I took Zi and Blondie to a play day horse show on Saturday (May 19). It was my first time ever to haul to a horse show myself. In an attempt to keep my nerves calm, I had been planning for about 3 weeks – getting the new tires on the horse trailer, cleaning out the dressing room, packing essentials into the dressing room, double checking to be sure no bee or wasp nests have been built in or under the trailer, re-checking the floor, and lights. Also planning my route and considering how early to leave so I wouldn’t be stressed about parking at the show. Prior to all of this I had been working with the girls on loading and being patient, whether tied inside or outside the trailer.
Saturday I got up at my normal 5:15 am, had breakfast, and loaded the final items into the trailer. Richard gave the horses a snack for me so they wouldn’t be starving when I was ready to leave. At 6:30 I went out to get them. They loaded up just fine as I expected and started eating the rest of their breakfast. We hit the road. About 45 minutes later we pulled into the show grounds and found our parking/stalls. I had requested 2 stalls for the girls at the show. This was a blessing as it gets really old having to hold onto them all day and neither one would have done well with being tied to the trailer.
As it turned out, they were calm in the trailer and they were calm in the stalls. They could not be separated (as I expected) without huge fits. Blondie calling hysterically for Zi and Zi was just having a wonderful time with her eyes bugged out, looking at all the new things. She spooked at shadows, the port-a-potty (good thing she never saw anyone come or go from it), horse trailers with horses in them, other horses….she did get better as the day went on, but she never got a chance to really settle in the arena.
I intended to take her in 2 classes – trail and halter. I scratched trail, but still ended up in 2 classes because she got 3rd in western pleasure horse halter out of 8 horses, qualifying us for championship halter. She acted like a crazy rearing horse, but the judging for halter is on the horse’s conformation and movement – not behavior (and evidently not temperament! or is all this expression prized?). Honestly, I would have been fine if the judge didn’t place her because she was almost never standing still and she didn’t trot that well. She took 4th in the championship halter class. Crazy.
Thankfully my sister spent most of the day with us. She handled Blondie while I took Zi in her classes and also while we walked around the grounds. She also handled Zi in the afternoon so that was fun to see how Zi responds to someone else (she did well, “oh, I can’t get away with that with her either”). My mom and grandma also came and spent quite a few hours with us. It was a pretty nice day, near 70 degrees and sunny.
If that wasn’t enough of a support network, my friend Linda ended up next to us in the stalls (if you recall, she took Zi and I to our first show last year). It was really perfect as it gave me peace of mind and I was able to help her when she needed a hand. She has a gorgeous new Arabian gelding named PJ. Poor boy had to put up with Blondie’s dirty looks anytime she thought he was too close to Zi. He was not fazed by her at all though.
All in all, I’d say it was a successful day. I survived driving there and back. The horses were good in the trailer. They have lots of room for improvement at the show grounds, but I was happy with how Zi did improve as the day went on. Her stall was right next to the out gate so she watched a lot of horses come and go, as well as kids running by.
And guess what? The next time will be so much easier! Next show is June 30th. I’m already making plans for preparing Zi between now and then.
Thanks to my mom for all the photos and to my sister for handling Blondie while I took Zi in her classes!