So, apparently Region 1 (the region in which we dressage) is special, and has kind of an extra Regional Championships, known as the Colonel Bengt Ljungquist Memorial ("BLM") Championships. All I knew going into this is that it was at the NJ Horse Park, I needed qualifying scores from Test 2, and I could ship in for the day to compete.
|Apparently when our haynet runs out we pass the time|
by taking our halter off.
|"I was just scratching an itch and it fell off.|
I'm just as shocked as you to be honest."
I headed out solo, patting myself on the back for being the kind of badass DQ that braids her own horse, trucks in by herself, and doesn't need a groom. Except, as I've mentioned, my friends are amazing, so when I was walking to the office to get my number, one of my best friends Michelle was walking toward me. She is simply the best.
Tucker and I got ready with Michelle's help. He was looking extra adorable, and I wore the new Goode Rider coat I got for a steal at Riding Warehouse so I was looking pretty spiffy too, if I do say so myself. Goal of having fun was already going well.
He warmed up great, pretty quiet and relaxed at first but I was able to get him going forward by the time we were ready to go in. Our classes were in the indoor, which Tucker hadn't been told (he was quite taken off guard), but I reminded him that we've shown in that indoor before, so once we got in there and cantered around and his eyes adjusted to the change in light, he was fine.
The test went very well. I'll do another post tomorrow with details, but overall I was very happy with it. He listened, he responded, and I kept thinking and riding the whole time. For us and where we are at right now, it was a solid effort. Goal of putting in a good test achieved. I didn't think it was a 70, but I also knew there weren't any major mistakes, so there was a voice in my head saying... maybe?
|I love this photo.|
We had some lunch, window shopped, and I figured I'd swing by the office to get my test. Which is where Rose, the best show secretary on the face of planet earth, told me not to go home, because if someone didn't want to ride for their ribbon, I would be moved up to 10th. (Dressage Rules are crazy.) Kill an hour at a show for a chance to do a lap of fame? You're damn right I will.
When we headed down to the awards, I was literally surrounded with the fanciest group of dressage horses I've ever been that close to. They were like giant life-sized Breyer models. Some of the horses in my class posed for their award photo with the owners standing beside them. These horses have owners, you guys.
Now, I'm not knocking anyone who has a fancy pants imported animal and keeps said animal in full training, because there is certainly a lot to be proud of when you have earned the kind of financial stability it would take to make that whole situation happen, but I'm not going to lie... I was pretty proud to be down there sitting on my home bred who I've raised from a baby and pretty much trained myself. I'm going to just go ahead and toot my own horn on that one. It was a damn good feeling. I told that horse I loved him about twenty times. I had a big old lump in my throat.
Tucker loves victory gallops. Other horses were prancing and stomping and chewing their bits, and then there's my guy, standing on a long rein and taking it all in. One of the other horses reared when we started the canter and I swear Tucker looked at her like, "oh no it's okay don't be scared this is gonna be fun!" (I may be imagining this, don't care though.)
|That's us on the far left!|
|I let him put his head in the air for this photo like the proud giraffe that he is.|
|Still poses like a hunter.|
At the end of the day I went back in to the show office to thank Rose for telling me to stay, and she said "You're Quigley right? Tenth place!!" And held up her hand for a high five. I beamed.
Life has been really hard lately, I totally needed this.