Well, me and my boy went to our first competition yesterday (first for both of us, not just as a horse/rider team). It was a horse trials, which is a regional Pony Club event, and we had over 180 riders! Now I have never been to a show before and don't know about the usual numbers of participants, 180 maybe small for you show veterans , but our club presidant said he'd never seen so many people at this particular event before.
Now I was totally expecting a repeat (or worse) of our first day at Pony Club, where my horse was so nervous and wound up that he would not stand still, he was sweating and shaking, and felt like a bomb about to explode beneath me. Now it's been months since our first pony club, and we've been to five rallies now, and he still gets edgy.
But yesterday he completely blew me, my mum and my instructor away! He was so calm and more well behaved than a lot of the older, more experienced horses there! It was absolutely HOWLING a gale, raining, there was bunting fluttering along the edges of the arena's (we were outdoors), horses were everywhere warming up and running around, one beautiful clyde x in particular kept squealing and bucking and being a general brat... and my 7 y/o scardy-cat OTTB with no show/competition experience stood there YAWNING!
Anyway, we had our Dressage test 1st, then show-jumping and X-country in the afternoon. We were eliminated from both jumping events for refusals, which was disappointing, but what I was expecting as he has barely done any jumping, except at Pony Club once a month, and still thinks they are going to eat him, but we got a respectable 85/120 for dressage, which was not too bad for a first test. And the judge wrote a comment saying that he was an "obedient horse and he tried really hard", which he did, he is such a sweetheart!!! I love him so much!
The only disappointment for the day was the fact that they wouldn't let us finish the X-country course after he refused the water jump too many times (i knew he would as he will not so much as step in a puddle, lol). We were told we had to walk back, which was sooooo frustrating as he was just starting to enjoy himself and take the jumps eagerly instead of trying to duck out, and being a TB he loved the hooning, haha!
All in all it was a good day. I wasn't there to seriously compete, the aim seeing as it was a first for both of us was to relax and have fun, and put it all down as experience. We'll kill it next time, haha!
Oh and I've decided he needs a show/competition name, so suggestions are more than welcome!!! The only decent one I've come up with is Red Rebellion, I like the way it rolls off the tongue but I don't know.
Here's some pics for reference.