Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Having fallen off the map...

The bathrooms - yes, plural - are 99.9% done.  We ended up with extra paint when we finished the first one, so the downstairs got a new coat of paint, new mirror and light fixture, and we re-purposed the vanity, sink and towel bars from upstairs.  Two sides of the house have their first coat of new paint... Menards loves me!  And we managed to squeeze in a trip to IA to visit relatives.

In horse news, I decided to use expand my horizons and show Buddy at the Region 6 Arabian Championships in Lincoln last week.  I did the pre-show, too, as I needed a few more points to qualify so altogether I rode him in 5 classes, and Eric rode him in one.

It was hot, but the facility was gorgeous.  If you ever have a chance to show at the Lancaster Event Center, don't hesitate.  Big stalls, lots of good ventilation, plenty of warm-up space, and a good PA system.

I got down there on Wednesday afternoon, the day before the pre-show.  My "lesson" that evening with Buddy did not go so well. He was very fresh and ended up spending a lot of time on the longe line.  By the time I was finally given the okay, we did about 2 rounds of the arena and called it good.

I was thankful I'd had the okay from Eric to go ride him the week before while Eric and co. were at Region 10 in Minnesota.   I wasn't too worried about his antics - he did the same thing in Sioux Falls at the Spring Show.  And sure enough, when our first class was called the next morning he was in fine form.

We had a nice ride and scored a blue from one judge and a second place red from the other.  It was a confidence booster for sure - which I needed, since our second class resulted in  4th and 6th placings.

The ride felt good though, so I was happy.  The one thing I would have changed was Buddy's reluctance to stand in the line-up. 

Friday's first class was going great - until I bobbled a lead.  I'd no sooner fixed that than he spooked at the stands.  We top fived, but in a class of three, it was nothing to write home about.  And the line-up wasn't any better. Still, I was having fun.  And the second class of the day resulted in what felt like the best ride of the week  We top-fived again, but again, class of five horses, so our best thus far although plenty good enough to please me, wasn't quite impressive enough for the judges.  And he was awful in the line-up again... apparently, neither end was to his liking, so we walked in circles.

I seriously debated calling it a weekend with that class and just having Eric go ahead with him in Hunter Pleasure Open.  But...  Saturday morning I was the first rider of Eric's crew on deck to go, and with everyone focused on getting the two of us ready, we were both dressed and on our way to the main arena before I had too much time to think about it.

Good thing, too.  Our final outing was the Arabian Hunter Pleasure Select Rider class.  We made it to the main arena just ahead of a cats & dogs downpour complete with booming and flashing.  With minimal warm-up and the heavens streaming down, we nailed every transition.  Buddy was light and round and soft, and when we lined up I took C's advice and stuck us smack in the middle of the eight horse row.  Honestly, at that point I wasn't too worried about where we'd placed.  I just gave him his head and told him he was done.  And he was perfectly content to just stand there.

We ended up reserve champions.  So altogether we ended up with an armful of ribbons and one nice wooden plaque... 

Not too shabby for our first big show - LOL!  It was a long, hot, sweaty five days. Eric was incredibly patient and encouraging.  C, who grooms for him, is an absolute saint and was kind enough let me help so that I was able to stay too busy to get nervous and sick with it.  R and L and their daughters were wonderful, as well, offering assistance and encouragement.  Thanks to L and C, I had a proper English "bun of steel" and it was even comfortable.

Still not sure I'm sold on the whole showing thing, but I have to admit it was a lot of fun.


Kellie said...

YAY! Good for you guys!

SunnySD said...

Thanks, Kellie - It was an amazing experience!

Tammy said...

I wish I would have known you were coming! Totally bored that weekend and would have popped over to LEC to meet you. Congrats on the ribbons; great experience. Next time!

SunnySD said...

Thanks so much! It would have been great to meet you - maybe next time!