The stars all aligned and Sammy had the chance to attend a local dressage show. I thought it would be a perfect situation for his first adventure under saddle in a horse show environment. A dressage show is so civilized with not so many people and they actually have ride times so the confusion in the warm up arena is kept to a minimum. Keith was game, we were able to share a ride with Sarah, so off we went for a overnight sleep-over. I like the whole horse show scene when we go as a non-competing entry.
He loaded with only a little hesitation which was very nice since he hadn't been in a trailer in over a year and a half and we were off to the Clay County Ag Center. We got the boys off the trailer, unpacked and boom, tacked up for Keith's big adventure. He was a bit fresh but nothing Keith couldn't handle....right Keith? Considering that this was the first time he had been ridden away from home and one of the few times he has actually been ridden in a ring with any company, he was a bit nervous. He did settle in and ended up with some powerful trot and canter work of which I have no evidence of. I was too busy watching and biting my nails to handle the camera.
Then he was introduced to the hissing, spitting hose at the wash rack. What had we done to him? He did get a bath without killing me in spite of the terrifying water hose but was glad to be back in his stall next to his Uncle Spenser. Sarah and I went and grabbed a quick dinner then were back to check on them and tuck them in for the night. We went for a long walk around the rings and then out to the big grass field where they both enjoyed the clover growing there. We said good night after making sure they had full water buckets and plenty of hay.
It was nice to see them both upright and alert this morning. Off we went for another walk a a bit of a longe and then back to wait on Keith. Now we're getting to the part where I actually have some photographic proof. Keith made is way to walk around the covered arena first. That was just like being at home but bigger. And I had the wrong lens for pictures in there so, no evidence of that either. But then they went outside to the warm up ring. It had rained quite a bit over night and the footing was quite wet and sloppy. Squishy and gross actually. Sammy was horrified he was being asked to walk in such deplorable conditions.
And then....Keith expected him to trot in that slop. Really? He had been paying attention to the dressage people and tried to trot without actually touching the wet stuff.
But he did get over it and had some nice hunter style trots. Sorry for the picture quality but you get the idea.
By this time, one of the rings was empty so they finished up by walking in the ring, calmly.