My First Show & Two Falls = A Kickstart to Victory!!!! :D
Okay, so last year 2011, me and my pony Dexter entered our first competition!! We entered 2 classes: Tack and Turnout and also Best Ridden.
At 9:30 A.M. it was Tack and Turnout class. I was unsure of my surroundings, but Dexter was absolutely fine! I asked my Dad to lead me in Tack and Turnout just for a little confidence booster. So we did that!
Dexter and I walked around, with my Dad beside me :). We got called in. Unfortunately I was not placed, but really, I wasn't bothered!
I tied Dexter up, gave him some water and a munch at his hay until 11 A.M. struck and it was time for Best Ridden. I was 8th to go out of 9 riders. My heart was pounding! My Dad wasn't there to lead me as it included cantering.
The thing that scared me most was that I was not at all good at cantering. I watched as everyone was doing a figure-of-8 beautifully in all paces, walk, trot and canter. Them and their ponies were so talented! I looked down at Dexter and whispered to him, "I'm sure this won't be so bad!"
I've had full trust and such a bond in my pony, whatever happened I would NEVER blame it on him!
So, it was my turn. I walked nervously up to the judge and whispered to her, "I can't canter."
"Just try your best," she told me. I sighed and saluted with a smile, taking away the embarrassment.
We walked around in a figure-of-8. I heard the judges discussing Dexter's movement, and I actually heard them say, "He has beautiful movement!" So that was so far so good I supposed!!
Then trot. The judges liked it, but one of them at a slant on their face as if to think, "They haven't got a good movement in trot." Nevermind, I thought. I did my hardest.
I looked around me. A sudden feeling shot into me; and I imagined Dexter saying in my head, "Why hold me back? Try!" I held my breath, sat in the nearest corner, and asked for canter.
Right now, the judge was shocked - everyone was (since they heard me saying my cantering situation!) Even my Dad, who was videotaping this, was amazed. My canter was bouncy, but I needed time to adjust my thoughts. But all too soon - it was like slow motion. There was a hole in the ground, and Dexter tripped, landing on his knees, sending me violently out of the saddle and tumbling down with a large smack.
I lay there for about twenty seconds realising what had just happened. The judge rushed over and said, "Are you alright?!" I nodded. She constantly reminded me, "You look a bit wheezy".
I ignored her and got back on. Everyone was absolutely gobsmacked as I cantered Dexter casually in a figure-of-8.
The judges, and the other contestants, stared at me as we walked around in that, "Wow! You're very brave" look. My number was called! I was placed last place but honestly I couldn't care! The judge said to me, "Well done. You earned this for not only a beautiful performance but the determination and trust you two put together to form a wonderful canter!"
I smiled, said thanks and watched as she put the rosette on his browband.
Then came the lap of honour. Now that I could canter, I let myself go, smiling like mad and I was cantering around with the others.
It got bad as everything got good. Dexter got scared of the slight breeze making the rosette flap in his face and REARED. He did a MASSIVE rear, and threw me off backwards. I must have done a backwards flip in mid-air, that's what I briefly saw on the videotape!
My farm owner sprinted over and asked if I was OK, but again, I ignored everyone, got on, and smiled. After the class, I sat ages talking to Dexter, saying how great he'd been and how honest he'd been for my first REAL canter!
That day I had many strangers, who were competing, coming up to me saying "wow you were really good you deserved that placing!"
Now look at us - we're jumping 85cm the highest and 30cm spreads, and we're entering LOTS of SJ (showjumping) this year.
I want to say a BIG thank you to the Judges that day, my Dad, those girls and adults who also competed/watched me in my class who said how good I'd been, and most importantly: Dexter.<3