Training Show at ShumbaShaba

Saturday 31 July 2010 – Training Show at ShumbaShaba in partnership with the Lions Club Centurion

I decided to enter the training show being held at the stables where Amber is kept (Shumbashaba in Mnandi) namely:

A DRESSAGE AND RIDING HORSE TRAINING SHOW FOR RIDERS WITH OR WITHOUT DISABILITY INCORPORATING GHS GROW PARAEQUESTRIAN DAY

My horse of choice to compete on was my very good horsey friend Erina’s school master Tapsy. She does everything you ask her to (normally and you will see why later) and she is pretty easy to get on the bit 🙂

My class of choice was to be the Prelim 3 Dressage Test with lots of catering and an extended trot as well as the trail riding test for fun! Last weekend I practiced the test a few times in the dressage arena with Erina and my work colleague reading the test to me and I felt I had it pretty much under control and was ready 🙂

The other test I entered was for the Adult trail riding test which is made up on the day and involves trotting poles, a jump and scary things (to horses anyway) to walk across.

I didn’t really have time to practice during the week so the next time I rode was on the actual day of the show. I was pretty nervous – not sure why though – I have competed at bigger shows than just training shows before. Wierd.. But anyway..

The Stables

My boyfriend Mark drove me there.. And before we even left the house my cocker spaniel Benson already jumped up on me and got my white show jodhpurs all muddy with his paws.. That made me even more panicky as I now had to sort that out..

When we got there we had hotdogs and bacon rolls and coffee from the Lions Club and checked out the show schedule. Tapsy was already plaited courtesy of Carlton (Tapsy’s groom). We walked up to the dressage arena where I was then asked to help lead and walk beside 3 of the paradressage participants for the duration of their show.. My parents (who had come through for the day to watch me) met me there 🙂

Once I had finished up there, we all went back up to the stables and tacked up Tapsy. My parents were very willing to help with everything which was great 🙂
I then walked Tapsy down to the jumping area to prepare to warm her up with everyone else in tow.

I stood outside the jumping arena for a bit watching some chick giving a private lesson to a dude on a chestnut at the top of the field. I waited a bit then opened the closed gate and went to warm up at the bottom, far away from the private lesson.. I was then asked to quote “please give us two minutes” unquote. I growled at her and walked out the arena. I was not impressed. What makes her so special that she can hog the entire arena for a private lesson while the rest of us have to wait outside… Not cool..

Anyway I left it.. Mark managed to get me a white numnah to use instead of the black one to use with Tapsy’s Wintec dressage saddle, so I got off and we swopped it out. I got back on and by this time the blonde chick and her protege were done and she came to me to say “Thank you”. I grunted.. It was over..

I then spent some time walking, trotting and cantering Tapsy around warming her up. Then Jean arrived (Marks friend from the towing and present house mate). I went to greet him and sent Mark to get my number (for the show) which turned out to be 27… And they were only on 16 so I had a few people to do their classes before me… If I had known I had had soooooo much time I would have taken my time more and been more relaxed..

My mom then decided she wanted to walk me around the arena on Tapsy – twice.. Not that I need to be lead.. But I let my mom do her thing.. 🙂

Trail Riding Test

My riding instructor, Renae, then came past and mentioned she was going to the trail test and that I should go too 🙂

My heart started beating at 300 kilometers per second.. All I was thinking was that I was only planning on doing the Trail test after the dressage show and not before.. But as I got to the arena with the trail test in it, I realised that the judges had thought that everyone had competed that was going to compete as they were packed up and leaving, so I would need to compete in this before my dressage test or not at all..

So after watching Ren complete the test, which was all wrong, I found out later.. I attempted the test myself.. In this order:

– trot in loops around the cones
– trot to the bucket and get off
– climb into a sack and hop to the next bucket with horse in tow
– at next bucket climb on horse from off side (wrong side)
– trot to one of two barrels and pick up teddy and trot in a circle around and put the teddy back
– trot through a maze of tyres and poles (Tapsy refused the first time)
– walk over a black piece of material on the ground
– walk into the middle of a square made up of poles, do a 360 degree turn and walk back out
– pick up a ring off the side pole of a jump and trot over the jump with the ring and then put it back.
– trot over a number of trotting poles (which I did the wrong way – which I was told afterwards)
– end with a halt and salute (which I did backwards – which I was told afterwards)

I was really happy with the test in the end and I got a nice round of applause from all the audience members 🙂

The dressage test

This did not go all that well..sigh.. We all went up to the dressage arena together.. I kept Tapsy walking around and around in circles close to the entrance to the arena.. I asked Erina to read for me instead of Sharon.. And I took off my jacket.. Not sure if I should have but anyway.

Tapsy did NOT (I repeat did not) want to be there at all.. She kept trying to walk away and would not listen to me at all.. Even after I smacked her with the dressage crop.. I should have known there and then that this was going to end badly.. She wanted to be anywhere else but there.. I think because in her mind she thought she was done for the day (after the trail test). And all this waiting around didnt seem to have helped…

By the time I was called into the arena both Tapsy and I were kinda irritated and wanted this over and done with.. I was soooo past being nervous at this stage..

I entered the arena after the whistle blew and Erina started reading the test to me. Tapsy entered nicely, in a straight line and at a nicely paced working trot. Halt through walk at X and salute.. Perfect.. And then the wheels fell off.. Literally..

Tapsy decided she did not want to be there and before I knew what was happening, she had turned around and started to head out of the arena. I had to gather up the reins lightening fast and continue with the test.. It was too late though cos my nerves were shattered.. Everything else she did pretty well until we got to the end and I asked her to extend and she cantered instead.. I finished the test.. Threw down my crop. Took off my helmet and walked out the arena.. Only to be accosted by Jean (Russian house mate) telling me and Erina (Tapsy’s) owner that the Tapsy had the wrong bit in her mouth.. I felt like crawling into a hole.. I just carried on walking up to the stables.. I had to get away and I apologized profusely to Erina for Jean’s know-it-all attitude.. Sigh..

I untacked Tapsy and packed away the tack and went to get something to drink from the car with my parents and waited for the prize giving.. I ended up with 2 placed rosettes and not too bad a scoring on my dressage test: 59.8%.. Great considering my minus marks for the errors..

Everyone congratulated everyone else and that was the end of that 🙂

I went with my dad to collect Amber from the paddock to show her newly acquired skills to my parents…. but thats a story for another day!!

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