This post is part 2 of our weekend show adventure. In yesterday’s part 1 I covered our eventing derby. Originally I had entered both the BN eventing derby and the hunter derby. I really considered the hunter derby my back up plan, in case the eventing derby was a disaster or if I just felt like he needed to get in the ring again. However on Friday a friend of mine from the barn, Kristina, decided along with our trainer that her horse wasn’t quite ready to go to the show. She had only signed up for an Intro dressage test, so I offered to let her ride Henry for it instead if she wanted to. Her horse is kind of tough and I know she has felt frustrated lately. I think most of us can understand how demoralizing tough/green horses can be sometimes, and I figured she deserved to still be able to horse show and have a good time. So she hopped on Henry on Friday evening to see if he would work for her and they seemed to get along just fine. As long as you’re light with your hands and leg he’s a pretty simple horse, and I trusted him to be well behaved enough for her.
So I scratched the hunter derby and we switched her dressage entry over to my horse. About half an hour before her test we tacked him up with her dressage saddle, tossed her on, and off she went. She too opted for a very basic short warm up since space was so limited, and she mainly just walked around with a little bit of trotting until it was time for her test.
I don’t have pictures but I did take video… however not sure if she’d be comfortable with me sharing it here so you get stills instead. They went in and she did a really good job, especially considering she’d only ridden him once before and for about 10 minutes! He was a little bit too keen after the first halt and picked up a canter step, but once she got a couple movements into the test they both seemed to take a deep breath and settle in. They ended up with a 61% which was good enough for 3rd! She seemed very happy with him and said she had a blast, so I was delighted. I get a lot of joy out of seeing my horse bring someone else a little bit of happiness. I offered to let her take lessons on him sometimes and take him to more dressage shows at Intro and Training level if she wants to. I think he’s a great horse to get her confidence built back up and have a little bit of fun on, to offer some relief from her tougher greener horse. And it’s good for him to be ridden by someone else sometimes anyway.
After we were done and back at the trailer (and Henry’d had about two dozen cookies) some other mutual friends of ours, a husband and wife, came up to chat. In addition to riding, the husband has a real penchant for in-hand work and the little versatility trail course that was set up at the show was too much for him to resist. I handed Henry over and let them go play around over the trail obstacles. By this point Henry was giving me the eye like “What is this, musical pony?” but he gamely went through the weave poles, the tightly stacked hay bales, the cross of poles on the ground, the curtain of garden hoses, the teeter totter, and the pool noodles. This horse is just too much.
By the time he was back at the trailer again Henry was feeling like he was tired of amusing us and ready to go home for his nap, so we settled our bills, grabbed our ribbons, and headed home. He was just such a superstar from start to finish and did every single thing we asked of him, no matter how silly. He might not be super fancy or super athletic or super flashy but this boy is worth his weight in gold. You just can’t beat that brain.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about the thing I bought on Saturday night, and all the other little things I’ve subsequently had to buy because of it…