Monday, May 13, 2013

Show Recap - A Day of Fun & Surprises!

Just a couple more bites before we hit the show pen

Ahh what a fun time we had at the show! Let me say, all of my worries about Ben's behavior were not necessary- he was awesome.

The day started early at 5 am. Got to the barn by 6, let him have some breakfast, and then quickly got his mane and forelock braided. Our ride arrived just as I was tying them up, and off we went to the show grounds. Ben hauled great, and once we got to the show, he was quite content to park in front of his hay net and munch away. Compared to last year - he was neighing and pawing and being a general douche for the first hour or so. Much more relaxed this outing.

The weather in the morning was threatening to rain...and it even did for about 30 seconds. But then the clouds parted ways to sunny skies and it heated up fast. So our decision to wear our coats worked for our first class, but not so much for later on. No time between to swap out for a vest, so we suffered through it.

Showmanship chomp chomp chomp wiggle wiggle chomp chomp

Our first class was showmanship- and Ben was a bit wiggly and chompy. The pattern was more than we were really ready for, but we gave it a whirl and came in 5th. Our next couple of classes were english equitation. Our first go 'rounds in the arena Ben was a bit spooky and also sticky at times, but we managed to pull 3rd's- even with me carrying a crop...oops. Green Horse Pleasure was up next for us, and we pinned 2nd. Our final classes were Pleasure and we pinned 1st and 2nd! I'm SUPER proud of that blue ribbon- 9 horses in the class, a bunch of different breeds- including a Friesian, 1/2 Friesian, and a Warmblood!

I'm the hottest Standardbred in all the land! Courtesy of: Triangle Ranch Communications

Did we seriously just win? Courtesy of: Triangle Ranch Communications

I'm super proud of my boy- he was great. I ended up scratching our last 2 classes because he and I were beat. It was hot, he had no energy left, and I had no energy to try to squeak more out of him. Sometimes it is better to just end on a good note. I accomplished everything I had set out for, and more, so why over do it?

 So I thought that was that. But then, Sunday morning I got an email from the Show Secretary congratulating us on our Division High Point win! OMG I just about fell out of my chair! I did not see that one coming at all. I am going to pick up his ribbon at the next show in June, and of course I'll post a picture of him wearing it then :) Way to go, Ben!

Do you like hair do's?

And now, for all the things I need to work on:

1. Give yourself more time in the morning to braid. All I really needed was another 15-20 minutes- I'm a pretty fast braider, but didn't factor setting aside time to actually feed the horse a small meal before we got busy.

2. Don't walk Ben around the show grounds. Let him settle at the trailer and then get him ready for work right away. No diddling about. I'm SO glad I did showmanship because we had to get in and learn the pattern right away, which gave us something to do. While he was a bit looky and distracted, he was also MUCH better than last year.

3. Keep your spurs on your boots. Seriously, is this amateur hour?

4. Practice more in-hand work. Much, much more.

5. Don't bring a crop in Equitation, LOL.

6. Get Ben out more to do longer distance type rides. He's fit to last for about 30 min- hour of work. After that, he's got nothing to offer. He's got the muscle of a weight lifter, but not the endurance to go for long hours.

7. Smile and prepare to be gracious for compliments / prepare the Elevator Speech about Standardbreds. I got so many compliments on Ben, 2 offers to buy him, and so many people asked me about "what he is." One gal said "Man when he's in the arena. he OWNS it!" I'm not a people-y person and am generally shy with strangers, so I definitely have to work on being able to handle this. I just freeze up and can squeak out a "Thank you." and then bumble my way through and explanation of the breed, his story, etc. I kind of forget that this is the first time for many to see a Standardbred, even the judge asked me during showmanship what breed he is and when I told her she said "Well this is a first for me!" Later on she told me she was sure he was a warmblood but couldn't figure out why they put the brand on his neck, LOL.

Being a champion is exhausting!


  1. Hooray! Great write-up, too!

    And, errr, if you're looking to build up a little "endurance" muscles, maybe track me down? >g<

    1. Aarene, I'd love to! Problem is- we have no mode of transportation, so I'm totally dependent on hitching a ride to go places. Probably won't have my own rig until next year at the earliest.

  2. WHOO! Go Ben! So happy to hear it went well! :) As for the breed questions, those are always fun to answer. He's a Standardbred?

    1. I am so proud of him! People out here really don't know what a Standardbred is, and often confuse them with Saddlebreds, in my experience. It makes sense because there is no Standardbred racing in Washington. So I often have to interject something about him having raced in Canada, and then they (sometimes) break the saddlebred/standardbred link, usually by way of saying something along the lines of "I didn't know those horses could be ridden."

  3. Great job!!!! Sounds like you couldn't have asked the day to go any better than it did :)

  4. I rode a Standardbred lesson horse for a while and he was an all around good guy. I am not surprised that Ben is turning out to be just as level headed. Way to go!