With the long weekend and annual Canadian National All Welsh show, it's been pretty hectic. Not only did I have to prepare for the show, but I had my cousin here on Saturday.
A little background on the show - we've been going to the show since 1993 and it's changed a lot of locations in the years. It used to be a double show, with the breeding classes on the Saturday and the Performance classes on the Sunday. It was always on the civic long weekend which is the first weekend in August. In 2000 the show changed from two days to one day and was held on a property of one of the members of the Ontario Welsh Pony and Cob Society. It was decided that this was a little too controversial, as she was also showing ponies and would be housing the judge. In 2006 it moved to a fairground not too far from our farm, and has been there ever since. There are some talks of moving it again because it's not fair to exhibitors in western Ontario to have to drive so far. It really should change locations every couple of years.
The show hosts one of the qualifing classes to show at The Royal Winter Agriculture Fair's Chmapion of Champtions class. The Royal is every November in downtown Toronto.
We were originally going to take two of our ponies, but one turned up lame a week before. The vet has her on rest for 3 weeks. We got a cal from a trainer we know and she said one of our other ponies who was there for 2 months training was ready to come back home and since we lived 10 mins from the show, asked if she could bring her along. We asked if she thought she'd be ready to go in a class or two, and she didn't think it would be a problem.
I got everything ready for the show prior to Saturday as my cousin was going to spend a day at the farm. We went riding on my old Arabian mare, Mira, who is now 19, and Pepper, our black Quarter Horse who is 17. I got Mira when she was 6, and we have had Pepper since she was 3. They are retired from shows and Pony Club now and live up at my neighbor's in a huge field. They only get ridden a handful of times in the year.
We went for a long trail ride along the Christmas Tree farm that is beside their property. The farm is so old that a lot of the trees are way too tall for their original intended purpose. My cousin has ridden before, but she was a bit nrevous because of the years out of the saddle. We did some trotting and some cantering. I love cantering. We even did two jumps, and sad to say, she fell off. You can read about it here, haha.
We went out to dinner and came home to go in the hot tub.
The next day I was up at 7 to go to the show.
Roxie, as I mentioned, is a bit of a brat. We bought her at 7 months old and started showing her as a yearling. At her first show as a baby, when we didn't own her, she reared up in the class and acted like a little brat, but she won her class.
The first show we took her to when she was just over a year, she was a terror. She reared, she kicked out and she bit. She also broke my mom's pinky finger. My mom told me that it was my job to show her for the rest of the year as she was too old to deal with bratty ponies, and she initially bought Roxie for me, because I have wanted a dun pony since I was 8.
At the 2009 All Welsh show, she was a nightmare. She continued to be a nightmare up until the Royal. At The Royal, she was kicking out at other ponies. I knew she was a baby and she'd eventually grow out of it, but I had a 14 year old mare who would act up at shows her entire career, and she was shown as a yearling.
We took her to Devon Country Fair and Horse Show in Devon, PA this year. We had to drive 13 hours to get there and 10 hours to get back. Even though I walked her the day before, and she was up all night getting her braids put in, she was a terror. She didn't want to leave the barn. She was okay in the show ring for her handler. She moved around a bit, but nothing like she had done before.
Roxie at Devon Fair, May 2010
We couldn't take her to out first show of the season because we had gone down to Devon with the judge. We started feeding her B1 supplement wich is supposed to help take the edge off of them.
On Friday we had to clip her ears out. She hates being clipped. We twitched her with a lipchain and she was fairly better. The next day she got a bath, and she's wonderful to bath... at home. At The Royal and at Devon, she would not take it.
Usually we take two ponies with us, and her real problem is that we seperate her from her friend. After she came home from Devon, we kept her seperated from the other ponies. She was kept seperate up until a week when we had to move some ponies around due to injury.
We loaded her onto the trailer by herself and she was pretty good. I tried to lounge her but she just wanted to eat the grass. I tied her to the trailer and she had a small fit over not being able to eat the grass. I got her groomed up, and then we brought Candy, our other mare over to be groomed. Once they were ready, Iw ent and walked Roxie for about 20-30 minutes before our class. We went for a little trot and she wasn't as strong and as pushy as she normally is, nor did she rear up or kick out.
I took her into her first class of the day with 7 or 8 other ponies. She stood in line for the most part. She did move around a little bit, but as a 2 year old, it is still acceptable. She stood for the judge and I ran her out. She was a bit pokey but she didn't break into a canter and I could keep up with her. She won her class and she won Champion Section B youngstock. I took her into the Champion B class, but she didn't place. I took her into the Champion of Champions qualifier and she won automatically because they did not split the classes into foals, yearlings and two year olds, and the other sections did not have two and unders in any of their classes.
I took her into the showmanship class, and she now had enough of it. We were working on her since 8 and it was now almost 1 p.m. It was very hot and there was no shade at the show. I can understand why she would get frustrated. Outside of the ring she had a few melt downs. She reared twice but not out of control. She was angry for not letting her eat. In the class she was pretty good. She didn't want to stand for too long, and she didn't want to stand infront of the judge. She also bit my thumb while I was showing her to the judge which I am sure cost me points. We didn't place in a calss of 11 but it was fine.
I took Candy in the mare class and she placed second, and Reserve Section B Mare. At the break I rode her, and then I took her in a class of 6. We didn't place as she didn't pick up her left canter lead, and she wouldn't stand in line but as with Roxie, she was young, anxious and it had been a long day. This was Candy's 4th show, and her first show being ridden so I thought she did well. It wouldn't be fair to place her over the others that did pick up their leads and stood. We decided tos cratch out of the second riding class because it was already 5:20 p.m. It was a dreadfully long show.
When I got home, I was sore all over. My boots had worn into my heels, my feet hurt, my shoulders hurt, my thighs hurt, my head ached. I got sunburnt on the nose and the middle of my chest. I had four bottles of water and a chocolate bar during the course of the day. My stomach felt queasy. I checked my email and got caught up before deciding to go to bed at 9:30. I woke up at 9. It was a great 11 and half hour of sleep. We didn't take any pictures of the show, but I do think I will get some of the professional photos depending on what they look like and when they are developed.