The 1st and 3rd places earned us division Champion. The girls from my barn informed me that one of the kids in the class threw a little bit of tantrum at this announcement. And while I feel bad for beating out kids, I do not feel bad for kids who have tantrums in public because they didn't get their way. Fig told me I had earned the ribbon and the girls from my barn reminded me that I had trained Nilla myself as opposed to the kids riding made horses. It still feels weird to compete against kids though so I think I will stick to only shows that offer adult divisions going forward.
|Champion mule is unimpressed|
The championship got me a baggie filled with prizes. There was a hoodie that was clearly meant for a child, which I gave to my friend as she's pretty small. She kept asking me what I was going to pay her for being my groom and I had originally told her $6 as that's how much cash I had on hand. I gave her the hoodie and told her that was her new payment. I also won a jar of awesome Nay Nation
horse treats. They're the fancy kind that I never buy because I'm a cheapskate. Nilla loved them. After the flat classes, we went and sat in the shade with Nilla and a guy saw me feeding them to her and said he makes them. So cool. That was an awesome prize.
At this point it was about 3pm and the cross-rails class that was supposed to go at 2:30 was still not set up. According to the printed schedule there were 2 people entered into the trot poles division and then 5 entered into the trot cross-rails division. When the dragged the arena, I went to hop on as I figured two entries in ground poles wouldn't take that long. I figured wrong.
When I was getting on, Nilla threw a fit and broke the other cheek piece. Fig was nice enough to run back to the stables and grab my other bridle so I could replace the cheek piece. But she didn't really need to run because we didn't enter the ring for another hour. Apparently there were a bunch of last minute entries into the poles and crossrails division. When they finally finished the poles division, I figured we might actually get to go sometime soon. Once again, I figured wrong.
Fig went up and asked for me and they said we were 9th. And then we stood there and watched about 15 people go. Some people even went twice. Fig went back and forth a million times to ask what was going on. I cannot thank her enough because I was getting ready to quit and go home as it was. If I'd had to get off and walk over to the booth constantly, I would have given up. I kept telling her she could go because I felt bad keeping her from doing something fun with her day or at least getting out of the sun, but she said she wanted to stay and see me go. She was awesome. I really hope I get to ride with her soon.
As an aside, Nilla was also awesome. While we waited... in the baking sun... for nearly an hour... she was very good. She fidgeted a bit and tried to eat Fig's phone and barge through people, but for the most part, she just stood there. A few times, there were small ponies being schooled in the waiting area. Even though it's not really a schooling area, they were trotting and cantering around. One of the ponies was circling so close to Nilla's butt, that she could have kicked it without moving, but she didn't. She just stood and flicked her tail at flies and ignored all the chaos. This is why my preview post was sandwiched with Nilla is awesome bullets. Because she is. I could not have asked for more. I mean, maybe not breaking the bridle twice, but everything else was great.
From what I could piece together, it seems like people signed up for order of go with a teenager who was put in charge of this. She was playing favorites and letting people do both their hunter and eq rounds before even getting around to me doing one round. I don't normally show hunters (and don't think I will be ever again) so I don't know if this is normal, but it seemed like a pretty terrible way to run things. I ended up not even doing my first round until 4:30, nearly 2 hours late.
|Nilla really likes her ears scratched|
The main camera was out of memory, so my friend had to switch to using my iPhone. The already pretty crappy quality of the pictures went downhill fast with this change, so I have nothing useful to show from that round. So here's a picture of her tongue.
When I came out, I hopped off, and went to ask how long before my next round. I figured if it was far in advance I was scratching and going home. I was partially just tired of being there, tired of the heat, tired of watching this obnoxious twat of a child who had two ponies and two saddles that each cost more than any horse I've ever owned who kept telling her poor hired groom what to do. I wanted to smack her. I was also getting really concerned about my dog, who just had surgery and I had left at home hours and hours ago thinking I was not going to be gone this long.
We were scheduled to go back in after only two people so I figured I'd just finish it out. I went back, put all my hot gear back on, got on the poor mule, and memorized the next course.
|How to Eq (plus tongue)|
Nilla was good for both rounds, She basically just trotted around and, as predicted, trotted over the jumps. She occasionally lifted herself into a little jump, but mostly just trotted everything.
I came out of the ring, jumped off, and loosened her girth. I felt bad for the poor mule and she was being very good. We ended up getting 3rd and 4th. I think the 3rd was in Hunter and the 4th in Eq, but honestly I don't remember. I was just trying to get my ribbons so I could go.
The girls from my barn and Fig took Nilla back to the stall while my friend and I went to get the truck. We brought it over to the stall, loaded everything into it - in the manner of "just throw everything in there, I'll deal with it later" and then went to get the truck hooked up to the trailer. Fig, graciously offered to walk Nilla over to the trailer so that my friend could come with me instead of walking her and we could hook up faster.
I seriously could not have made it through this day without my crew. I'm really very lucky to have such nice friends.
At this point, Nilla does not really care about showing. She looked around at some stuff, but was mostly unconcerned about the entire thing. Unfortunately, we can't do rated shows (except for dressage) because mules aren't allowed. I'm going to focus on improving enough to move up the levels in unrated eventing shows and hopefully do a rated dressage show next year. I may consider doing future schooling shows with A/A classes offered or with jumper classes once we're capable of cantering jumps, but I really don't care much for hunter style showing.