The Story So Far, Part 3: Success!

Robbye traveled home very well; a hint at her drafty, gentle, carefree personality. She bonded with Yogi immediately, which we took as a wonderful sign. The day after she came home, I got on her back for the first time. She was perfect.

The first time backing her.

That summer was a wonderful summer of firsts for Rob. First ride with a bridle, first trot transition, first trail ride, first ground pole, first canter transition, first right lead (YAY!!), first time picking up the right lead the first time I asked (YAY YAY!!), first time cross-country schooling (okay, she was really just watching Yogi school, but still…). She was lazy, and defaulted to slow, and was often stubborn in her steering, and had the attention span of a squirrel, but holy cow we made (and are still making) so so so much progress.

I tried to do some bonding too, but it didn’t take for a long while…

Somewhere between steering and reliable canter leads, Robbye and I went to our first show ever – a combined training schooling show at a local barn. Our dressage test was walking and trotting in big circles, but she showed off her stretchy walk and her fancy Belgian trot and earned us a decent score. I wasn’t extremely happy with our performance, but that was entirely my fault – I had entirely forgotten to take a whip into the ring! How I could make such a mistake with such a lazy horse, I don’t know….but I’m also grateful that I made that mistake at our first show, and will never make it again!

Robbye wasn’t feeling up to photographs.

The stadium aspect of our round…I was so so pleased with her. Because we were only tentatively steering, I wasn’t expecting much – but since it was a ground-pole course, I basically just needed to remember the course in order to earn a clear round. And, of course, Robbye was much better than expected. She looked at the first “jump”, but after that dutifully and steadily made her way around the course (albeit with some wide turns!) for a clean round. What a perfect baby! Our division, with just the two of us entered, ended up being combined with another division….so, even with competition, we came home from our first show ever with a second place ribbon.

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