On Monday the mother and I took both ponies out to a local in hand showing show. This was mother’s first ever competition, and also possibly her pony’s first ever competition as well. Everybody did really well, and it was a nice low key event to hopefully give the mother a taste for showing.
It was an early start for some of us, while others got more of a lie in. I was up at 4am, to be at the yard for just gone 5am, as I had both ponies to get ready. Mother was going to meet me at the show in time for her first class at 10am. As I’d been working the day before, I hadn’t had a chance to do any of the usual pre show prep that I would normally do, ie: bath, plait, tack clean etc. It didn’t help much that I finished work late on Sunday, not getting home till 9pm, instead of just gone 7.30pm, so my plan of being in bed for 8pm went out the window, so I didn’t get as much sleep as I’d wanted to.
As it had rained on the Sunday evening, both ponies came in Monday morning looking like wild, muddy yaks, and I only had four hours to get the pair of them looking like show horses. I succeeded in the task, but not without a bit of a struggle. Nas does not like being bathed, and really didn’t appreciate having her mane and forelock washed, but after much arguing in the pre dawn gloom, I finally got her clean. Plaiting her was another issue, as I’m going to guess she’s never been plaited up before, and she’s a little head shy. Having the plaiting bands snap while trying to do the top plaits didn’t help much there either. But we got there eventually.
Brevan gave me different issues to deal with, including him deciding to go to bed while I was dealing with Nas, and he didn’t look best pleased when I kicked him out for his turn at bathing. Thankfully he was actually quicker to get ready, but it helps that he knows that he has to stand still while being plaited up. Though once plaited up, he kept scratching his neck, and I had to redo a couple of the plaits about three times before we eventually left.
I had meant to leave at 9am, as I was walking both ponies to the show, but I was running a bit late (as usual), and didn’t leave until about ten past. I had just over two and a half miles to walk the ponies, and had given myself forty minutes to do it, but ended up taking fifty minutes, so I got to the show at 10am, instead of the 9.40am that I wanted. We just about had time to get mother and her pony ready for their first class, but she was the last one into the ring, and had got herself a bit stressed.
The first class was Prettiest Mare, and mother was nervous as she didn’t know what to expect (even though I’d explained how these classes normally run), and she was worried about having to run. Thankfully she didn’t need to run and trot Nas up, they just had to walk round. Mum was over the moon to come second out of the four put forward, and the expression on her face says it all!
The next class was Most Handsome Gelding, so Brevan’s first go in the ring. There were five put forward including Brevan, and we were pulled in third. I may not agree with the judges decision, but then I’m biased, and the judge was definitely a cob man, not a native man. But that’s showing, and at the end of the day it’s only one persons opinion on that day.
The third class was Veteran, which Brevan was only just eligible for, as it was for animals of 15 years and over, and Brevan turned 15 earlier this year. The other two horses in the class were both cobs, one being 36 years old. Considering the judge was a cob man, I was quite surprised that he pulled Brevan in, in first place ahead of the cobs, but I wasn’t going to complain.
The following class was Hunter Type with eight in total entered including Brevan. We didn’t do so well in this class, only coming seventh, but the judge said afterwards that Brevan was too small and light for a hunter, though I’d happily take him hunting (if I was brave enough to go in the first place).
The next two classes were Best Turned Out and Native Breeds, with only Brevan and Nas entered in both of those classes. Brevan came first in both the classes, though I’m guessing that it could have gone either way for the Best Turned Out, as I’d put as much effort into getting both ponies ready. I had expected Nas to win the Native Breeds class, as Brevan has splints on both front legs, and he’s not up to breed standard as I have his feathers clipped off. Between these two classes, I did need all the help from my support crew (husband and friend) to take out the plaits from both ponies, and I needed to change Nas’s browband to a plain one, more suitable for natives.
Class seven was the Coloured class, which included duns, palominos and roans, so I’d entered mother and Nas into this, as Nas is just about a roan. They came fifth out of five, as the judge didn’t think Nas was coloured enough.
The last class of the day was Young Handler, and I’d managed to borrow a friends daughter, who has been riding Nas a few times. Ella came third out of three, and she was a bit disappointed, but mother and I weren’t bothered about her placing, we were just chuffed that Nas had not put a foot wrong, and that Ella had handled her so well, being the only one to get a proper trot from their pony. I do wonder if the pink hat and lack of a jacket may have counted against her, but it was her first ever show as well, and I wasn’t going to get her mum to fork out for a proper hat and jacket for just one show.
Both ponies went into the championship, but didn’t come anywhere, but that was fine, we’d all had a good day, and I was really happy with both ponies and the mother.
We were all done and dusted by about midday, so as mother had brought enough snacks to feed an army, we all had a bite to eat for lunch, including the mother in law and nephews who had turned up in time to watch the last two classes and championship, before I got ready for the walk home, which was mostly uphill.
Mother met at the yard when I finally got there, and she had almost finished the poo picking in the field for me. So we literally just rugged the ponies up and turned them straight out, even though it was a few hours early.
Both mother and I were tired, but very happy with the days results, and I’m hoping to persuade her to do it again in the near future.