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It’s been nearly two years since we’ve done a hunter show.  It’s what I grew up doing, and I love a good hunter round.  But while Cally certainly has the gorgeous jump of a hunter, she’s a bit quick over the ground for it.  However, I really wanted to get out to one or two this year for milage and practice, and the perfect opportunity came up this weekend, when the Washington County Horse Council hosted a hunter show about ten minutes from my parents’ house, and also offered TIP classes and USHJA Outreach classes.  All sort of fun things going on there!

So I steeled my nerves, hitched up the Ghetto Trailer, put on my big girl panties, and made the scary haul up over South Mountain to go show.  (Haul: not as terrifying as it seemed in my mind.)  The weather was perfect, and the parking was nice and shady, and they’ve got a nice little facility with actual flush toilets.  (This unusual and wonderful.)  My parents came down to watch and take some pictures, which was great, since they don’t really know much about horses or get to see me ride much.  But they were happy to show up and bring Cally some apples and cheer us on, which was great!  Our first class was the USHJA Outreach Medal, which I opted to do at 2’6″, given that it’s been since the Hollins MiniMedal Finals in college that I’ve ridden in a medal class.  Cally was a total rockstar, getting her leads and her distances, and only got a little wonky about the trot fence, which was oddly positioned so that it kind of looked like you were jumping fence decorations; her reaction was mostly one of “why the hell are you pointing me at the decorations” and was rather hilarious.  Enjoy for yourself:

I was really proud of that inside turn to the third fence.  We ended up 4th in the medal and 3rd for the TIP Handy Hunter round for that, and I think Cally was quite pleased with herself.

Looking like successful hunters!

I’d debated moving up and doing the 3′ option for the Open division, but the footing was a little hard and slippery, and she doesn’t have hind shoes.  So I opted to play it safe, and just stick with 2’6 for the Open/TIP Low Hunter/Hunter Challenge division.  (Again, lots of prizes, especially for the TBs!)  That was probably a good choice, as it ended up being a pretty big division, with 7 or 8 riders, and she got a little over-enthusiastic and I got a little neck-leany, as we are both wont to do.  But even a just-ok jump for her looks pretty nice.

Heading down the line

Out of the big class, we ended up 6th in both the over fences sections.  I was happy with how she went on the flat, but I was asking her to move a little more like a dressage horse than a hunter (oh, if only she’d move that way in a dressage test!) and she was getting a little cranky about so many horses in “her” space.  That’s OK, I was still happy with how she went there.

Our final class of the day was the second round of the USHJA Hunter Challenge, and it was another eq-style course.  She really excels at that type of thing, where you have to ask her to do a little more, and give her less time to think for herself.  We even handled the trot jump with more aplomb this time around.

Trot jumps are easy!

We ended up with 3rds in both the Hunter Challenge, the TB Hunter Challenge, and all three TIP Low Hunter classes!

An embarrassment of riches!

We ended up with quite the array of prizes, and I was really happy with how the day went.  I’d definitely haul up there to show again, both for the USHJA/TIP classes, and for the relaxed atmosphere and proximity to family who are happy to come watch and take pictures (all photos by Dad!).  I’m so happy with how well she showed, and how good she is to go places and do whatever is asked of her, whether it be dressage or jumping or XC, never batting an eye.  She’s a good egg, all right.  And I think we’re ready for our eventing adventure next weekend!