Sunday, April 24, 2016


I have a weird relationship with horse show ribbons.  I love winning, so when you win, you get ribbons.  That's a given.  But sometimes you get ribbons because you're the only one in the class and that's not the same thing.  And sometimes you win for reasons other than being good, like the time half of the class got eliminated on cross country because they missed a jump that was awkwardly placed.  Then there are the ribbons that are green or brown rather than blue but I keep them forever because they were a real victory.

I have a couple more ribbons to add to my collection and one of them is a keeper.  It's a bit of a shock considering how the day started.

He looks like a perfectly normal, well behaved horse, right?

My dear, sweet gelding decided that he was a stud this morning.  Big time.  After getting him booted up and tucked into a cooler, he chilled in a stall while the two mares were loaded up.  As soon as the mares started heading to the trailer, he started acting up.  As I moved him outside and he waited his turn to load, he got bigger.  And bigger.  He was spinning, offering to rear, snorting and carrying on with his ridiculous 'look at me' trot.  When it was time for me to load Theo, I had everyone get out of the way.  He was so beside himself that he was almost dangerous.  Fortunately he still loaded, though he did try to jump on for his first attempt.  WTF, papi.  I did NOT want to get on that horse.

As soon as we arrived, even though I had almost four hours until I showed, Theo went on the lunge.  I had to start with him spazzing in a 10 meter circle and he dragged me around pretty good before he decided that was too much work.  It took all of about ten minutes of trotting for mi papi to decide being naughty was just not worth it.  So much for being a big, bad stud.

The actual show part went very well.  Theo managed to squeeze into the little arena for his Training 3 test and we got a 66%.  The judge wasn't a big fan of Theo, she liked the big, lofty movers more than the accurate ones.  Trainer A was very happy with our geometry, but not much that can be done about an average mover.  Miss Thang was snorting and acting up and got a 68%, as a comparison.  She's awfully pretty when she's being fresh.

We went back in for our First level test with orders to open up and go forward.  With the large arena and some lengthens, that seemed likely.  Theo was pretty wiped, but he pulled it out for me and put in a solid test.  We would have some more points if I'd actually run through the test before the show.  I had Trainer A read for me so I had a prayer of remembering which short diagonals to use.  We got a 63% for that test, which I'm very, very proud of.  Theo's a First Level horse!

Part of me was disappointed with our performance, but then I had to remind myself that it's 2 points up from our ride this winter for Training 3 and the judge wasn't tossing points around.  I also have to remind myself that Fi's first attempt at First level came in at 59%.  I didn't expect Theo to be going around at this level already, so today is a big win.

This is a ribbon I'll be keeping.


  1. Nice! You know, as much as I love by little OTTB, there is something to be said for a horse that is at least part "dumbblood" if you will (in the best possible sense of the word!) that after 10 minutes decides that the spazzing is just too much work. That alone is one of the reasons I always prefer some sort of warmblood over thoroughbreds. Haha. It takes Val about 2 days of horse showing to realize he's tired, and that was really exhausting in his greener days.

  2. YAY FIRST LEVEL!! That's why there's lots of judges, I think.

  3. Woo congratulations!! Those are very respectable scores!!