Freddie goes to a show

On Saturday, Freddie and I hitched a ride to a local dressage schooling show. We didn’t compete, but I felt like I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get her out and about away from home.  It was cold over the weekend- Saturday morning was 52, overcast, and windy- and I was a little apprehensive that Freddie would be feeling exuberant and try to murder me once I climbed on.

So chilly that barn dogs needed blankets! (Deets, Joey [green], Maisy [purple])

She loaded and unloaded from the trailer like a pro, but seemed totally bewildered by her surroundings at the farm where the show was held. (Trailer parking was in the middle of a tree-filled field.) But she stood tied to the trailer pretty calmly. The stuffed hay bag in front of her probably helped.

“This isn’t the race track or home!”

Five of Richal’s students were competing on three of Richal’s horses, so we spent the morning hustling around, grooming and tacking horses.

Adorable tiny child grooming adorable pony Max.

We all headed to the warm up ring once the ponies and kids were ready; I was on foot leading Freddie, and we were accompanied by one of the students riding Training level later on Sundance. The four of us stood outside the warm up area; Sundance grazed and Freddie circled around me nervously. When the warm up ring cleared out, I walked Fred around in it. She was unimpressed for the most part, although some drainage pipes gave her a start. After her very minor spook, she settled down and took advantage of the grass.

“These Intro tests are a snooze fest; I’m hungry.”

We watched some of the kids’ tests. Freddie paid very close attention.

“So that’s what walking looks like…”

After lunch, we headed back to the trailer for some food. We tied the horses up in front of their hay bags, offered them some water, and settled down to enjoy horse show staples like granola bars and goldfish crackers. All of a sudden, there was some commotion on the other side of the trailer: a squeal, some clattering, and some thudding. Richal and I dashed over to see what caused the ruckus. Freddie was nonchalantly eating her hay, while adorable gray pony Max was staring at her, bug eyed and holding up his right hind leg a little. Freddie had nailed him right in the stifle!

Thankfully, Max walked it off just fine and went on to put in two nice Training tests for his young rider. I saddled up Freddie shortly after that; she was totally bonkers for a few minutes, bouncing and jigging and generally trying to zoom off with me. Once she got in the warm up ring, she was a good bit better. She doesn’t mind being close to other horses, or other horses getting close to her. She wasn’t frightened by any noises or sights. She walked and trotted very quietly in the ring- Richal joked that Freddie looked like she was impersonating a western pleasure horse as she shuffled along. The only bit of ugliness was when I asked Fred to canter- she let out two or three mighty bucks, but since she occasionally does that at home, I wasn’t overly concerned. (She is also a ridiculously easy bucker to sit.)
A few people complimented Richal and me on how well behaved Freddie seemed for her first time off her home property, so at least we didn’t embarrass ourselves. I was very proud of her; I guess all that hard work on walking is paying off!
Fat Paint horse Paige is a cute mover; even cuter with a tiny kid aboard.
 I’m also proud of all the kids; they rode well and one of them even brought home the high point award! 
The next schooling show is in early October- I’m hoping Freddie will be ready to do an Intro test, but if not, she’ll at least be along for the ride.

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

9 thoughts on “Freddie goes to a show”

  1. booo cold weather 🙁 what a nice outing tho! nice and low key, no pressure. i wish my horse would stand tied to the trailer like that! also – i think i have the exact same purple hay net lol

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