Off the Track Showman Day

Saturday was a big day for Henry! And me for that matter. And my nerves..! I signed us up for the Off the Track Showman day, forgoing eventing to get more baby horse miles. The competition was free, and only for off the track horses for a nice relaxing day.

Henry is always relaxed
Henry's dressage was at 9, so I plaited Friday night and we were off bright and early to get there in plenty of time to sort ourselves out.

I lunged Henry and he was very relaxed, the most relaxed he has been yet despite the busy environment. I mounted up and headed over to our arena and Henry stayed nice and relaxed. The warm up was more suited to swimming than riding so I kept it simple and short, opting not to canter because it was just far too wet.

I was ridiculously nervous, and had to force myself to keep riding. This nerves thing has reach a whole new level with Henry and I do NOT like it! I stayed on though and went in for my test.
Good at waiting
We kept it nice and steady and I didn't push for as much as I could have. My nerves definitely held me back. Henry was obedient, calm and willing, just getting a bit distracted in a few places. Where I remembered I pushed him for a bit more and he did a really great stretchy trot and walk!

Our first canter transition to the left was wrong, but he corrected it calmly when I asked. The right was much better and I was happy with all our trot world. It felt like the longest test of my life and I was glad when it was over!

Next up I watch my friend ride her dressage test (it had a few fireworks, but she is a very cool rider and handled it well!) and then got Henry polished up for the in hand component. This was a new experience for both of us, but as we do plenty of groundwork I was unconcerned about it. It was quite fun, Henry was happy to show off, but he got a bit too enthusiastic and cantered instead of trotted for a few strides. Oops! I really enjoyed it though. Always good to do something different.

Show jumping was last, and I opted to steer clear of the warm up. I wanted Henry to have an entirely positive experience. We were only jumping 45cm, so there was no real need to jump anything first anyway and Hen has a pretty good idea of what we do with coloured poles! I was far less nervous for this phase, and Henry was happy to stand and wait our turn quietly, just observing the goings on around us. He didn't even notice when 3 horses got loose and were gallivanting around the car park.

Our round was very steady, I opted to trot into all the fences because he isn't quite balance enough to canter a round in that environment. He was very steady, except though the double where he charged through. I halted after and then continued our round, which we finished clear but a bit slow.

So cute over the tiny jumpies!
Over all we placed 4th! I am so proud of how well Henry handled everything. It's his biggest outing yet, and his first time show jumping in competition. He was so relaxed the whole day, and happy to do the thing.  He is getting so grown up, and I was so proud of how he handled so many other horses around him. He really exceeded my expectations, and so many people were surprised he was only 4.

It was a great day out, very well run, with good prizes to boot! There were so many lovely thoroughbreds and standardbreds there it was nice to see so many people doing a good job with them in their new careers.


  1. Aw what a GOOD BOY!! He looks so chill in all the pics, congrats!!! I know how you feel with the nerves tho, it’s exhausting. Way to just keep powering thru tho!

    1. He was so amazing with all the horses around him, now I just have to calm down!

      Nerves are the worst, I really hope they F off soon and I can go back to being an effective rider.

  2. great job and he looks great!! that would be a lot for a lot of horses let alone a greenie......nerves get me too!!

    1. Thanks, he makes it quite easy really! I have never suffered like this before, not even in the start box!


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