Hi everyone, I apologize for the lack of updates, but if you're friends with me on facebook then you know that I recently moved away to college. I am attending The University of Findlay, majoring in Pre-Veterinary Medicine. So far, I love it. I started classes today and all of my professors seem nice and happy to help (a huge change from the college I attended back home). I have my first animal class tomorrow, Practical Animal Handling: Food Animals. I'm really excited about that, although we don't get to play with the cows and pigs and sheep and goats and llamas until later this week.
Before I left, I had one last horse show. My goal for that was to simply have clean rides and for me to not mess up our showmanship! Cruizer performed way above and beyond my expectations. We started off the day with a 2nd out of about 14 in Hunter In Hand.. a class we only enter for the experience of standing still for the judge. Cruizer tends to wiggle around during showmanship inspection which is cause for disqualification, but since I've started doing a halter class first we haven't had that problem. We then performed a dang near flawless showmanship pattern (only mistake was the last two steps of the back being a little crooked) but we did not place. I didn't care though because we had a really great pattern. No one knows why I didn't place..I have my suspcions that it was because in a class of 27 I was the only one dressed hunt seat. I did not have time to change between classes and the class did say western or english attire. But oh well.
I then lunged Cruizer for about 10 minutes out in the field (also lunged in the morning for about 35mins) and headed into open ring. We only got to walk around once, trot twice, and canter half a rail before they called for the ring to be closed. He was perfect but I was a little worried that it wasn't enough. Going into my hunter under saddle class I was trying to stay positive. He has blown a lead in this class at every show this year OR gotten very chargey. Well, we had to trot in and he was being fairly perfect. I remained cautiously optimistic for the canter, and really over-prepared him for the lead. He took the correct lead and cantered around nice and easy with no fussing about the other horses or deep sand. At this point I was so happy I didn't care what happened. We reversed and he was perfect all throughout the second direction too. By the time we lined up I was nonstop petting him and decided I didn't care if we placed or not because he just gave me the ride of a lifetime. We ended up placing third out of about thirty, and one of my close friends won the class. She works very hard with her horse and definitely deserved it. We hugged at the exit gate. I was crying by this point and she was too. We both had flawless, state grand champion worthy rides so I was thrilled. We still had equitation which is Cruizer's toughest class, although he performs much better at horse shows than at home for this class. We did rail work first (another class of about 30) and then she called people from the rail to do the pattern. Our rail work was good. I rode on a tighter contact and he didn't fight it at all, just went along like he's been doing it all his life. We were called into the middle to do the pattern and our pattern was pretty good. Our trot should have been bigger but I really can't complain. It is a very difficult class for Cruizer to handle mentally because he gets stressed about the constant changes and anticipates a change at the cone so I really have to ride ahead to keep him doing what I want. We ended up placing second out of about thirty so I was beyond thrilled with that. The only bobble in our pattern was right at the beginning when we were supposed to go from a stop to a sitting trot. Normally Cruizer is strong at this BUT it turns out that for the three days prior we were practicing stop to canter transitions a lot. Cruizer decided that he should pick up a left lead canter. He did it perfectly (lol) although it wasn't what was asked for. I brought him back down within one stride so it was okay and I had to just laugh. He tries so hard to please.
After the show when we were back at the barn unpacking I got a text from my sister that Cruizer and I were Reserve Champion Open High Point. Being that we only did four of the eight classes that counted for highpoint, I was thrilled. We tied with another girl who did do all eight classes. This is Cruizer's second highpoint win technically, but the first we've gotten a ribbon for. The ribbon is huge and fancy.
Cruizer is not with me at school. He will hopefully come with me when I return after winter break. In the meantime, my younger sister and best friend are going to ride him and give him attention so he still feels special. I miss him so much already. He always rides like an angel for my sister and she's gotten used to him a little bit so I'm not worried. My best friend has been riding her whole life and we ride very similarly, so she does fine with him as well. They both love him dearly. Before I left he was trimmed and came up lame. He wasn't limping consistently, but was definitely off. We determined he had a stone bruise and after soaking him a couple times he was much better. He's going to get another week or so off before they ride him. He was also seen by an Equine Massage Therapist before I left who noted that his right hip is very tense and locked up. This is the same hip that I've seen issues with for a long time now. She showed me how to massage him so he has also been gettng massaged daily by my sister with liniment.
I cannot wait to see him again. I will try to keep this blog better updated although its going to change focus for awhile because I'm not riding currently.