Horse Shows in the Park February 2017 – Part 2

Day 2 started off with more turn out time. Some of it with Splash, and some of it without. She ran around like a maniac when he wasn’t turned out with her, so I’m sure that wore her out a bit. I also lunged her in the DeGogue for 20 minutes (mostly trot) and she seemed soft and lovely. She really worked up a sweat too. Bath after, then in her stall for hay and open door stall guard time.

I was potentially going to fill the 2’6 Jumper Classic (LOL) so I pulled her out of her stall and got her ready for that. I never got on her, but I walked her over there and let her chill. She seemed quiet, so we went back to the barn, I changed shirts and got fully dressed, we changed out her bit, then I hand walked her up to the schooling ring to warm up for our classes.
I had an epiphany – since FCHJA last fall, the walk from the barn to the ring seems to stress her out when I’m on her back. If I’m on her back, she has to protect me. If I’m leading her, I’m protecting her. At home, I get on in the ring. So I figured I’d try hand walking her to see how she reacted. Ding ding ding. She loved it. I hopped on using the fence, went in the ring, and started trotting immediately. She was a little looky because it was still a little windy (but otherwise beautiful weather), but as long as I give her a job, she’s good. Left-right asking her to soften and stretching up and back. I kept it quick because I didn’t want to tire her out.
We headed into the ring for our hunter under saddle. She had a really nice flat. She was good and soft and quiet. We all know that feeling when you’re lined up waiting for the judge to pin – unless you had a crap class, you’re hoping to hear yourself first. I always hope, but rarely ever expect it because P isn’t the fanciest mover (but she sure can jump!). I almost fell off when we won the hack. I was so pleasantly surprised. I praised her over and over as we headed back to the rail for our Eq flat (which we pinned 2nd). I will say – I think lunging her in the DeGogue really makes a difference in how she moves. It’s an efficient way for her to remember how to carry herself without me having to fry her brain with a ton of flatwork before we go in the ring.
I loved the judge too – she kept flat classes short and to the point. I think we trotted a lap, cantered maybe a full lap, then reversed and repeated. No need for 15 minute flats with small classes! Get it done!
I went in for our warm up, and was 3/4 of the way through a beautiful trip and literally thought to myself, “I wish this could be my first trip and not a warm up,” and I guess in that half a second I stopped riding because that bitch broke to a trot. Are you kidding me? Lazy mare.
Carin handed me a crop to carry for my 1st trip since just knowing it’s there seems to keep her moving. I rarely ever have to use it.

SHE WAS SO AWESOME. Everything felt pretty auto and she landed all her leads. Perfect mare is perfect, and she won this round.
I had no idea she was capable of pinning her ears over a jump. Photo by @_Cozmic_Wolf_Photos 
Second trip was good overall, but the 6th stride in the diagonal line was really tight and I could’ve half halted sooner in the line to fit it in. Her lead changes were all auto! She’s just getting so smart. We got second in that trip.

Overall, we were Champion in the hunters.
First Equitation over fences round started with a rollback. I had to take the long way and force the lead change (which was sticky), but the rest of the round was nice (except the sticky lead change in the courtesy circle where I just gave up and asked her to trot).

For some reason, I remember the second eq round being worse than it looks on the video. It started on a quarter line single with a sharp turn to a midline single… so very interesting turn. She landed on her left lead, so I leg yielded way to the left to get the change and give myself more room to have a nice turn to the inside 4. She was lazy in the last line, but other than that, it wasn’t as bad as I remembered.
I can’t remember the exact pinning, but I was told I won one of the Eq O/F and got second in the other, resulting in Reserve Champion for the division. I wasn’t mad.
Petunia was very proud of her Sunday ribbons.
But when I got home Sunday night, I went to look at the results. I actually won both O/F, which means I got Champion for the whole division. Boo! I want my correct ribbons!
Very proud of Petunia at this show. All our hard work is paying off!
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Devon Stiles


  1. So awesome! I totally get wanting the right ribbons! Maybe you can email the horse show manager? You both look great, like you’re ready for the 3′! Way to go get it the first time out this year!

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