I had never asked Mercy to load in the dark, so I really didn't know what to expect. On a normal day, she can be difficult to load when I haul her alone. It can be done easily, but sometimes she just has to make sure that's really what I want, lol! So, I woke up extra early so I could make sure we hit the road on time. It was 4:30AM. And guess what... she loaded right up. I don't know if she was just really in a good mood or just happy to eat some hay, but she loaded up with ease once we had the trailer and truck all packed.
According to MapQuest, it was going to take us approximately 2 and a half hours to get there. Anyone who drives a horse trailer knows, however, that it takes longer when you're hauling live weight. I added another half hour to our drive time to give us plenty of driving time. The show started at 8AM and since this was our first show with this organization, I didn't know how smoothly it was run normally. I wanted to get there with plenty of time to warm up my sometimes crazy mare if need be!
Well, let's put it this way, my mom, Mercy, and I arrived at the showgrounds before 6:30. We were the first people to arrive. Of course, I pull the truck and trailer into the wrong area and am finally able to wave down the resident farmhand for help. He shows me where I can park, which is out front or out back in the field. I chose the field. Big mistake. I take one step out into the tall grass after getting the rig arranged next to an over-nighter and my boot is instantly soaked with the morning dew. It is cold out and now my feet are wet. And it's only 6:30 in the morning...
I grab what little warm clothes I brought and threw those on before going to unload Mercy. I hung up a hay bag for her and offered her some water. Once I knew she was well taken care of I waddled my way back to the barn to see if there was anyone around. The office wasn't open yet and there was no one to ask. No breakfast, no potty, no help. It was only 6:45...
With no luck there, I headed back to the trailer. My socks are soggy already, so I don't walk as carefully through the tall grass. Mercy hears me coming and nickers softly as I approach. The warm up arena was perfectly groomed and waiting for us, so I saddled her up and walked her over to the show area. I tighten her cinch, climb aboard, and take a deep breath.
It was still very cool. The sun was still not up. Dang it. The horses boarded there weren't even fed. Think we got there earlier enough?! Lol! I still wasn't convinced that there was even going to be a show there that day. No one was around and it was 7AM! Since I had the arena to myself I let Mercy just cruise around on a loose rein for a while. She walked over to see the boarded horses and then tried to stop and nibble the grass on the side of the giant arena. Once I was convinced she was bored I asked her to get to work... any work... of any kind... but first at a trot.
Right spins: 0
Left spins: -0
Our final score for the day was 61 1/2! The 2 penalties for the lead changes were no big deal for us. I knew we would get them because we don't know how to do flys yet! I don't know what was up with the right circles, but I do know that we completed every lead change! They may have been late, early, or prolonged, but Mercy never missed a lead change. That was WAY more than I expected because remember way earlier in this post I was describing how I ended up having to quit working on those during our warm up? I never thought she would get them in the indoor arena. She does surprise me every time I ride her! We ended up with a 6th place in this class, but considering the high score was only 66 1/2, we weren't doing too bad. Also considering our last 'schooling show' score (and our first ever scored run) was a 55 1/2, I am very pleased. If we can just keep competing and gaining experience, I know we will be competitive some day. Whenever that may be.