Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May JCHSS Show

Lilly and I had a great show on Saturday. The weather was nice this time around too, which always makes it better. It was warm enough that I didn't get cold, but not too hot to where I couldn't get my breeches on. That's a win in my book!

She's the cutest.
I did encounter a couple issues throughout the day, though, which seems to be the case lately. If you're a long time reader (and I mean a LONG time reader), you may remember a horse from Lilly's past named Baby. Lilly and Baby first met back in August of 2010 at one of the many boarding barns I've been to. For some reason, those two formed some kind of crazy bond and have been BBFFs (that's bestest best friends forever) ever since. Baby's owner, M, and I boarded at that barn for several months before moving to a new barn at the end of January in 2011. Lilly and I stayed at that new barn with M and Baby for about three months before I absolutely couldn't take it anymore. The two horses were pastured together because they did mares and geldings in separate pastures at this place, so they spent a lot of time together. M and I tried going to several shows, but our mares were an absolute nightmare. (I remember this one very well, unfortunately.) So I ended up moving out of that barn and into another barn in May of 2011. I needed to get away from Baby. Peace at last...

So it's been like five years since these horses have seen each other... FIVE. Baby has been retired from showing for a couple years now, but M has been bringing Baby to the Johnston County shows this year because her other mare is up for sale. Well wouldn't you know that those two hussies totally remember each other? We didn't let them sniff noses or touch or anything, but they still remember each other, and they're still in love, and they're not sure how they survived all this time without each other. Lilly did ok with her being around at the last show because M decided to park next to me (which I actually didn't like because I knew this was going to happen) but I got to the show later than M this time, so I parked away from her thinking that would help. The two horses could still see each other, and talk to each other, so all day long, when Baby would leave the trailer, Lilly would whinny and cry for her BBFF. She dug a giant hole in the dirt, couldn't bare to eat or drink, and was generally a tool unless Baby was at the trailer or could somehow be seen.

It affected Lilly's performance in the riding classes too because M and I show in mostly the same ones. Lilly always had an ear and an eye tipped in Baby's direction, making sure she wasn't out of sight. When the placings were called, and Baby placed ahead of us and walked out of the arena, Lilly got all fussy and didn't want to stand in line. It's all so very annoying. SO ANNOYING. Why is she so obsessed with this one horse?

Even though the weather was gorgeous, I decided to skip halter again this time around. We just never place well, and I never know how many horses are going to be in the class. I don't mind gimme ribbons in halter strictly from a points perspective, but I don't like going into a class with 12 horses and not placing at all. So, I decided not to sign up again.

Lilly did great in the showmanship class. The pattern was fairly difficult, with lots of pivots and a fairly long back, so I knew if we could manage to back up straight (something I've been making sure to work on), we'd do well. There were supposed to be four exhibitors in the class, but the fourth one never showed, so there ended up being only three of us. Baby was in the class with us, but she went first, so Lilly was content having her long lost love in the arena with her. We ended up placing first, which snags us another showmanship PAC point.

Showmanship pattern.
Loved this showmanship pattern!
The main arena at this shows has always been really bad... it's North Carolina red clay, and it has been impossible for me to show Lilly here without her boots. The footing is just too hard and there were too many stones. At the show last month, though, I noticed the footing seemed different and I asked around to see if anyone knew what they had done. I was told they added a bunch of sand and picked out a bunch of rocks. I took my Renegades with me, but figured I'd try her in the arena without boots. She did amazingly well, and I'm thrilled to not have to use her boots. Aside from the whispers and funny looks (and even questions from the judge sometimes), I love not having to maintain them all day. So you'll notice she has bare tootsies in all her pictures. :)

She did really well in the english classes. We entered the stock type class (walk/trot), the adult class (walk/trot), and the pleasure class. I'll have to wait until the results are posted on the show website because I can't remember how many horses were in the stock class, but we'll just say there were five for now. There were five horses in the adult class, and eight in the pleasure class. We had a really good ride in the stock class and ended up placing third, but I had what I thought was a SUPER good ride in the adult class. Like, it was so good I thought for sure I won the class. Turns out, we placed dead last, so either the judge forgot I entered, or everyone else had a much better ride than I did. We placed third in the pleasure class, which I was also very pleased about.

