Tuesday, July 19, 2022

National Dressage Pony Cup 2022 - Spectating

National Dressage Pony Cup looked a little different for me this year than last year -- and not in the way I had hoped! Back in May, my plans were to ENTER Pony Cup (the open show, naturally, since Ruby is neither a pony nor a small horse lol) to give me a shot at redemption over my lizard brain that sort of wrecked the April show work on overcoming my show nerves enough to have a more productive show - but alas, my ankle put a kink in those plans. Technically last week would have been my last week in the boot if I had followed the ER doctor's instructions (lolz we all know I didn't do that), and even once the ortho cleared me to do a little more sooner, I still didn't feel great about our odds of being ready in time -- when you add in the fact that it's a HUGE show with a ton of atmosphere (six rings running for three straight days) plus the fact that it probably filled before the closing date, it was a no brainer to skip it and aim for a smaller (but still recognized show) a few weeks later hosted by TrainerB's GMO. 
My mom got me a saddle mattress for my Fairfax and I'm obsessed. Nothing like finally having a really nice saddle to make me up my game a little bit lol. Especially since my fitter took a full time job doing something else (still with saddles but not an on the road fitter) sooooooo I have to find someone else, le sigh. 

However! Just because I didn't SHOW at the show didn't mean I couldn't go up to hang out! And it was the perfect opportunity to give Penny some more practice at being a horse show doggo :) I also brought along my camera to snap some photos of TrainerB, her clients, and even some local friends who made the trip in. Like last year, the show was incredibly well run from a spectator standpoint, and despite some HOT HOT weather, it was really fun! Because I had originally blocked off Friday to compete, I didn't have any meetings, so I was able to take a vacation day and go spectate Friday/Saturday (same as last year). I wasn't quite motivated enough to catch the 7 am rides (since the venue is an hour away), but I made it up around 8 both days and stayed through until 5 before heading home. I got to watch everything from training level tests through PSG, some kickass musical freestyles, and I also got to see some people having FUN with the newly expanded dressage attire guidelines and I shamelessly snapped pics of some of my favorite ensembles lol. I sent quite a few purple outfits to Megan, and may or may not have straight up accosted a junior riding walking through our aisle to find out the brand of her VERY PURPLE shirt hahaha. 
This was not the shirt in question but this was an outfit I surreptitiously snapped a photo of for Megan.  

Penny had THE BEST time. She's still working on the whole being social thing, but it was definitely assisted by the fact that EVERYONE AND THEIR BROTHER wanted to pet her/feed her treats, lol. I hadn't even made it to TrainerB's stabling Saturday before I was stopped by like three people who met Penny Friday to ask me how she was doing and try to pet her again. My barnmates (okay so I don't technically board with them but I consider them like my honorary barn family, IDC) took turns keeping Penny company so I could photograph unencumbered -- which was good practice for her because I'd like them to do the same thing when I show in a few weeks -- eeeee! I was a little worried about how she'd handle the heat, but I brought her collapsible water bowl and she drank like a champ almost every time I offered her water. She was also content to loll under the shade trees with my barnmates several of the times I was out in the scorching sun trying to get the best angle for photos, haha (smart dog). 
Hanging with a barnmate so I could take pics

Meeting a VERY BIG DOG (lol)

Napping while I photographed the warm up

Paparazzi getting photographed lol

Another barnmate picked Penny up when she ended up on the wrong side of the fence and omg Penny's FACE - I think she thought I was the one who had picked her up and when she realized it was a "stranger" she was HORRIFIED. Thankfully by the end of the weekend I think she came around to being handled by a lot more folks haha. 

"Paint me like one of your French girls"

Snoozin' in the tack stall. 

Absolutely passed TF out on the way home from day one. 

Begging for breakfast burrito on day two (she got fed entirely too much people food last weekend haha). 

Enjoying some nice rollies in the grass!

Being a good drinker :)

Napping on "her" saddlepad a barnmate loaned us (I had a blanket in the car but kept forgetting to grab it in the mornings when I came in). 

Begging for belly rubs #spoiled

She was exhausted and content to be carried around like a baby at the end of day two by another barnmate <3

Totally blissed out just being snuggled!

Dead to the world on the drive home from day two haha. 

I got some other adorable photos on my real camera and that people texted me, but Blogger/Google Photos integration is dong this really annoying thing now where only photos I actually took with my phone are showing up and it's too much of a pain to separately upload everything else, so if you want the full "Penny the #horseshownoodle" experience there's an album on my FB page lol. 

Next up is trying for one last in-person lesson before sending off show entries for next month! I'll keep you posted!


  1. What a good girl - love all the pictures of Penny enjoying the show and attention

  2. I just adore her! Fingers crossed everything comes together for you to show soon!!

    1. Haha well spoiler alert it does not, check back tomorrow for more melodrama 🫠

  3. Okay, that's a pretty adorable noodle!

  4. Blogger is being annoying with my photos too. It doesn't acknowledge certain photo modes even from the phone. It doesn't mind screen shots though, so I guess that's the workaround. Super annoying.
    Anyway, looks like Penny lived her best life this weekend! Sounds like a fun time! All the horse show fun, and none of the pressure!

    1. See now mine won't recognize screenshots unless I manually upload them now which is SO ANNOYING.

      But yes, Penny absolutely lived her best life this weekend haha.