And I would consider it a SUCCESS!!!
Little baby horse gets MEGA props for being such a superstar! So... first, we hauled to a friends house. Which meant that Dan hauled by himself. This isn't he first time, but it's still a big step for him going without Fleck. So then we got to Liz's and he hung out in her pasture while we swapped stuff over to her rig. Then we loaded Dan up. Well, he was being naughty and stubborn and wouldn't load. Which was fine, but then he tried to eat a rock and was ignoring me. So he got a little bit of a "Pay attention" lesson and then he loaded fairly quickly after that. We then added Party to the mix and Dan was making baby faces at her pretty self. They both hauled well. Again, props to Dan... not only was this a long haul, but it was his first time in a slant load. He did fine. We even stopped at McDonalds and let him hang his head out some.
We got to the showgrounds and unloaded. Dan did great in his stall. He settled right in and was a good boy. The show was at "Why Not An American Ark" showgrounds which also houses a petting zoo and is full of wild animals. There was wallabies, peacocks, bison, zebras, llamas, donkeys, goats, and tons of ducks and geese. Dan handled all of those really well. He didn't even blink when the giant Gander came walking by. So after we settled in we took a walk and then did a little practice in the indoor arena. He was pretty good. He spooked at the barrels but bravely went up and investigated. And he didn't lose his cool when the 5 year old was freaking out in the arena. So since he was good, we decided to quit while we were ahead and head back. He needed his bath anyways. So I gave him his first official bath. He was really good for it. And he was so squeaky clean he was pink! So we finally put them to bed and headed to the hotel. I was hoping that he would still be clean in the morning.
Finally it was our turn to go up there. Breathe..... and put on the chain shank. :)
He wasn't bad... but he wasn't good. He walked up fine and was good standing around. We got a lot of compliments. And was told how big he was. Hee hee.. He was a little bit on his tiptoes. So then we went into the ring. He stood nicely and then we started to walk. He was naughty, but I was also picking at him. I should have just let him be instead of insisting he was perfect, because that made him worse. He kept trying to eat the lead and I kept shoeing him off. So he was a bit fussy and didn't settle and show off his walk. We tried to trot and that made things worse. So finally the judge suggested that I just trot him down the long side against the rail. Wow... what a difference... knowing I had something to run him into to stop him if needed.... that was a good feeling. So we got a decent trot out of him and I had decided to just let him eat his lead at that point. So he settled and behaved.
He was the only yearling, so we won our division! But... the judge was fantastic. She said that she saw him the day before and was impressed by his elegance. She said it was a pleasure to see such a nice mover with all that color too. Whooo hooo!! She said she would have scored him better but couldn't because he wouldn't settle and show off his nice walk. But he scored all 7's or higher and we qualified for East Coast Champs by scoring higher than 70% so whoo hooo. Go baby horse!!
Then they called us all back in for the ribbons and he behaved himself pretty well there too. He even let me hang his pretty blue ribbon on his halter. Yay!!! Hopefully the first of many.
After a rest we decided to join Mary, Wayne, and Encore out in the XC field. We went out and played in the water and jumped a few of the maiden jumps and the bank and ditches. He was a good boy! Then it was time to go home and again, he loaded well and hauled well.
So all in all... while he was naughty in the ring... so what!? He had every right to be. The important thing is that he handled the whole show like an old pro. He didn't stress, he slept, he ate, he drank, he pooped, he peed, he walked around without dragging me. He's a good kid :)