3. Love the photos and those jump standards are crazy! Looks like y'all had a blast. :)

  4. You look so happy, yay! He is jumping super cute too :) Love him

  5. Love the pictures! Looks super fun!

  6. $5 per class for the EMT?!?!?! Heck no! lol

    Sounds like you guys had a great day and that it was fun!

    Pictures are way cute too! :)

  7. Awww, you guys look so good, and look at all the satin! Woo!! I've never done a H/J show, they just look intimidating to me. You guys handled it well!

    1. Thank you! They are not too intimidating once you figure out the way they work. :) Good for teaching you and your horse patience. :-P


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