Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our First Blues

. . . and not the bad kind of blues. Our schooling show today went really well! I had planned to do W-T-C classes, but Louie has been a bit of a stinker this past week and I didn't want to push him too much and make him hate the show ring. So, we just went and did the walk-trot classes, which were fun.

Mary came to watch us and as usual had awesome advice for me on how to get Louie to settle in to our warm-up and focus on me rather than gawking at the warm-up arena surroundings and taking me for a high-speed pony ride. After a few exercises and some direction from her, Louie was listening, using himself nicely, and we were riding in a much more controlled, confident manner.

Our first class was pretty good, I was a tidge nervous- remnants from a bad case of show nerves I developed with my last horse. But Louie performed really nicely, with a beautiful flat walk, controlled trot (not our usual racing around like a roadster), and he listened to my legs and my hands pretty well. He did spook once at one of the speakers positioned on the rail at the corner of the arena, but he recovered after only a step or two and continued on nicely as if nothing had happened.

Our second class he was maybe even a little better, I really focused on my equitation and I am finally getting my legs to work more like I should as a hunt seat rider (yay!). Louie still showed some of his baby mannerisms and inconsistencies in both classes, but in the second class I was able to push him forward just a tad when he sucked back behind the bit.

Overall, he was pretty bright, willing, and he did a nice job- good enough for 1st place in both of our classes. Granted there were only 3 horses in each of our classes, but it's the solid rides and irreplaceable experience that count. Also, before the show started we got a nice compliment from a former big time Arabian trainer on what a nice horse Louie is. That was so nice, and of course I think he's special too.

Perhaps the thing I was most impressed with was the simple fact of how easy it was to take Louie to a show by myself. It has been years since I was able to just pack up and go to a show by myself, but we did that today and gosh, what a great feeling that is. I didn't need to bring a buddy horse for Louie, I didn't need to bribe a helper to come along for a hand, I didn't need a babysitter for Louie standing at the trailer, and we didn't need help loading and unloading. That, to me, is HUGE. It is so great to be able to be independent, I have missed that, and I am SO proud of my boy for being such a good sport about everything I've asked of him. He loaded, trailered, and stood at the trailer like an old pro. What a good boy.

Of course my thanks go out to all of the Melodee supporters that came out to participate and cheer us on at the show today, particularly Mary for all of her words of wisdom and patience with us, and to Melissa for taking a gazillion photos (thanks girl!). :) Without further ado. . .

Hanging out at the trailer hoping for some pets.


Our beautiful mane and tail braids.

You got some more food for me?


Very nice flat walk.


Trotting past the scary speaker!



Placements- good boy Louie!!


Smile! Are we having fun yet?


Yes we are!



Though we're not perfect, I think this is my favorite photo.


Showing off the Saddlebred tail
So Proud. :)

Relaxing at the trailer after the show, standing parked out, just begging for me to oogle over him- of course, who wouldn't give in to a cutie like that!?

4 comments:

  1. Louie is so handsome! Congratulations! I also think your form looks great, I struggle with my legs in huntseat as well; it's harder than it looks :).

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  2. I think my favorite photos are of him standing happily at the trailer. I'm with you... that part is HUGE!

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  3. He's looking SO good, Leah!! So grown up, his color and weight and expression all look great. You two make a great team. The experience is invaluable! I was going to show my lesson horse in a schooling show this past weekend, but the funds had to go to spring vaccinations so maybe next month. I rode a new horse in my lesson on Saturday that reminds me a lot of Louie, in looks, though! ;)

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  4. thanks all! :D Now we just need to get a little more consistent with that canter. . . and maybe find me a saddle that I feel more comfortable in. He's a bit of a tough one to fit- he's really widened out and become more of a chunker with age. All in good time. . . I'm just so happy to finally have a horse again that I can take to shows all by myself and won't give me trouble.

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