Monday, November 29, 2010

"It is the difficult horses that have the most to give you." ~ Lendon Gray

Yesterday was the horse show/practice competition.  It was a real horse show for the little kids and a practice opportunity for the more advanced people.  Does that make sense?  I woke up to more snow... not necessarily on the ground but flying through air.  It was pouring big, heavy flakes and wasn't supposed to stop all day... fun.  I got a taxi to the barn because I am an idiot and forgot to order the FlexBus (a bus you can order between specific times on specific days since there aren't that many buses in the area) and the guy in the taxi is starting to get to know me.  He goes "is something important happening at the stables, you don't normally go on a Sunday do you?" "No (stranger taxi man) I don't normally go on Sundays, there is a little competition today."  "OH HO! Good luck!!!" the stranger taxi guys says.  I have ridden in the taxi maybe 4 times since I have come here to Orrefors, and they weren't all that recently, he is kind of a stranger.  The good thing is when he hears my voice on the phone he goes "Yes, Hello!!! Do you need a ride to the stables or Orrefors?" and I don't have any awkward moments.  As I slide out of the car and promptly onto the ground he goes "OH HO!!!! Not a good start! Ride Carefully!" and then drives away.  Weird.

Luckily I was wearing ski pants and a million other layers so it didn't matter that I fell so early in the day.  I had to get to the barn at 9 o'clock and everyone participating in the show was to help set up the ring.  I go and start carrying in standards and taking poles out of their place.  Then I realize that no one is in charge, there is no sketch of the course and it is pretty much just a Swedish version of a cluster fuck.  Classic horse show! Finally Ingrid comes and shows us the sketch, everyone argues over which side is up and then starts trying to tell others what to do.  I started following people who moved the standards with poles and just kind of winged it.  Finally we are all set and they have somehow managed to fit 8 jumps into a tiny ring.  As I looked at the course and noticed they started putting numbers up and red and white flags on the top of the jumps that this wasn't going to be a hunter show, no it was definitely jumpers.  There was one line in the course and start and stop lines set up... def jumpers... not something I do every day.  I asked someone would we be timed and they said no and looked at me funny.  I was then really confused and had no idea what was going on.  Ingrid finally takes me to the side and says there aren't as many people coming as originally thought and there wouldn't be enough time for me to ride two horse.  I had to pick! OH NO! So, quickly thinking, I like Poseidon more, he is nice and sweeter and doesn't pull  my arms out of the sockets, but Lady isn't scared of new jumps and can jump from any distance and sometimes bites me... I decided on Lady.  I gave Poseidon a bunch of carrots anyway to make up for not picking him.  Here is the jump course:
 Here is little Matilda all ready for the show.  Under the blanket she has a tiny saddle and a pink saddle pad that matches her ribbons in her hair. Tres cute!

I went to the stables and cleaned her up, luckily she is such a dark bay she is nearly black and you can't see when she dirty! I tried to comb her mane over which she did not approve of and then gave up, found a clean saddle pad and decided she was clean enough.  I went to watch the little kids go!
 She looks pretty much the same as she does for our lessons...
 The warm-up arena (smaller then the normal ring and a pony ZOO at the moment)
 Here is our first rider of the day.  This is Hållogen or something like that but I call him Tigger but because he reminds me of the little pony I used to ride.
She made it through the whole course with one refusal and then we all clapped and pony almost dumped her on the ground.  Classic pony behavior!

So, when it is finally my turn, the jumps get a little higher, I go and tack up Lady.  We then ride through the pouring, knee deep snow to the warm up area.  I jump a few jumps, trying to call out which ones I am jumping in Swedish... difficult.  The small one was easy: lilla (little).  The oxer was also easy: oxer (same dur).  But the verticle proved to be a challenge: skränkskär or something like that.  We say the same word in glass meaning a straight scratch on the glass... but google thinks I am trying to say Horror cut, which can't be right.  I ended up just calling it rosa (pink).  After I jump maybe 4 times, she was being good, even though everyone else was jumping a million times, it was my turn to go into the big ring to do my course.  

So, I go outside and wait in the pouring snow for about 2 minutes.  Just enough time to start freezing again and both me and the horse are covered in snow.  We walk into the ring, shake off the snow and I start going towards the other side of the ring, give Lady a chance to look around.  The announcer says "Lady och Theresa Jöööööörgensen, Theresa you are welcome" which I didn't expect, I had watched the little kids to know what happened so I wouldn't have to understand, just do...  So, I got all confused and was like "What?!?" and the crowd laughs.  Great. Then the announcer goes again, "you are welcome, you may start when you are ready" and since I was already having a conversation with the announcer I went ahead and said "thank you."  What an awkward way to start!  But! I had a clean round and Lady was very good, a little strong, but that was expected!  I was super pleased and the announcer says "Theresa has a clean round, good job" and I walk out with another "thank you!"  Why can't I just keep my mouth closed?!?  Then I went back again at the higher level and had another great round.  She brushed one jump but didn't knock it down and I even took some of the inside turns this time!  I think Lady enjoyed the challenge and I did as well.  I was really pleased and I think Lady had a good time, or just really enjoyed all the carrots.  When we went in for the second round were even more white then the first time from the snow except the orange drool hanging from her mouth from the carrots! 

We ended up getting 2 blue ribbons! Everyone that had a clean round and did it in a reasonable amount of time got ribbons.  I wanted to get a picture of us in the snow with the ribbons but it was too cold to ask anyone to take it!  So, here is Lady with her ribbons:

She was more interested in more carrots then showing off her ribbons.

After the show everyone helped put the jumps away and take out the horses.  The poor horses had to go stand in the SNOW! Most of them didn't seem to mind but a few, you could tell, also thought it was a bad idea.
 Tigger was up to his wee knees in the snow!

But the only one diligent enough to find food!
 White out!

 Can yous see the horses in the woods?  No, there is too much snow? I know what you mean.
Looking at that makes me cold!
 Sheridan looks good in the snow!

 Tigger has decided it is cold and is begging to come in.
 Look how high the snow is on him! Poor guy, I wanted to wrap him in my jacket or tie my scarf around him. Luckily my ride finally arrived and I got to go home!
 The river/lake at Orrefors is starting to freeze! Usually it is water all the way to that little building you can see.
 The Christmas tree at the factory! Soon I will go out when the lights are on to take a picture!
My happy blue ribbons on my happy comforter! I hung them on my wall and now feel like I am 12 years old all over again!  I can't wait until I can do a real competition! I think there is on in December but from what I understand it is for yucky dressage.  Boo.  I don't think I will be doing that one! But in the spring they are supposed to start having real shows at the stables! 

Once I got home I sat next to my space heater for the rest of the day eating warm food and watching movies! I was in bed by 9 and asleep by 9:30 I think! I didn't wake up all night and woke up feeling great, which was WONDERFUL!  I will tell you about my Monday tomorrow, now I am off to do some Swedish studying and then bed :)


  1. what a cute pony in the deep snow!!
    Glad you had fun and did so well!!! Yeah Theresa!!!