I took Inglorious Barnard to a show!! I have not shown in 10 years. I felt nervous and scared. I thought, what if I can’t do it anymore.
It is 10 years later, my body is not the same after having kids, and I have a 4 year old horse from the track. Then I worried about how a dressage judge would react to a Standardbred in the arena. Lastly, I realized the pressure of being an ambassador. I was not just out there by myself, I had the future of many ex-racehorses on my shoulders. If we did not do well, it may turn off a potential adopter. So you now understand that I was stressed out and SCARED!!!
We hauled the horses to the show grounds the night before. As usual, he was quiet and calm in the trailer. He walks off and just looks around. We schooled in the arenas, again no problems, nice and quiet. If he sees something “scary”, we just walk right up to it and he tries to eat it. Problem solved. I put him in his stall for the night and he quietly ate his food while we proudly hung his ambassador sign on his stall.
The morning of the show I found him quietly waiting for his breakfast. He had a restful night sleep, unlike me! We were riding in 2 classes, introduction to dressage test A and B. I had both test memorized from our practice sessions but opted for a reader. Stress wipes out the memory!
It was time for our first class. He was more tense than the night before and so was I. Lots of people were there and many horses.
We began our test. We tentatively entered the arena. The judges stand now had people in it. He hesitated. I encouraged him on. We made it past the
judge and began to build up momentum. Our 5.5 on our entry turned into a 7 for our trot circle. Together we became a team. I knew we could do this. The next thing I knew, we were coming down the center line at the end of the test. We did it!!! I took a deep breath and gave him a big pat as our friends began to cheer.
As we relaxed back at the barn, my daughter went to check on the scores. She rounded the corner with her hand behind her back. She had a huge smile on her face as she handed me a BLUE ribbon!!! I had the answers to my questions. I can still do it. My horse can do it. A Standardbred can compete in dressage!!!
That was all I needed. I thought about packing it up for the day and skipping my next class. I remembered I was there for the breed as well. We tacked up and rode our next test. The results was the same. We had yet another blue ribbon! The judges comment was “Very nice pair.” I could not have been happier with Inglorious Barnard!
After getting the judges comments, we have a lot of things to work on. That is the fun part of dressage. You always have something to work on. I know my horse can do dressage and compete with other breeds. I know he is a well behaved angel and a great partner. I feel so fortunate to have him in my life.
I loved answering questions about his breeding and New Vocations. Thanks for letting us be one of your ambassadors.