Saturday, November 21, 2009

IHSA continued...and some photos!

As promised, here is the second installment for our IHSA adventure last weekend:

Sunday of the show dawned super early as usual. The horses had to be ready to school by 6:30, so all of our team was up before the sunrise (aka: 5 am) to make sure that they were fed, cleaned and prepped before heading to the ring. C and I were running the barn again and had to make many last minute changes to the schedule. Two of our horses had mysteriously come up lame the day before (for the record, we take REALLY good care of our blew and abcess a few days later and the other was seriously faking it because he was just fine come Tuesday -.-) so we had to sub in some horses that we would have rather not had to use. Before each show, we sit down in the barn and make a saddle fit list for all of the horses that are going to be showing that weekend. Once the list is made, we post it in the barn aisle so that anyone who is tacking up will just be able to glance at the list and know that tack goes on which horse. Many students (including myself) loan their jumping saddles to the club for the weekend so that we don't have to break into the school's stash of Wintecs for the horses that we can't fit in a nice saddle. Let's face it, no one wants to equitate in a Wintec and the school doesn't have enough nice jumping saddles to have one fit every single horse (over 60 horses!) so we all pitch in and bring our personal saddles. This year, we had lots of loaned saddles...almost ten I think! They were all very nice brands, Pinnacle, HDR, Pessoa...we try to get the best saddles we can for people to ride in. The problem Sunday morning was that, since we had so many horse changes, our original saddle fit list had basically gone to hell. C and I spent the entire day running around trying to find saddles that would fit the "new" horses without taking a saddle from a horse in an overlapping was really tough, but our IHSA president, N, complimented our work after saying "I have no idea how you girls did it, but you pulled it off because not a single horse came to the ring late and each one had a well-fitting jump saddle." I was pretty proud about that :)

For my flat class on Sunday I drew Harper, a horse that a) I've never sat on and b) likes to pull people around the ULTIMATE weakness. I won't lie, I was super nervous going into that class and the way that M (our coach) was talking to me tipped me off that I was point rider. I'm pretty sure that as soon as M saw the draw list she was probably like "Omg...why did I pick her as point rider?" I was pretty determined to pull it off. The first way of the ring was great, I sat up and kept my shoulder tall, and Harper stayed balanced and quiet. Unfortunatly, we got a little boxed in down the long side (I have no idea how that happened...usually I have really good ring management...) and that lit him up a little. He didn't want to settle the second way of the ring and he was literally DRAGGING me around in the canter. I braced my back against his the best I could and used the corners for a chance to rebalance with a strong lifting inside rein and and a big ol' half halt. Once again, going into the placings I had NO IDEA how it was going to turn out...if we pulled off first it would be a miracle. Lucky for me, it must not have looked so bad because we ended up second and I was thrilled! M seemed happy too, she told me after that she had gotten a little nervous the second way of the ring, but was proud that I had held it together :) At the end of the day, LEC was team champion again!! What a come back after our terrible first show!

To change pace a bit, here are some photos that E and S took a few weekends ago while they were riding Johnny. I was home that weekend and so all I have are some photos, but they said he was really good for them :) E is in the blue and S is in the purple (bottom picture)

Johnny and I are packing up today and heading over to Chagrin Valley Farms for their horse show this weekend...wish us luck!!


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