When my alarm went off for day two of BCET’s sleep deprived weekend the only thing I wanted to do was stay in my burrito roll of blankets and fall back into oblivion. If only. Instead, I dragged myself out of bed for another day of exhaustion, cold temperatures, and horse showing. Again, my body switched to cruise control and I somehow made it to the bus fully dressed with all of my stuff for the day. For once I was thankful for the long drive to Johnson and Wales University because it meant another hour of sleep.
This show I was only showing in Intermediate Fences, which meant that I went in the second class of the day. At first, I drew a big, bay gelding named Dillon. I had seen him go before at other JWU shows, so I was excited that I was finally in a division he was used in. Unfortunately, Dillon was just as excited as I was, only in a bad way. His warm up consisted of lots of bucking and running away with his rider, so he ended up being pulled for the day. My next draw was a cute little mare named Ali. As I watched her warm up, I heard her owner commenting that she was a very green jumping bean and would need balancing. Surprisingly, this was a bit of a comfort for me. I have ridden my share of green horses over fences, including my own, so it felt more like a training experience and less like riding a horse that is on autopilot (although sometimes those ones are the best). I was asked to go first, so I mounted up and off we went. I quickly learned that, yes, the mare was very green, but she was also very willing. Our first three fences went perfectly, but as I turned the corner to my third fence things got a little wonky. Apparently I forgot how to use my outside leg, and we ended up with a crooked line to the fence. This caused us to land as if we were doing a bending line back to fence one, and that is exactly what Ali had in mind. It took a large amount of inside leg to convince her that we needed to go straight and not over the next fence she had her eye on. Thankfully, she decided that I had the right idea as we realigned and were back on our course. Oh, I should mention that this all happened directly in front of the judge. Oh well. The rest of our course went relatively well, though a little speedier than the first half. I ended my course feeling proud of the little mare as we placed fourth out of seven riders. (You can view a video of a few of our fences here!)
At the end of the day, Becker placed fourth out of twelve schools. Not bad for a team full of girls (and boys!) who were on the verge of the world’s worst horse show hangovers.