Caradino: All-Around Hunter/Jumper/Gaming Champion Of The World
So, this happened yesterday:
|The face of a pony who just robbed children on lesson horses of all the blue ribbons.|
|HE WAS HAVING A GREAT TIME I PROMISE|
We had SO. MUCH. FUN.
If this show had any rules, which it didn't, one of them would have been "no show clothes allowed, grooming optional." We competed against kids on scruffy ponies with feet still muddy from the pasture, decked out in t-shirts and brightly colored riding tights. The prize list included classes such as Adult Lead Line, Western/English Pleasure, 2'6 Jumpers, and Pole Bending. It was the most fantastic, laid-back, fun horse show ever, and my heart just could have burst watching all the kids with their lesson horses. Seeing those kids brought me back to a time where my humble lesson mounts were the most beautiful horses in the world, and I didn't even know that there was a big equestrian world outside of my weekly lesson. It was so precious I almost cried.
But that didn't stop me from totally crushing the hopes and dreams of said adorable children.
Originally, I had planned to do a the 2' jumper classes, maybe the 2'6 if I had my balls of steel installed, and I threw my western tack in the trailer just for kicks in case we decided we wanted to run barrels or something equally ridiculous.
I ended up going in the 2' hunters as a warm-up because there wasn't a designated schooling area and the schooling breaks were approximately 3 minutes long, and a pairs jumping class, and ALL THE GYMKHANA in addition to the jumpers. I have no regrets.
|He's so freakin' cute. Even when blurry.|
We won the w/t, came in second to Sully in the w/t/c, and won the jumping, clinching my very first ever champion ribbon. Lovers of satin are going to freak out at the pile of loot we took home!
But seriously, Dino was pretty perfect if not going as well as he's capable of due to the lack of a proper warm-up. He clocked around and jumped everything without question. I felt absolutely zero anxiety the entire time, and honestly just had FUN riding my pony over tiny jumps. Win-win-win!
We had a bit of a wait before the jumpers started, and Sully's Mom and I chatted with some of the other competitors (who were all SO nice) and congratulated ourselves on the brilliant idea of coming to this little backyard show. We were both really enjoying the day and getting a great confidence boost!
Dino was, again, perfect for the jumpers. We rocked the 2' division and one 2'6 (jumps were, definitely, NOT 2'6") class, winning or coming in second in every one. I probably could have stood to take things a LITTLE more seriously since I got lost when the course changed to include a rollback, and also didn't make Dino canter the first fence of the last 2' course when he got a little cranky. But hey. We still won Champion, and it was a good exercise for me to go do the thing and not be nervous in the least!
My last round accidentally got recorded in time-lapse mode, so please enjoy THE WORLD'S FASTEST JUMPER ROUND!
After Pairs, we did a quick wardrobe change into our western outfit for games. I walked up to the show organizer/head trainer and told her, "I straight up have no idea what I'm doing. How does this work?" She kindly coached me from the rail, yelling out which way to turn around the barrels and that I had to weave through the poles twice, and other helpful things.
Dino was a total superstar and put up with all of my shenanigans, and I giggled my way through the slowest gymkhana runs in the history of time. We fumbled our way through barrels, poles, and did the 50 yard dash twice. I had an absolute BLAST, and the children finally got to collect blue ribbons since Dino and I totally suck at this gaming thing. But oh my goodness was it fun!
|Can't stop won't stop equitating|
|This pony. I freakin' love him.|
We came home with a massive pile of ribbons and a much-needed confidence boost. Both Sully's Mom and I were tickled pink that we jumped in a whole bunch of classes with zero anxiety, and didn't feel challenged by the task in the least. We may have totally robbed everyone else in attendance, but I think it was just the laid-back, fun start to the season that we needed. We are DEFINITELY going to be back there at some point, though I don't think I'll do any jumping classes and let the youngin's have a chance at some satin. Instead, we'll focus on the western divisions and see if we can improve our gymkhana skillz and round out Dino's resume to include Champion Gaming Pony. Sully is already way ahead of us in that department, as he and his mom won Reserve Champion in the games! Maybe I can convince my husband to ride in a couple classes, too...
|So. Much. Satin.|
|My little champ. <3 nbsp="" td="">3>|