The show was held at Stradivarius Equestrian Center, a nicely groomed and decorated boarding center. Click the link for their website (with lots of photos) and you'll see what I mean. Faux facades, porte-cochers, ponds and water features, etc.
Hemie (with trailer buddy Pascal) had to stay in the trailer for about 10 minutes while we went to register and get our bearings. He stood quietly in the trailer just fine.
Next, he learned how to stand tied to the trailer while getting tacked up (not something they do at the racetrack). He was squirmy, but we got saddled up pretty quick and headed around the property to give him an eyeful and a nice healthy longe. He was looky-loo, but respectful and obedient.
|Hemie standing like a champ. Out trailer was right next hunter ring.|
|Pascal and Laura doing a hunter round.|
I hopped on and we rode in 3 different arenas - he was an absolute star! Relaxed, calm, obedient, straight. We even did some jumping in the warm-up arena and he was very well behaved. And let me tell you, there were plenty of spook-worthy things around that facility: 4-foot-tall wooden chipmunks, hanging canopies fluttering in the wind, fake building facades with shadowy alcoves. I believe the architectural term is visual interest.
After our fabulous ride, we hacked around the property to give him even more exposure. Lots of machinery and colorfully decorated jumps to sniff and walk around. He was so good, I decided to take him back to the trailer and call it a day. Early on I had been tempted to do the walk-trot-over-poles class, but I was really pleased with the school and felt like we had accomplished what we had come to do.
Final test of the day: leaving Hemie tied to the trailer while I went about watching my barn mates compete, close up at the show office, etc. He passed with flying colors. Hemie ate and drank, peed and pooped - all those normal horsie functions that indicate he was relaxed even in a new surrounding, tied to a trailer, in the So Cal heat. I was a proud mommy.
|Hemie is waaay out there, staring at me, but being very calm.|
Hemie's mane finally got some attention. Thoughts? Does it look pulled?
|Mane, under control!|
Randomly, there was a pig on a leash at the show. Fiona was a runt who was expected to die, but miraculously lived and now is potty-trained and clicker trained like a dog. And she's dog friendly. SO CUTE!!!
|Fiona, the adorable clicker-trained pig.|