Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Next year's event team :)

Wow. What a day :) So today was the hunter schooling show at GEC and several novice riders and two novice horses from GRS decided to play.

In the beginner junior division were:

Caelan and Nick,

Emily and Bella,

Kennedy and Apollo (his first hunter show *ever*!),


Olivia and Lissy.

Emily and Nick competed in the beginner senior division.

And in 2'3" hunters we had Rowan and Jack (his first ever hunter show :) and Alex with Lissy.

And in a last second addition, Hailey took Bella in the 2'6" division :)

Got all that? Ok so starting with the beginner juniors. Both flat classes went well. All the horses did essentially what they were supposed to do in reasonable form. There were some interpretive moments -- after a *long* wait for his turn, Nick wasn't sure he should actually canter. Apollo opted not to canter on the left lead (although demonstrated a nearly perfect hunter canter right) and Em demonstrated some interpretive diagonals. However, being a beginner division - and first time out for some of the riders - this is totally to be expected. They all listened to and followed instructions. They all kept their eyes up and paid attention to where they were going and where the other horses were. And in the end, they all took home ribbons! I think Olivia and Lissy placed the highest with 2nd.

Over fences Nick and Lissy performed like the old pros they are and both their riders did a great job of piloting them around.

Apollo in the w/u round was very unsure of the scary not-quite-flowers. The *look* kinda like flowers, but don't really *smell* like flowers... Wonder how they taste?

After he decided they *probably* weren't going to eat him, he jumped around beautifully. Kennedy did a great job and ended up bringing home 3rd! Woohoo!

Then it was Emily and Bella's turn. And Bella decided to show her pony side today. She even *actually* bucked! I would've been highly amused if I wasn't so annoyed. Poor Em had a ride and a half to get her around but she did it! Kept her cool, even with show stress and pony being a brat, and jumped her around everything in order and even good form! Well ridden Emily. As to *why* Bella decided to be a brat? Well there's a couple theories running around... The legit "being a grumpy mare on a hot day taking advantage of a nervous beginner" isn't much fun. More interesting is - it's the first time we've shown her as Bella instead of Superpony -- and she was bitter >;-P Or another favourite (with some plausibility) -- she's learned about and enjoys eventing. One flat round equates to dressage, one jump round (w/u over fences) equates to stadium, so the *next* jump round should be xc. And doing pretty little hunter course was NOT in her contract. hahaha ah well. So after this I asked Hailey to hop on and jump her around in a later division.

Then in the adult division, Emily bravely stepped up with Nick overcoming all sorts of nerves to do all FOUR classes! Awesome job! She even finished the day with a collection of ribbons and a smile on her face :)

Moving up a level we had Lissy (a last min substitution after Alex saw Bella's state of mind :) and Jack in the 2'3" division. Alex and Lis did really well in the flat division and ended up bringing home 3rd! But sadly parted ways in the jump warmup and Alex hurt her shoulder :( So discretion being the better part of valor, she headed off to get checked out and will save her jump showing for another day!

Rowan rode incredibly well jumping Jack around his first hunter course ever -- and they were prostars! He grew a little as he walked in the ring for the first time, but she kept him under control and straight and with the right impulsion and he gave her every lead change and awesome form over fences! Was lovely to watch. They came home with FIRST! Sweet.

And then there was Hailey and Bella. Hoping on to school the pony around since she'd been a brat earlier. Turnout was, ummmm, interpretive. Since Hailey hadn't planned on showing and only had schooling gear, but it's all good. And in her *first* round, Hailey rode like a pro. Nice lines, good pace, hit her distances. All good. In her *second* round though they got a little sloppy. And with that pair, sloppy = fast. Too fast. And Bella was smart enough to know it. So she stopped; Hailey, breaking GRS rules 1 AND 5 at the same time, continued over the fence with the bridle but not the pony. *sigh* Poor form! She was, however, unhurt and remounted to jump a few more fences before heading home. Ah well -- just as good to get that particular mistake out of the way at home and not at a horse trial!

So except for Alex hurting herself, which really sucked :( all in all it was a good day. I was super impressed by how Emily handled Bella. Olivia did a great job in her first show ever! Both of Nick's riders rode around beautifully. And Kennedy and Rowan piloted their horses around their *first* hunter rounds like old pros. Awesome job ladies!


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