By the end of the winter, I knew that in order to really put the time into her, I needed a clear goal. I enjoy showing for many reasons, but I have also found it helps keep me motivated to ride and train. I like setting goals and trying to meet them not only at home or in my lessons, but trying to also meet them at horse shows.
Anyway, I decided to start Reva with in-hand and hunter under saddle 2-gait classes this year. There are a couple of Maine Horse Association (MHA) shows here that offer Standardbred classes with a year end award, so I am starting out really small. I figured I might as well begin her career just against her own breed, and then eventually we will move into open shows against all breeds. If she is going well later in the season, I will try a dressage intro level test. But I might just wait until 2012 to try dressage shows. It really depends on Reva!
I set the goal to show Reva at the American Saddlebred Association of Maine's (ASAM) Ocean Communities Classic horse show on May 8, 2011. It is affiliated with MHA as I mentioned above and therefore also counted towards MHA year end points. It is a double judged show, with two judges, which means that while we only went into six classes, we won 12 ribbons! WHOOOO! LOL! :-D
I was very very lucky to have my friend Tania come along as my "show mommy" for the day. She is the one who accompanied me to WEG last fall and she is a great horsewoman. I could have shown on my own without a groom, as I have done it for many years, but it was SO nice to have help. Since this was Reva's first show, I was unsure of how she might act (she was perfect) and I was nervous. It was very nice to have someone to encourage me and help me with anything I needed. And it was really cool to have someone at the in gate with a bucket full of brushes and towels! LOL!!! I NEVER have help like that! And besides professional photos, I never get photos of myself at shows, so having a groom who is also a talented photographer was cool too!
|Reva wearing her pink pajamas! I know, I know, it looks like I spilled Pepto Bismol on her. LOL! Reva is fulfilling all my pink pony little girl fantasies. Don't judge. :-D|
|We competed in three in hand classes: Adult Showmanship, English Horse in Hand, and Standardbred in Hand.|
|We earned a second place in Adult Showmanship! And here we are winning fifth place in English Horse in Hand. I like the pink ribbons the best, as they match my shirt! ;-D|
|YAY! Reva's first 1st place ribbon was in Standardbred in Hand! Go mare!|
|I love this photo....here we are in our first ever riding class, Standardbred 2-Gait Pleasure. And I had surprise visitors....that is my dad on the far left, my brother, and his wife! :-)|
|Good mare! She was super good!|
|Yay! We also won unanimous first place blue ribbons in our first ever riding class, Standardbred 2-Gait Pleasure!|
|Reva was so good! She acted like I had been showing her all her life. She stood at the trailer like a champ. She did not get upset or worked up. She did call out a few times over the course of the day, but it was not out of worry but seemed more out of curiosity.|
|Pretty mare.....I look so tiny up there! LOL! She is 16.2 hands and I am only five feet tall!|
|Can you tell she is a trotter....?? :-D|
|We ended up with a first and second place in Standardbred 2-Gait Equitation. It was my only split class all day; everything else was unanimous placings for us.|
|Giving her a wither scratch in the lineup. I was just so impressed with her attitude!|
|YAY!!!!! We won the Standardbred 2-Gait Pleasure Championship!|
|Pretty mare! She looks good in blue and tricolors! HA HA HA|
|All of our ribbons from the day! It began to sprinkle, hence the weird dots on her body. LOL!|
|Awwwwwww! I love this one as well as the one where I am kissing her (see header photo at top of page).|
We definitely have homework. Reva was a little more speedy than I would have liked at times in the trot. She has a big stride and wants to do her big racehorse trot! Look Mama, I'm fast! I can't really blame her, since that was how she was trained before I owned her and technically we have not spent that much time under saddle (I believe I had been on her 9-10 times this spring before the show...) But I will say that during our last class, I was able to get her to relax down into the trot and use her body, instead of just flinging her front end and trailing her hind (she's a bus! LOL!) Also, for whatever reason she decided that coming down into the walk from the trot was not a good plan. She resisted and set her jaw against my hand....I tried to be as tactful as I could but it was not pretty. The frustrating part of this is that at home all I have to do for a downward transition (trot to walk or walk to halt) is exhale and give her slight aids with my legs and reins. So I am not quite sure how to "work on it" since it has never been a problem before until the show.
Overall, it was a great show. I was only expecting to give Reva a good first experience and I never expected all the ribbons! :-D But I admit, being as competitive as I am, I was super pleased to do so well. Yay Super Filly (Mare)! LOL!