Sorry for the suspense guys. My Internet has been on the fritz today, maybe I can make it through this post. Ready for the dirt? Oh there was lots of dirt and my littlest one had so much fun playing in it!
That's him on the right, weaseling in on that other kid's dirt mound.
I left for the show around 4:30 Friday afternoon and drove 45 minutes before hubby realized we forgot the cooler! Yikes! Turn around and go back, add another hour and so onto the 3 hour trip. The kids were spastic back there, so excited to be going with mommy to the show. Traffic was horrendous, no interstate to this show just straight up 31 on a Friday night, hit every loving traffic light there was. Got to the show grounds around 8:30, pitch black luckily I had been there before so I knew the roads. We parked unloaded a very hungry Harley and attempted to set up camp.
We have never had an awning before so that was the first fiasco of the evening.
We managed to rack it and get it jammed, my husband was getting aggravated and of course did not want to ask for help. TO BAD! Off I went in search of tools and help.
(mental note to put my tool box back in my trailer) We did get help from Jeff and got the blasted thing out and all was good. Next was setting up the blow up bed for the kiddos since we don't have the bunk beds done yet. Well, it was supposed to be for the kids, ended up I slept on it both nights! We got the boys (all three) in bed and off I went to ride Harley. It was around ten when I saddled him up and not too many folks in the arena, I think two others. Harley did not seem fazed by the lights and unfamiliar surroundings. I decided to do exactly what I had been doing at home with him and keep it simple. Let me just say how nice the footing was in the arena!
Oh, I wish for an arena......
He was good except for one minor balk at a pile of gravel next to the rail, I was anticipating it though and kept him working and his mind off of it. Corey would have been proud at my focus. I only schooled him for around 20 minutes as he seemed relaxed and I knew that tomorrow was going to be a long day for him. While I was riding another trainer from Northern Indiana asked if he was the same horse I rode at the last show. I answered yes, he said that he looked "broke" and was so happy to see I was getting along so well. It felt so good that someone noticed. I untacked Harley and helped out in the show office for a bit than crashed on my air bed.
There were no dog races, darnitt! Not enough people brought the pooches. Betty had to be happy chasing her gopher ball all weekend.
Saturday a.m. not sure what time, I woke up freezing! I forgot to put a blanket under me between the air mattress and my sheet, the air got cool and I was actually shivering, so was poor Betty dog. I found a towel and put that under me and got a few more winks of sleep. Seven a.m. my dear little rooster awakened me, that would be my oldest son he get up between 6 and 7 Always! I fed Harley grabbed some breakfast and helped in the office again. I decided to show conformation classes as Harley is just about at his ROM (Range of Merit) for both classes. Here is a shot of that lovely little scabbed up head of his. thanks Luanne!
I look like I am ready to eat someone in that photo, he would not stand up kept cocking his hip and resting on three legs. We placed 4th out of nine horses in Open and 6th out of 12 in amateur. I was happy with those placings as there were several nice geldings there. After halter classes I ate some lunch and saddled Harley for a warm up. The ring was bustling, we had 99 horses on Saturday! Great news for our club and we were happy to see so many new faces. My first riding class was a ranch riding class, sort of like western pleasure class only we actually move these horses.
No dig on anyone out there showing pleasure. I swear! There were 22 horses in my class, the judge asked for extensions of every gate! Harley especially liked the extend the lope call. He was great! I was having an awesome go, my best ever I felt like I could actually win and then..... yup, mental error. We were at the walk and I was in a corner with three horses breathing down my neck and two directly in front.
The judge asked for the lope, should I hesitate and let traffic pass or just jump in??? I should have hesitated, I didn't.... I did not move his hip over and I blew the lead. I fixed him in two strides but the judge was looking right at me. Sigh.... I knew it was over. When the judge came down the line up to ask for the back she stopped and said, "you had this won and then you blew the lead." I told her I knew it and that it was still the best ride I ever had on him, she said what a great attitude to have.
This is a shot of that class trotting, I need to work on that leg position some.
Next class was horsemanship, a pattern class. It was easy basically just three cones and you had to walk to the first do a 180 degree roll back, lope off on the right lead 1/2 circle to next cone, change leads and lope 1/2 circle to next cone stop back up. I had it going great again, Harley was anticipating the lead change and I was holding him up right up to it. I cued him and could not tell if he switched (darn horse is so smooth at them) so I looked down, my bad.... got to far over in my turn and missed he cone. I was DQ'd for that. Judge again said I had a great ride going until the damn mistake! Here is a shot of me holding him up on that lead change.
I was feeling OK about all of this in case you were wondering. Just happy that my little horse was riding so well. I felt so good that I entered a western riding class, I have never showed this before in my life. It basically consist of working a gate, trotting over a log then doing NINE yes nine lead changes between cones with a lope over that same pole. There were 8 horses including me, I was 6th to ride and most people were missing a cone or the lead changes. My plan was to just stay on pattern and hope to place. It started well, my heart was pounding! Harley sensed it and started reving up after the first change. I actually reached down and two handed him for a moment, should have been a DQ I guess the judge did not see it. He was flying through those cones changing on his own, I just stopped cuing him since I could not tell what lead I was on. He ticked the log on the lope over, I was happy he did not jump. I only have loped him over poles twice just last week. I ended up in second place for the class and 1/2 point off first , yep the log tick... WOW!
My next class was ranch reining and a pattern I had never done before. It was late I think around 8 pm now, I was tired so was Harley. He started nice and I blew it again by doing both my rollbacks the same direction instead of one left , one right.
He did a beautiful pattern and I was so happy with him I cannot describe it. His stop was great and I went directly into the back without pause. Several people commented to me on it on the way out of the arena. It was a little trick Corey taught me for some added points. Harley has so much get back it is easy for him to do. I ended up 7th out of nine in that class. I decided to skip the trail class as it wasn't going to be until midnight and I just could not do it. Instead I called it a day and went and had family time and watched some of the other reining classes.
Sunday was cattle day and I was going to sort but again the classes were big and it wasn't going to be until late afternoon. Hubby needed to get home so we watched some cutting and left for home around 12:30. All in all a great weekend and I couldn't have been happier with the Harley man. Apparently I need to work on my mental focus before the next show in October.