Show Outfit Details

One of my favorite parts of showing is picking an outfit. This show was no different.

I should really do a proper review of the AA Motion Lite because it is an outstanding show jacket for the price. I pulled it out of the closet again for Saturday because I knew even the morning would be uncomfortably warm. I’m am never wearing a wool coat again, and I want a navy Motion Lite now. Just waiting on another Riding Warehouse sale …

I chose a Le Fash shirt to wear under my jacket, perhaps bucking the white trend a little. I periodically check in on the Le Fash sale section of the website for good deals, and got this shirt that way.

There are so many options for show breeches now, it can be hard trying to decide which ones to pick. For this show, I wore the George H Morris Add Back breeches from the George H Morris Collection and I LOVE them. I stayed comfortable and dry in them all day and it was 100F in the afternoon. I was done showing, but felt no need to change out of these breeches because of how comfortable they are. And y’all … these breeches look great but they are under $100. How many breeches do you have that you can say that about?

 

A show outfit is not complete without a belt, and while it would be most traditional to wear a black belt with black boots, I thought a fabric Mango Bay belt would be more comfortable on such a hot day. And I am into mixing prints, so art nouveau print with plaid? Yes.

I showed in my Ego 7 boots again this time — you can see my reviews on them here and here.

Manor Equestrian Center CTHJA Show

Eli shipped over to the show venue around noon on Friday so I mentally prepared to school in the searing heat. I didn’t mentally prepare well-enough, because I think I said “I’m done” out of either frustration or heat exhaustion about 250 times to my trainer. The venue was also still setting up — understandably — and a worker was weed-whacking around the big arena. Eli didn’t mind the guy as long as he could see him, but going away from the noise left him inverted and tense. I apologized to my trainer for my horrible attitude while I was dropping off checks at the show office. Thankfully, my trainer is extremely understanding and knows me well so Saturday could be a tabula rasa.

Concentration

I’d like to point out that this venue has undergone a number of improvements, and the stall reserved for Eli was in great shape, fully-bedded with rice hulls, had an automatic waterer, and a large window. We hung a fan for Eli, and I knew he’d be comfortable for the night, so I left him with like 4 flakes of hay and tried to go to bed early.

My trainer and I discussed doing two divisions instead of just one for this show, so I was entered in the first and second divisions of the day in the large ring. We’d be doing a total of 5 over fences classes, which is defintely a lot, but Eli is in good shape and handles the heat much better than the cold. And the jumps would never get over 3′ for our divisions.

Eli felt incredible in the warm-up area (just a grassy field, no rails or flags). We took a vertical off one lead, another off the other lead, and an oxer. He was so soft and relaxed, we went over to our classes on that.

I want to thank Jen-Jen for filming all of my rounds!

For our warm-up round, I rode a bit too softly, and a bit too impatiently. It shows in the video. And it kind of pissed off my horse. It started out well enough, but he had to take a joke for the first fence of the inside 6, and then I tried to kill us with death-by-leaning at the first fence of the 3 stride line. Sorry, buddy.

MEC Warm Up from patentlybay on Vimeo.

Our first hunter round for this division had some choice low-lights. Mainly, I forgot to ask Eli to land on the right lead coming off the 3 stride line. I asked and got a lead change, but he was PISSED about it. We awkwardly flew down the 5 (the oxer was just gross) and then I just moved up at the wrong time to the combination and we had a rail (don’t move up at the last minute). So this class was basically similar to what we had going at the March show.

MEC YNP H1 from patentlybay on Vimeo.

Our second hunter round, I had a bit more in hand, but we got to the combination awkwardly again. And Eli actually low-key ran away with me a bit after the last fence. I was like … wait, are you actually grabbing the bit right now? Remember kids, pulling doesn’t work. Ever. It was pretty funny, though.

MEC YNP H2 from patentlybay on Vimeo.

We did the flat class … Eli was tense and not exactly mannerly. We’ll call the flat classes works in progress.

We needed to push the reset button before the next division. More on me than him, but a slightly more relaxed horse would be better. I pulled Eli’s tack, offered him water and towelled him gently before tacking him back up for the next division. We didn’t have a lot of time, but the 10-15 minutes seemed to help. My trainer and I did not feel like we had to take any more warm up jumps — I just cantered a couple of steps each way in the warm up area and went back to the in-gate for our next division.

Pushing the reset must have worked for both me and Eli. Also, it was hot and my legs were jell-i-fying and I KNEW I had to not pull at all. Circumstances were such that riding softly was about all I could do anyway.

Eli seemed much less tense but still bright. Our first hunter round for this division started clumsily, as I came to the first single too soft an Eli rapped it hard. Considering his attitude about lead changes, I merely suggested rather than demanded and only got the swap in front. However, I was determined to stay relaxed, soft, and keep Eli appeased (ugh, so demanding!) and we were able to do that. We did get a bit deep to the combination, but Eli managed to pull it out of the awkward zone. I was pleased with the majority of this round, but somewhat disappointed that I was unable to ride with just a tad more authority at the outset.

MEC Low H1 from patentlybay on Vimeo.

Our final second hunter looked pretty good to me on video. I felt as though we had a competitive round for our local circuit. I knew we wouldn’t catch a couple of the fancier horses (one of whom I know well and he had a great round), but we pulled out a 3rd and I am really happy with that. If you follow Patently Bay on facebook, you’ve already seen this video.

MEC Low H2 from patentlybay on Vimeo.

Flat class = race. Let’s just skip it, lol.

