I'm way too busy :(
After the fair we went to week long show (our favorite show of the year next to state). I had high hopes, as last year when Cruizer was super green and hadn't been hauled away for several days to show before, he kicked ass. Not this year so much. Overnight the temperature dropped 20 degrees, the wind started blowing at 40mph, and the horses were all feeling good. Even Cruizer's equine bff Rolie reacted, and he's literally the quietest horse in the world. The first show day, I attempted to ride in warm up ring, and Cruizer just started leaping through the air, rearing, spinning sideways, and trying to bolt. That pretty much set the tone for the first few days. After endless lunging, riding, lunging, riding, and more lunging he was finally safe to show the last two days. He gave me a heart attack the night before, though. We were riding over in the draft arena, cantering, and he tripped and went all the way down. I mean legs buckled, head in the dirt, down. Somehow I sat back far enough to stay on. I had a friend check his legs right away. He wasn't phased at all. I started bawling. The last time I had a horse fall on me like that she had to be put down. It hit me and I realized that I really can't lose him now. I need him. He showed well the last two days. The judge the final day didn't place me at all (except for one 2nd out of 3 in the Jr Horse HUS). WTF? Even the girl who kept winning my classes came up to me and told me that I should have won or at least placed. Oh well. Cruizer rode AMAZING that day, and we were having fun regardless of the placings (or lack thereof lol).
State was a disaster, result wise. We didn't place in anything. Although we did have one really good showmanship pattern, and one decent one. The second one was my mistake on quadrants, that I immediately fixed. Cruizer was perfect. Did teeny tiny trot circles, instant set ups, speedy backs, nailed the pivots, etc, and most importantly was quiet. I was disappointed but I figured well, we still have our best class. I had no high hopes for equitation, my goal for that class was to keep Cruizer relaxed, in control, and complete the pattern. We had to face the terrifying judges in the chairs again. At the start of the pattern he was so worried about the judge that he wouldn't trot out, so I ended up posting a sitting trot. I was tryin, but extension just wasn't gonna happen. He nailed the simple lead change and canter circles, as well as the stop and back & transitions. We had a decent pattern, that I was very happy with. Cruizer's head was up a lot of the time, because he was terrified of the judge, but I thought that if anything this meant better for rider score because it showed I was still able to control and ride my horse through the pattern, even with him being clearly extremely worried. At the end of the pattern we had to walk behind the judge & ring steward sitting in the oh-so scary chairs. Cruizer REALLY didn't wanna do that, but decided he could trust me and did it. I swear he was proud of himself for being so brave, he happily marched right out of the arena. Another thing in the pattern was at the end, the transition from sitting trot to stop, when Cruizer stopped his head flew up and he's like "ohhh look all those people!!!!" Five year olds.
Hunter Under Saddle was by far the hugest disappointment. Cruizer kept randomly popping his head up at C (he was very unfocused and distracted easily by everything) and then our big mistake that lost us the class... Cruizer blew his left lead. I fixed it immediately, but the judge saw it and it was over. I made up for it with the rest of the cut, but Cruizer blew it. I was soooo disappointed. Everything we've worked for all year, gone, just like that, over a stupid mistake that Cruizer hasn't made in over a year. What happened? As my memory serves, right as I cued him to canter Cruizer saw something which broke his concentration. His equine brain probably went "oh I'm supposed to be cantering!" and rather than think about the cue, he just hopped into it. He tried. Oh well. The worst part was after the class, everyone was telling me that AFTER the judge saw me blow the lead, he kept watching me for the rest of the class. WTH. If you liked the horse enough to keep watching after a class-losing mistake like that, then you should have called the horse back to the final. However, I understand that as a judge even if you love a horse, if you see something like that... by the rules you really can't call back that horse, when there are other horses in the class who didn't make mistakes (even if Cruizer was the nicest hunter in there!) Although we lost the entire state, and accomplished absolutely nothing that I wanted to, I must say that his behavior, relaxation, and performance quality was MUCH better than last year. Improvement is all I can ask for from Cruizer.
I also got my new saddle! It's amazing. We love it.
After state Cruizer got about a week and a half off (due to me being in school and working) and then went back to work. Since then we have been mixing arena work in with some dressagey stuff, bareback w/ a halter rides, cantering at top speed, and hacking around the property after every ride. I love this horse.
Another thing, everyone keeps saying Cruizer looks bigger. Maybe I'll stick him again. He does seem maybe a hair taller, and DEFINITELY wider. He's muscling up a lot.
I also have a video taken before fair, of Cruizer practicing western pleasure. I'm going to post it in the next entry. Not bad for a 16.3hand hunter. Yes I know he takes "off" steps at the jog, its a work in progress.