What a weekend we have had. As is typical with horses we go from amazing highs, disappointments and back again. All within the space of a weekend!
Patchy went to her second Senior Showing and Dressage Ltd Championship show. After last year’s success we were not expecting to recreate that amazing result, as let’s be honest, taking reserve supreme champion in an evening performance takes some beating! She has been pulled consistently well all season, being pulled top at the North of England on the first pull. You can imagine our horror and embarrassment when she threw a very cheeky and uncharacteristic buck in her individual show and was rightly dropped from placings.
So here is Day 1:
Saturday morning was rather soggy. In fact Saturday morning was grim. If you have ever been to a stay away show then you will know exactly what we mean. Everything takes hours to dry and everything remains slightly clammy for the duration. To say it rained was an understatement. The pony was polished and plaited to perfection, with careful attention paid to keeping her legs white. One look at the warm-up and we gave up on this and just made do with what we were faced with… Wet, soggy, grey sand. Alas a naughty stop in the first class at a pretty none descript working hunter fence put us well out of any higher placing and so we were actually quite pleased with a 3rd, a ticket to the restricted evening performance and a coloured supreme evening performance. After a rolled pole in her Open WHP class, we rightly deserved another 3rd. We gave up for the morning and withdrew from her flat class as to be quite frank the pony was soaked through and starting to get cold, I was about to wring my socks out and top groom sister was looking more miserable than normal after an early start and was moaning about a lack of coffee and wet cigarettes…
After an hour attempting to clean sodden tack in the horse area of the lorry, a coffee refill for the sister and a change of clothes the sun came out… Typically. We had decided to not present for the restricted supreme championships in the evening. The pony had run up quite a bit during the day and we had decided to save her for the coloured supreme instead. With a pony like Patch, she has to be very carefully managed in the ring and we make no secret of this. She’s a quirky and clever animal at the best of times and can go one of 3 ways. The first is always the preferred in that she stands still, looks pretty and behaves herself. Option 2 is not ideal when she insists on waving to the crowd with my arms wrapped around her neck. Option 3 is mortifying and has to be avoided at all costs… We won’t go into option 3 but there is a rather famous video of her doing what she find hilarious.
So top hats on, sister is rather proud of herself and updates her Facebook status with the best plaits she has ever managed to do and we head down for our evening performance. The ride she gave me was beautiful, collected, sat up into my hand and the grin I showed was genuine, not like my sometimes forced grimace of ‘Oh crap, hold on’. Unfortunately it was not our day and a lovely traditional cob was pulled supreme and a larger version of Patch was reserve. She just seems to come alight underneath the big lights and tonight was no exception. The ride she gave me in that big arena under the lights was worth any rosette and trophy, it was pure magical and made it a night I will never forget.
After we had put her away we had settled in for the night watching PS, I love you and a bottle of cider. Taking a break about an hour in to do last checks, rugs and skip out, we both promptly fell asleep, bottles of cider both still full.
Rock & Roll!