We arrived too late to enter into my equitation class because of the fit that Zydo had over loading. We (and by we, I mean everyone who went to the show EXCEPT me) spent close to forty five minutes fighting with him. Eventually, we (my father, my mother, and my coach) won the battle and were on the road.
Once we arrived at the show, Zydo spun out of the trailer and commenced conversing with every horse there. He called, he howled, he screeched. He tossed his head, he skittered, and at 8:05 a.m, I was ready to tie him to the trailer and be a simple observer of the festivities.
We got to the warm-up arena and my nerves nearly got the best of me. At that point, I said to my father "Put me on the damn horse. NOW." and without missing a beat, he grabbed hold of my left leg and tossed me swiftly into the saddle.
The first warm-up was something else. Zydo skittered about the arena, popping his nose out the open walls, spooking at umbrellas outdoors, and generally being a pill. I made my best effort to keep it together and eventually he settled down. We took a quick fifteen minute break, and then headed back to the warmup ring to have another go and calming his (my?) nerves. Since we missed the first class, I just did extra work with him in the arena.
I rode my first dressage test on time and in good spirits. About five minutes into my warmup, I realized that OH MY WORD, I was at a SHOW with my HORSE. After that, elation set in and stayed with me the rest of the day.
I thought I had done fairly well when I left the ring. We walked out, all smiles and WHHHEEEEE! We did it! Then I had time to cool him out, pee, and hop back on for my second test.
The second test was somewhat worse than the first. I actually went off-course while I was riding. I lost points there, which surprised me because I was under the impression that going off-course was a disqualifier and that I wouldn't be counted for scoring in that test.
I spent the day feeling genuinely pleased with myself because I had overcome the morning's fears and actually gotten on my horse. He was beautiful beyond words. He is in great shape, he's well-muscled, he's not sore on his bad knee... And I was riding him for all the world to see.
We waited after the second test for our scores for what felt like hours. All I wanted at that point was to get a ribbon, any ribbon at all. I wanted someone to believe that my wonderful, gorgeous Thoroughbred deserved a piece of silk to wear in his bridle at the end of the day. The ribbons went all the way to tenth place, and there were fourteen people entered in the classes I was in. I waited on my horse, feeling perfectly at ease and begging the Universe to please, please give me a ribbon.
The woman with the scoring sheet eventually came out carrying ribbons, and my heart soared because I was so hopeful one of them was for me. I was baffled when she held out two, because I thought that I hadn't even qualified for two ribbons.
And then she handed me a first and a second place ribbon along with my scoring sheets.
I scored first place in my first dressage test, and second place in my second dressage test. I was sort of speechless and then she handed me something else: A prize for having the top adult score in my division.
I've spent the rest of the day in a sort of semi-speechless reverie: I went to a show that started out disastrously; I got on the horse when the last thing I wanted to do was even be near him; I rode him through a warm-up ring that he was scared of.
And all I really wanted all day was ANY ribbon. And now I'm sitting at home admiring my first and second place ribbon and I am absolutely stunned.
And so very, very thrilled to own the most wonderful Chestnut Thoroughbred in the world.