We chose a local series at Country Haven Stables in St. Leonard, Maryland. Country Haven has a nice large ring, a good set of hunter jumps, and provides a relaxing, small schooling show environment for the horses. It’s a really enjoyable show experience for the riders too and less than an hour away from our home barn.
We set out from our barn, Woodbury, with Patrick and his friend Lincoln the eventing paint draft cross in Diane’s trailer with Diane, her mother Mary Anne and me. My trainer, Julie, arrived with her gooseneck and two client horses. I wondered how Patrick would act since he hadn’t been to a show for awhile, but I had nothing to worry about. He didn’t even look left and right after backing off the trailer before plunging his head into the grass. His anxiety level about being away from home was somewhere between 0 and -3!
He was great in warm up other than the fact that he was so slow I had to put my spurs on half way through to get him rolling. He jumped all of the decorated fences unceremoniously. There was one single oxer that had been artfully decorated with shiny, tinsel-like, fake red and orange leaves. Heck, I was spooking at that fence, but Patrick didn’t care at all.
We had beautiful weather for both shows and my husband, Will, was able to attend the first show, which was very special to me. Will is an excellent horse husband. He is very understanding of my riding habit and never makes me feel guilty about all of the time and resources I put into riding/training/owning/competing my horse. Will used to attend most of my shows when I owned my previous horse, Ziggie and when Will’s job was less demanding than it is now. Will is also a great horse show husband, though he explains it is easy.
He says, “You just sling a towel over your shoulder for wiping boots, green slime from the horse’s mouth, etc. Then on the other arm you sling all of the tack; bridle, martingale, rider’s jacket, crop, spurs. You just walk around like a human coat rack, provide whatever is needed and let the horse rub his mouth on your clothes and slime you.”
Hmm. Sounds a little too close to the truth for my comfort!