While I’m having a serious bout of horse show hangover (y’all, it was 2 years since my last show!), I can definitely look back on Smitty’s first competition and smile.
We arrived Saturday afternoon and settled him into his stall, and he seemed fairly content to relax and munch his hay and drink his water like a good boy. We walked a few laps of the venue and let him see the bikes, kids, dogs, tents, and other general show atmosphere that was slowly building. Since he handled it well, I tacked up and schooled him a bit. Luckily for us, there was only one other rider schooling, which had little to do with Smitty and a lot to do with my mental composure. Once I relaxed
my death grip on the reins and gave us both a job of moving forward and changing direction, life got suddenly easier and we were able to find a good note to end on.
The next morning we went on another walk around the venue, which was decidedly much busier than the day before. All was well until about 10 minutes in, when the atmosphere got to Smitty’s baby brain and resulted in a minor meltdown. In the interest of self preservation, and of those around me (read: horses, children, dogs everywhere), I found a quiet unused field to lunge him and get the sillies out. It took a lot longer than I would have hoped to do so, but eventually he got his brain reinstalled and was listening and doing transitions politely on the lunge line and it felt safe to venture back into polite society.
At that point it was almost time for my dressage, and so we tacked up and found another somewhat quiet area to do warm up before heading into the arena. Baby pony was tired at this point, but put in an obedient test and was completely unfazed by his sandbox experience. We had wiggly centerlines (straight lines are hard, yo!), and geometry in general left some points on the table, as well as a lack of free walk (which we haven’t introduced yet). But given that, Smitty still scored a 29.7 and got his first 9 for a movement- what more could I ask for?
After dressage, Smitty got to nap for a couple hours before heading out to show jumping. The Green as Grass showjumping was held on the grass, and I was surprised to see the cross rails of the past replaced with a full set of verticals and even an oxer, complete with gates (which I have no idea if he’s ever seen) and ferns and the like. It was a proper mini showjumping course.
My warm up consisted of a couple trot circles, one lazy jump over the warm up cross rail, and heading into the arena. Smitty perked up a bit at the sight of the new fences, and we proceeded to fence one. At each new jump, I could feel the baby brain wondering why this one didn’t look like the last. But he was incredibly honest and with a little encouragement took each one with increasing confidence. As you can hear in the video, I did my best to convince him that he was superman after every fence, the dominator of 18″ fences all over the world. Apparently my nattering was highly entertaining to my friends, so enjoy the commentary.
Our clear showjumping result left us in 2nd place (or 1st, they haven’t posted official results) out of 10 horses, and I couldn’t be happier. With the help of wonderful friends, and a great venue, baby Smitty had a wonderful first show experience and hopefully set the bar for things to come.
Yayyy best baby!!! That video was PRICELESS haha
Haha the video just cracks me up. Next time we will canter all the things and I’ve decided I’ll try and vary my “good boys”… maybe… “great decision there!” Or, “excellent life choices!” ;P
yay congrats!!!! i was wondering all weekend how things went for you guys – he looks great!! 😀
Thanks! Will be following along in anticipation of your new boy’s first show!
Excellent! He looks awesome out there.
Thanks! I think he’ll be a great show horse with time 🙂
Woo! Giggles aside, I think green horses really appreciate that kind of validation. Plus he got better over every jump, so it worked. 😉
I honestly think it makes a difference! XD
Whoo hoo! Congrats on an excellent first show venture with Smitty!
Thanks!! I’m so pleased!
YAY BRITT AND SMITTY!! That was adorable, and successful!!
Woohoo first show in the books!
I love how positive you are! I feel like training a baby horse and a puppy are kind of similar… although you def get more props because baby horse is much larger than baby puppy lol
Oh my gosh- they are totally the same. I can’t tell you how many times I have described Smitty to people as basically a 6 foot tall puppy. So, so similar!
Really glad it was such a fun time for everyone!
It definitely was 😀
I also find that Charoneigh is the best way to celebrate a good show! That 9 tho!!! Fantastic. The video is adorable, congrats!
I know- a 9! Was not expecting that! Now we need to just need to learn the free walk 🙂 And you know… geometry XD
Geometry is hard enough on a well schooled horse, a baby is a whole other story! hehe
You really can see his confidence increase throughout the course! Positive reinforcement is a grand thing. 🙂
He learned a lot in those 2 minutes on course! I am [obviously] very proud 🙂
Look at the notlittle guy go!
We were definitely the tallest pair in GaG.. it was a little bizarre competing against kids and ponies XD
I so love watching your progression with this guy! You can tell he’s going to be so fancy!
Thanks! I’m really excited about his potential 😀
What a sweet boy! I second what others have sad: the validation seemed to work, because by the end he really seemed like he was getting it!
He really did! I may sound like a lunatic, but hey, if it works, I’ll keep doing it! XD XD
Good boy Smitty!!! Sounds like a great first outing 🙂
It gave us a great foundation to work on, for sure!
What a fantastic first outing for the baebeh!
The baebeh learned a lot that day!
That’s so amazing! Great job!!
One, that pic of him in the crib collar is a SPITTING image of Yankee. I swear to god, its the same horse. I need to send you a pic for comparison!
Second, look at that dressage test! A 9 and some 8s, woot!
Third, he looks smashing in maroon ❤
I know- I was so proud! Now to bring up those wonky centerlines and install a free walk 🙂
And I’m so glad you think so! I’m also digging the colors!
Yay! Congrats on the successful show. Sounds like an excellent first show experience.
Thanks! I’m really happy with how it went, since our only goal was to stay in the tack! 😛
Awh what a great baby!
He was such a good pony in the end!
Seriously-you can see how hard his baby brain is rolling! And so good about it all!
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