Sunday, April 23, 2023

The World's Worst Dressage Show: Arrival!

I did it. I made it! We got out for the first time since New Years Day. 

In true ADHD fashion, I spent the evening before leaving, finishing sewing my  outfit for the show. I made a batwing shirt (pattern from Patterns for Pirates) and fashioned my giant sequined shrug into more of a cape because it really didn't fit my shoulder width in a way that would make it riding comfortable. 

On Friday, Kaylee and I packed up and hitched my trailer at home while I was in the middle of a work call and we picked up Gwyn and the rest of my tack. From there we drove to Cortney's house where Gwyn hopped off a  bit confused and had to dragon snort at Cortney's goats. I tossed her in a stall, much to Reign's HORROR (she kept pinning her ears at Gwyn from the cross ties). Gwyn was just happy to find that the hay bag in the stall contained alfalfa. 

We transferred all our gear into Trudy's (Cortney's mom) trailer and camper, followed by Gwyn, Reign and Saffron. Reign and Gwyn were polite for each other in the trailer and each had their own hay. 
We all piled into the truck and headed south! 

Good ponies get nose pets from their kids
We stopped once for a bathroom break and then it was straight on to the Clark County Fairgrounds. 

The stalls at the fairgrounds were safe, if dark. They were excellent for biosafety, at least, with no nose touching. My one regret was not having any double ended snaps because Gwyn knocked her water over CONSTANTLY.   Each stall had 2 bags of shavings in it and no instructions for us to clean at the end, which definitely saved us time!  We were going to be there for about 24 hours, so the stalls didn't get incredibly messy in that time. 

It was a little bit of a struggle because Reign couldn't see Saffron, only Gwyn (who blended in behind the wire grating and looked like a disembodied head most of the time) while Gwyn could only see Reign because Saffron decided that she was being pampered by the shavings and her own private stall and promptly laid down. 
We took the girls out to walk in the indoor arena and get oriented to the space. Gwyn was chill about it all and just kept trying to go touch noses with Reign and Saffron.

Both Reign and Saffron decided the dirt was amazing and needed to be rolled in immediately. Saffron practically bulldozed her nose through the dirt before finally dropping. 

Nice face... then NOT NICE FACE.  Gwyn doesn't react to these faces from Reign, which we're pretty sure just infuriates her more. 

Gwyn: "Hi best buddy, I miss you and you smell like boy goats"

We decided to tack up and ride, which kind of became a wild situation. The high school drill team that was going to be putting on a demo the next day was practicing their routine. Gwyn was SPINNING. For a horse that I struggle to find a heartbeat on when conditioning, I could FEEL it pounding in her armpit with my hand.  This is probably the most scared I've seen her. Between the flags, the loud whistles to indicate  a movement change and shouting, she was frantic. 
I kept a hold of her though and eventually she started to realize it wasn't coming after her and her pause periods got longer and longer. In those moments I scratched her withers and just kept talking to her and praising her. Then we'd work on moving her feet so she knew she had to listen to me and that I was still there in control.
While the drill team was cooling their horses out, I hopped on and started walking Gwyn, who was now breathing heavily too. I just focused on my goals for my ride the next day. Keeping Gwyn's head straight, making sure she was bending from the base of her neck, that my inside hand wasn't creeping across her neck and that I was really sinking into my inside pelvis in asking for turns. She finally got some nice relaxing snorts out and I felt comfortable enough to let Kaylee hop on for a ride around the arena too. 
Then it was dinner and bedtime for ponies and bedtime for humans before the show the next day!