Greetings from Waco!

At least it’s not as hot as it was last year!!   That’s not saying much, considering it was 104 last year and I think it’s 99 today. But it is not as miserable – maybe because we are in a different location in the barn, closer to one of those huge Big Ass (yes, that’s the company name!) fans.

When I got here yesterday, with two horses in tow, we were the FIRST ones here. Odd, considering the barn opened at 10 a.m. and I did not get here until nearly noon. But not good news for me, considering I was stabling Faxx and Fling out of sight of each other, which meant not only would they not have each OTHER, but they had NO horses. But I was very proud of them. They could have been idiots, but they were not. Fling was the most restless about the situation, whinnying and circling in her stall. Faxx looked around and seemed to say to himself “Oh, this place again,” and immediately attacked his haynet. One of the best things I’ve learned about showing is to pack a haynet before leaving the house, so I can take it AND the horse, first thing and immediately hang it and give them something to eat, without having to first tote hay in, open it, etc. etc.

Luckily, the very next horses who arrived just happened to be stabled directly across from Fling. I rode her at a walk last night in the show ring and she was very good. I even hand walked her this morning – totally prepared with gloves, whip, rope halter, etc — but she was very, very good. I was very proud of her. She is sound at the walk (with bute) but NOT sound at the trot yet.

Taking care of two horses at a show – especially one that requires bandaging on TWO different legs etc., is  PITA and very time-consuming.  I did not get dinner until 9:30 last night….a salad picked up from the deli counter at HEB! I was completely exhausted and wondered how I would make it through the next few days! As always, things seemed better this a.m., tho!

I had Liz Petty, a trainer near Dallas, show him in-hand for me in the open class this morning. She worked him a few minutes yesterday and he was much more respectful of her right off the bat. In the actual class (he really does know the difference between practice and the real thing) he was fussier and a bit mouthy. BUT HE WON!  Yeah!  Prize money!!! 😉  He was much fussier for me, showing him in the Amateur to Handle Class afterwards, but his score was very close to Liz’s. He placed fourth in the Amateur class, so we got a Top Five. The top five scores were all 71.something – so very competitive.

Tomorrow is Sport Horse Under Saddle and there are only 8 in the two classes this year, which will make it much easier for me — I am not used to riding in group classes, and there’s a certain amount of ‘ringmanship’ in getting your horse spaced away from other horses, trying to be in a certain place in the ring when they ask for canter, etc.  It’s hard to do all that AND ride your horse, too!  I was freaking out about it last year because there were 15 in the class, but he was Res. Champ in one last year and Top 5 in another, with some mistakes. He is much steadier and much more seasoned this year, so I hope he does well. He is very fun to ride in a group class, because he’s a big mover and when you put him on the rail, you can just let him go a bit and not have to worry about transitions, etc. like you do in a dressage test. Plus his canter is so much fun to ride, you feel like you’re just sitting on top of the world.

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