Thursday, August 18, 2022

SLADS August Classic: Saturday

Both days, I had afternoon rides near the end of the show day (between 3 and 4 p.m.), and our group also had rides starting around 7 a.m., which made for some long days! It didn't even occur to me NOT to show up for the early rides, since those riders are frequently the ones reading for me and helping out, so I wanted to do everything I could to support them too! Obviously they didn't need readers (and I'm terrible at that anyway lol) but I could carry a rag and water bottle, and film their tests, etc. etc.   

The GMO hosting the show was celebrating their 50th anniversary, and my barn got a table to celebrate that and have somewhere to watch Sunday's century club ride (which was also a rider from the barn, so exciting!). 

Ruby was bright eyed and bushy tailed when I showed up. 

Based on the shavings she was wearing, she slept better than I did, haha. 

Ari, my favorite <3 

Snoozing in front of her fan.

I was a little worried if I didn't get my whites/teal boots on in the morning, I would be too sweaty/legs too swollen to get them on later, so I showed up to the venue in my white breeches wearing some leggings over them, which conveniently also went over my boots!

Our participants packet had a coupon for a free snow cone and it hit the spot around noon when it was BOILING hot. 

Barnmate braided her forelock for me - she does the best braids! I'm always triply grateful for Ruby being roached when I watch everyone else braiding, lol. 

Lots of comments about my particular brand of matchy matchy lol

Some friends showed up to cheer me on/watch the show <3 I got to hang with them for a bit and watch a few rides before I had to go start tacking up. 

This was actually after my ride, but it so closely mimics one of my favorite photos with Topaz EVER that I saved it out of order on my phone so here you go lol. 

Don't get excited, 1/1 and 2/2 lol. 

I came back Saturday after dinner for night check, just to be safe. Ruby was snuggly. 

The tests themselves were okay - nothing spectacular, but my brain did stay mostly functional so I'll call it a win! At this point the details are hazy - I know TrainerB was there for part of at least one of my warm ups... possibly both?  Not sure if she saw my tests or not (we had sooooooo many riders and ride times spread across both rings!). Both tests scored in the neighborhood of 57% and change. We definitely didn't produce the work we're capable of in lessons, and had some issues with breaks at the canter and then Ruby completely flipped me the bird in our first leg yield in test 2 (which I'll take responsibility for, I'm sure it was my fault in some way lol). Our lengthenings didn't have much energy (to be fair, neither of us did haha), and my geometry is always questionable. But considering the summer we had and the lack of prep work leading up to the show, I'm not mad about any of it. I think we did about as well as could reasonably be expected all things considered. When TrainerB checked in with me later, I told her I made decisions throughout the entire test, even if they weren't always the right decisions, which was my goal. So yay for attainable goals! haha

Photos below are all by Bethany P Photography and used with purchase!

Post-salute pats for the best girl! I definitely teared up after our final salute because I was so happy that we made it back, against all odds and obstacles, and that even if we weren't going to wow the judges or any of the spectators, *I* was so happy with how far we've come. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

SLADS August Classic: Friday

Ugh sorry this post is so late - I really did have good intentions of writing things up right away after the show (especially since I had FAB pro photos so quickly!) but ya know how that goes. DH is still extremely limited in what he can do post-back surgery (aka, zero of the outside chores and also minimal inside things) so I am burning the candle at both ends between home and work, and it's also my SUUUUUPER busy time at work, because of course it is. My scheduled day off Monday to combat the horse show hangover got cancelled last minute when I had to go have a working luncheon with the Lt. Gov - nbd O.o. 

So you've probably seen a lot of these photos from my quick post-show recaps but you get them again -- sorry not sorry! Friday the show management was very clear we weren't allowed to arrive before noon -- Ruby had a 3 p.m. photoshoot and I knew I'd need time to unload everything, so I ended up bathing her at home in the morning, letting her dry while I finished packing my own stuff, getting on the road shortly before 11 (leaving myself time to stop and fill up with gas closer to the venue where it was WAY cheaper), and rolling into the parking lot right at noon on the dot -- success! (Also TrainerB rolled in right behind me lol). I got Ruby settled, unloaded my stuff and got it reasonably organized, and then hung out cleaning Ruby's bridle for the photoshoot/helping my barnmates get their stuff set up. 

Freshly bathed at home (pre-photoshoot!) and ready to go!

Hanging out in her stall before the photoshoot. 

I also watched this very cute dog while her owner schooled in the competition arena -- she was SURE she'd been abandoned forever. It's funny, her owner and I have been FB friends for... actual years, but hadn't met in person, so I introduced myself and she was like "oh I assumed you were older" - no idea what that means, but it did make me laugh. 

Waiting for the photographer to get all the props - Ruby was less than impressed with a few of them (mostly because I do so much weird shit in my own home photoshoots lol). Not to worry - Bethany is THE BEST, so we just rotated through until she found things Ruby would engage with. 

People walking by was actually a huge motivator, she's nosy like her mom and wanted to watch what was going on haha. 

Even the mirror didn't do much for her, since she sees mirrors at several of the indoors we haul to. 

But the feather duster BLEW HER BRAIN haha. I can't wait to see the fine art portraits from this session! The photographer and I had a Zoom earlier this week to go over the ones I want her to focus on editing, so hopefully I have the final images soon. SO EXCITED!

Then we tacked up to ride with TrainerB - she had four horses to school so we doubled up :) Ruby hacked over with a GOOOOORGEOUS PSG (I think?) bay mare. We were both showing in both rings, so we checked out warmup 1, Ring 1, warmup 2, and Ring 2. It was approximately 8 billion degrees, so we didn't do much, just made sure all the buttons existed and that she wasn't (hopefully) going to be too spooky about anything in either of the indoors. 

Ruby had some concerns about the (loud) fans in Ring 2, but after I let her give them a long look and dance down the long side snorting at them once, then she didn't mind being put to work and basically ignored them the rest of the weekend -- good girl! 

Corgo pupper was SO CUTE. Made me miss my Penny pie!

After I got Ruby settled for the night and everyone else had wrapped up, I stopped by Walmart for some essentials (more seltzers and snacks lol), grabbed a quick bite to eat, and then headed to my super sketchy motel to crash for the evening... which is a funny story. I was packing the night before and complaining about not wanting to drive back and forth but also not wanting to pay $$$$ for a hotel room, so my (very drugged still lol) DH decided to take matters into his own hands and book me a hotel room, and I found him later passed out in his chair with his phone and credit card in his hand on priceline haha. I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and finished up for him ;) the room was cheap but close to the venue, and despite being a bit on the dated/poorly renovated side, it was reasonably clean (the sheets were my biggest concern) and the A/C and hot water worked, which were really my only requirements, lol. I ended up tossing and turning for half the night, probably because I was so accustomed to getting so little sleep the weeks leading up to the show with DH's back, sigh. Didn't exactly leave me refreshed and ready for Saturday, but it was what it was!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

WW: Show Photos

I'll save most for the actual recaps, but enjoy some sneak peeks of the pro pics! All photos from Bethany P Photography and used with purchase. 

Predictably, these boots were  A HIT 🤩

Was most likely crying tears of joy in this one ♥️