It’s been about eight months now that I have been working with my new Quarter Horse, Rudy. It’s been a long road, as he is an anxious horse who is extremely opinionated, to say the least. Originally, my thought process for the show season was to just take it day by day, as I didn’t think that we would get much further than an Intro C test this year. I spent every day walking and trotting in a 20 meter circle, being sure to keep both of our minds quiet and steady. Within time, our improvements were drastic. Soon enough, we were trotting 18” cross rails calm, cool and collected. He seemed to enjoy the process of becoming an event horse!
After a successful first show with cross rails, I sent an entry in for the elementary two phase that was put on by my club, the CDCTA. The show was held at Westbrook Hunt Club, one of my favorite grounds to compete at. The morning of, Rudy was sleepy and unbothered by the commotion of getting on and off the trailer. The rain had been spitting out of the sky all night, so the outdoor rings were quite soupy. Most horses were being pretty cooperative given the pond which decided to reside between A and K in the large arena. Our white horses were now brown from the hooves to the belly.
There was a fantastic turn out despite the weather, but a few of the scratches brought my dressage time up from where it was scheduled. I got on and proceeded to head to warm up, which was filled with puddles every few strides. Rudy was offended that I was making him so dirty-which resulted in beautiful extended trot work to stop the mud from splashing up his legs. I made my way over to the “bubble”, as I like to call it, which is an indoor round pen area which lead to the small dressage arena. Rudy stayed composed despite the echoes and rain drops on the roof.
I marched in and around the ring, and Rudy acted as if we had done it a million times before. My circles weren’t circular, my centerline was more like the quarter line, and my halt at ‘X’ was far from straight and square. BUT- my work was relaxed, there were no surprises, and I left the arena hugging my horse. The rain had stopped for a bit which allowed the stadium ring to solidify a tad. Rudy could tell that the footing wasn’t right so he took his sweet time and trotted most of the course. I won’t complain! We jumped clear and safe, making an incredible day for us.
Overall, we went home dry AND with a pretty red ribbon. The show staff was more than accommodating, and super friendly! I didn’t see one competitor on the grounds without a smile despite the rain and mud. I can’t wait to go to the next CDCTA show and compete with the same group of people. Check out www.cdctaonline.com for all the fun stuff CDCTA is doing!
Cally Hency & Rudy
Clinic and Event Participants.