Saturday, September 29, 2012

Winston Rocks and Flash Hurts

This morning we hosed the horses off before heading to the show.  Flash didn't get a bath yesterday and Winston rolled in a pee pile so he was covered in disgusting crusty mud.  So much for the bubble bath yesterday.

It was very hot at the show and I debated whether to ride in my jacket for my first test (Introductory Level Test B walk-trot).  I ended up wearing it but I ditched it for my second ride at 10:45.  Winston was very good in the warm up so we headed over to the court a few minutes early.  We stood in the shade where he could watch the ride before us.

There was a large paddock with a mare in it next to the dressage court.  Right as the judge blew the whistle for us to start, the mare decided to buck, squeal and race around.  Winston thought that looked like fun and when I told him to get a grip, he reared up.  Not the best way to start your first test in your first show, Winston.  We made a wild trip down centerline, did our halt and salute, and trotted off.  Winston settled down and we scored 6s on his walk and 7s on his trot (and a 5 for the start).  The collective marks were all 7s - except for submission which was a 6.  The judge commented that we had lovely moments. 

My second test (Training Level Test 1) was an hour later and it was miserably hot.  I did a very short warm up, Winston was trotting well and was relaxed.  Even without a jacket, I was wilting big time. 

Winston rocked.  He wasn't perfect and we didn't win a blue ribbon but he did everything I hoped for.  We got 7s and an 8 on our trot work.  Our centerline trot & halt got 7s.  Canter was not our strong point but I knew that.  We are still working on prompt transitions and balance at home.  Bend is not at all consistent -- heck, most of the time its not there at all.  So, I was happy with the 6s we received.  In the first canter transition, he kicked out (but he went) and flipped his head so we got a 4.  He braced in the upward transition to trot in front of the judge so we got a 5 there.  And in the medium walk he started to sag so I squeezed him forward -- and he trotted.  That was a 5 too.  But he was prompt in responding to my leg.  We'll get the finesse part down as we continue to work together. 

Most importantly, Winston and I were a team.  We were there for each other.  It felt harmonious in a way that is hard to describe.  I wasn't nervous and neither was he.  We did our best, together.  After the final salute, I rubbed Winston's neck and then threw my arms around his neck.  I told him he was a rock star.  My eyes glistened and leaked.  I blinked quickly, sat up, thanked the judge and rode out of the arena on cloud nine.

I picked up my test later and read the judges comments.  All fair and accurate but the last remark had me wondering...

The scribe enlightened me on the "lots of personality" remark.  Apparently as we came through the corner towards the judge, approaching C, Winston had a look of intense concentration.  Then he flicked his eye towards the judge and wiggled his lower lip as we went past the judge's both.  She said they couldn't get over that.

Mr Personality.  Mr. Awesome.

Brett had to scratch his ride.  Flash was off in the warm up.  Brett was really disappointed and is very worried about Flash being able to work again.  I told him that the vet had said he could "try" riding in the show but she was dubious.  Its only been three days since he had his hocks injected.  I think he just needs more time.

Oh, and my breeches self-destructed.  Seriously.  When I finished my last ride and was walking Winston back to the trailer I had this funny sensation on the leather portion (full seat breeches).  I reached back and... there was nothing there.  I kid you not.  Just my white undies and white thighs for all the spectators to see.  OMG, how embarrassing!  You think I'm kidding?  This is what they looked like:

I've had the breeches for a few years but only wore them a few times.  I haven't been to a show in a couple of years; since Jackson and I were showing in 2010.  Have you ever had your breeches do this?  I wear this brand of breeches all the time (Trainers Choice) and I've NEVER had this happen, not with the ones I school in and wash all the time. 

I think this qualifies as my most embarrassing show moment. 


  1. Thank goodness you weren't wearing a thong! Did you ever use bleach on those breeches? It looks as though something has rotted through them.

  2. Nope, never used bleach. Just leather wash.

    I'm sorry about Flash, fingers crossed he just needs time.
    Those breeches look plain rotted. Were they stored in a wet place or something??

  4. Holey britches! You and Winston did a great job. Love that third shot of the two of you. Brett, I am so sorry about Flash...give him a little more time. Hope you are feeling better.

  5. That is so great! I think the best part is that he wasn't perfect and yet you still did well! That means lots of good shows are ahead for you! And as for the breeches...That has happened to me, but with warning. I can tell before it happens because the leather gets really thin and all it takes is one good pull and the holes show up! I ride in Iredeons (sp?) so I don't think brand has a whole lot to do with it...

  6. I have never seen anything like those breeches. I hope you had a pair of shorts to throw on!

    What a great debut for Winston and a fun ride that you could think through and enjoy. I am very happy for you.

    I hope Flash feels better soon.

  7. Winston says - when in doubt, flirt with the judge!

    Congrats on a great show experience!! (despite your wardrobe malfunction) ;D Looks like dry rot to me. Maybe something about how they were stored?

  8. Wow - what a fabulous first show experience! Congratulations to you and Winston. I love how you describe your connection and knowing you were both there for one another.
    Something I'm taking care with as we build our facility is that there aren't turn outs beside the outdoor ring. That isn't a level playing field for competitors. You're a very good sport about it, but...
    Hope Flash is better soon.
    Your breeches are a mystery :) Had me laughing though. I have so many embarassing show moments I wouldn't know where to start.

  9. YeeHaww girlie! Great job and I love the first picture of you and Winston. As for Mr. Personality - you already knew that, he's going to keep you on your toes and charm the pants off everyone.

  10. I knew that you would do fine. Winston seems like a perfect fit for you!!

    And your blowout is hilarious! sorry but it's making me giggle. "Left at C- moon the judge" :D :D

    fingers crossed that Flash improves.

  11. Holy crap, those breeches are embarrassing!
    But I'm sure they gave you a smile at the end of an (almost) brilliant day. Sounds like you & Winston are really clicking, despite your delayed progress because of your foot.
    Really sorry to hear Flash is still off. It's a very worrying time but I bet the vet has something else up her sleeve.

  12. Congratulations on your show! What awesome results, especially for his first show.
    Flash, get better soon, buddy.

  13. Ciaooo Annette; You just look most gorgeous & very elegant on Winston; BEAUTIFUL couple & I am certain you did very well!!!!!!!!!

    I love the first imagine also; the shower made on your fantastic horse; the very beautiful wide the paddocks are...!

    I know, I was away faaar too looong, but when i am working it's just very intensively & tough & now I am back home again & can enjoy my countrylife!!!!

    See you soon!
    ciao ciao elvira

  14. You aren't intimidated by much are you? Neither is your horse. Great team. I can't believe your pants fell apart like that! Looks just like you sat in acid.

    It will take me a while to catch up on your blog - but I look forward to finding out what all I have missed.


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.