3-4 days ago, we clipped Strider and made him look like a proper horse... Yesterday, I arrive at the yard telling Hana that we were heading off to a show with Strider... MMMMmmmmm.. Not sure just how well that was received as she had had no practice. So that evening we have a little potter around the school, I mount and have a little play.. All seems ok, not perfect and no show learned.... (I figured suprise tactics was the best way forward).
This morning, I arrive to take Hana and Strider, Strider is looking spot on (maybe Hana not so). We are on route and all is a little quiet on the journey.
We arrive very early for our class, but we go and have a practice and a warm up whilst everything is quiet. I am tacking up, dressing Hana, polishing her boots and pampering Strider. Making them as wonderful as... I have to say, they were looking pretty damn good!
The warm up is going well (we are a little apprehensive as Strider has a tendency to buck into his canter transition (no problems there as all been checked (just behavioral)). He behaves impeccably and Hana is riding superbly. I have a little lump in my throat, so,so proud!!!!
We head back to the trailer for a little refreshment and a tidy up and then back for our class. The classes previous had been quite small, so I'm merrily telling Hana not to worry as it will be quiet, when eventually we have 6 in the arena. Too late now Han, you're in. Ride like the wind and enjoy it!!!
I really don't know what to say... words cannot describe how I was beaming with pride. You would never know that they hadn't done this before as they were truly holding their own,if not standing out. They go to the first line up to do their show. I'm slightly nervous about this as neither Han or Strider have had the opportunity to practice this. I had said to watch everyone else, but sadly they weren't much to go by... Then comes the turn of Hana and Strider... They start off well a lovely trot and super transitions. They then break into canter and quite a swift one, do a turn and another swift canter (unknown to me, the judge had asked her to gallop) By gum did she.... As impressive as it was, it wasn't 100% technically correct. This didn't matter one little bit as they were doing everything they did, WELL and Strider only suffered a couple of buckeroos into canter. Right legged it every time, so really couldn't ask any more of this wonderful partnership.
The next thing I know, they are being pulled in third... YES THIRD!!! Their very first show and they have nailed a third and a qualification for the sunshine tour. I have to say, a little more preparation for poor Hana and her trusty steed and they would have taken top spot. No shadow of a doubt. I cannot wait until we've had they time to practice more and get them back out there.
I put a lot on them today and they delivered with a smile on their faces and many treats for after.... I thought the unprepared route would lessen the pre-stresses for Hana to get the nerves over and done with for their first event and I do think it worked!!! (This time, we maybe won't attempt it again).
How lovely is it to watch the lovely people around you achieve their personal goals and smash any expectations..... SOOOOO FLIPPING PROUD!!!!!!!!!!!!