Three Blue (First Place) Rosettes
OK, first. I misspoke yesterday about travers. I should have written renvers. Slightly different exercises. Thanks for catching me on that one, Caroline.
On to the fantasy horse show. Held in my very own arena, the competition was stiff. Each of the Boys had to ride against some of the top show hunters in the nation.
Toby was up first in the open class. We first had to work at the basic gaits, with the judge super critical of way of going and manners at the walk, trot and canter, both ways of the arena. Toby was hoof perfect. Then it was 10 jumps over in imposing obstacle (1'4" or so) with the judging based on style and obedience. Once again, Toby was faultless and won the first place ribbon going away.
Next was the novice class. Tucker entered that one. To be totally honest about his performance, he got away with a little naughtiness on the first canter depart on the left lead, but the judge was looking the other way, so she never noticed. Then we went to the fence work, with the jump set at an awesome 1'4" as well. Tuck was marvelous. (To be serious for a moment here--he was really delightfully ratable at the canter, and when I had the eye for the fence I was able to easily adjust his stride for the take off. He really did feel great, even though it was a tiny little jump.) Once again, the judge was awestruck by his style and he too won the class.
Last to go was Chance, in the totally green class. The judge did allow for a few little errors here and there, especially in the canter departs, but Chance made up for that in sheer presence. Then we headed for the crossrail, set at about 9 inches. He was quiet and obedient at the trot. Then I asked for canter and headed towards the jump. Spot on! Letter perfect. (Again, seriously, this is the first time I have ever attempted to jump him under saddle, especially at the canter. Neato!!) There was no doubt about it. Once the last of ten fences was behind us, the judge had no option but to pin him on top.
So, since first place in the USA is a blue ribbon, each Boy now has an invisible blue rosette hanging from his stall door. Hope they don't chew them up the way Tucker did with the last real ribbon I left within his reach. *G*
Every once in a while I entertain myself with one of these imaginary horse shows.
I do have to admit the jumping, as small as it was, was kind of fun. By the time I'd approached the second fence on Tucker I was already getting the old "feel" for it back again. However, considering how my knees feel, I doubt if I could ever do much of it. Still, it's fun to play.
Tomorrow, I am considering getting up early enough that I can take all three Boys out for short hacks before church. I am quite sure the ATV/mini-bike riders will be out in full force in the afternoon. Gas prices are low and it is the holiday weekend. But teenagers just won't get up early on a Sunday morning.
That's the plan. Will I follow through? Let's just wait and see.