Since last I wrote, my junior year is now a quarter of the way over and our exciting show season is under way!
Somehow I have managed to get all of my schoolwork done despite being at the barn every afternoon and having horseshows every weekend. (This is the life!)
As I mentioned in my last blog, I am on Albion’s varsity hunt seat team and compete in the intermediate division. The IHSA season officially started two weekends ago, and so far the team has done great! Our first meet was against Grand Valley State University and, even though most of our team was new to IHSA (competing in the draw format for the first time – always exciting!), Albion finished fourth out of 12 teams! It is even more exciting to know that we were only four points out of first place and every single one of our riders placed in all of their classes. That’s a feat not often accomplished!
This past weekend, we had our second IHSA show at Western Michigan University. The weather was predicted to be 77 and sunny but from experience with Michigan, we all prepared for 30 degrees and rain. We arrived at the show with enough scarves, hats, pairs of pants, winter jackets, and gloves for three teams! By 8:00 am, however, it was clear that we were over-dressed. By 1:00 in the afternoon, it was 84 degrees and we were frantically trying to figure out ways to take off more layers (and how to get away from the bees that wanted our food). The day was beautiful and warm (for once the weatherman was right!) and the team did an amazing job to come in reserve champion. (This time we were only one point behind the leader!)
Besides these two exciting shows with the team, I also competed in the Albion College schooling jumper show on the sale horse I am riding, George. We competed in the 3’ and the 3’3” jumpers and came in second and third – a respectable finish for our first show together. Little did we know, however, that this was just a warm up. When the show was over for the day, George (the director of the Albion equestrian program who is not to be confused with George the horse) put the jumps up to 3’9” – 4’ so we could jump around again and film a sales video!
Needless to say, I am really having fun with George (the horse!); our next show will be the Albion schooling jumper show in November.
…as if competing in equitation and jumpers wasn’t exciting enough, I also have a dressage show in Ohio at Majestic Farm coming up with my horse, Bailey. We are going to do training level test 1 and, on show day, I’m just hoping I will remember where to go. (After all, there won’t be any numbered fences for me to follow!)
Now do you see why I was quick to stress that I’m getting all of my homework done? I am really excited to be getting so much show experience this year in so many different areas and I will keep you updated on how our shows go.
Wish me luck!