Thursday, June 6, 2013

This weekend: First show in 2 years and UTTERLY TERRIFIED

I confess.  I love showing.

I confess.  I'm utterly terrified at getting back in the ring.

To clarify, I don't show the upper-echelon "A" circuit--I do the local open and schooling shows.  And I do find great pleasure in them--as much the prep as the show itself.  I loved grooming Ana to gleaming white, getting dressed in that torturous outfit, and going in and strutting our stuff however well or poorly.  We did very well in our little local circuit, bringing home multiple championships in the walk-trot division.

Ten years together, lots of pretty colors

Why walk-trot?  Well, at first we were newbies.

Then I had a baby.  Then I had back surgery.  (Her canter was brutal on my spine...ugh, I can still feel it just recalling the pain.)  Then I had another back surgery.

My absolute favorite-favorite show pic of us.  This was our first show after my second back surgery.  That time around, the pain and damage was so bad, I faced a very real fear that I may never walk, work, or ride again.  But...I did.  Eventually, I did. This show was just my sixth time back in the saddle and I was sloppy and weak, but Ana took care of me.  This photo captures the moment our names were called as division champions.

Then I had another baby.  Then she went semi-permanently lame behind due to arthritis.

Then...she was gone.

Taken at our last show together, two years ago this month.  We would lose her just three months later.

 It was fun making such a graceful, delicate girl look awkward and goofy.  Still miss her.

This Sunday, June 9, I will once again be in the show ring, putzing about in the walk-trot division.

Why walk trot?  Well, because Tril and I are newbies as partners.

His hind end is still recovering and he isn't to canter under saddle yet.  I actually have never cantered him except during the trial ride--over a year ago.

My busted ankle has finally recovered--after 14mos--to where it is only vaguely, occasionally stiff.

But mostly, because we are newbies as partners, I've done two shows in five years (and nothing in the last two), and I am terrified of going back in.  This is a local schooling show, but it has seriously professional attendance.

Tril's the seasoned show pro--so at least we both aren't Perpetual Newbies--but, GAH.

Our first class is equitation, so I have to focus on keeping my left shoulder from trying to migrate to the right side as it collapses in twisted resignation, a lingering effect of the severe back injuries (the pain radiated down the left side) that I cannot seem to retrain my body out of.  But at least after that class, I don't have to think about me--I just have to think about Tril.

Schooling the other week and sitting the trot.  Um...Laura...get your hands out of your crotch.  NOT attractive.

Since this ride, I've been focusing on lifting my collapsed left side and using my legs to push him more into the frame.  He's lazy, so out of shape me means rubbernecking him, German martingale or not.

Double butt shot


Work in progress
I'd like to do all five classes in the division, but don't know if I have the stamina.  I also don't know if Tril will maintain his focus--he gets bored easily and that's when he does things like put his tongue over the bit (and thus all but cover his ears and say "LA LA LA LA!" to cues from my hands).  Lately, we seem to have "gotten" each other, but I fear it being just a big mess otherwise.  I think I'll just go in and see how long I last.

The show is at our home facility, so we don't have to trailer anywhere, and I have a friend who is going to come help be my groom.  Since hubby has to wrangle the 7yro and 3yro, I knew he couldn't help me out, but I was prepared to go alone.  I've done it before--it's exhausting, but doable.  But I do much prefer company.  (Hmm...maybe I can get a babysitter to stay home with the boys so hubby can go?)

I love showing, I've missed showing, I want to show, but GAH.  However, putting it in the blog makes it official--no chickening out now.  Forward!



  1. That's an impressive haul! Hope you have a blast at the show and have FUN, but looking at all your pictures it seems like you definitely will :)

  2. Thank you! And gah, not 5min after posting this blog, our 3yro came literally running into the room with us, sobbing and shivering with a 104 fever. Poor baby. A few hours later the vomiting began. Fun for all. But, I'm still planning on riding...