Horse showing is not an easy task. It is hours upon hours of going in circles and patterns around the arena. You have to know all the right patters and ques as well as having everything spot on and perfect. It is perfect chaos. I smiled to myself at how perfect this show was going. I’ve only been showing for 2 years and so far I’ve gotten $10, 1 ribbon, and a good job from my trainer. If you were me, you would understand how exciting it was. My trainer, Dominique, is also the real owner of my horse and my same age best friend. Thad never won anything at a horse show before.
More than anything I got mad because | could never get Drifter to listen or did something wrong. So, yeah, It was a pretty special night. However, sitting here ordering a new helmet, I should probably start from the beginning I’d been at my friend’s house all week long. We’d practiced the patterns, picked show clothes, braided mains, and packed the trailer. It was a hot July morning and we were now headed toward Teutopolis, Illinois. I watched out the window when suddenly the blaring radio went quiet. Dominique looked over her shoulder at me, “Brianna!! It is horse show day! Wake up and be excited with me!!! I couldn’t help but to laugh.
The radio blared back up to a fast paced country song, and I started singing and dancing in the back seat while laughing at Dominique. When we got to the show, Dominique and I jumped out almost at the same time and went to get our Horses off the trailer. First off the trailer was my Drippy or Drifter if you prefer. Next was Kathie’s, Dominique’s mom’s, Lexi and Hailie. Next was the big giant crazy Angle. A lipazon Mustang mix that Dominique had trained herself. We tied them to the trailer before tacking and heading for the registration counter.
We signed up for everything from Showmanship to gaming. Dominique smiled at me pointing to the partner pick up race. I looked at her confused, “what’s that? ” “I’ll explain later,” she smiled, “Drifter and Hailie? ” I gave her a worried expression, “I have only ridden Hailie once before. ” “You can ride her now,” she deviously said as she scribbled my name next to hers on the paper. I rolled my eyes and before long found myself riding Hailie for only the second time. She was a smooth but sensitive mare who didn’t like leg commands. I’ll admit that I was pretty nervous when it came to riding her.
Dominique rode up next to me and explained what the partner pick up race was. One person stood by or on a barrel down at the end while another runs the horse full speed at them. The person at the end jumps on then its homeward bound. I put the pattern in the back of my head before switching to my own horse just in time for grand opening. When my name was called for the $10 gift card, I knew today would be a good day. Drifter and I ran fairly good that day. She was excited and hyped up for once. You might be thinking, “why would you want your horse all hyped up? , but trust me, with Drifter it is more of a “actually willing to do something. ”
Don’t get me wrong, I love the mare and all, but she’s lazy. Then it was time for the flags. She took off without hesitating as my heels hit her sides. We didn’t even slow down as I tore the flag from the bucket and got around the end barrel racing back towards the timer. I threw the flag when she refused to slow down and she spooked. She reared ever so slightly before side-passing yet somehow running back across the timer. Then it was time for the partner race.
I thought I had just spooked her. That everything was going to be fine. That was until I took her in the arena again and she ever so slightly bucked as we took off. Dominique was yelling at me, “Kick her!!! ” Believe me, I was kicking. Bounce, Bounce, BOUNCE. Despite her efforts, the mare was too lazy to even pick up her attempts at bucking all the way. Finally we were at the end and I pulled the reins to a halt. Drifter was like me, she’d never done this one before. So when Dominique came running towards us, straight up in the air she shot. Thad no idea what was happening.
I talked to Drifter to calm her down as she took a few steps while rearing. I honestly thought I was about to die. I tried looking at Dominique for help, but she was dying of laughter. I guess we were the same, neither thought Drifter was capable of such stupidity. Shortly, I got Drifter to at least land on the ground long enough for Dominique to jump on as well. She slid her foot in the stirrup and swung over as Drifter started freaking out again. I was too busy focused on not dying that I did exactly what Dominique told me to do. “KICK HER!! ” she yelled as Drifter landed on her four feet again.
I did as I was told and off we went. Dominique kept yelling to kick her. I wasn’t used to going full out and pushing Drifter very hard. I had a hold of the reins and her mane, kicking. Next thing I know, Dominique is slamming into me knocking my foot out of the stirrup yet again. Thear her curse under her breathe confused as to why. That’s when it happened. Drifter was bucking. By bucking, I mean full on Broncho, feet above her head, bucking. I stopped kicking at the moment realizing we’d brought Drifter to her max. That’s what my mind told me to do at least.
According to Dominique’s mom though, I never stopped kicking. “Give me the reins!!! ” I hear Dominique shout just as I realize we are about to slam right into the fence. I was froze. My mind was telling me to give them to Dominique, but my hands weren’t moving. I felt myself slip yet again. Adrenaline started rushing through my body. Then just inches from the fence, Drifter turned suddenly. I didn’t. The turn made me slid onto her side clinging for dear life. My figures slipped through her mane and I went into a fetal position. “Tuck and roll” I heard Dominique’s “if you fall” words stuck in my head.
I don’t know how I did it, but I rolled between Drifter’s front and back hooves landing by the gate. In doing so, I felt something hit my head, hard. Everybody tells me it was hoof. Luckily for me, I had on my helmet. Theard everybody yelling trying to see if Dominique and I were safe. I was worried about Dominique and Drifter myself, ignoring the slight headache that was forming. I forced myself up to see her mom running toward me. I stood up and shouted that I was okay.
Next thing I know, I hear Dominique bust out laughing. I turned to look as she was laying on the ground by the fence with scratched up arms. Are you okay? ” I asked. Dominique tried to settle from her laughter, “Yeah, yeah I’m fine. But YOU! ” She mocked me and my “I’m okay” and then pointed at my head to my helmet. I took it off to see what was so funny. My helmet was cracked down the side, with the visor half torn off. Also, after taking it off, the strap fell apart where its not supposed to even loosen. I was taken by surprise seeing my ‘trusty’ helmet broken so easily.
That is also when I realized I was shaky. I walked up to Dominique to help her up, only falling down on top of her in the process. Partly because she pulled me down as well. Just throwing that out there. ) We both started laughing. I guess, with us being okay, our contagious laughter the whole audience laughed as well. At that time I’d realized with Dominique’s help, