Monday, August 23, 2010
The kids were showing Betty, a ridiculously adorable Norwegian Fjord pony that my trainer and her partners own. Betty is young, and pretty green, usually quite sensible, but occasionally apt to get up to the kind of naughtiness ponies are known to. Betty is learning to be a hunter pony; although her personal inclination is to be a pony jumper, her
The kids have been riding Betty for a month or so, and showed her at the Sussex County Horse Show in Augusta, NJ. There they shared the ride on her in the Pony Pleasure division, and were Reserve Champion. They were excited to show her again at Monmouth County, even though they know it's not reasonable to expect the same kind of success they had at Sussex.
Good thing they didn't have those expectations, because Betty's age, or lack thereof, showed. So did the kids' inexperience. Things started off well, with Sophie doing well in both flat classes. The wheels started to fall off in her over fences class -- Betty picked up speed and by the time they came around the top of the ring towards the diagonal they were going Mach 1. Betty did a "drive by" on the in element, and the two of them hurtled around the ring as Soph brought her back for a second attempt at the combination.
The rest of the course went by in a blur, perhaps because I had my hands over my eyes. The two rollbacks at the end of the course (in a short stirrup class???) were pulled off only by the grace of God, and both contestants were winded as they trotted (still quite briskly) out of the ring to meet the by now gray-haired trainer and mom. A year ago my daughter would have been in tears. This year she smiled down at us as she patted her pony enthusiastically, exclaiming, "Did you see how fast we went??? Can we do another one?"