One of my other barn mates had arrived earlier and fed all three horses from our barn so Katai already had her grain and hay and was calmly eating. L got there right around me and we spent a little time getting our tack back out of our cars and in the isle. Of course, as soon as we got everything out it started to rain, first light and then fairly heavy. We were crossing our fingers that it would end by 7:30 when we planned to pull the horses out for some lunging/hand walking.
Luckily, almost on cue, the rain stopped and switched to some random spots of mist so we took that as a sign and got tacked up. Katai was decent in her stall and listened while I got her saddle on. She even snacked on her hay and drank some water while I was there. L finished first so she pulled her youngster (who was still quite calm) out and brought him to a back field to lunge. Since lunging isn't part of Katai's routine and it often just causes her to gallop and spin like a top, I elected to just walk her over to the cluster of show rings and into the midst of everything.
|One of the quieter moments|
I knew that it would be better if I just got on so that I could allow her to move forward. Only problem was getting on since she didn't want to stand by the mounting block for more than half a second. I just kept her moving, did some schooling and pats for standing for even a moment in that corner, and eventually got her to stand for a very brief period of time so that I could jump on.
|Warmup - small dressage ring in the background|
I judged it as a huge success that I actually got her in the big ring since there was a LOT to look at over there. Then it became a bit rough. On Saturday Katai was fine with the closed up trailer that would serve as the judge's stand but I figured she'd have an issue with the open trailer with people in it. I was right and she slammed on the brakes as I went to pass it while we were still warming up outside the ring. I decided to pick my battle and looped her back around the other way. It paid off and I got her past in that direction but it still wasn't good and she was hot and upset. She started to spin and went to rear and I let the judge know that I was "ready" since I figured getting her in and moving was better than continuing to do loops at that point.
|One of the good moments|
|Another really nice moment - L's 4 year old in the background looking like an expert show horse|
|Pretty square based on our trajectory!|
It felt a bit like a disaster based on how well she'd done in the warmup but mainly I'm just glad that we pretty much got through the test, sans canter. L congratulated me and let me know that she was very proud and that I should be too. She said that we had moments of brilliance :)
At any rate I decided to scratch Intro A. We would have had to put Katai back in her stall for about an hour and then go back out there. I doubted that I could do it, plus I wanted to make this as positive and easy as possible and getting untacked and tacked again plus just trying to mount the fire breathing dragon just didn't seem possible at that point. What you can't see in these photos is that as soon as I dismounted after our test she quickly lathered up with sweat and was clearly at her limit.
I was reading for L's second test, Intro B, and we didn't have much time so we got both horses back to their stalls. At that point Katai's brain had completed the process of oozing out of her ears and she completely lost it in her stall.
|Tantrum level Unicorn|
L had a REALLY good intro test B on her baby and we found out later that she scored a 65% with a couple of 8s and despite at least one 4. By that point her horse had lost his brain a little as well only for him it meant being tired and withdrawn. L and I brought him back to the barn, witnessed more craziness from Katai, and got our tests. I ended up with a 35.25% on my test which was very fair and accurate based on how Katai behaved.
|The smily face shows me that we were crap this time and she gave us an accurate score but she has hope for us ;)|
We quickly moved to load up and, based on how things went the previous day we loaded up L's horse first. He took about 10 minutes and then I walked Katai right in. I was really proud of her and despite all of her circling, screaming, calling, trying to run me over, rearing, rearing and flailing into me, and just generally loosing her crap, we got there and did what we meant to do.
We got back to the barn by around 10:30am so our show day was short and sweet (don't ask Katai cause I'm sure she'll have a different story). I went home and chilled the rest of the evening and was really glad that it was Memorial Day weekend so that I'd have another day off.
** The beautiful photos were taken by a friend who we used to board with at the last barn and who also takes lessons from L.
|She also took this photo and her horse is the bay Arabian|