So this happened! My pony is furry, dusty and was a bit wild. My tack was cleaned hurriedly the night before, my trailer was definitely in need of cleaning and organizing but my heart was willing.
Last weekend I decided, even though I hadn't swung a leg over the wild red pony since late December or early January that we needed to get out and do something. Prove that my pony could behave and that I still retained at least a little bit of riding skills from days past. A local group was putting on a fund raising fun show that had a little bit of everything for just about everyone. There were western pleasure classes, games and for us English ridin folk some very low level hunter classes. My horse is not a hunter. I think if he ever had to do a hunter flat class he'd probably lose his mind completely. I have discovered over the last two years, more so this last year, that Fox does not like other horses coming at him from the opposite direction. I've no idea why he has this phobia but he gets very anxious and nervous when horses come at him head on.
Not only is my pony not a hunter but even doing hunter classes I didn't dress him as a hunter. I left his mane long and unbraided, I used a square white AP pad, he was wearing his hoof boots and his neck strap. We were very rogue eventers.
At the start my pony was a bit nervous, lots of horses moving around, lots of people, noise, it was hellishly cold and he hadn't been off the property since December or January. Which by the way was at the exact place we were doing the show, in the very same indoor arena. That was a lovely twist of luck.
So after I tacked Fox up we walked around several times before he deigned to stand still at the mounting block. Then we walked around some and some more. In fact until we actually went in to the arena to school prior to our class we never stopped moving. Fox was just happier that way and fussed less with the reins.
Then we went in to school with a few others. We walked and trotted around just letting everything sink in and letting my pony relax. I also kept a wary eye on some of the other horse and rider combinations. All of the fences were white cross rails, except the first one. The first one was white cross rails with big yellow flowers all over it. Every combination we watched either bulked, propped, stopped or outright ran out at that fence.
Here is where I smile a bit smugly and perhaps just a tad evilly. My pony never batted a lash at that fence. My baby eventer, with so much heart and try never even looked at it. Just hopped gently over. It went this same way when our actual class came up. Every horse had an issue with that fence, even the dolled up, braided hunter. If we had cantered the course rather than trotted it we would have won first place. But I was extremely happy and proud of our red ribbon. Even if it did have a barrel racer on it.
I love my pony! Here's to keeping it between the flowers and the flags!