Well, yesterday I ended up at a 18 and under NAHA points show. I, of course, took Sweet Thing and we showed in showmanship, barrels, trail, western pleasure, and simon says. Some of the pictures are really bad..but my camera was dieing (like..literally, not the batteries D: ).
Well, Showmanship isn't really my thing, but apparently I did pretty well for my first time with a five minute crash course on the four sections, squaring her up, and the pattern. But, we did do the pattern correctly without much issue..aside from standing in line after our pattern/inspection..which ended in up constantly walking circles so that she wouldn't shove her ass into the gelding beside us. I came to the conclusion that she's still in heat, which isn't surprising since she was in heat thursday when I rode. Now, I got to wear a shirt 2 sizes too big for me, a cowboy hat that was too big, and a pink nylon halter..lol. I didn't know what to bring and it completely slipped my mind that I'd be doing showmanship with her there.
Now, I was planning on running Flag Race, which was basically a Down&Back with an extra barrel at the beginning with the flag, but that wasn't happening. I was under the impression that we were perfectly fine with the herdbound issue that isn't an issue at home, but clearly I thought wrong. Apparently shows are a whole other ball game and she had constant fits about not being with Super, Buddy, or back at the trailer. Well, I ended up switching from flag race to pleasure (just so I didn't waste my $3 for the class) which was at the end of the day so that I'd have time to work with her in the bottom arena (away from everybody, omg, more spazzing) before my barrel class. Well, I stayed down at the bottom arena until I heard my name called, in which I cantered up and trotted into the arena for my pattern (I didn't want to wait with the other horses so she could decide to get attached to someone else's horse before my run). But, all in all, after a bit of complaint going in trot circles (lots and lots, let me tell you) we did a bit of cantering (in which she decided to duck out to the left multiple times toward another horse that ventured down) and some circles at a nice, slow jog with her collected up.
^--She heard someone whinny at the top arena, lol.
^--Nice slow jog.
Barrels actually went great! We placed third with a 29.4something out of 7, albeit the other 4 horses were ridden english and Donald (ST's owner's son) ran his two horses and got both first and second. We cantered between all the barrels and trotted around them, which is what I was planning on doing as long as she wasn't having a fit, in which case we would've trotted the whole thing. We went to the left first..which I feel like was a bad idea, because it didn't even click that her left turns were better than her rights that day, but oh well.
For trail, I think we did great. I didn't expect to place, and I didn't expect to be able to finish the pattern without using two hands. I got the gate (a rope with a latch) on perfectly only using one hand/legs and walked over to the barrels..which needed two hands to back through, weaving around one and back to where I started. We trotted the cones mainly with one hand but needed two for the spin around the last one. The bridge and walk poles were fine with just neck reining and legs, but I needed two hands to canter on the right lead around to the arena gate and then to the pole in the middle of the arena (she thought we were done, haha). While everyone else had almost 2 minutes to get their horse to sidestep left over the pole, I got a whole 30 seconds and was excused..I was kinda irked that I didn't even get a minute when everyone else got more time, but it's whatever. At least we finished just about everything without hitting something or knocking it over. :p
Pleasure was an absolute wreck, I'll tell ya. My camera died, or we would've all gotten to see ST bolt at the lope.(: Now, I absolutely hate riding one handed and only neck-reining unless I'm just walking along a trail..but I decided I might as well look/act the part of WP rider if I'm entering the class. Well, all was going well, even though we were about 10x faster than the other two riders, haha. A lope was called for and we popped right into it (not slow, but not rushy) and got about half way across the arena..I felt the pull on my reins and realized that she didn't want to slow down any and when the walk was called for, no yanking with one hand was going to stop her. I didn't even bother trying to stop her before the rider in front of us, I just wanted to turn her so she wouldn't run into the poor girl! Well, she didn't want to turn too much and we went past about 2.5-3 feet from the girl and I ended up getting a stop as soon as two hands were on the reins and I pulled back. Not only was a pissed, I had no idea where it came from! She's never bolted, never offered to completely ignore me, and never refused a stop from the canter. Well, I finished the class, which was some more trotting and another lope..she was perfect, albeit fast, but listened to all cues and dropped back down to a walk from the canter in two strides, without me having to yank at all or use two hands. Blew my mind.
After the mishap in pleasure, we had Simon Says..Didn't even get around the arena once when I was called for having the wrong diagonal on posting trot. I'm sorry, but I don't post, especially on the slow jog that ST has. I feel like western riders shouldn't have been counted for generally english terms. Regardless, we had a good show overall (aside from some issues) and I was proud of how well she was.
While getting ready to work on cantering (seeing if she'd run off again so I could fix it without a judge standing in my way, lol) at the bottom arena, she had a little issue standing all alone in the horse/gate box (a section for the horses to stand and wait for their turn in the class), but nothing I wasn't expecting since her buddy was right in front of us and she wasn't following him. Well, she calmed down and I started to walk out of the box into the dirt path/road. She stopped and wouldn't go, so I gave a little nudge with my spurs, after multiple calf and side of my boot attempts and she moved forward a little. I decided to stop and wait because a group of people and their children were trying to walk by, and ST had other plans, which included flying backwards right in front of the kids and refusing to go forward (kicked, nudged with spurs, smacked her on the butt, etc). Well, I hopped off while apologizing and she tried to run me over. At this point I don't have my rope halter on her because I was told to take it off for WP..So, all I have are my reins attached to my bit and while she yanked around I just kept my hand where it was and let her yank the bit as much as she wanted.
We finally got down to the arena and she wouldn't stand still while I decided I wanted a cigarette after being taken off on and almost running over children. So, I lunged her shortly around me (basically just walk/trot small circles) until she was a bit more calm (and since she's been trained to stand tied just about flawlessly) and I looped my reins around the arena fence. After I let her just chill there for a little and I talked to my friend, I decided I was going to get on and canter a little bit. She started to walk off the first time I went to mount, got a jerk on the reins and stood for me to mount the second time. I sent her right off at a lope and we did circles on the left lead for a good 15 minutes without stopping, though she wanted to at about 8 minutes in, and we walked two circles on the same left circle. We then went to the right and a bit smaller of a circle (only a few feet, maybe 3) and she couldn't keep the canter and kept breaking into a trot, so we moved out into the circle we cantered on the left and she continued to keep breaking into a trot. So, after I got 3 canter strides out of her I decided to end on a good note, walk the circle twice to the right, back up just a bit and hop off to walk her in hand back to the trailer so we wouldn't have another issue.
But, all in all I'm proud of how well she did when she wasn't acting up, and I was told I did great with her, even though she went off like a bomb two or three times.