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Bel Joeor Sale and Giveaway!

Amanda from Bel Joeor is hosting a big sale on her Etsy site and a giveaway on her blog!  She makes beautiful saddle covers and bags.  I highly recommend checking out her shop and entering her contest.  

Ever After Mustang Rescue Benefit Horse Show - October 6, 2018

Ellie and I attended the 12th annual Ever After Mustang Rescue benefit horse show this past weekend, which is a show I always look forward to every year.  Fun side note, this is where Amanda's Tristan is from!  Not only does the show support a wonderful local rescue here in Maine, it is a fun way to end the year.  I have been many times before, with Dreamy in 2009, Reva in 2011, and Snappy in 2014 as her first show and again in 2016.  I didn't attend in 2010 because I was at WEG with Dreamy for the Standardbred demos, and I had a two week old newborn when the show occurred in 2015 hahaha.  I have always had good showings at the benefit show with all the mares, winning lots of ribbons and high point rider with every single horse hahaha.

Despite the fact my focus has always been dressage and eventing, I do want to someday try Morgan shows with Ellie, hence the reason I have done a few of these shows so far.  And I think hunter under saddle type classes are kinda fun, not something I want to do all the time, but interesting to see how we stack up against horses other than in a dressage test.  I also think it is good for Ellie to be in a ring with other horses like a rail class.  She was excellent this summer at the fair horse show, even with the 4X4 races nearby and the loose horse in our first class.  And it is not nearly as picky as dressage, so it is a nice change for sure!

Ellie decided she had to keep up with the three horses I have shown before her and do just as well in her classes.  We started the day in cool 40 degree weather and a sass monster with a buck spring in her step haha but it definitely improved.  I arrived early to give her a chance to chill; I lunged her a little and she was totally nonchalant about the entire thing so it was kinda a waste of time lol.  She saved her sass for our warmup instead when I actually mounted up!  😂
we had a good day for sure!
I figured in-hand would be a big class, as I remember there being fifteen horses in it one year.  It was the first class of the day, but when I went to the in gate there were tons of horses already being ridden.  Sadly, there were only two of us in the class, but Ellie did well enough for a first place.  Well, technically, I guess it was fitting and showmanship, so the judge was looking more at me haha.  Thankfully I remembered at the last second there was probably a pattern and walked back over to the secretary's booth to study it before the class was called.  Can you tell I am not a fan of in-hand??  Despite my deep hatred dislike, I wanted to see how she would behave (she was fine) because maybe we will attempt a Morgan in-hand class in the future.  

The pattern was drawn differently than the judge actually laid out the three cones in the ring, so she took a moment to explain this before I went in.  I am glad she offered this info, because I would have done the pattern completely wrong lol.  We had to trot halfway to the first cone, then walk two horse lengths, pick up the trot again and circle around a second cone, then halt and set up for the judge at cone 3.  I set her up like a regular sport horse, not parked out like a Morgan (though she is happy to do that too), and we don't have a 90 degree turn on the haunches like the fancy in-hand horses, but what we did was enough for a win.  I also forgot how awesome the prizes are at this show until they handed me a huge wooden box full of tack cleaning supplies.  Heck yeah!  Useful prizes are the best!

Ellie was a bit of a poop about standing at the trailer after in-hand, which was class 1 and we rode in classes 13, 15, and 16.  She really wasn't bad, just likes to lift her right front leg and pretend to paw, which is mostly just annoying.  She is the kind of horse who does this for attention, so I did my best to ignore her.
being an impatient baby and thinking about her upcoming sass 😑
Once we were tacked up and I got on, that is when the actual sass started.  By this point, the sun had fully risen and I figured it had warmed up enough that she would be totally fine.  The cooler fall weather has definitely affected her manners a bit haha.  Instead, she walked around for the first five minutes with a huge hump in her back, threatening to buck.  She even kicked up her heels slightly, in the most halfhearted effort I have ever seen lol, and I had to remember not to giggle hard enough to actually really set her off.  It was one of those moments when you know you are a tactful rider, because I definitely could have closed my legs too much (in her opinion) and caused very real fireworks, but without any leg she was apt to balk and misbehave as well.  I just kept my leg softly "there" and made her circle and figure eight around the small field next to the warm up (which was filled to the brim with numerous under age 18 walk trotters who would be riding in the classes before us).  Once the twelve riders left warm up to go to the show ring, Ellie decided to relax her back and remember how to be a normal horse haha, so we went into the actual warm up.  

