Loudoun Benefit: Part 2

So we’ve covered the weekdays, now let’s dive into the weekend.

Saturday

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Dressed and feeling funky fresh
We opted not to hack Frankie around that morning- he clearly didn’t need the extra exercise to calm him down, and we wanted him a little “fresh” for our speed round later.

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My mom was totally cool with the horse poop everywhere. Despite a >10 year hiatus, she was the best show mom ever!!
Our warmup was much better and closer to what we were looking for: moving up to the close spot and pressing up and over instead of dropping him to the base.

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Warmup oxers ain’t no thang to Frank the Tank
With a good warmup under our belt, we headed into the ring…and proceeded to read Braille around the whole course. Three rails down. Frankie is usually allergic to fences so I always know that any rails down are rider error- in this case, I didn’t rock him back enough. I managed to get the RPMs up where the needed to be and was much more intentional about riding the plan we had walked, but I let him get a little fast and flat in places.

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But this out of a combo was much stronger than in the past, so we accomplished our goal of creating a good experience through a combo

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And I actually steered over the jumps instead of flapping my reins and hoping he’d interpret it as “turn right here.” LAWLZ at the 12 faults on the board by jump 8.

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And we did get some super cute jumps.
So yeah- three rails isn’t great. But it was a more confidently, strongly ridden course on a horse that felt more “jumper-y” than he had on previous days. I was beaming as I left the ring! You can see Saturday’s post for the video of this round.

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Well, I was beaming once I caught my breath. Promise.
We even had D’Arcy from thecluelessbutcuriousrider and Courtney from An Equestrian Life there to watch and love on Frankie! I mean, I’m sure that’s not the ONLY reason they were there. But that’s what I’m going with.

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Francis casually mooching for treats from the Horse Blogger Contingent

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And from the Family Contingent
One of the many many many things I love about this horse? I can go gallop around a jumper course, and a few short minutes later I can mosey around with him on a long lead after a bath. Homeboy is chill with all of it.

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mlem mlem mlem mlem mlem

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Endless smooches for my best boy.
We watched some cute pony hunters go as I attempted to explain the purpose of a fake tail to my godmother, cheered on our junior rider in the Maclay, and headed out to get some shuteye before an early morning- our classic was running first thing on Sunday.

Sunday

Classic day! And sadly, the last day of the show. Boo.

Since our classic was the first class of the day at 8am and we were 9th in the order, we knew we wanted to walk the course around 7:30 to give us plenty of time to tack up and warm up. I was up before 6. Do not like.

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Paparazzi shot of me doing my hairnet magic. I blame my hunter roots for my obsession with perfect hair. It is a destination that eludes me, but I will continue to strive.
In the true nature of horse shows where something has to go wrong at some point, I lost a glove (we later found it at the hotel, so it wasn’t completely gone, just not available to me at the time). And in the true nature of a fantastic show mom, my momma ran to the first open tack trailer and snagged me a new pair, then jogged them out to the warmup ring. Because she’s an awesome show mom like that.

This was another great warmup- we galloped up to the jumps and got moving quickly. It was one of our shorter warmups because of that; we didn’t need more time to get our butts in gear because our butts already were in gear.

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Francis continued his streak of saying, “eh no problem.”

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Even when the height went up a bit
And I’ll just show you our round here:

Was it perfect? Absolutely not. I overrode that first bending line so that he had to pop up and over, I let him get flat out of the one-stride so we knocked the rail on the way out of the four stride, and that last bending line we got a little up on it.

But this was our best round yet. The jumps looked downright teensy, the turns came up, we were straighter to the jumps, we rode the plan, and we had SO. MUCH. FUN. Also, does he look super shiny and buff and adorable, or am I just biased???

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All smiles as we left the ring

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Biggest hugs for show pony
My boy is a real show pony. We threw him in the deep end: our first show together, at a new-to-me height, which just so happened to be AA rated and a week long. This could have blown up in our faces if Frankie didn’t like being a show horse.

