So I never posted my other WEG post…or even wrote it if I’m being honest. My life has been crazy lately and my priorities have shifted somewhat so that I’m more about living in the moment than I am about recording it. I’m SO far behind on reading blogs as well. One day I’ll post about what has been going on to make things change, but today is not that day. Today I’m going to write about Joey’s second show/second time off the farm!
We’ve been planning to go to this show since the dates were announced, but all along we’ve groaned inside that they moved a September show in nice warm weather to the end of October. We were right to groan because this was the coldest horse show I’ve been to in a long time. I’m also not sure I’m adequately psychologically prepared for winter because I was wearing a ton of clothes this weekend and was still cold and it’s not even actually winter cold yet.
We camped last year and were planning on it again this year, but I drew the line at tent camping in the cold and we pulled two horse trailers down. H, who is our token male in the group, slept in his trailer that hauled the horses and I pressure washed the horse box of mine and we used it as the ladies camper. Luckily my trailer is air tight (H’s has a stock back) so it was easy to heat. I slept up in the neck in the bed and K and her mom put down air mattresses in the horse box. The first night our heater died and we woke up to 39 degree temps and that was just as miserable as it sounded, especially since we went and showered immediately after waking up. We went to Walmart later that night and bought a new heater and I grabbed an electric blanket for me just in case the heat didn’t make it up into the neck of the trailer with me. This heater performed well the rest of the weekend and we were able to sleep without freezing.
The show started at 2pm on Friday and Joey and I were in the first classes of the day. It was still pretty cold, but there was no way I could dodge giving Joey a bath. Joey doesn’t love a bath on a hot day, so I knew it would be a trying experience, and I was correct. My typically easy to get along with baby stood on his hind legs in the wash bay a little bit, but we finally got him cleaned up and tucked away in his stall wrapped in a cooler. I gave him his breakfast then hoping it would help him with his attitude problem, but he just took his wrath out on the bucket and by pawing like a fiend. Eventually he got over it and dried off enough for me to band him. I had planned on all of these fun ways to band him but I ended up just banding him traditionally without cutting any hair. I did have to be mean and take his hay bag away to get him banded because pulling hay out of a slow feed bag=all the Joey wiggles.
Our classes on Friday were all in hand trail, which is what we’ve practiced the most, though I should’ve practiced more for sure. Considering that a week before the show he wasn’t pivoting on his hind end without me touching his shoulder, I was fine with the progress we made in a short amount of time. They opened the ring for warm up with the obstacles at 11am and I took advantage of that and ran him through them a million times. The L that we had to back through was MUCH tighter than the one I’d built and practiced with at home, so having the opportunity to work through that was wonderful. He’d also never seen a rope gate. The jump standards made his eyes bug out a little, but we managed to execute the gate well enough in practice. The bridge was a little different than ours at home, but Joey is a bridge pro and hardly looked at it when he walked over the first time. I’ve learned that the judges WANT the babies to look at the bridge though as everyone else made their baby lower its head like it was going to sniff the bridge as it crossed.
When show time rolled around he did well at the L and trotted up to the gate fine, but when I went to work the gate, he wiggled right across the poles away from the gate and cost us some points there. We proceeded to trot over some poles, performed a pretty decent 360 turn on the hindquarters in the box, then went over the bridge quietly. We got dinged heavily for the gate and got 2 5th places and 2 6th places (remember APHA shows have 4 judges for each class). We went back in for amateur and I fixed where I messed up at the gate the first time, but after trotting the poles, I could tell Joey’s focus wasn’t on me and that he was kind of over the whole thing, which I get. We’d practiced so much, then stood around then did the same thing yet again. I was over it too. So when we got in the box for our 360, I took what he gave me, which wasn’t pretty, and we crossed the bridge quietly again and called it done. The judges dinged us on the 360 in this round as hard as they had the gate in the first round, yet we ended up with all 3rd places and won 3rd in the Color Classic Futurity for nearly $300 in winnings. I didn’t really watch the other competitors, so I don’t know how I moved up in the pack, but it was nice to win nearly all our entry fees back.
Between warm up and showing, Joey’s sire’s owners (and Joey’s sire and half brother!) arrived. They got their boys settled then came up to watch Joey show before unloading their trailer. K showed in ranch pleasure for the first time that night and had a good go, but there were a lot of nice ranch horses at the show, including a few from the big trainer I’ve been watching for Joey.
On Saturday I just had tobiano halter later in the afternoon after the rest of the halter classes, so I woke up slow. K entered a couple halter classes and showmanship with her boy and did well in them. I took Joey up to the ring for tobiano halter and he did really well in it, as I hoped he would. We got two 1st places and 2 3rd places, but no money for this class since it wasn’t a futurity class. This was the class he got DQ’d from last year for being too young, so it was nice that we still placed highly in it a year later.
Later that evening were the reining classes, so Tanner (Joey’s sire) and Elliott (Joey’s half brother) got their time in the show pen. It ended up being an excellent schooling opportunity for Elliott as he’s a two year old and this was his first time away from home. He’s SO solid and quiet like Joey, so it was really nice to see how well he handled everything. After the reining classes, I ran and grabbed Joey so we could get a picture of the three of them together. I don’t have those pictures yet, so you’ll have to live in mystery a while longer. I haven’t even seen them myself!
Speaking of pictures, the show photographer got some adorable ones of Joey, so the money we won is likely already spent…😂 I’m waiting on her to post lunge line pictures before I make my purchase. And speaking of lunge line…it went as well as I expected it to. My main struggle with being competitive was that for over a month prior to the show my pasture never dried out, which meant I could never lope Joey on the lunge line in a circle the appropriate size for the class, just in a tiny circle in the barn. That’s all well and good except for the fact that Joey KNOWS I can’t reach him with the lunge whip on a big circle and is lazy and refuses to lope. You also aren’t allowed to touch them with the whip in the class, so I wasn’t surprised when I hardly got him to lope. We ended up getting 7th in that class, but we beat one horse…it reared, which is apparently worse than limited loping. We were one placing out of the money in the futurity class. I was so cold in my thin show shirt that I honestly didn’t even care, I just really wanted to put my hoodie on!
After this class Joey’s family packed up and went home to Northern VA. K still had ranch classes to show in that evening, so we had some time to kill. I packed up all of Joey’s stuff at the barn and loaded it in the back of the truck and went to the trailer and started getting my stuff together so that after K was done we just had to pack their stuff before rolling out and heading home.
Overall I had a great experience at the show. We managed to make it through the entire weekend without Joey and I getting DQ’d and after this weekend Joey has won over $500 in his lifetime, which is more than I can say for any other horse I own. 😂 As with last year, I was very impressed with how quiet Joey is in new environments. His only really naughty moment was during his cold shower on Friday morning, and I can only fault him for that so much. When he unloaded off the trailer, he was low headed and looked around with ears forward, but was totally in tune with me and stayed attentive like that all weekend when we roamed the grounds. He drinks and eats great and naps in a stall like he lives in one 24/7 at home, which is certainly not the case. Joey just makes showing fun for me again as the only stress is the time we’re actually in the ring, and even then, it’s not the same as my previous experiences as much as it is just the desire to go in and do well, not the constant worrying of what could go wrong.
I just couldn’t love this little horse any more and I’m so excited about his future. He continues to impress me and is so honest. I can’t wait to see what the next couple of years holds for us. ❤