Thursday, 2 January 2014

Slaley Show

 Photo by Daniel Graham

 Photo by Daniel Graham

Saturday 10th August and we were up in Northumberland for Slaley Show.  We'd travelled up on Friday afternoon, and had yet another new girl with us!  Chloe had stepped in at the last minute, and although she knew my horses (she comes and helps us out at home with the birds on Saturday mornings throughout the winter) she didn't know the show and had never even really seen vaulting!

The arena was the perfect size for us, although the grass was LONG!  When we arrived and took the horses off the lorry, their eyes lit up and when we turned them out in the arena whilst we set up they just ate and ate and ate!!  Although the horses love the long grass I knew it would be problematic come show time, especially during their dances.  Keeping them from eating during shows is hard enough at the best of times, but I knew temptation would be too much for them here!  We spent the evening running through the show with Chloe, which we're very good at now as we have now taught seven different girls what to do!

Come the morning Ben and Becca arrived with the Eagle and Vulture Team, and it's always nice having them at the same show.  There was plenty going on, and it was soon time for our shows.  Casper was up first as usual, and we'd done a lovely warm up but for some reason he was really excitable and went steaming in at a hundred miles an hour!  The first freestyle was quite interesting as he was still going fast, but I managed every move and he settled eventually.  And then it was time for his dancing.  And my earlier concerns turned out to be well founded as all he wanted to do was eat!  Every time I even took myself slightly away from his head (which is pretty frequently during the dance) he was straight down and stuffing his face.  All the audience seemed to think it was very funny, so we just had to go along with it and try not to get too annoyed with him!  I had the same problem during his games - especially when I threw his catch toy, it literally just vanished in the grass!  Aside from the mid show snacking, the show went through really well, and I was really pleased with Casper.

In between our shows there was lots going on in the arena.  My favourite was the fancy dress class, where there was loads of different costume combinations.  My particular favourite was the Tesco burger pony, who was being ridden by a chef and had an 'every little helps' sign on it's bottom!  Tinker really liked them as well, and he stood by the fence watching them all go by - he looked like one of the judges!

Before long it was Tink's turn.  As ususal he was really good - although even he attempted some mid show snacking as well, and he definitely knows better!  It was all going really well until the very end.  Tink had been quite lazy throughout the final freestyle and I was working really hard to keep him going at a decent pace.  I was standing up on him waving my fan and felt him slowing down so I gave him a good shout.  He normally ignores me but I must have sounded particularly convincing as he shot forwards causing me to go straight out the back door!  Whoops!!  I feel very silly, but I got back on and finished as I should - with no more shouting at Tinker!

We have got LOADS of photos from Slaley Show, as two different photographers both took lots.  I've put them all together into one album, so just click here to see them.

Next up is a bit of a road trip.  We're up in Scotland at Sanquhar Riding of the Marches on Saturday, before trucking down to Leicestershire for Ibstock Country Fair.  I'll let you know how we get on!

Love Rosie x

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