Whiskey turns 4 this year, and has been under saddle since May of last year, so 10 months. We have been steadily improving with a lot of hard work, and when I felt I couldn't finish her properly, I got the help of a young, local trainer who I click with perfectly.
When we pulled up to the show, she told me I would be riding Whiskey in her curb bit - I have been practicing in it at home, but this was the first time riding at the show in it. I was a little worried about steering and keeping her in frame, but we sucked it up and gave it a try.
She was GREAT - stayed soft and light and collected... I could almost get a drape on the reins ... I was so excited!! I went in the green western class and got 4th (highest western pleasure placing yet), then went in the warmup western class and though it isn't judged, I got teary leaving the arena because she just felt so perfect!! Her jog isn't the slowest in the pen, but it was clean and consistent with a nice drape on the rein, and she stayed collected in her lopes - it was her nicest ride yet. Lots of people passed us in both gaits which was a great feeling.
We didn't place in our western pleasure 19 and over as we had a horse kick the wall in front of us, causing two horses to spook so she spooked as well - but came back to take 2nd in horsemanship and 2nd in western riding... we have steering!!
Just such a great show. We took 2nd in Hunt Seat Disciplined Rail and 3rd in Hunt Seat 19 and over, 3rd in Showmanship, 3rd in Halter (disappointing), then the good showings in western classes... there are between 7 and 17 in the classes, and many nice breed horses so it was great to be competitive with such talented horses in the ring. I just wanted to kiss her and hug my trainer, and look forward to our next show series - now I remember why showing is fun!!
Just wanted to share a great day