The Park division is so much fun! It's a faster pace, and you can really ask your horse to step up and give it his all. Something that I didn't like about showing in Country Pleasure last year was that I really had to hold Mario back. This year, I have to push him! We had a lot of horses blowing by us, so I need to work on just letting him go. I'm really used to applying pressure to the reins at the canter to get him to slow down, but I need to ease up and just let that boy run. I learned that at this show.
Mario and I warmed up in a different ring than our competitors in our Championship class. When we came to the warm up ring where everyone else was before going into our class, there were two horses that were out of freaking control. "This class is going to be crazy!" I heard a guy say. He was right. One of those two horses nearly collided with Mario and me when we were cantering second direction of the ring in our class. I had to make a quick decision to steer Mario to the right to avoid crashing. Unfortunately the judge did not see this near collision and when I veered right, I came a little closer than I would have liked to the judge. It may have hurt us, it may not have - who knows.
I have to say though, something that my uncle Gary said to me really rang true as I reflected over the last couple of days about the show, "If you're having fun, the ribbon doesn't matter." So true. This horse show was the first time that I truly had so much darn fun that the ribbon didn't matter. My horse is so safe and I completely trust him. He listens to me in the ring. As I was watching some of these other horses I realized that he may not be THE best of the best show horses (I mean, he's pretty darn close) but he's also not going to hurt me. Some of those horses I watched this weekend made my pulse race and not in the good way! I'll take a horse that may take third/fourth/fifth over a horse that will win every time if I know I'm going to have fun and not fear for my life.
Our next show will be Bonnie Blue in Lexington, VA in a couple of weeks. I believe it may be webcast and will for sure let you know the information if I'm right about this.