There are a few towns near us with active equestrian communities. Some of them even have trails that wind through town connecting homes and parks and arenas. All of those towns require more money to live in than I will ever have, but they’re nice to visit. Los Altos Hills has a town arena and their Horseman’s Association hosts a variety of events throughout the year including a schooling show. The class list for the show looked like a lot of fun, it was cheap, nearby, and the money went to supporting a good association. Sold!
Warm up round were from 8-9 so we got there super early. Eugene certainly needed all the time he could get to practice in the scary arena with jumps and flowers and speakers and judge’s truck with umbrella.
A bonus to arriving early was that we snagged a small pen for the ponies to share and relax in between classes. Nilla ended up using this for a nice nap during the lunch break.
My husband did 18″ Equitation and Jumpers. He didn’t want to do the hunters because Eugene doesn’t move like a hunter. I was like, it’s a schooling show, just do all the classes. And it’s not like Eugene is a good Eq or Jumper either, but whatever.
Eugene was such a good boy. They ended up getting 5th in Eq and going clear in Jumpers, which brought them back for the jump off. And they got 2nd for going clear and having the 2nd best time. Such a good little Mustang.
I did the 2′ division and I signed up for Hunters, Eq, and Jumpers. Because why not. During warm up rounds Nilla was on fire: massive over-jumping, “playing” on landing, wanting to race through everything. So, you know, exactly what a judge is looking for in a hunter, right? Ask me if I schooled her for a long time to get some energy out or if I did each jump once and then walked out.
I seriously had thoughts about falling off during that course. We ended up getting 3rd out of 5. Because looking like a psycho jumper race mule in hunters is still better than running out or refusing. Winning!
My eq is questionable on a normal day. Add in massive over-jumping mule that bounces me out of the tack and we were obviously all set up to win the 2′ Equitation class. After the class, one of the other trainers there said she got a great picture of Nilla with her knees up to her nose. Yeah, she’s good at that. It’s just that the jump is like 1′ down there.
We ended up getting 2nd out of 6th. I’m really not sure how that happened. Like at all. We went on to Jumpers and managed a clear on the first round. Going in to the jump-off Nilla was even more excited. I usually make her trot jumps since she’s not good at picking canter spots. I will let her canter a line sometimes, but jumping is still a work in progress. Coming around to the 3rd jump, Nilla insisted on cantering, I insisted on trotting. I won that argument, but only about a stride from the jump so she wasn’t set up very well and hit the pole. I should have just let her canter. We ended up 4th out of 6 I think.
After jumpers, I threw Nilla’s treeless on and my friend who has only ever ridden like 12 times in her life rode Nilla in the W/T Ground Pole Equitation class. I’m going to do a full post on that later because man is that mule amazing (when she’s not trying to kill me).
After lunch, my husband did the 18″ Hunter Hack class. Because I was in the next class, I was busy tacking Nilla up during the flat portion of the class and apparently missed Eugene having an epic tantrum during the canter. Eugene’s never been in the arena with 7 other horses, let alone at a show and certainly not with all of them cantering. It was just too much for his little baby brain. Thankfully, my husband stayed on and they came back to walk shortly after.
He was a good boy though and stood nicely for the wait while each horse did the two jumps. And then he did his two jumps nicely. They ended up getting 6th out of 8 for the class.