Monday, August 15, 2011

A Full Weekend...Including Delilah's First SHOW!

It was an amazingly full and productive weekend.  I took Friday off to show around a potential boarder and get Delilah ready for her first show.  It ended up turning into a jam-packed day - toured a really sweet possible boarder around, then headed to Kelsey's to watch Delilah school for the show.  Robyn and I bathed her and put her up to dry, then headed out on a mission to start our cross country course.  We found a steal of a deal on tires - FREE! - and loaded up to make a few jumps we had already designed out when researching last week.  Then it was off to Robyn's farm to get our guys done by the farrier.  We had Bryan come back out, and he always does the most incredible job with their feet.  He takes so much time to educate his clients along the way, which I really enjoy and appreciate.  I set out from there to head to Clover, SC to pick up another steal of a deal - stadium jumps for sale on Craigslist.  Robyn had to head out of town that afternoon, so I loaded up and got them back to the farm, after an hour drive each way.  It was totally worth it though - I was so excited, I four-wheeled the truck back to the arena and set everything up!  Afterwards, I headed over to Kelsey's to finish with all the show preparations.  I realized I had forgotten to borrow the solo-comb from Robyn (which has a razor blade for pulling manes, since Delilah is a bit of a freak about that), and came to the harsh conclusion that I either battle through trying to pull it, or she would have to go shaggy.  I opted for choice number one.  It started out kind of ugly, so I put on a halter and had a brief come-to-Jesus in the stall with her.  She really thought about standing up on me once or twice, especially when I got up close to her ears, but I was extremely proud to make it all the way through to a neatly groomed mane!!!   Big steps for breaking through boundaries in being firm with her!!!

Saturday morning came bright and early - 5:30 am to be exact.  I headed to the farm, fed the two mares going to the show, and started wrapping and packing last minute supplies.  We loaded up and headed out, and got there in just enough time to tack up, warm up, and hit the ring for Delilah's 8 am dressage test.  She was stunning.  So calm in the warmup, so relaxed to be in such strange surroundings.  She continues to surprise me every time she proves herself to be so good.  She walked on and off the trailer all day, hung out there eating hay in between switching horses - I was glowing. 

Delilah's First Dressage Test!
After dressage came a little bit of a wait before the show jump round.  We hung around waiting, then finally came time to tack up and head to the schooling ring.  We entered her in an extra Maiden Show Jumper Derby round, to give her a little more time in the ring over a slightly bigger height than the Pre-Maiden level.  Kelsey told me after warm up that we would just have to see how she did in the first round, and if it was too much we would withdraw.  She amazed us all though.  She went around the course like a champ, especially considering she has never laid eyes on so many bright and distracting jumps, or even gone a full course before!  There was a set of black glossy rolltops that resulted in refusals all day long from MANY of the horses there, but with a bit of encouragement, she sailed right over them without ever stopping. 

After such a successful round, Kelsey opted to definitely go forward with the next class.  She continued to surprise us by cantering almost the entire course.  She got a little excited at one point, and Kelsey brought her back to a relaxed trot before cantering the last couple of fences.
Maiden Jumper Derby
We were so proud.  Then, to top it off.....
Kelsey with the Blue Ribbon Girls!!!
That's right - SHE WON!!!  Her very first outing, and she won the Pre-Maiden Division.  And to top it off, Rachel won the Novice Division, which was a pretty good sized class, and scored a 25 on her dressage test - Kelsey's second best lifetime score.  It was an AMAZING DAY!!!

After the show, we decided to continue with our blissful day by schooling the cross country course since Delilah has never tried it, and Rachel has been out maybe one time before.  Thankfully, Kelsey had an extra helmet and vest, so I popped on Delilah with the intention of just trail riding her over, then holding whoever wasn't being schooled.  It was pretty exhilerating to trail ride across a street with traffic going by, then ride around a huge open field with horses galloping around the cross country course on all sides of us.  Delilah got a little excited, but was very good about waiting around while Kelsey schooled Rachel.  Rachel was amazing for her second time out.  She is an OTTB, who hasn't been out much due to a few injuries that have sidelined her for a pretty good amount of time.  She has an incredible mind though, and tackled all kinds of cross country fences, even up to a Prelim-level question.  Then came time to switch for Delilah's turn!  Kelsey gave me a leg up on Rachel (thank God - she's TALL!) so I could sit on her while they schooled Delilah.  Or at least that was the original plan....somehow it quickly evolved into me getting to be Delilah's "lead" over questions on the course that may have been intimidating.  It started at the water complex.  Kelsey asked if I would mind walking Rachel through the water in front of Delilah, which of course I didn't mind AT ALL!  Then it translated into trotting through - first time ever, and it was a BLAST!  After I acted as their lead, Kelsey would school back through a time or two with Delilah by herself, and she was amazing!  Then we moved onto a stone wall, a ditch, a log, a little red table, and even more exciting - my first drop bank!  Kelsey talked me through how to ride it accurately by opening the chest and letting the reins slip through almost to the buckle - and I have to tell you, it was the most incredible feeling!  Definitely my favorite kind of cross country fence now.  In the end, Delilah jumped everything on the Maiden cross country course (2'3") without a single refusal.  Kelsey was stunned at how bold she was about all the different questions thrown at her - ditches, banks, drops, water - she tackled them all without the slightest bit of hesitation.  We have really high hopes for that little mare's future now!!!!!

After the cross country schooling, with the winning mares!!!

After trailering home and settling in the girls, we hit Maxwells for a celebratory dinner and beer, then went to see a movie.  Then it was home to bed, til morning came and another day of work on the barn began!  Sunday's progress included some huge ambition that resulted in us tackling the last giant project - painting the exterior of the barn.  We amazed ourself at how fast we accomplished the task, especially for it just being the two of us girls!  Hard to believe it has ever been insinuated that we are lazy, when you look at all we have accomplished lately....nevertheless, we finished half of the barn in only a couple hours, and only stopped because it looked like it was threatening rain.  We took the rest of the night off, and spoiled ourselves with a meal at Chilis and an El Presidente margarita to celebrate our successful weekend, then had a low key movie night at home before sacking out. 

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