Today was yet another show day.
All other quirks aside, mi papi sure does clean up nice, even with that one stupid braid from growing out his bridle path.
After a perfectly reasonable wake up of 6am, I hauled out to the barn to pack and load. Considering my first ride time was 2:30pm, that was a lot of waiting. I entertained myself by helping out the kids riding before before me and playing videographer for Trainer A while she showed a beautiful young mare at her first show.
This was Trainer A's car after the trailer unloaded to go back for the second load of horses. It was too funny to not take a picture.
Despite the rain and chilly temps, mi papi was on board with the program. He marched into the ring with purpose and gave me a nice, workman like ride. I was very proud of his attitude and his willingness to work past the judge's booth, the brand new foal that was bucking next to the ring, and the tractor working in the paddocks.
We were both surprised when they swapped to the large ring before my Training 3 test. I thought my geometry was off, but the judge disagreed and gave me an even better score. She liked the fact that I could boot him along more when I was in the large ring. I was having a heart attack by the time I got all the way down the ring and across the diagonal at the canter. I forgot how big a large ring is. But even with the change in ring size and the test that was a bit of a stretch for us, he was very focused on his job in the ring and gave me a fantastic ride.
I never, ever expected to see this with my name on it:
Yes, that's a 75 and a 76. The judge was in love with Theo, calling him a kind, relaxed horse that loved his job. We got second overall for the Training Level out of eleven. I couldn't be more proud of Theo. Such a long way to progress for the horse that use to jump out of the dressage ring rather than finish his test. I got an 8 for my position on both tests. That's a lot of progress for a former h/j rider. Sure, it was a schooling show and the judge was being generous with the points, but she was awfully sure that Theo was her favorite horse. He missed champion of his level by 0.14 points.
I'm not even sure what to do with this. I'm used to being last after dressage, getting 6's for my position and having people not even take me seriously because I'm not on the right kind of horse. Now I'm on a horse that's a head turner and that scores very well with the judges. It's strange, but I think I could learn to really like this.