I was smart enough to schedule the Monday after the show to be a WFH day, and blessedly I had no meetings so I didn't even have to look like a human being 😂 I was still a little too overly emotional Monday to process the show, that came a little later in the week. With some time and perspective under my belt, I was able to watch the videos I had and match them up with the tests and see what the judges were talking about - I still think the feedback could have been more useful (first judge) or written in a more encouraging way (second judge), but it is what it is. I paid for that one person's opinion of the 5 minutes I showed them. It's definitely not their problem we weren't at our best.
- My packing checklist! I didn't forget anything important, was able to loan a few things to my barnmates, and don't feel like I was missing anything "vital" (although I want to add a few more things to my list)
- Prescribed pharmaceutical assistance in staying calmer - this obviously wasn't a magic bullet and didn't 100% solve my problems, but it helped
- Staying at a nearby hotel instead of driving back and forth (my original plan) - bless two of my AMAZING friends who knew how stressed I was about various pieces of my plans for the show, and booked me a local hotel and wouldn't take no for an answer ♥️ I have two more shows I'd like to enter at that venue and I'll need to add lodging to my planned budget. I finished up sooooo late Friday night and was there relatively early both days of the weekend and I cannot imagine how much adding an additional four hours of driving to my weekend would have sucked
- My new PonyJet - I haaaaate bathing horses, particularly Ruby (who is tall and does not care for water near her face lol), and this thing made it wayyyyyy easier! However, don't overpay and wait ages for one to come from China, you can get the same damn thing in two days from Amazon and not pay the 70%+ "equine" markup 😂 you're welcome
- The black moving bags I bought off Amazon to store hay - I was able to keep my hay separate from the barn and it was neat and tidy in front of Ruby's stall. I took two full grass bales and four flakes of alfalfa and had about twice as much as I needed, but that's okay lol. I left the second bag in the bed of the truck and didn't even have to get it out
- Showing with a "barn family" - y'all the ladies at my barn (and obviously TrainerB) are THE BEST. FULL STOP. It was so nice to be in such a supportive group and feeling like I wasn't alone. Everybody was constantly pitching in to help each other and so supportive ♥️♥️♥️ I'll add T to that group since they sneakily helped her surprise me when we went out for dinner Saturday night lol
- Staying calm 😂 sigh. As many commenters (and friends offline) have noted, showing is something I just need to DO to get more accustomed to it and feel better about a routine
- My family ended up stressing me out way more than necessary 😑 maybe that explains why nobody else in our group seemed to have their family show up lol
- One of those collapsible canvas carts - I ended up borrowing the barn's wheelbarrow to unload my trailer which was fine, but I'd like to have my own, and that would be easier to get in and out of my trailer than a wheelbarrow
- A set of cross-ties - I need a pair for my washrack anyway, and they can do double duty. I ended up borrowing a pair from my barnmate, so it was fine for the show but I want my own teal biothane ones 🤪
- My own hose - the washrack in our aisle had one but it had a cut off end not the piece of hardware, so I had to go bathe in the washrack in the neighboring aisle to be able to use the PonyJet lol
Overall, and setting aside my own personal disappointment in myself/how we scored, it was a successful weekend and I learned more about what Ruby and I need to be able to handle these shows. She was essentially the same horse she is at home, minus being a little bit more vocal, and I think that will decrease with time. She handled no turnout, being stalled next to a stallion, multiple new situations and new arenas without much issue (better than me obviously lol). This is with the caveat that we showed outside, so she still hasn't experienced the big indoors at the venue, so that's a bridge we may need to cross in the future 😬 it also gave TrainerB some insight into full-fledged neurotic horse show me, so I imagine she'll have a better idea of how to manage that next time lol (bless her).