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.