April is basically tomorrow so lets talk show season.
July of 2019 was the last time I actually showed, which feels like a lifetime ago.
I didn’t even bother trying to show in 2020. At the time, we were still unsure of local shows and their restrictions, and how careful they were being. L and I had just started working together, and Lush (at the time) was nowhere near ready for a show ring. So I spent my summer just riding, definitely not normal for me as I’ve shown every summer, (at least once in some capacity), since I was 10. But thats COVID for ya.
I finally reached my goal of getting working L in his snaffle and we’re working on getting confident in the snaffle (more me than him, it feels like I’m riding around naked without two reins). That was the first step in getting to show him this year.
Now, it’s March 26th, the Omnibus should be here any day now, so let’s talk about it.
The first important factor in showing for me this season is budgeting. I’ve been paying my own way since 18, splitting it with my parents since 16, and the shows I’ve done since then have been local the cost is low, or I’ve worked part of my cost off. Now, at 22 with a car payment, and other recurring costs, there are more factors I need think about this year besides just budgeting.
Factor 2; L is the most important one to show if I do show. I’ve chatted with GJM and JM, and both think I can show First Level with no problem this summer. Which is scary but exciting I’ll finally get out of training and intro. AC at our last clinic, highly suggested Dressage Equitation classes if I can find them, which is definitely on the list if I can find them.
This kinda lies in the middle of Factor 1 and 2, but I also want to keep doing clinics with AC if I can’t show. He’s always had super helpful suggestions, and has really great input for L and I. If we don’t show a lot, I’m fine with clinics. I’m actually already signed up for the first April clinic.
Factor 3: Where. Right now, we are limited in what we can plan until the Omnibus is in our hands. Both JM and I agree wherever we take L, has to have good footing. Like really good footing.
I love my little local show thats right down the street, but their footing is unpredictable in Ring 1, and Ring 2 despite the facility promising they’ve fixed it, they honest to god haven’t. When GJM and I kicked around in it last fall at the one show JM did, we both agreed it was still too deep. It would be really nice to go there, but I am afraid to sign up, have either crappy weather or show up and have bad footing, and have to scratch.
If the footing is not up to scratch, I have to scratch. Which I have no arguments with at all, and think its a reasonable agreement.
Right now the current plan for me and L (unless it has changed) is to get us off property a few times solo pre shows, and keep training in the snaffle periodically. JM and I have talked about it, and she wants me to have good rides when we go off property, so the likelyhood of me and L going to the same shows as JM and H are pretty slim unless its an overnight and they can be stalled away from each other.
L showed solo most of his career with JM, but now that JM is just riding H, they go together places. And for some reason, whenever we take them both off property, L and H are suddenly attached at the hip, and L throws temper tantrums when she’s away from him. She, in typical mare fashion, could care less once he’s out of sight. We’ve talked about trailering to GJM’s for my lesson, and JM will take a lesson on one of GJM’s horses when we go.
The clinic in April is our first scheduled romp, which should be fun. AC has changed his clinic format to 45 minutes instead of the full hour, which is fine by me, not my favorite but I get it.
I also need new show clothes. Apparently going gluten and dairy free also has some perks aside from no longer having the worst menstrual cycle in the world. I’ve dropped 27 pounds since starting that diet change which was a bonus honestly, until I realized that my show clothes no longer fit.
My mom argued my brand new jacket I got at the end of 2019 would be fine, despite the fact I felt I’d need a breast enlargement for the chest just to fit. I brought it to the barn, put it on, and JM just snorted and went, “nope, shopping trip for you too.” So, new coat plus new boots, which I’m still hunting around for. Coat is more important than boots, but new coat and boots before hopefully before May 16th.
May 16th is our first “planned” show. They have yet to release the sign up date, and the website is still not updated, but we will be heading up to Bear Spot, if we get a spot. They only have one ring, so it’s limited on how many spots are available, so you have to stay up till like 12am when the show opens, and hope you get a spot. Otherwise, I’m stuck until August when we go again, unless the local show has fixed their footing.
Worst comes to worst, I spend my summer doing dressage clinics with AC. Not the end of the world to me, and its a little more affordable and more worth my time instead of spending a lot of money to trailer somewhere, ride a test and get feedback. Again, we have to see. The goal is to do First 1 and First 2, as First 2 is basically First 1 just with leg yields and the canter work is backwards, and then over the summer work on our counter canter for First 3. L likes to throw in some freestyling flying changes, which is cool, but not approved for First 3.
Important things for right now, joint injections, learn First 1, buy a new show coat, buy new dressage boots, and generally do it in that order. What are your show plans for the year?