Big weekend has arrived. I say big, but it’s not big. It’s a winter schooling show at our local international quality facility. It’s big, as it is Mav’s first show at this facility. He came here once, you may recall, early on in his riding life. Amazing rider friend rode him that time but this time it’s all me. Well, me and super ground crew member. although I think I’m nearly ready to venture on my own, especially if I have a stall to put him in.
but I do really like the help.
Mav gets off the trailer, looks around and quietly follows me to the barn he is in.
We tack him up while he enjoys a snack from his net. It may be nervous eating, but he doesn’t seem too upset. Even when the horse a few stalls down tries to get his feet over the wall, he looks up briefly then goes back to his net.
May as well see what I have, so I climb on. Getting on is uneventful. The answer to “can I get on using this short step stool?” is yes. Yes, in fact I can.
There is a lovely horse path they built it for the FEI horses who come from the special FEI barn. Since those horses are not supposed to mingle, they follow these paths to the grass Grand Prix field. The whole place is empty except for those of us attending this little show, so we use the walkway. I would like him, one day, to enjoy trails so I take the chance to utilize the paths. I do this again at the end of his ride, but this time walk all over the facility. The summer shows are outside, so I may as well get him used to the whole place while I can.
This is the warm up. Inside the bubble, as we call it. He had a fabric indoor when I first started him, but it didn’t have sides. I wasn’t sure how he would cope.
He was worried and tight, but did everything asked of him. I can’t get his neck out more yet when he is worried, but like all things, that should come.
The ring was busy. They were supposed to be watering and dragging the main indoor. When that didn’t happen, we all moved there.
At home we ride with max a couple horses. None of them are currently doing things like pirouettes, although his usual riding buddy does like to improvise his own when he sees something scary. Also, the shows last year scheduled warm ups to ensure only 3 horses at a time (Covid rules), therefore, a busy warm up ring was a completely new thing for him.
A couple of the horses were his neighbours at a previous facility he lived at and he seemed to recognize them. He did more staring that usual.
Regardless, he did amazing with all the company. We will call this one “find the Mav”. My trusty groom, who took these videos without being asked, even had trouble keeping track of us in the chaos.
This one we hit less traffic, so I thought I would show how brave we both are getting compared to last year at least
Except for one tiny spook. Waking around the outside of the ring, where the judge box is raised, someone popped their head up over the boards causing him to do his classic legs everywhere maneuver. Sorry people standing there!
He recovered quickly.
One last picture with his rig after exploring the facility then we untacked, loaded up and headed for home.
Tomorrow is another day for the young Jedi.