Weekend recap: Good news, bad news

Before I get started on relaying how the long weekend went, I want to congratulate Carly S. on winning the One Horse shirt giveaway! Thanks everyone who participated. I hope if you didn’t win you will consider buying some shirts from onehorsethreads.com … I wore one of mine to the show on Friday and had several people ask me where I got it.

On to the weekend recap. I wish I could come back here and report that the show went fantastic and was all sunshine and daisies and happiness, but it wasn’t. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t super bummed and a little sad/upset. But I am one of those people who really focuses a lot on the negative and beats myself up to a bloody pulp, so I’m going to try to point out the good along with the bad here, even if only to help myself out a bit.

The Good – Henry schooled great on Friday. A little hairy eyeball at a random trash can or oddly placed standard but for the most part he was super in both rings, even amongst some really intense tragedy happening with other people. He jumped around everything just fine, maybe even a bit over-enthusiastically as he was pulling me around a little. Also, super fantastic Megan from The Tack Shop of Austin was able to ship my new Ogilvy pad straight to the show to make sure I would have it in time, so it was a little exciting to arrive and have that waiting for me. Alas, that’s a whole ‘nother bunny trail and I’ll have a full review coming up in the next few days.


The Bad – it was hot, humid, and Henry was a little screamy. He’s normally not a particularly vocal horse at shows, but he was letting loose with some really ear piercing ones. In general he just seemed not quite 100% settled.

The Good – On Saturday (henceforth known as the Longest Saddest Day Ever) we had a hunter class first. I had him entered in one hunter class and two jumper classes during the day, just to make sure he got in both rings at the height of the two night classes we were doing. He was pretty fussy about temporarily losing his “Bitless Henry” status and made himself a bit nervous chomping on the bit but he marched around pretty well and was 2nd in the 2’9″ warmup out of… a lot. Then over to jumperland and again he marched around the 2’9″ and the 3′ like a champion, although had a couple cheap rails. He just got a little flat and blah. It was still very very humid though and he doesn’t seem to handle humidity well so I just figured he needed a break. He got a bath and hung out in front of the fan for a while and had a few hours to recharge.





The Bad – He did not recharge. In fact, he just put on a sour attitude and decided he was done playing the horse show game. I still don’t really know quite what happened. I got him back out for the jumper classic and he was just pissed. He didn’t seem sore or particularly tired, just DONE. He gave me a big eff you to both the jumper classic (nope, I will not take a longish spot to a big oxer going into a combination just after passing the ingate) and the hunter derby (nope, I will not whoa in the line and still jump out of it). I ended up sitting on an oxer in the derby, which had taken until 11pm to run in the first place. So… that went well.



The Good – Um… he looked cute braided? (Thanks to fellow blogger Lauren of She Moved To Texas! Most of these pics are hers too.)


The Bad – His mood continued to Sunday. Still had a big ol’ grumpypants on when I got him out for his jumper classes. I had decided to add a 2’6″ and scratch the 3′ just to back it way down and make it easy for him. He stopped in the warm-up ring (what is happening??? says my now panicked inner self) and I ended up having to smack him. A barnmate passed me her whip for the 2’6″ class, just in case, and that sent poor little Henry brain over the edge. He jumped around super honestly, but at Mach 10 and I had zero control other than steering. He seems to think that stick = death and that means take off 15 feet away from everything and leave strides out. Here is the point of the horse show where I decided to quit while we were kind of ahead (alive).

sunday1 sunday2OMG SHE HAS A STICK!”

The Good – Well, at least we ended on an okay note? He jumped around everything fine again and seemed to understand that it’s still his job to jump the jump even when the distance isn’t perfect. And after I bathed him and gave him a bunch of cookies his personality seemed to be returning to normal… he had his head back over the stall door begging for love, instead of hiding back in the corner like he had been.

The Bad – Well obviously this was a big fat fail. We both lost confidence in each other somehow. I still have no idea what really happened. The horse I had from Sat night to Sunday morning was not my normal horse. I don’t know if the humidity just really wiped him out more than I realized or if he truly had a “I’m really green and overwhelmed, let me have a meltdown now” kind of time. He’s never done anything like that before so I’m at a loss as to what that was really about.

The Good – Regardless of what caused it, we’ll fix it. I think Sunday was enough to fix it really, but we’ll fix it more in the next few weeks. He is always such a good egg, this was completely out of character for him. We’ll also take a step back. Obviously he’s still got some kinks to iron out at his current level before he’s ready to take on anything more ambitious. We’ll go home, iron out those kinks, rebuild, and be back to try again another day. He’s still adorable and I still love him. No permanent damage done.


The Bad – I completely over-committed myself for the whole weekend. I got very little sleep last week, even less sleep over the weekend, and have had a cough/sinus issue that I haven’t yet been able to shake. I had the horse show on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and then on Monday I had a triathlon. Only the bike leg of a relay team, but still. Yesterday was an even EARLIER morning (5am on a holiday is just stupid) and even more physically taxing activity. I feel pretty dead right now and still have a nasty cough along with some really interesting stuff coming from my lungs.

The Good – My team won the female relay and we were the second fastest overall relay even against the men/co-ed teams. The fastest men’s team only beat us by one minute and I was the fastest female on the bike for any of the relay teams. I pedaled as hard as my dead horse show legs possibly could go, and left it all out there to the point where I was borderline blacking out when I staggered back to the relay pen and handed off the timing chip to our runner. But our win at least helped salvage a little scrap of my self esteem and dignity for the weekend. A little teeny tiny microscopic scrap.


If anyone needs me I’ll be wallowing in shame and regret for a few days until I manage to get over it and decide to move on. I already hid my feelings in a cream cheese kolache this morning and ate them. Because everyone has to be good at something.

12 thoughts on “Weekend recap: Good news, bad news

  1. Sorry the show didn’t go as planned. It’s always so, so tough when your horse just isn’t himself. But I know you and Henry will bounce back!


  2. I really feel like the weather was SO atypical for our ponies, that it could have been a huge factor. Plus maybe we won’t stall the friendly bay OTTBs next to each other next show? Either way you still have a lot to be proud of and I know you’ll come back even better next time 🙂


  3. Bummer that the show didn’t go as planned but it’s all learning miles for the pony right? Next time will be better! 🙂

    Oh and I agree with Emily- 11 pm Derby?! Eek!


  4. Ugh hate when things go south and you don’t know why. Good for you for focusing on some positives. At least you can do whip-densensitization at home so you have the option of using one at shows without mach-10-ness.


  5. Sorry the horse show didn’t go as well as you were expecting. If it makes you feel any better, I live in Texas, too, and my TB gelding hates the heat/humidity as well, I’m sure mostly because of the fact he’s a non-sweater that we’re trying to manage. It sucks when the weather plays such a huge role in making for an irritated horse, but I’m sure the next show will go better 🙂


  6. Bummer about the show, but it sounds like you ended on a good note, and have a great horse!! That’s all that really matters right!? I can’t imagine the humidity in TX….sounds intense!


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