She was really good again, as she was at the dressage show here just three weeks ago.  Thankfully her sass was short lived and we were able to trot and canter with no theatrics.  There were no issues with listening or rushing, and we got our canter leads without a problem.  I was a little worried about our canter leads in the show ring, since we would not be doing 20m. circles to pick up the gait.  Nor do we have a walk-canter transition yet, as you are asked to canter from the walk in this type of show.  I had to just remember to put her in shoulder fore and pray hard ride effectively.  I figured a little trot into the canter on the correct lead was better than walk-canter into the wrong lead. 

First up was equitation, which is nice when you are not sure how the horse is going to act haha.  I rather have an eq class before the pleasure class any day!  I still placed first in an eq class years ago at a different show, despite the fact my horse bucked in the canter.  The judge told me in the lineup that the fact I stayed on clinched my top finish hahaha.  Velcro butt for the win!!  I did my best to pilot Ellie effectively, we got our leads 😇, and apparently did it well enough for a first place out of four riders!  Yay Ellie!  We won a $25 gift card to a local feed store, which is another awesome prize.

equitation ribbon
photo purchased from show photographer Tracy A. Shaw Photography

We waited patiently for the next class to go before our last two classes, which were back-to-back.  Next up was pleasure, and Ellie was again quite good but got a little strong in the canter and did her head shake move to show her displeasure with my half halt right in front of the judge.  Whoops.  I was still happy with her though, as other than that one rude moment, she was great.  We ended up second place in this class out of four, which was fair.  We immediately had hunter under saddle afterwards, which I thought could be interesting since it was marked as walk-trot-canter-hand gallop in the class list.  I knew if I could slow her canter down enough to show a difference when we "hand galloped" aka canter faster haha, we would do OK.  

Surprisingly, Ellie was much more polite about my half halts in the canter in this class.  She may have been getting tired, too, since she had already cantered six+ laps of a 100x200 ring in two previous classes, which seems to have knocked her down a peg from opinionated to obedient.  It was warming up and she has quite a winter coat started.  She picked up the first canter slowly instead of her usual bolt, so I used it to our advantage and when the announcer called for a hand gallop, I didn't have to do much to leg her forward.  Yay!  Ellie thought this was the best thing ever.  I was able to half halt and balance her through the corners, and when they asked us to go back to the canter, she was right there perfectly willing to come back to me.  It was glorious. 
Ellie, usually
Then the ring crew started fussing around with the jump standards and jump cups right next to the rail, as next up was lunch break and then jumping classes.  Ellie gave them a huge hairy eyeball as we came around the corner where they were clanking around, and I nicely asked "could you guys please wait, my horse is getting upset" as we trotted by.  I tried hard not to come across as snobby, but it's hard when you are trotting by and trying to talk haha.  And I was thinking to myself, OH EFF NO YOU ARE NOT MESSING UP THIS CLASS FOR ME!  LOL I admit, I did not want to eat dirt at this point.  I also wanted to place well, let's be real here.
the most awkward phase of the canter lol
photo purchased from show photographer Tracy A. Shaw Photography
We came around the ring again, this time at the canter, and I smiled sweetly and called "thank you!" to the ring crew.  They very nicely had stopped what they were doing and I really appreciate that.  Again, we cantered slowly enough to show a difference when asked to hand gallop, and then at the end we were asked to come directly down to the walk, where Ellie happily came down to the bit nicely and walked politely right in front of the judge.  Good manners, mare!  

In the line-up, I really didn't care at this point how we had placed.  Ellie had been perfect, even when we flew around the ring in a forward canter.  She had her moments of I'm going to buck! when I first mounted that morning and the one annoyed head toss in the canter, but otherwise she had been super.  I am so proud of her.  We had fun, at least I did haha, and it had been a perfect day.  

