The last time I posted anything, really was February. Since then so much has happened.
My best friend is leasing Tiger, so I have been primarily riding Nahe. Nahe had come to me with the pretense that he may or may not understand English rein commands. He had certainly been ridden plenty. In fact, his former owner had won the previous year’s hunter pace series (6 Hunter Paces) with him so I knew he was well-broke, sure-footed, and jumped.
Nahe was always a fun horse to ride. Huge movements but didn’t know how to collect and really use himself. He was a natural mover and very fancy. In late fall 2021, we began to show him collection. Over the course of this year, he became lighter and lighter on the reins and learned to get under himself and become more uphill and less on the forehand. What a transformation!
We attended a wonderful clinic in March at the farm Tiger came from. We learned to better plan our riding around a jump ring, and learned to develop a rhythm and balance to aid in riding clean courses.
I have never in my life shown. Nor have I desired to. And yet, with the amount of fun we were having we decided to do it. We entered into a hunter show at the end of April (schooling) under the show name Aloha Friday. At our first show, we won our two flat courses. The boys were pretty attached to each other for this show, and called out to each other anytime they were separate. It was a long day and we went home exhausted.
The very next weekend was another schooling hunter show. This time at a local fairground. Three of us went up the night before. We rode around the fairgrounds and camped in our trailers overnight. The next day the horses incredibly behaved. Tiger and Nahe still called out to each other but there was a noticeable difference in their level of concern. Both boys were able to focus and do their job while being a lot more relaxed than in the first show.
At this second show, we entered 6 classes and won 5, taking 2nd in our other jump round and earning 2 grand championships.
If the two shows taught me anything it helped me remember that my heart isn’t in hunter shows. Growing up I primarily saw hunters. I’ve had friends who lost their classes simply because the judge didn’t like their horse. I’ve always found it to be very subjective and difficult to get real feedback. I apologize if you’re a hunter rider, I don’t intend to say this as an affront to the discipline I mean only to say that it isn’t the style I prefer.
This wraps up from January to about May of this year. I still have a ton of adventures and experiences to share with you but I’ll save that for another day!