My second show was supposed to be ysterday but it had been a fairly steady rain/drizzle since early yesterday and Armani is barefoot so I don't want to risk a slip and an injury. He works quite happily in the rain though, so that will be a big advantage in the future when and if I breakdown and get shoes on him.
Overall, the logistics of show day went rather well. I had a lesson in the morning and then went back to braid just before turn-in time. It was freezing cold, so I didn't bathe. Fortunately, Armani is pretty clean and shiny anyway. I managed to get the prep done and everything packed in pretty good time. I think I was in bed by about 11pm.
Here, I am just going to say that from the time I got up at 4am until we arrived home, the help of my husband was absolutely indepensable. I'm not just saying that to suck-up, either. He walked Hazel and prepared a perfect protein-rich yet light breakfast when I myself would have had a hard time doing that since food was the last thing on my mind. He also did numerous other things to make sure I had everything I needed. At the show grounds, it was even more important to have help.
He held Armani while I registered, ran to and from the car to grab things I forgot, wiped green foamy slobber from Mani's mouth several times, and used his own bare fingernails to scratch the sand from the bottom of my boots when I remounted for the u/s portion. (yes, I will have a hoof pick on hand next time so he doesn't have to do this! One of those things you don't think about when you haven't done it before!).
Now, to sum up.
Well, pretty much everything worked out just fine and there was nothing that flat out didn't work. It came down to refining what I had with me.
What I had and didn't need.
There were a few things I didn't end up using but I think I will probably continue bringing, just in case. There wasn't anything that I recall being definitely a waste of space. Here are the details on the "excess."
- Cloths. I used one big microfibre cloth for Armani's slobber and giving my boots a wipe before entering the ring. Since it was a large cloth I was able to use different parts for the 2 tasks.
- Food. Yes, that's right, of all people on earth it is surprising that I didn't eat much until back at my barn around 12. This will obviously depend on what divisions/classes I am entered in and the time between them. I did nibble about 1/2 a Lara bar in between warm-up and the start of my division, which was exactly right for making sure I didn't crash (a big issue for me) while still being light in the tummy and easy to force down.
- Water. It was freezing cold, so I didn't drink very much but will certainly continue to bring the same amount of water/gatorade, if not more. Total fluids brought = about 5 litres. The beauty of extra water is that you can use some to wash things in case you need to, or dampen a cloth to wipe your boots etc.
- Braiding stuff. Thankfully, I didn't need to re-do any braids but just because I didn't need it doesn't mean I won't bring it to every show, just in case!
What I needed and didn't have.
Again, nothing devastating here but a few things of note.
- Cooler/dress sheet. In theory, the day was supposed to be around 18C(64F). The reality was that it was closer to 10C(50F), so we were really quite cold. I made a mistake by not bringing a proper cooler to keep him warm-ish after warm-up. I did thankfully have a wool blanket that I use for him once it's in the 0C(32F) range, but it is small and really only covers his back. I typically take the saddle off then put this cooler on, so with a saddle on it looked a bit silly but at least it was something (this was another example of something I had Alex run to the car for). I'm not sure what I need for these types of shows - my normal cooler is too heavy/warm, so I was thinking a dress sheet of some kind might work.
- Warmer clothes! Again, since it was unseasonably cold it wasn't nice to be so cold. As a rider, I wasn't too badly off since I was kept warm with my bow-flex Armani.
- Warm beverages! I wished I had a thermos with some hot hebal tea or something to sip.
I also didn't have a couple things I forgot to bring but didn't need. Such as my lunge line. I didn't miss it, but will still try to remember to bring it to future shows, just in case. They are useful for more than lunging, so I think it's a good idea to have.
I feel like now that the first one is over, the rest will only get easier. I do expect things to change quite a bit once I'm showing in the heat. Ugh!
I've got the bug, though, and I'm rather annoyed at having to scratch yesterday. I might try to do the show next weekend although it wasn't on our plan, so we'll see.