We had it planned out perfectly: Alan was to be longed Friday evening (to get him quiet, but not TOO quiet), and then my mother would pick him up early in the morning on the way to the Fairfield County Hunt Club, where the Fairfield-Westchester PHA Finals were held. I was allowed to sleep in, grab my tack from the barn and leave for the show as late as 9:30 am. I was thrilled.
Of course, plans fall apart as quickly as they are made. I was awoken at 4:55 by my cell phone. It was my mother bearing the bad news that Alan pulled a shoe. Did I want her to put Calvin on the truck instead? I groggily declined. Between lessons and finals and trial rides from prospective buyers, Calvin’s upcoming workload is way too heavy to add yet another horse show. Besides, F-W PHA is the smallest and least important final on my schedule, so missing it would not be a major loss. This was the inaugural year of their 3’6″ Junior Medal Final, and with only eight people qualified, it was sure to be pretty low key.
As predicted, while the lower level classes hosted up to 30 riders, the 3’6″ had just three. I spent my day back at Chase Meadows, taking care of Alan and riding my other horses. Of course, I was disappointed that I missed out on a showing opportunity, especially because both judges are going to be at the New England Equitation Championships, but this was definitely the one show I could afford to miss. I’m almost glad I missed the emotional aspect of the day; it would have been my last time showing Alan in any Big Eq classes since I’m aging out at the end of this year.
Sure, it’s a loss, but I’m comforted by my excitement to step him down to the adult medals. He is the nicest, smoothest 3′ horse I have ever seen (let alone ridden), and I’m sure he’s capable of winning any adult class he enters, regardless of the competition.
Although we have to sell him at some point in the upcoming year, it will be nice to show him and add some more blue ribbons to his show record. Until November, though, he gets a nice vacation and won’t show until I am all done with finals.