It has been an exciting last couple of weeks. Albeit tiring, but that’s the world of horses. Often exhausting, but worth every minute.
Last weekend, the dressage team here at school hosted a home Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) show (with some very exciting results I might add), and this weekend our hunt seat team hosted their Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) show.
I spoke at length before about how the IDA shows work, but that experience is taken to a different level when you are a part of the team hosting one at home base. It certainly gives you a new understanding of just how much goes into planning and running a show successfully. I will skip over the technical details and secretarial work that goes into it, there is far too much to write about here. Time for the exciting part!
Let’s talk horses. You need a WHOLE lot of horses to run an IDA show. In fact, we needed to bring in several horses that did not belong to the school in order to have an adequate amount. There are typically four horses per level, all carefully selected to be able to perform at each. Alternates must also be chosen just in case a horse spooks too much or goes lame and a re-ride is requested. These things do happen, best to be prepared.
Our horses were super-stars on show day. There were plenty of great rides, across all of the teams attending. As a team, my school placed fifth out of eight schools. Individually, I placed first out of twelve in the upper-training level. I was in disbelief at first. When I was told the results, I had a blank expression on my face for a few seconds. I knew I had a very good ride and had hoped to place, but to win? No way.
Yes way. I won my first blue at an IDA show, and it was even more special because it was at my last home show of my undergraduate career. Going out with a bang, so to speak.
This weekend, I helped out with the hunt seat team’s IHSA show. My good friend, Molly, is the captain of the hunt seat team, so I also get the inside scoop as to what goes into running that kind of show. I was able to warm-up ride a couple of horses, as well as walk horses in the holding area who were about to go in the ring. She and several other members of the team also took home blue ribbons after fantastic rides.
Besides being a literal popsicle (spring can come any time now), both shows were very fun to be a part of. My family visited to watch me ride at the dressage show, I rode a great horse, and spent time with lots of “horsey” friends in between. Not sure I could ask for much else.
The next and last IDA show of the semester is in the beginning of April, but we have spring break to look forward to first! That mid-semester break will be welcomed, and full of time with family, friends, and more horses.
Talk to you soon!