Wednesday, May 31, 2017

All the Recaps: Schooling Show in Spokane

Our first show of the year was decided to be the schooling show in Spokane. They offered everything from dressage tests to show jump rounds and cross country schooling on Friday, to a full one day show on Saturday, plus a steeplechase clinic on Sunday. I signed Bacon and I up for xc schooling and a training level show jump round (our first ever) and then the one day. I was nervous, but excited and we rolled on up there with our regular event crew without much issue.

Bacon seemed to enjoy the quiet barn that she got to be stabled in this time. I don't know if it was because she wasn't directly next to all of the parked rigs or if it was the classical music, or Jose the awesome stable hand, but she just seemed all around calmer in the stable. I wish she would have taken that out under the tack. Whenever I would tack her up, or untack her, or graze her, she was as calm as could be. But riding was a different story.

First was xc schooling. The goal was to warm up over some small stuff and then try to tackle some training level questions, since we hope to get there at some point this year. Lord have mercy. I was out in the field first, and all I wanted was for her to go forward. Something she is generally good at. But I had fussing, threats to rear, sideways nonsense and lots and lots of head flipping. I tried to figure out if any of my tack was bothering her, and I just couldn't find anything. I thought she was in heat, but most hos have to work while in heat to, so I kept at it. My friend E finally entered the field and asked if I wanted to try and long trot a lap around the big field to get her mind in the right spot. That seemed to help some, but Bacon did her best to try and rip my arms out of their sockets the whole time.
Bacon, that is the wrong side of the corner!
We popped over some of the smaller stuff. Er, I mean galloped and skipped over it. My attempts at a half halt were either ignored or were the devil and resulted in a tantrum. Maybe the bigger jumps would back her off, I thought. Pah. We strung together a little  training course. E popped over it first. Over the training logs, to the training cabin, over the trakhener, around this training drop log thing into the water with a ditch out and two strides out over a roll top. Have no fear, Bacon doesn't care what the hell I point her at or what she is feeling, she will jump it all. We jumped the water combo a few different times because she continued to haul ass and jump too flat coming in, ignoring me to the ditch and screwing up our distance over the rolltop. Once more over the jump, I used all my strength to SLOW HER ASS DOWN in the water, and we finally had a nice jump out of there. And moved on.
Um, yeah, I think you cleared it horse.

That's better

Dang, my stirrups are long
We played around with the double up bank. And then I went down it. And then made it into an Irish bank. And then jump a skinny prelim house thing for funsies while E schooled her horse. Next we checked out Bacon's chops over the training corner. It was at the top of the hill, where they were also trying to clear out a bunch of debris and trees with multiple construction equipment. Do you think that was a problem for Bacon? No. Neither was jumping the fat side of the corner. Damn horse, it is not a table. Around the back, everything was still bogged down from all of the snow melt, so we skipped that to save legs and land and ended back around to the front.

We came back to the same area that we started and schooled the training level trahkener and brush fence. I let Bacon pick up a little more speed, which I think she thoroughly enjoyed, and then called that good for her because we would be show jumping later that afternoon. She was totally covered in froth and I thought for sure she would be settled down for later. I was wrong. When I got her out again for sj, we basically had free rein of the arena for a good 30 minutes. So we popped around the jumps at novice height first, and then raised them up to training. Horse was blasting through my aids again though, rushing the fences and putting in some very ugly jumps. I was so tired from hanging on for dear life and just trying to get her off of my hand and to use her back end. It was not the pleasant experience I was hoping for.
You are not a mare, are you?

Yeah, this isn't so good.

This is better
The next day was the show. We were signed up for novice. When I got up in the morning to hand graze the Bacon, I saw that her knee was quite large. My heart sunk. She had hit one of the jumps pretty hard the day before, but I did not realize it was with her knee. I took her out and walked and jogged her. She was totally sound. I consulted with those around me about what to do. They said to throw the dressage saddle on early and see what we had. Her knee went down significantly when I rode her and the on site vet did not seem alarmed, so I continued with out dressage test. It was very conservative and tense, but she did all of the right moves in the right spots. I cannot remember my exact score, but I want to say it was probably a 38 or something.  I was fine with that.
First time riding in this saddle. I liked it a lot.

It doesn't fix everything thoug.
I went and iced the pony and tried her out for show jumping. Still totally happy and fine, and a little less exhubherant (finally) than the day prior, but still not great. The course was a little tricky, in that it had a sharp 90 degree left hand turn in one spot, and a one stride to seven stride, but Bacon got it done easily. We quickly got changed for xc and headed out for warm up, minus my watch. I am pretty sure they got my time wrong, as they got a bunch of people's times wrong, but there was no way to protest and it was just a schooling show, so I just shrugged my shoulders at that part. I did my best to pick up speed this time, and Bacon and I had a pretty good xc ride. She was still tossing her head a lot, and speedy at the jumps, but never hesitated at a thing. It is always a good feeling knowing she is going to jump everything.
Cleared this one too
We got 8th overall, but I was happy we made it through the weekend and first show/outing. There was definitely something weird about Bacon, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I thought maybe it was just first outingitis or hormones. I still don't really know. But I know she is a xc machine.
Looking like a marshmallow


  1. I'm gonna guess that she looks a lot better than she feels, because she looks great. Love me some WakeyWakeyEggsandBacy.

    1. This is the best she has looked weight and condition wise. But something is definitely up. I just love to look at her though.

  2. she just looks like such a blast!

    1. She is when she is feeling cooperative!

  3. She looks like she is having a ton of fun jumping.

  4. JOMP ALL THE JOMPS BACON! Wow. You had mad lady balls. You guys look great.

  5. Bacon looks like she is trying to jump the standards instead of the poles! Hope you can figure out what is niggling at you

  6. She looks powerful! Great job for the first of the season...seems like big things are ahead after such a great start!

  7. She's just so hung-ho! I love her sassitude <3