Monday, June 16, 2008

Horse Show Madness

Hope all the folks in the blog world had a nice Father's Day. My weekend was fairly uneventful. Saturday was a lost day for riding due to time restraints and then bad weather later in the day into the evening. I did get to the barn for a groom and shmooze session with Monty. I always get so bent on riding because I get such precious little time in the saddle that it leaves me depressed when I can't. But taking the time to thoroughly groom the beast and then just play with him and scratch his face and other itchy spots does pay off in the long run. It strengthens the trust and bond that we share. Plus I had the place to myself so the peace and quiet was nice!

Father's Day was my husband going for a long, morning bike ride with the local bike club. Of course, his real adventure started when one of our sons decided that he does not like his dad going on a bike ride with the club and not doing stuff in the morning with him on the weekend. So some time, we can't figure out how or when, Devon sneaked into the garage and removed the valve caps and wingnuts from the tires on his dad's bikes. I guess he figured the tires would go flat and then dad would have to stay home. What his 5 year old mind didn't know and what freaked my husband out was the tires would still be inflated, unless the bike went over a bump, the result could end in a nasty bike wreck when the tire went out. Good thing my husband caught it in time! Needless to say, he was really upset over it but kind of impressed with the kid's efforts at sabotage! Yikes! Then we spent family time taking the boys to the beach. After that, I got to go to the barn and ride.

Monty was still super clean from the previous day's spa treatment so tacking up went quickly and we got right out to ride. Monty was a good boy, even over the cross rails. He's settling down from his post winter rushing to the jumps.

So I'm on my way to work this morning and I notice that the stable just down the road from my barn is getting ready for their dressage show next weekend when this CRAZY thought hits me. Why don't I start schooling Monty through the introductory and training level tests and try to compete in one of the next dressage shows in their series this season? I would be able to just RIDE OVER TO THE SHOWGROUNDS!! No trailering, just down the street, through the gate and there we are!

But I it's been over 20 years since I entered at "A" and halted at "X". At that time I had moved out of training level and was competing at first level and schooling second level movements to move up. But that was all with my previous horse. I know I'm rusty and most of that stuff I haven't asked of Monty. I have no trainer at the moment and my regular trainer focuses on hunter/jumper. I could probably school through the intro and training level tests by myself. I'd be okay with a reader.

As for clothes, I have all the stuff I collected in hopes of being able to cap with the hunt - light beige breeches, black dress boots, a black hunt jacket and a stock tie. Would that stuff be good enough? Can I use my GPA helmet? I only have black gloves and my saddle is a brown all purpose although I do have both black (from my dressage days) and brown bridles. Would I use the brown bridle or the black one? What bits are legal these days? Am I crazy to think I can pull this off? How does my previous dressage experience affect me now? I'm not eligible to ride in the beginner rider classes, correct? But my horse could still be a beginner horse, even though he's 13 and has shown in Adult Amateur hunters?

Why do I still miss horse showing? What the hell am I thinking...


Grey Horse Matters said...

I think you should do it.I recently wrote two posts(haven't finished the finale yet)but that's just about how its scored and you probably already know about that and all the other stuff, but since it's been a while you might be able to pick up a few refresher tips. It would be fun and you can use all your hunter/jumper gear and no one can beat the not trailering aspect. Let us know if you do it.

Anonymous said...

okay I am not sure if I can get to all of your questions because my memory is not the best but I can try. I have a GPA helmet that I show in. My mother is a little worried about the horse thing (mind you I am in my mid 20s) and she saw an add for the GPA and how safe they were so she got me one. To me a helmet is a helmet and I always wear one when mounted. Black gloves are fine if you are showing below 1st. If you have your brown saddle I think you should wear the brown bridle as well just from an astetic point of view. You are not crazy to do this but you should enter ASAP because the closing date is often more than a week away from the show so HURRY. I think it is a great idea to just put yourself out there. As you know I am half leasing a horse that broken hip not long ago so I just wanted to go and show to test the waters and see if a judge noticed his hind end. And if your horse has shown hunters at walk/trot/canter you will likely not be allowed to show as a starter. They usualy say 1st or second yeear showing. His age would be fine, my horse Gennyral was a starter at 14, but he had never shown before. Good luck and have fun. Keep us all posted. Oh I think I remeber you last question...about bits...what bit do you use? I could probibly tell you off hand if it is legal or not. You can also go check in the USEF rule book. If it is a schooling show I doubt they will check the bit at all unless it is harsh and someone files a complaint. Okay thats all I can remeber.

SolitaireMare said...

To greyhorse and onthebit, thanks very much for the input!! I have been reading your blogs and have to say it is one of the "spurs" that is prodding me into just winging this.

Read on at my blog for more!