The New Forest Show 2014.... (Pictures to follow..)
Having competed at the New Forest Show (NFS) with my ponies, I felt it only right that rocky should also go, but with a different plan...
As Rocky is still only 3yrs and quite obviously can’t attend “ridden” shows yet he was entered at the NFS in the In Hand section for Welsh D’s Yearlings, two and three year olds, this gave us the chance to familiarise him with larger shows and also to work around other horses, something as a 4yr old he will have to deal with, currently I have to work him on his own due to being fairly alone on our yard, so to work around others would be great for his education.
“Work around others”?? Yep, the main aim of today’s outing was to attend the in hand and then to ride him around the showground!
I never expected to win, and we didn’t, we came 9th in a very strong class of very high quality ponies, even beating some! But as I say, this wasn’t the main aim...
After his in hand class we returned to the box and swopped to our riding gear, after mounting up we casually wandered around the box park, up and down the aisles seeing a variety of things from donkeys to the huge carriages and more. These were of course no issue for Rocky, he took all that in his stride, as always. We managed to come back to the box, unforeseen, but I have a feeling Rocky knew exactly where he was as he stopped as we arrived! Clever or what?!
I asked him to walk past and for the very first time we had a “no I want to stay here!” and he did a mini rear and bronk!! Well I told him in no uncertain terms we WERE going and he said “oh ok” and walked on like nothing had happened!
We meandered round the boxes a bit longer meeting more things on route, the only query Rocky had were the miniature horses getting ready for their classes! Scary those small people you know!!
We then found an empty warm up ring, next to the main rings and the showjumping rings, so plenty going on but not in this ring. My superb helper Lucy Morgans was on hand (actually drove us today) and had helped Rocky out when he had a mini wobble at the scary miniatures, but now it was time to go it alone..
We walked around the warm up, both ways, Rocky not really taking any notice of the other horses working, so I asked for trot, something I had NOT planned for today (walk would have been more than enough), but Rocky offered it so off we went, again both reins, no problem, in fact it was more like we were training at home. I then pushed the boundaries a little further and asked for canter and off we went! We were “working” in a busy show environment and Rocky answered my every question. He was amazing.
I finished on such a high note I cannot express how proud I felt of Rocky, I always knew he was special, but this took that to a new level.
Even though we were unplaced in the in hand class, his behaviour was impeccable and he showed himself off to his absolute best, beating some class ponies on route.
In Hand has been such a great way to get the hoof inside the larger show atmosphere, and we shall continue this work always with the main aim of going for “training” not ribbon hunting, although I am not going to refuse one should it come our way!
In my eyes Rocky didn’t just win today, he took home the championship purely for his behaviour and his attitude.
So until our next event, we shall keep up our day job and smile broadly every time we think of today at the New Forest Show.