A Horse Show for Berry

I’m using a very generic title because I don’t know the name of this show. But I did know the following: It was Berry’s first pure hunter horse show, and it was at Morven Park, so that was pretty exciting. I’ve heard the tales of adventure there, so I felt like I was some kind of awesome person to be riding there. They had heard the tales of how awesome I am, and invited me too to come on that hallowed ground. All I had to do was pay them money!

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She’s such a trier.

It was my first horse show with my current trainer, and she picked all the classes. She actually told me about it at my lesson on Saturday, and told me I would be showing on Sunday, so really she is calling all the shots here, I just meekly obey.

Those prize lists are seriously confusing, I think “Understanding Hunter Divisions” should be a class offered at colleges to explain this for me. I think I was in the maiden hunter division. Two fences classes, and one flat. It was nice to have someone else tell me when I needed to go in the ring, because even just getting to the ring at the appropriate time is a struggle for me.

Side note: I seriously need to lose some weight. I had to squeeze into my show clothes, and I looked like a sausage. Even the shirt I bought a week ago was tight. Since my jacket was a pricey investment, I need to size myself down to fit it, there is no other option. Sigh – Damn it. Time to go to Brisk drinker’s anonymous. I’ve been going through a 2 liter a day – I think I have a problem. But now that I’ve admitted it is a problem, I can relax and take it easy, and drink more Brisk. Brisk understands me.

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I went into a daze dreaming of Brisk.

Perhaps not surprisingly, we did okay in warm-up. Of course, she refused the first jump. I think that is her thing, she does that every time I ride her – the first jump, regardless of what it is, is a refusal.

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She also picked a time where literally everyone nearby was looking…their eyes full of judgement.

But after that, she jumped everything. I also spent some time hanging out near some jumps in warm up, adding an extra challenge to those trying to jump. I was really doing it for their best interests, now that I’m going to be actively showing, this is going to happen a lot at shows I attend, so it is worthwhile for them to practice navigating around me. (although seriously I was just waiting for my line to brought down to a Berry jumpable height, I wasn’t purposely trying to be a jerk.)

I was surprisingly having having fun in the warm up. Dare I say it – it was the best part of the day?! It was like a maze, and I had to weave and bob all around. Also, people seemed to instinctively avoid me, so it was like I had a clear path everywhere. A couple of times I had to abruptly turn away from a fence to avoid running down a pony, but everyone lived, and it was fine.

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Super serious potato face means business.

After, I wandered outside, and spent some time gazing at the sky, telling Berry how cute she was, wondering where my family entourage went, and contemplating how to lose 20 lbs in a week, other than chopping off a limb. Eventually someone came and told me to stop farting around and get on because I was about to go.

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This was an okay jump, I think. I’m going to say it was okay. Oh god, don’t judge me!!

I did my two rounds, and they both went about the same. I had a few good jumps, and but for the majority, I let Berry get flat, we jumped flat, and she ended up rushing the stride before the jump. Kind of uncomfortable.

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Her signature move: The Berry Nosedive (TM)

I basically went into a coma for both, and froze up. I really messed it up. Every lesson my trainer tells me to hold her up, stop letting her drop, and yet here I am, still doing it.

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90% of the jumps looked like this. She just propels forward, and lifts her legs a little, there is no jumping involved.

And then my last hilarious tale – I couldn’t get my lead after one of the jumps. So I just kept circling until I got it. Mid round, I stopped jumping in order to do several circles, and then she finally got it, and I continued. My trainer told me not to do that next time, likely while both chuckling behind her hand, and hoping no one noticed I was with her.

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I may feel like I know what stride she’s on, but I have to be 200% sure, so I stare at her shoulder for no less than three strides, just in case.

Then we had a flat class, where she remembered her race horse days. Every time she spotted another horse, she hurried to catch up to them. If she didn’t catch them, she might never ever see another horse again, so I can understand her motivation.

I actually thought this would be her best class, because at the OPRC Rally she was good, regardless of what that weirdo judge said. In fact, she was better than she was here. I’m guessing this is because I became a spaghetti (which is my new favorite term, I use it all the time now.)

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This was not the flat portion, but I’ll pretend it was.

After rushing around a bit, the class was mercifully over. The results were announced. Because I mentally checked out on my freight train of a horse, I got 6th in the over fences classes. Somehow I got 5th in the flat class. I think a recount is needed, there’s no possible way someone was worse than me.

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I didn’t fall off, and I survived. Berry is ready for a good nap. Other things to admire include my awesome clip job. Now that it’s grown out a week, it looks less terrible, but it does still look worse in person! It’s almost as though she has an orange mold growing on her.

With my awful turnout, and my awful riding, I’m sure my trainer/barn was edging away from the in-gate as they watched me go. It was a learning experience. Hopefully I learned my lesson and I’ll stop zoning out when I should be paying attention. Probably not though.

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  1. I am not a hunter, but I follow a lot of hunter blogs, and all of the divisions are very confusing! You two look really good! I have a Brisk addiction too, I have to be very careful of their half and half tea.

    1. Thank you!! Even though I read the division descriptions, I just can’t get it. They all sound exactly the same!
      I have some brisk half and half with me right now. I’m mildly ashamed, but the 7-11 near me has 2 1-liters for $2, so I go there and load up on it… The makers must put something in it to make it so addictive.

  2. Not Zoning Out is hard. Really hard. And you are like, the first person EVER who has enjoyed their time in the warmup ring. For that alone you should get a big shiny ribbon!

    1. It is super hard!! I can’t believe its so hard to actually concentrate!
      haha yeah I don’t know what’s wrong with me. When my trainer told me warm up was over, I was actually sad!

  3. Courtney, you did good.

    First of all, riding indoors is not the easiest since you have to watch out on footing (especially in corners), then making sure you have good vision (lighting) to get you through the course. Ride a few more shows, your nerves will settle. But, if treat a competition session like a training session, it’ll make it easier for yourself. Lastly, don’t worry about the other competitors and focus on yourself, and listen to your trainer.

    Courtney, you did good.

  4. ha excellent show recap!!! congrats on that satin too – i think you guys look great! i also kinda love the way Berry takes a good hard look at each fence right before takeoff lol. she’s a thinker and she’ll figure it out 🙂

    1. We will get there eventually, it’s mainly me falling short. At my last lesson, one of my trainers told me she was super proud of Berry for being so awesome and happy cause she helped train her – and then wondering who on earth trained the rider haha

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