Monday, May 9, 2011

Show, Show, and Show!

If you thought Mother's Day weekend is meant for rest - it is not. At least not if you're a horse mom. As the two ladies parked next to me at Shawan Downs on Sunday got into their truck to leave (the rider had fallen off one horse and I don't think the second horse was fabulous) - the woman getting into the passenger side said, "That's it, next year, for Mother's Day, it's breakfast in bed!" Yea, right! They'll be back next year - no doubt! Eventing is an addiction, and you know it!

So, this Mother's Day weekend, I made it to 3 different shows in 3 days! Friday was the SMHA hunter show where I met 2 students to school the jumps before the weekend show. It cracks me up that in hunter land, everyone must school the fences the day before (really folks, did you not notice it's like the same freaking pattern and same freaking flowers, wall, and pole at every single show?!?!). But, anyhow, I've got one student's horse who is terrified of flowers and walls and one that's still learning about related distances, so we thought it would be a great opportunity. And it would have been, had the EMTs shown up and had we been allowed to ride. Instead, the 3 of us got to bond with the 2 horses for 1.5 hours, sitting in the ring, all tacked up - until we finally got word that there really was no expectation when the EMT would show up. So, I was done with show number one - not a good day. I was off to Phase I of show #3 - Shawan Downs - where I literally ran around the XC course, fighting the meter wheel in the mowed grass, and willing the massive lightening not to strike me dead. By the grace of mother nature, I managed to get all my minute markers noted on the map and have enough general sense of the course to not miss a jump - all before the heavens opened up. A small vitory in life.

Show number two was HUGE success. Saturday was Kerry's first recognized USEA event - Difficult Run Pony Club's Horse Trial. Basically, she nailed it! Best dressage test she's had - and not only did she add no points to her score in either jumping phase, she looked good doing it AND she stuffed her crazy horse right past the purple cow print rolltop that cost her two refusals earlier this year! Atticus still hates the cow rolltop, but that's okay - he can hate it all he wants, so long as his cow-hating butt jumps it! And for Kerry's valiant effort, she was well rewarded with a beautiful red second place ribbon! I started working with Kerry just over a year ago, and it is absolutely amazing how far she and her horse have come! It's almost superhuman the progress they've made! I couldn't have been more proud and excited for her!

Sunday was Phase II of Show 3 - Katchi's day at the MCTA Horse Trials at Shawan Downs. Katchi remains a puzzle I have yet to solve. I got on an hour before dressage, ready for the monster to erupt - but it never did. I actually had to try to fire him up a bit! I finally got the dressage test I've been looking for, and Katchi was well rewarded with his first score in the 20's- a 27.3!!!! I was tickled silly by his score and absolutely thrilled to be sitting in 3rd in a class of 25. I think I also have to thank Kerry for contributing to that score as she spent quite a bit of time working on the knots in Katchi's poll while I was getting tacked up - she had the magic touch!

By the scoreboard, we had a great day. Katchi added just 4 points to his score with one rail in show jumping, ending on a 31.3 - earning a 4th placed ribbon, his first USEA gold medal qualifying score, a second XC round with NO time penalties (WOO HOO!), AND - I got a call later last night saying he'd won an MCTA perpetual trophy - The Joan Barthel Memorial Trophy - presented to the MCTA member who achieves the best dressage score in the entire competition. Wow, pretty cool! Of course, I also have to be responsible for not breaking this trophy which apparently has "more sentimental value than beauty" and I have to figure out how to get (and pay for!) my name to be engraved on it. Then I have to return it next year so it can be given to the next winner. Hum, that's an interesting award. But, at least it's not drugs - you all know my angst over the amount of free drugs Katchi won last year that I can't even use on him!

But, for all that good - Katchi had to beg for his ride home at the end of the day. I won't go into the details, because, frankly, I don't understand. So many things have gotten so much better, but Katchi's jumping was horrendous yesterday. He was stuck to the ground at the base of the fences like never before. On XC too. I have to thank Shane, who said to me at the end of the day - "you always tell me that things feel more frustrating as you get better, because you hold yourself accountable to higher expectations - just think how many things have improved." She was right. I watched our show jumping video from MCTA one year ago - many things are much better - in fact, tremendously better! But, I'm far from satisfied - I was so so angry at Katchi yesterday exactly because I have higher expectations of him now and I should have higher expectations! I just wanted to shake some sense into him (not effective, I realize)! He didn't help me out one single bit. I think if Jimmy had seen the round he would have hung a "for sale" sign on his tail (or maybe "free to any home, please, really, please"). I need a plan - I need an effective plan and a possible plan. I'm working on it. Still. One small shred of optimism is looking forward to our week with Phillip Dutton that's only 1 month away. Maybe Katchi will earn himself a ticket to stay there an extra week all by his little lonesome with the mean little Australian man.

So, today, I'm trying to focus on the things that were wonderful - and developing a definitive plan - specific, regimented, focused, precise, understandable, effective, possible. Katchi has no idea what he signed himself up for after yesterday's performance. He crossed the line. I guess it's like your child coming home with a report card full of all A's and an F in Home Economics - really, seriously?

What a lucky photo shot - a fleeting moment as one new event horse and one old event horse told each other about their fabulous days! With prizes attached!

Congrats to all the Golightly Gang for awesome show results this weekend!

2nd Place - Kerry & Atticus @ Difficult Run Pony Club Horse Trial (Beginner Novice)
4th Place - Cherie & Katchi @ MCTA Shawan Downs Horse Trial (Training)
1st Place - Ilkim & Luna @ SHMA Hunter Show
1st & 2nd Place - Debi & Roxanne @ schooling Dressage Show (First Level)

Also congrats to 2 new students who were at Fair Hill's Starter Horse Trials - Diane & Lincoln (1st place - Novice) and Susan & Eeyore ( A work in progress! - Beginner Novice).

I hope you all gave yourself a big toast last night for a wonderful weekend and for being fabulous horse moms - I know I did! Oh that Heineken tasted so good!


  1. Katchi, Katchi, Katchi I'm looking for a horse psychic to figure out what you were thinking. glamma

  2. I'm looking forward to the day when I score in the 20s in dressage, pull one rail, go clear XC, and can call it a BAD day! lol. Congrats anyway! ~Diane
    PS. Fair Hill was awesome