But every step he took and every sweet smooch he gave was pure Francis. He went around a gigantic new ring at a bigger height, with tons of chaos and noise and distractions in a simple snaffle. We have tons to work on and practice and improve- no doubt about it. We came away from this show without a single piece of satin.

I couldn’t care less. My goal was to create a positive experience for my horse and make it around at 1m, and by the end of the show I can confidently say that I accomplished both. So we had a couple rails. Big deal. We can work on that. We have the attitude and now we have more know-how.

To Be Frank is just getting started, and it’s onwards and upwards from here!

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25 thoughts on “Loudoun Benefit: Part 2

  1. L. Williams 06/21/2016 / 9:22 am

    When you know you’ve improved on your previous rounds is an absolutely great feeling, satin or no!

    Like

    • hellomylivia 06/21/2016 / 9:34 am

      That was our top priority- making each round better than the last. I’m considering it a successful show!

      Like

  2. Stacie Seidman 06/21/2016 / 9:27 am

    Woohoo! You guys are already a great pair! I think you’re going to work out the bumps quickly. The rail I saw in this round was just because he got a little flat. He’s probably a little tired too from jumping so many days in a row! So much improvement just in one day though. Imagine where you’ll be by the end of the summer?! Congrats on an amazing first time out together!

    Like

    • hellomylivia 06/21/2016 / 9:38 am

      Absolutely- we came out of the one stride and just kinda rolled downhill instead of shifting his weight back. And this was definitely more jumping than he’s done in a while! He was happy to keep going but you’re right that he was tired by the end. I’m so ridiculously excited to keep learning with him- it’s been a steep learning curve but I think we’re going to keep trending up!

      Like

  3. Allison Stitzinger 06/21/2016 / 10:07 am

    YAY OLIVIA AND FRANKIE!!! This is so marvelous I can’t even contain myself! And your caption on the hose-water-slurping photo is priceless and perfect. That is exactly that noise.

    Like

    • hellomylivia 06/21/2016 / 10:13 am

      Eeeek thank you! Your enthusiasm is always so contagious 🙂 Homeboy slurped at that hose for a good long time haha

      Like

  4. Hillary H. 06/21/2016 / 10:29 am

    I love how much you love him. It always makes me happy to read bloggers having a total love fest over their creatures 🙂 sounds like a great first horse show of many to come with frank!

    Like

    • hellomylivia 06/21/2016 / 10:33 am

      No one else understands the love quite like other horse bloggers 😉 Can’t even wait to keep getting out there and playing together!

      Like

  5. Centered in the Saddle 06/21/2016 / 11:28 am

    Congratulations! What a great first show experience for him. I just had a similar experience taking my guy to his first show, and just like you had a few things to work on but a huge sense of accomplishment because of how he acted all weekend. High five!

    Like

    • hellomylivia 06/21/2016 / 1:44 pm

      There’s a special place in heaven for these ponies with good brains! Glad your show was a success too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Heather 06/21/2016 / 11:33 am

    He is just like all legs all over all the time. It’s adorable. What a good baby green bean. You made some pretty good choices too!

    Like

    • hellomylivia 06/21/2016 / 1:45 pm

      I would’ve never guessed it was his first show! He knew his job was to jump all the jumps and he marched around and did just that. We’re slowly working on the “pick your feet up all the way” thing haha

      Like

      • Heather 06/21/2016 / 1:54 pm

        He’ll get there! Those flat cups are tricky.

        Like

  7. carey 06/21/2016 / 1:07 pm

    What a fun first show! Congratulations! Good boy Frankie!!!

    Like

  8. Lauren 06/21/2016 / 1:24 pm

    Y’all are off to a great start. His brain is amazing. You need to clone 10 of him.

    Like

    • hellomylivia 06/21/2016 / 1:46 pm

      Legit the only thing I would change about him would be to make him breedable. I may be tracking down any siblings so I can collect the set….

      Like

    • hellomylivia 06/24/2016 / 8:46 am

      It was seriously GORGEOUS there, sooo many pretty views

      Like

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