Eli challenges me, there is no doubt of that. But if I rise to the challenge, the payoff is well worth it. He knows what we are supposed to be doing — he caught on to hunters quickly. I haven’t, but I’m getting there. I think a lot of the work ahead of me is mental now. The best news of the day is that we were done showing by 10:30am so we were sweaty but not too hot or exhausted.

Additionally, I hate 3 stride lines. HATE.

Show Prep Must-Haves

Beyond the obvious … like don’t forget your saddle … or show clothes (I did that once. Oops.) … there are a few things that I make sure I have for Eli and me at a show. I know we don’t show very often, but I think I’ve got a routine down now as far as packing and schooling beforehand.

Back on Track Quick Wraps


I have the 14″ pair and the 16″ pair and throw these on Eli before classes. I am considering shipping him in them, because it’s only like a 20 minute trailer ride to the venue and I haven’t bought new extra long standing bandages yet. Shipping in them is not my favorite idea, but I know it’s been done.

Quia-Cal


This stuff is great. I actually sometimes use it at home *after* a ride if we worked super hard. But for showing, Eli gets some the day before, and another syringe the day of. He seems to enjoy the taste. Plus you can’t beat the price.

ITBF Bonnet (with mesh ears)


This is strictly for schooling, but it’s basically Eli’s thinking cap. Although I think we might be schooling Friday afternoon … it might be too hot even for mesh ears.

KIWI Color Shine Liquid Black Polish


I am too lazy to actually polish my boots, but this comes close. No buffing required!

Washcloths


You can’t have too many. I plan to throw a few into my groom box — they are great for wiping boots, wiping noses, drying hands, cleaning the outside of my helmet … I just pick up a handful from Target or where-ever. If I could plan ahead at all, Amazon sells packs of 24 for $15.

Vetrolin Shampoo

If Eli finds mud somehow, I’ll be ready. I love this stuff. Eli is getting a bath tonight, but this is going in my groom box, too, just in case.

What do y’all just have to have while you’re out there showing your ponies?

Weenie Wednesday: Summer Routine

We probably should walk even earlier in the morning on the weekends than we do — it’s pretty baked-feeling by 9am here.

I am also a little sad — the park’s basketball and tennis courts will be accessible only with a key card soon, so I won’t be able to let Conrad run around on them (unless I get a key card, for which there is a fee of course). Whenever I have let him loose in one of the courts, there was NO ONE around. But I think the neighborhood wants to enforce the evening hours a little more strictly — it’s easy to hear people on the courts past the cut off time in the evenings, and I guess people have complained. The roller hockey rink will stay open, however …

Back to avoiding the heat and the bugs — Conrad is very sensitive to bug bites and he doesn’t even want to stay outside for very long in this bug-friendly weather. So we hang out inside, in our chair.

All Conrad has to do to get my attention is stare at me.

This could mean “take me out,” or “throw me a rope toy,” or “it’s time for bed, mommy.” I just ask which it is and he gets the most talkative when I hit on the right answer. He has been very vigilant lately about alerting me to any outside activity — from a car door closing to a neighbor mowing, he lets me know, and I have to reassure him that for one, he is a good guard dog, and two, he doesn’t need to keep barking.

I ordered him some duck liver treats today, so it’ll be interesting to see if he likes that flavor. He has tried the lamb and beef of the same brand and goes crazy for them.

Landing on the Lead

Smooth hunter rounds are made up of many elements, but the flow of a round is enhanced when a horse lands on the correct lead for the direction of the next turn. If you study winning rounds (especially winning handy rounds), you’ll see this — the horse doesn’t even have to do a lead change. Perhaps not in every case, but it’s something within reach for me and Eli, and is completely way more desirable than having to attempt a lead change.

So the last two jump schools with my trainer focused on nailing this puzzle piece. We had to clean up some odds and ends in my riding to accomplish landing on the lead consistently, but I think I’ve got it now. Eli has zero issue with landing on the lead provided I ask correctly. Monday is the freshest in my mind, and I am very happy with how Eli rode.

You get old screenshots because I have no new media from the last few lessons …

We started with just trotting a low crossrail, and my trainer cautioned me against moving around to much. Or, at all, considering Eli could just trot over the crossrail like a cavaletti. The second approach, my trainer asked that I trot the crossrail, but ask for the canter upon landing, without wiggling around (haha). I was able to do that, too. I felt the theme this lesson would be *precision*. We moved on to first trotting in and cantering out of a line, then cantering in and trotting out, then back to trotting in and cantering out. And getting those leads on the landing! Eli was listening so well, and he executed everything absolutely perfectly (from my very biased standpoint). My trainer also helped me with keeping him straight. I still haven’t ingrained what I need to do into muscle memory yet, but I am getting close. LOOK LEFT — that works really, really well to combat the right drift. It’s not the only thing I need to do, but it’s a big part of it.

slightly less old screenshot

I had set up a vertical-oxer-vertical exercise in the middle of the ring, each fence 33′ from the next. This was an exercise that I would have to be very straight in, and it would encourage Eli to jump a bit round and from his hind end if I could ride it right. We only went through it twice. The first time we came in a bit weak (I do not advise this through such an exercise) but Eli being Eli responded to my leg and made it over the oxer just fine and had to step up a bit to get out but we did it. The second time through, Eli hit all the right notes, we stayed in the middle, and we landed on the correct lead. That’s a great time to call it a day! Eli gets another well-deserved day off today.

He thinks he might melt in the sun

We have a show upcoming on Saturday. I think we’re ready. However, Central Texas is in the midst of a brutal heat wave and I am having second thoughts about going because it’s forecast to be 106 or something ridiculous like that. That is not my idea of a good time.