Clever pony came home with a 3rd and a 4th from today’s show. Weird, but the frillies don’t have much bearing on how I feel about the day.

The highs and the lows stemmed from all the other bits.  Abbey’s impeccable behaviour in the ring made me enormously proud but the frustration of not being able to tie her up got me very frustrated.

Abbey continues to be calmer about traveling and, for the first time, I left her on the van while I did my entries. A fellow competitor who kept an eye on her said that she was just fine :D.

However (you knew that there was a ‘but’ coming!) when I uploaded Abbey she spied something either in the hedge or the other side of the hedge, I don’t know which. I do know that she spent the next half hour snorting at said hedge. Twice (when I went in the horsebox to get into my show attire) she decided it was all too much and made a run for it. She snapped the twine she was attached to and, I am sure, would have run home had she not been distracted by the lush long grass within 6ft of the horsebox.

This meant I was stuck holding the end of Abbey’s leadrope. I couldn’t reach her tack, nor anything else I needed to get ready. I had to call for reinforcements. The OH dutifully arrived and held piglet while I ran round (now late!) getting us both ready.

Our frustration levels were not helped by the lack of breakfast…

….anyway that is enough of the ‘lows’, which less face it, aren’t really that bad.

When it mattered, Abbey was a superstar. She was attentive and responsive throughout the ridden class. Unlike our last show she stayed ‘with me’ throughout the group walk, trot and canter, even when a competitor over took us in canter.

 

I was delighted by our individual show too. There was no falling in or out on the circles, our transitions were smooth and she moved up and down the gears as I asked!

We both did better in the in-hand class too…this time I didn’t kick her during the run up (see our last attempt here)!

I love people watching an these events and there was a really heart-warming moment when the judge, the steward, family and strangers all encouraged a very little girl to continue when her little toerag of a pony refused to canter.

Bless her, she’d made half a dozen attempts in front of a reasonable crowd to get the beastie to move up a gear and the git just kept trotting faster. She was on the verge of tears when she said to her mum “I want to come out, now”. With a bit of persuasion she did carry on and she did get that canter, and the crowd cheered.  It was lovely, she dug deep and she got it.

The experience got me thinking about some of the life lessons horses have given me; from resilience and perseverance to kindness and patience (ok, maybe we’re still working on that last one). It’s amazing how each equine seems to identify a weak spot and work on it until you’re a better person….maybe we’ve got it wrong the whole time…they are training us…..