Friday, July 27, 2007

Our First Red

On Saturday 18th June we started preparing for the Warren Barn Showing Show that was to be held on Sunday 19th.

Everything was going well until the heavens opened and two bedraggled ponies came in from the field looking less like they were ready for a showing show and more like a couple of hippos who had been wallowing in mud for a week.

Never mind, Herbs’ mane still got plaited and the lorry loaded ready for a relaxing start the following day.

Sunday proved to me that plaits should be sewn, Herbs having rubbed his overnight and created a nice bushy effect at the bottom of each one which made it very hard to roll them up. Coy was quite firm about plaits being for puffs and objected in the form of sticking his nose just everywhere it shouldn’t be whilst we were desperately trying to band and roll.

Anyway, a beautifully plaited tail courtesy of Alex later, we headed off for Warren Barn at 11am – which was fitting with our usual levels of punctuality since we’d planned to head off at 10:30am.

Warren Barn is 30 mins away and after an easy journey we arrived, settled the horses with haynets and got ourselves booked into the Show Hunter and Cob Championship classes with Herbs and Coy respectively.

Oh, lest I forget – this was of course after much second washing of Coy’s tail because he gets rather loose when travelling and by the time we arrived it was looking rather green…’s amazing how grass and hay comes out looking pretty much the same as before it went in!

My turn to “exhibit” arrived first after a nice leisurely Tia Maria and Coke for the nerves and we both headed for Ring 3.

The order of the day was a walk trot and canter on both reins as a group and Herbs behaved perfectly. The other horses looked rather lovely, some with particularly flowing paces and looking like they had come straight from the dressage arena; coupled with perfect plaits and perfectly attired riders, in tweed jackets and stocks. We looked lovely enough, but the show jacket and wonky plaits did stand out in comparison!
After the first bit we lined up and were asked to walk away, trot back, do an individual show and gallop at the end.

We went last of the 5 and did our bit fairly successfully. I decided to ride a 3 loop serpentine to show trot on both reins, and on the first bend Herbs obliged with a lovely canter (whoops) so I kept that thank you, and did a good job of pretending I asked for it! Consequently we cantered a left circle, picked up trot for the 3 loop then cantered a right circle, followed by a gallop at the end.

I had convinced myself long before this stage that we wouldn’t get placed very highly as the others looked rather more the part, but what do I know???
Clearly nothing, since after a final wander around the judge called me and the boy in first. I thought perhaps she was calling us in reverse order which wouldn’t be usual but you never know! We were presented with a lovely red rosette and a trophy no less, and the judge said we stood out from the rest because Herbs did everything I asked of him when I asked, wasn’t pulling or heavy in the hand, gave me a good seat and stayed sensible in amongst the group which is exactly what is needed when out hunting. I was delighted, and fear I may have slapped Herbs a little too hard in appreciation!

Sharon also did extremely well with Mr Coy, getting a lovely blue second place rosette in the Cob championships. Mr Coy was rather hard work in the group ride but came into his own on the individual show with some lovely canter work and a nice example of trotting on the bit so well done to them. Oh, and we mustn’t forget that Coy didn’t tank off at any stage, a particular bonus since they were working in an arena full of jumps so he could easily have decided that the class was cross country instead. Enormous progress!

The drive home was lovely, no red lights! We arrived back at the yard in time to sort out the lorry and put the boys to bed with lovely big dinners and fat hay nets.

All in all – a very successful day!!!

Here are a few more amateur pics of the day....

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Speedgate Open Show – Sunday 22nd July 2007

Saturday: Quick ride up the common, lots of lovely canters as the group was lovely because of the amount of rain we’ve had. Boys in the field. Trip to the local tack shop, then of course, the pub for a quick (yes we were only there an hour this time!) lunch, then armed with a bowl of carrot peelings from chef which is now a weekly present for the boys, we headed back to the yard, got the lorry ready, got the boys in from the field and started the painstaking process of plaiting and fluffing ready for the Showing Show at Speedgate.

Stop Press……………. We set off on time! 8:30am and we were on the road, and arrived at 9:30am after a really easy journey.

Our first class was at 11am, the show started at 9am and by the time we arrived the showground was packed and we thought about turning around and going straight home - Oh my god how posh was this do?! I don't think we saw a smile on anyones face all day they were so serious. Anyway...

We both entered the Open Riding class at 11am and both came bottom of the pack, I managed to squeeze a rosette but to be honest the other riders should have been at Olympia or Hickstead so we were just happy to have sensible horses who did their best.

Next, we split up. Coy for the Cob class and me for the Ridden Hunter class. It started going a bit wrong when the boys wouldn't stop yelling at each other across the show ground but chilled out as we are we just thought it was funny. I have a feeling some of the other riders considered the behaviour rather rude but they can stuff off :-D

The boys went really well in both their classes with Coy picking up the rosette this time and Herbs and I coming 7th and 3rd from last in the Ridden Hunter.

I was very pleased with Herbs on the day, he didn't misbehave at any time and certainly didn't buck in the show ring unlike one of the others that got placed ahead of us.

Go figure....