The pleasure class.
I also decided not to do either the equitation or the horsemanship class. It's a long and confusing story, but essentially they said they were not taking a break between english equitation and western horsemanship. The problem is, equitation is class 39 and horsemanship is class 40. How exactly is one supposed to change from english to western without a break? Even a 10 minute break is pushing it for me, but at least I could try! They've decided to change the class order around now, and there will be minis driving in the arena between class 39 and 40, so we'll have plenty of time to change over and make sure we know the pattern. So perhaps next time, I'll enter.

I did, however, decide to do trail this time. The pattern looked pretty easy and I knew I could squeeze it in between my two walk/trot classes and my pleasure class, thus being able to do it in my english attire. Two handed trail for the win!! Which is actually what happened... we won trail. First out of three, but it gets us a PAC point in trail!

Trail pattern.
Trying to memorize the trail pattern.

Slightly distracted by the driving minis heading to the main arena.
I changed into my western stuff and had plenty of time to practice going nice and slow. I took my western work pad with me this time and we didn't have any issues with her tack. Well, at least not her saddle. As I was working her in the warm up area, and also in our western classes, she started getting fussy about her right ear. I couldn't figure out what her issue was, but she was holding it out sideways and shook her head several times. I got off and checked to see if a bug flew in there, or if something was weird with her headstall, but I didn't see anything. It got so bad that I swapped the ear keeper from her right ear to her left ear, but it didn't seem to help.

I love how she looks in the blue.
We entered only two western classes, the stock type walk/jog and the adult walk/jog. Lilly was excellent in the stock type class and we placed third out of 9 (a walk/trot PAC point!). Even though she was still keeping an eye on Baby, I think she was pretty tired and jogged around the arena just like I asked her to. In the adult class, her ear issue had come to a head and she was NOT happy about whatever was happening there. It was a struggle for me to keep her going and keep her focused on me, and at one point, we even had to stop so she could do one of those whole body shakes where they try their best to fling you right out of the saddle. There were only three of us in the class, but I wasn't expecting to hear my name called for first. Granted, I was super excited, but very surprised!! Another walk/trot point for PAC!

M and Baby were in that class and I could tell she was pretty stunned that we placed above her. She said the judge told her Baby "looked tired, and was having a tough time holding herself together." Speaking of the judge, she was amazing. I can't remember the last time we had a judge actually in the arena for the classes. They've always stayed up in the announcer's booth, but this lady was giving pointers and talking to the exhibitors. She was great, and I hope to show under her again.

First place in western... what?!?!
You can see how she's holding her ear in this picture. That's pretty much how she went around the whole time we were western. Once we got back to the trailer and she had some time there, though, her ear issue magically went away. Maybe it was something with her tack? Or maybe the bug finally flew out? I have no idea, but it would be nice to have a NORMAL show next time where I'm not dealing with weird issues.

We win!
Here's recap of our placings for the day:
Showmanship Adult = 1/3
Trail Adult = 1/3
English Stock = 3/5
English Adult = 5/5
English Pleasure = 3/8
Western Stock = 3/9
Western Adult = 1/3

Our reserve champion ribbon was for the adult division. So even though we placed first in three out of four adult classes, we ended up with a reserve champion ribbon and a $4 voucher for the next show. That last place in the english adult class just killed my points. It was a great show, though, and I couldn't be happier with Lilly's performance. The PAC points are great too!


  1. I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of miss the giant & funky colored ribbons from previous management!

    1. Right?! Even ones with cupcakes and cats on them!!

  2. Buddy sour horses are the worst! Great job holding her together, she looks great!

    1. Thanks!! I'll be glad when Baby moves into her career of being a broodmare, though. :)

  3. I wonder what the deal was with her ear!? Tick? Weird. I'd say it was a successful weekend!

    1. I wish I knew... hoping it doesn't happen at the next show too!

  4. Wooo! P.S. I love the new show clothes -- they're GORGEOUS!

  5. I just realized we had this exact trail pattern yesterday! You guys look fantastic! Love the new colors!