Monday, August 13, 2012

Tilly's First Schooling Show

So, this past weekend was Tilly's first show! And since I'm updating my blog, obviously she didnt kill me, so that's already a successful outing, dontcha think? Anyway, this might be a picture heavy blog since it's the Monday after a horse show, and typing a coherent, compelling story might be beyond my grasp today. 
The tack room, complete with guard poodles
Of course, when we got to the show, we were the only group with a tack stall, which I promptly filled with saddle racks, shelves my saddle pad rack, a mat on the floor, and all of the other odds and ends required at a two day show for three horses. Oh, and the poodles settled right in...

Tilly, wide eyed and wondering where I've brought her
Of course, Tilly hopped off the trailer pretty wide eyed. She was quite talkative all Friday, answering ever whinney she heard. Annoying... but in the grand scheme of taking a young horse off the farm for the first time, bearable. Of course, she was much happier with food in front of her (she's not quite the power chow hound that RC and Deli are, so there's some room for improvement). Friday's warm up was pretty exciting in a large unfenced arena. We did a few laps with her head in my lap and her tail over her back, but after some not so subtle maneuvering on my part, her little brain engaged and she realized that she has to do the exact same thing in this arena as in our arena at home.
"Uh, excuse us, but we're adorable. Why waste time on a pony?"
Saturday morning rolled around way too early for my taste, with a 5:45 start for my crew. Of course I was sleeping in my trailer, so I didn't have as early of a morning as my students... but it got COLD in my little tin can.  Good thing I had two blankets and two little poodle spaceheaters to help get me through the night. And Ellen brought me a giant cup of coffee first thing in the morning. That helped too.
Tilly's first braid job. So far she's unconcerned.
After my student's got through their morning rides, I rushed back to the stalls to get Tilly braided for our 1pm classes. I was a little concerned about it since she was having a difficult time standing still and focusing on anything with all the excitement of the show, but she tolerated my braiding pretty well with only minimal shuffling back and forth.
Tilly's braids: Final Product
After we got braided, we walked over to watch the jump arena before  getting tacked up and ready for our class. Oh, and I still had to learn my test. No biggie. Intro B is only like 9 movements, right?
The first picture of me riding Tilly, ever. 
So, we had a few issues in the warm up arena, like horses passing us, naughty horses lunging just out of the arena, other horses hollering, and a paint. Tilly was confused about that color pattern, though less obviously racist than AT is, so it's all good.
 Saturday's tests were Intro B followed by Intro C, almost immediately.  Tilly was pretty good. Obviously our connection could use some help and we have a few balance issues in the transitions, but we scores a 65% and 66%, respectively.
 Now, there are times in life when you have to stop yourself from saying something super douchey. I had one of those moments when picking up my scores on Saturday. Intellectually, I knew that there were issues. Of course she's not perfect. This was her first show, she was a little tense and looky at the judges trailer and we got hollow in the transitions.... yadda, yadda, yadda, excuses, excuses, excuses...
But as I looked up my scores I had to stop myself from being disgusted with only a 65% in front of my students. "Oh. 65. ugh.... I mean, good pony!"
Way to be an asshole, Alison. Way to go...
 By Sunday, the Tillner was all settled in and had her game face on. We scored a 70% and Intro C and a 65% at Intro B. I'm much happier with a 70%, than a 65%.... But in all honesty, I'm thrilled with how Tilly behaved all weekend. There was no silly young horse shenanigans or losing her little pony mind over seeing something new.
 What a good Pony!!!
 Tilly was looking for her post ride treat.... I was trying to memorize my second test in the ten minutes between my two test.
The poodles guard the ribbon wall after a successful weekend at the horse show!

More pictures, thanks to Kate!
Awwwww Pony trot!

Warm up waiting for the bell...

Free walks... We earn 8's

'Fluffing' my legs after our final halt-salute....
Sure looks like pony is about to get a spanking

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