This weekend was seriously horse-tacular: I got to go into DC for WIHS on Thursday, spent Saturday watching steeplechasing at the Virginia Gold Cup, and hung out for our in-barn show on Sunday!
You guys. All the little kids on the ponies. My heart. For many of the itty-bitties this was their first time learning about courtesy circles, how to line up after a flat class, and all those little things that go along with shows. Trainer ran it more clinic-style, very informal, lots of cheering when they got it right and gentle correction when they needed a bit more help. It was the absolute cutest to see the smiles on their faces!
Despite being a little worse for the wear from a Halloween party the night before (total blast, but oh god this is why I can’t drink liquor or stay up past 11pm anymore), I was pressured into taking Frankie into one of the jumper classes at the end of the day. While wearing a Tin Man costume.
Luckily he was on his extra bestest packer behavior because all I wanted was a nap and 18 packets of Ramen with extra salt. He snorted a bit at the new banner hanging in the ring, but I tried Aimee’s and Carly’s technique of letting him smoosh it with his nose and suddenly he didn’t care anymore. Magic Snoot.
After a nice little warmup, they put the jumps up to whatever height, I have no idea. Course was here:
Despite his pilot riding the struggle bus hardcore, Francis pulled through and gave me a freakin’ fantastic course here. We cut through the middle to do a short turn up to 1, went inside the round bale at the end to coast down to 2, 3 was normal, inside the bale again to a short approach to 4, galloping 3 strides out over 5, bending 6 to 7 in a forward 4, around the end to come down 8 in a bit of a longer turn (it was format II.2.b so I wasn’t too worried about time first round), and up out of the corner to 9.
Then Best Boy Francis went ahead and gave me a rock solid jump off: short turn up to 1 again, inside the bales to get to 4, turn in front of 8 to get to 7 sliced L to R, inside the bales to get down to 8, gallop up 9 again. All inside turns, all clean, all fast, and all on a fairly loose rein because holding reins is hard work. Joke’s on me, now my legs are sore from steering.
We won the class with the fastest clean jumpoff time and I immediately hopped off, went home, put on sweats, and started Season 2 of Stranger Things.
I am a garbage person.
But the kids were happy, the ponies were adorable, and Francis has officially reached the point in his training where he can cart his trash-mother around the inside turns of a jumpoff without breaking a sweat.
I know we all say that there’s a special place in heaven for the lesson ponies that take such good care of their kids, but I also propose that there is a special place in heaven for the horses that put up with their amateurs.
Happy Halloween to you and all your creatures!