Horse show recap: Inaugural Cedar Vista hunter show!

So, the horse show season is upon us and I was kind of wondering what I was going to show in this year. In past years I have shown at the Appy shows (Vancouver Island Appaloosa Horse Club), and Westside Stables shows. There are also the higher-rated and higher-cost SSITS shows that I have NOT ventured out to yet- too much $$ and we’re not polished enough.

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Photo courtesy of Lindsay F.

All in all, I was feeling pretty blah about the show season. Like, I want to show and feel confident out there but was bored by my options: Appy or Westside. Yawn…

Enter the new show season at Cedar Vista! Close-ish, new, with great footing and some really snazzy jumps. Offering a fairly reasonable series that would be brand-new to everyone. Sign me up!

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Pats for a good boy. Photo courtesy of Lindsay F.

They had jumpers on Saturday and hunters on Sunday, we opted for hunters. Loaded good old Oats up and away we went!

I entered him in the 2’3” hunters and one 2’6” class, and the division included one equitation on the flat class. We warmed up in the ring and Oats was a tad looky, but overall very well behaved. The open schooling was set low, but we marched over everything–like a pro!

Then, we waited a little bit- entries were low- until my division. We were able to warm up over the new height and then start. I was feeling a strange combination of sort of nervous, but overall quite blasé at the same time. The jump heights were fine, but I wanted to get more nervous?

Then- in we go! Our first round was great, second was fine, and my eq was kind of terrible. Chip-city. UGH. Also we botched the right lead change to one line every.single.time. Ouch…

But in good news, Oats is getting his skip changes more consistently if you don’t count that one line, and my pace was pretty good, I didn’t feel too nervous! The wheels kind of fell off in my equitation…I got too ahead of myself, and anxious. Oh well. There was always the 2’6”… More warm-ups at this height (Oats and I did a LOT of jumping at this show). He was rolling so smoothly- it felt effortless. We called it quits and got ready to go in for good this time.

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Yay! Good pony! Photo courtesy of Lindsay F.

And we chipped the first jump and I was SOoooo not straight. Gulp! I could hear my trainer yelling at me to calm down and breath! Right–got it! The second was better, and then the course just flowed from there…What a great way to end my rounds! Go Oats.

It was a lovely one to finish on, and the increased heights didn’t bother me in the slightest. It was just 1 flat class left- and we have historically either done really well (top 3) or horribly (crowhopping, bucking, rude, rushing, excused) in our flat classes.

Oats managed to keep his hair on and only had one goofy moment when a horse passed us- he started shaking his head, ready to crowhop at the canter. We even had a few small ‘tests’ from the judge- drop stirrups at the trot, posting trot w/o stirrups, and then pick them up again. AND sitting trot! I know, crazy eh?

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Accepting ribbons. Photo courtesy of Lindsay F.

Second for us! Woop!!

Good job Cedar Vista- friendly people, niiiice prizes, good company, great footing and fancy jumps. What more can a girl ask for?! I will be back!

Heart: Oaty Pony

I’m back to appreciating my little bratty pony, Oaty Pony. I was feeling kind of bummed out yesterday and a little wrung out (I am feeling some guilt over my grandfather’s passing, I guess) and I was tempted to cancel my lesson.

Judge Melanie Houston

Random pics of Oats doing dressage: Photo courtesy of Eila

I didn’t though. I had to last week, to drop off my Saanich Fair entries, and you know what? I need lessons. They keep me accountable, nicer to Oats and less likely to pick fights and get too intense with him. I had kind of an iffy weekend of riding with him because I didn’t have as many lessons. ARGH. Also, I think I was under some personal stress, and that allowed some of my more unpleasant behaviours to surface (getting too intense about exercises with Oats, not being as nice or as forgiving a rider as I should be, picking fights I know I won’t win…).

Sooke Saddle Club show: photo courtesy of Eila

Sooke Saddle Club show: photo courtesy of Eila

So we worked on a fairly easy exercise- a few single small fences, and some circle jumps- and I learned a new way of ‘energizing’ Oats via the Dr. Andrew Maclean technique of tap-tap-tapping the crop against Oats’s side but very close to my boot instead of one big THWACK! Which we as equestrians are more used to as ‘motivating’ techniques. And boy it worked! Oats even threw a crow-hop buck haha. Well better than his big-time bronco bucks he used to pull!

Oats at Sooke Saddle Club dressage: Photo courtesy of Eila

Oats at Sooke Saddle Club dressage: Photo courtesy of Eila

I’m glad. Glad that we’re on the same page right now.