My Saturday timeline:
10:00am – Even thought trainer said to get there at 11am, still lazily sitting around, drinking coffee. Justify sitting by deciding to use time to put on makeup. Forget to put on makeup.
10:38am – Load up Berry and head out.
11:54am – Arrive at venue. Terrified that I arrived too late and trainer will be upset, but still on pony classes. Buy a sandwich, and sit on bleachers watching ponies on course. Horrified to discover there’s a bending line included, as I have not practiced that.
1:00pm – Decide to tack up Berry and warm-up. Find parents at in-gate, wondering when I’m going. We all go back to the trailer, where my trainer tells me its too earlier to tack up, they are going to be on ponies a while. Parents depart. Since it’s cold and misty, Dave and I set up camp in truck, and do absolutely nothing.
2:00pm – Decide Berry has been standing on the trailer too long and I will hand graze her for a bit. Unload, and walk her around. Laugh at her funny faces.
2:25pm – Trainer comes out to hand graze one of the ponies. While chatting, small child runs by to tell what class they are on. Trainer says it’s time to tack up.
2:35pm – Tacked up, and in the warm up ring. There are a crazy amount of horses in there. Berry is a bit wired, and requires many laps to calm down.
2:55pm – Berry rushed the warm-up jump. We jump it 8 times before my trainer decides it’s satisfactory. Trainer says Berry is being a bully today. She can sense weakness.
3:05pm – Tells me Berry is ready for schooling in the main ring, now we just have to wait for schooling to start. Schooling had been estimated to be at noon. The wait begins.
3:30pm – Everyone is cold. Been standing in the covered area between the warm-up ring and the main ring. Area is full of ponies waiting to go, and horses waiting for schooling. Someone brings in a pony that kicks out at Berry and narrowly avoids hitting me. Berry and I retreat to hide in a corner.
4:00pm – After a discussion with trainer, decide to scratch classes, and just do the schooling, when it opens. It shouldn’t be too much longer…right? Continue standing, Berry starts rummaging through people’s blankets and belongings that were left scattered around the area. Doesn’t find anything good or edible.
4:45pm – After literally standing in the same spot for seemingly forever, the end of pony classes is in sight. Berry fusses while I fix her saddle, but a kind Samaritan holds her for me while I rearrange. Tighten girth, although apparently not enough, and mount up with trainer holding Berry, because she’s so fidgety, and won’t stand still.
4:55pm – There’s still a few ponies in the ring when I hurry in there. Berry is on edge, so we trot around for a while. The ring fills up with horses. I go for my first jump, and of course she refuses. We try again, she jumps it, and I lose my quarter sheet. Sheet is retrieved, and I continue around.
5:00pm – Trot around more, while thinking about how I take back what I said last time about liking warm up. There are just too many people in here, and they are bold. Horses come within a foot of me going the opposite way. Trainer has me jump all the lines in the ring, including the terrible bending line (which has an oxer!! Horror!). I have trouble releasing, and Berry fusses after every jump, curling under and shaking her head.
5:20pm – The ring is empty now except for one other person. I do the last jumps a bit smoother. Trainer tells me my saddle slid back and I need a smaller girth. We chat for a few minutes, I apologize to Berry, and mercifully, I can leave.
5:30pm – Berry is loaded, and we leave. It’s dark, and foggy, and all I want to do is go to bed.
6:45pm – Arrive home, toss shipping boots on grass, put Berry away. Relieved to find Vintage has been peacefully eating in Berry’s stall (much more secure), and doesn’t seem troubled at all. Forget about picking shipping boots up, it rains overnight, find shipping boots floating in a puddle next morning.
I talked with the coordinator when I scratched, and apparently they were not expecting the huge amount of ponies that showed up, which is what delayed everything so badly. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t actually show, but Berry and I were so off, I don’t think it would have gone well anyway. But, we might not have been off if we had gone when we expected instead of standing around for hours…but that may be just wishful thinking!
I do think I need more cold weather gear if I’m going to be showing in the cold. Brrrrrrr.