Yep, that is a first-place ribbon, and for the Turn-out class no less!!!
This was our first attempt at showing (also called "dolly classes" or just-going-around-in-interminable-circles) at the riding club Christmas ribbon day. Showing is not at all my cup of tea, it bores me senseless and I feel very uncomfortable with the whole beauty show mentality. I hate people looking at me and I would rather have a task to do - having a dressage test or some jumps to do suits my goal-focussed brain much better.
However, as we are not ready to do any jumping at this stage, there aren't many options for outings. And I figure it is good for both of us to go out in a crowd and experience a day at a show. I definitely need to do more practise on plaiting and figure out how to use my new braiding wires that are so much easier to get out than rubber bands!
Maxie was undeniably a star! He managed to keep his plaits in overnight and only rolled in the mud a little bit so it took longer for me to make myself presentable than it did for him. I didn't think we had a snowball's chance in a supernova in the turnout class, but figured we might as well as some of the others hadn't plaited. And waddyaknow - we won it! He does look gorgeous in the photo but I suspect the judge didn't look at my plaits very closely, and my gear doesn't match and so on. But a red ribbon is a red ribbon!
We also placed third in Best PARC Riding Club Mount, fourth in Best Mannered and fifth in Best Rider. As we don't yet have a steady trot, we definitely were not going to canter in a huge paddock, but that didn't seem to worry the judge.So, four ribbons out of six classes and I am more than happy to now retire from showing forever more!
He was definitely tired by the last class and kept turning his head around to look at me as if to say "Why are we still going around out here?" I suspect I have started to turn him into a bit of a nancy boy dressage queen with only riding in the indoor arena for less than an hour. Note to self - get in the saddle for longer! So we didn't do the games classes and he got to stand at the float and demolish a large haynet for a while.
After lunch, we dressed up for the fancy dress class - more on that soon!
I was so pleased with how my little guy coped with a very big day out (for him), behaved perfectly when the others were cantering around him, stood well at the float when I left him, and loaded up and went home like a champion. Other people might wonder why I didn't do the jumping as well, but I think this was quite enough for a green horse to cope with. My coach is a great believer in breaking things down into small do-able chunks, and so I think that throwing Max into a whole day would be too much for him. Maybe next year we can go jumping?