I decided at that moment in the line up, scratching my horse's neck and smiling like a moron, to scratch the class I had signed up for after lunch, command class, since there was nothing better she could do than she already had.  I was kinda sad to not jump at the show, but the 18" crossrails were for walk-trotters only and the other jumping classes were 2'3" which is way too high to be doing right now for her brain.  We have half halts and polite jumping efforts 80% of the time over up to 2' jumps right now at home, so I was not going to push my luck trying to jump gates and oxers (plus, this show sets up a triple combination as the first fence and does not offer any warm up fences, which is not something she is ready for at all!).  

We were called for first out of the four riders and I was soooooooo pleased.  I won a gift bag of a coffee mug (full of chocolate) and a bottle of SoreNoMore.  The moment the ribbon girl handed this to me, Ellie spooked at the bag hahahaha.  She spun off to the right, away from the girl, so I immediately dropped the bag.  She spun off to the right again, then again, and I definitely had an OH SHIT moment lol!!!!!!  Oh my goodness, Ellie!  I was giggling and trying hard to stay centered, and eventually she did halt as soon as we had come back around again haha.  The ribbon girl was like uhhhhhhh, what and I told her between giggles that Ellie had spooked at the bag.  I think she thought I was crazy, but how could you not laugh at a horse who had just won three blue ribbons yet tried to ditch me at the very end hahahaha.  I told her I would come back over to the secretary's booth for the bag, but she quite nicely walked it over to my trailer for me.  As we exited the ring, someone on the rail called out that she cannot believe I stayed on.  Hahahahaha Velcro butt pays off!  I guess Ellie just thinks someone has to keep me humble and she is ohhhh so happy to oblige.

photo purchased from show photographer Tracy A. Shaw Photography
The best part was I was done showing by 11:30 and home just before 1.  That is the best kind of horse show, one that does not drag on all day long!

love the prizes!

I really love this little box!


Amanda said…
Whoa, that little box is so clever! Congrats on doing so well, can't wait to cheer you two on at the Tunbridge show someday. :)
Those are awesome prizes! I love how her color looks with her winter coat coming in.
Isn't it cute?? It looks like it was handmade and could easily be recreated, too! I love handmade items so much. We are definitely coming to Tunbridge someday, maybe next year! We shall see how Miss Mare's brain grows this winter hahaha. ;-)
I love fun and useful prizes for sure. The local dressage and 2-phase events I frequent do nothing for first place, so this was fun! I wish she was always a liver chestnut! Isn't that the best coloring?
Martidoll said…
great job and a Morgan will ALWAYS keep you guessing. Great prizes too. it looks like fall up there. I am jealous of it all :) HA
emma said…
what a cool event - and even better that you have such a rich history with it!! seems like Ellie his happy to continue carrying that trend forward!
Nadia Novik said…
She is so cute! Way to go!
Also, yeah, I was picturing myself trotting and talking, and it IS hard to come off as less than a snob. But, you said thanks the second time around, so that helps. And, really, they need to learn what is ok to do when a class is in progress! lol
Ohhh yes, she is always going to keep me on my toes, that is for sure! It is definitely fall here, but yesterday and today have been back in the 80s, so who knows hahaha!
It is a super fun little show! I think I will always try to make it there each year.
Thank you! She is definitely a cutie. Yeah, I felt super bad the minute the words came out of my mouth, but I could feel Ellie tense up and all I could think was no friggin way was I falling off LOL! Sometimes sticking up for oneself can feel snotty even when being kind, but I'd still rather do it than put myself in a situation I could have prevented. :-)
What a prize haul! Congrats on the good show too.
LiveToFly said…
I LOVE THAT COAT. Sounds like you had a good show overall!
Thank you! It was a fun morning!
Isn't it so fun??? Totally frivolous purchase but I figured after a year of lusting over it, I might as well buy it LOL! It was definitely a fun morning of showing!
KateRose said…
Well done and what sweet prizes! :D
Thank you! I love the useful prizes for sure!
L.Williams said…
Congratulations on a bang up show!