So. I've decided to show Alexandre this year while I bring new horse along. Al can't jump due to an old injury, but he could do dressage and be fabulous if I actually worked at it. We only have an outdoor arena, and the snow finally melted off of it last week. I rode him twice and decided to take him and our little 4-year-old Palomino filly Porsche to a schooling show put on by the Quarter Horse people. I thought it would be good to be able to actually ride in an indoor arena, and the warm-up arena has a roof too. Here they are walking to the arena for Alexandre's first class.
We went into an eq. class and an english pleasure class. I really concentrated on being soft with my hands. He was nervous and very, very forward (he's 16.2 and 1300-1400 lbs, kinda like riding a freight train), but instead of getting into a pulling contest I half-halted and released. A lot. I let him come on the bit on his own by leg yielding a little down the long side. All in all he was fabulous. He broke at the canter 3 times in our first class, but picked it back up. In our second class he went both directions, w/t/c, and didn't break once. I called it good at 2 classes, he's so out of shape (we both are) I didn't want to push it.
Porsche was started this October, she's a little QH filly with a great mind. She got ridden occasionally this winter in the outdoor arena in a lot of snow, mostly at the walk. The gal that recently started riding her for me was up for taking her and exposing her to the big wide world. She did very well. She was very nervous and didn't relax the whole time she was there, BUT it was pouring rain and she hates rain. She walked and trotted in the warm up, not very straight but not spinning around or anything either. At lunch I led her into the indoor while K. rode her, and after about 4 laps let her off the lead. She never went to the rail (it's a really scary Fairgrounds indoor) but she walked and trotted around, and went in a walk-trot class where she got a blue ribbon! Yay! (OK, there were only 2 horses in the class and the other one was getting his mouth jerked off by his rider because... well, he looked good to me so I don't know).
All in all a very successful outing, one of the boys from the ranch came and took pictures. He's really excited about the possibility of being able to show his horse this year. It's great- his horse is an old show horse and will totally take care of him. And there's a little schooling show in April where there are tons of walk/trot classes.