Monday, September 20, 2010

Show Time

Yesterday was a big day. A huge day, in fact...just a mere 15 minutes from home.

This past Sunday, we loaded up Zeus and Siggy in the horse trailer, to head off to their first horse show - the official beginning of their new lives after the racetrack, their comeback into competition - but a completely different competition. One that doesn't compare the speed of the horse, but the talent, the courage, and the grace of the horse and rider team.

When we unloaded the boys, Zeus immediately panicked, and began pacing, circling me, and whinnying with worry. With Siggy's half-lease "mom" Arliss nearby with Siggy, we traveled across the show grounds - me with a lead rope and a longe line on Zeus, needing the extra security to contain him. One woman came up to us and said, "He's so BIG! Can I pet him? Will it help calm him down?" I politely asked her to come find us in an hour, when he'd settle a bit more - having anyone new close by to Zeus would be somewhat dangerous in this new environment.

After longeing him for a good 15-20 minutes in a quiet ring, Zeus didn't exactly settle, but he was quieter and a bit calmer. Siggy stayed nearby with Arliss, being a great big brother and showing Zeus that there was nothing to be concerned about. 90 minutes after our arrival, Zeus finally began to relax and showed interest in the lush grass that covered the show grounds. After another 30 minutes, I decided to tack him up, and see what we had.

I had a star on my hands.

I had perhaps one of the best rides I've ever had on this horse. He was responsive, in tune to me, soft and supple. I was gobsmacked.

He was incredible (video).

And continued to be incredible (more video).

So I decided to enter the show ring with him, knowing he hadn't set foot in it before, nor walked past the judge's booth or colorful jumps - very scary objects to a horse that's never competed.

He was brilliant.

A very short clip of us in the ring:

The moment we earned our ribbon and exited the ring, we were swarmed with well-wishers and spectators, wanting to ask questions about Zeus and marvel over how well he'd done, and how dashing he looked.

Of course, he knew he was something special.

The first of many ribbons for my boy Resilient!

Tomorrow I'll blog about Siggy, since he deserves his own separate entry. I continue to be awed by his own style - taking everything in stride and having complete trust that we wouldn't put him in a situation he couldn't handle. Big things ahead for Siggy, too.


Miss E. said...

:-) It's these moments that make all of the work worthwhile...for all who are now inspired to consider an off-the-track Thoroughbred -- check out and you'll find many like Zeus -- just waiting for a chance and a believer. Congrats to you both, and here's to many more! Ellen, CANTER New England

Sapphire said...

Do you say "wow" at the end of the first video? Love it!

Aislinn said...

KC, I am amazed. Completely and utterly amazed. Good boy, Zeus!

Catherine said...

Just catching up on your blog. Zeus is just beautiful in these videos. You two make a wonderful team!