Let’s talk horse shows. When I’m not ridiculously stressed/nervous, I like horse shows. Particularly after getting home and into clean clothes. Ha. I like riding somewhere that I don’t ride normally and I like getting feedback on my riding and my horse. I’ve been fortunate to show at a couple shows where the judge actually told me why I placed where I placed. Once I showed a friend’s halter mare and they told me that I got second to a
not so nice horse because the mare I was leading had too straight a neck. Wait, what? I’ve also had judges look at me funny with I bring Copper in the ring, riding fit. The judge would tell me that he needs more weight to be competitive in halter and I’d agree, then observe the understanding on their faces when he came back in the ring in a riding class.
Lately I haven’t shown Copper in halter. I have few delusions about his abilities showing halter in riding condition, and I have no intentions of beefing him up to halter proportions to be competitive, despite his potential. I haven’t shown any this year because my finances have been more focused on a) Paige getting in foal and b) updates around the farm. One of these two things is working out much better than the other… I’m still waiting on Paige’s next ultrasound appointment to find out if we get a baby next year, but meanwhile, I’m thinking towards the future.
As you all know, Copper can be downright fancy when he wants to be. He can also be a meticulously slow western pleasure pony. Bravo to Copper for his versatility, however the fancy Copper is seldom unlocked under saddle. It has been done before, but by riders with much more forward gusto than I have achieved. My mindset is very aligned to western pleasure, but I don’t want to lope him like a western pleasure horse. They kinda look crippled. So for next year I’m hoping to unlock at least part of the fancy and push towards going to some dressage shows to hopefully show in both western dressage and traditional dressage (pending locating properly fitting boots). I’m hoping to make it to a schooling show this fall to show in western dressage just to get a feel for how those shows work and get an idea on where we need to improve. I’m confident that we have a long way to go, and the good thing about dressage is that they give you comments after your pattern. This will hopefully give us something tangible to work on over the winter.
I do intend to put something back in training at G’s over the fall/winter to progress in lessons with him as well. While I’m not working towards reining currently, those lessons were beneficial to my confidence and helped me lose weight last year. Not that I did a lot of reining related lessons, it was more of just good solid riding, and I’m missing it a lot this summer. I need to throw my attention at the trailer and get a new spare and some new safety chains so we can haul to G’s for lessons soon.
Anyway, the only thing that bugs me about moving towards travelling to western dressage shows is that they’re farther from home, basically an hour each way. This isn’t a deal breaker exactly, but I imagine Jason won’t be thrilled with driving the trailer somewhere he’ll be stranded all day with nothing to do. The other shows that we’ve shown at in the past are close enough to home that I could follow him to the show in my car, and he could drive it back home until time to come haul us back to the farm.
The other disadvantage of showing farther from home is that I am less likely to have friends show up to chat with, and I’m likely not going to know anyone at these shows. Maybe it will be a good thing that Jason isn’t going to be able to drop me off and go, I’ll need someone other than Copper to talk to! Better yet, I need to find a friend who is comfortable driving a truck and trailer and wants to show dressage. Any takers?