A lot goes on behind the scenes before you walk into the show ring. For me and for Eli, that preparation started on Thursday evening and went through Friday afternoon. On Thursday I made sure to give him a light, easy workout on the flat. I started making a mental list of things I had to do: bathe and clip Eli, pack up tack and groom box for the show, pull together a show outfit, polish my tall boots, wrap Eli for the haul, and load up my car with all the stuff.
On Friday, we got through the whole list. I had all my stuff with me, I wrapped Eli and trimmed his whiskers, and Eli went over to the venue around 12:30. He has been to this venue a lot, although there have been some changes and there was a lot going on with the show set up. He didn’t seem to mind that the smaller of the two arenas now had a cover. Nor did he seem to care about a tractor and small trailer filled with cedar for decorating the jumps in the larger arena while we rode around in there. He was flatting pretty quietly, all things considered.
Annnnnnnd then we started jumping. Eli was super excited about it, I guess? He was all over the place.
See what I did with my shoulders at that last little green fence? DO NOT DO THAT. I deserved to eat dirt there.
We kept the fences low and worked on landing on the lead we wanted. Kind of. Mainly I was just trying to steer. We didn’t run through the outside lines and in retrospect I am grateful for that because as it turns out they were set quite short and nothing pisses Eli off more than getting shortchanged on distances. He didn’t seem spooky at all, just hot. Because thoroughbred. After schooling, we walked for a little while and then I pulled his tack off and set it aside to clean up later.
I bathed him and really tried to scrub his mane and tail, as they had not been shampooed in a while. After he dried while grazing, I slathered liniment all over his legs and a little over his lumbar area. He seemed content with extra hay in his stall. I picked up my number from the show office and watched a few barn-mates school for a bit before I headed home to polish my boots. I don’t leave my tack at the venue, so I knew I would need a little extra time in the morning to load up my car, but we were in the second division of the day in the larger arena and the first division had like 20 horses in it so we didn’t have to rush too much.
The weather forecast looked pretty good for Saturday, and the show expected about 100 horses competing across 3 rings. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow!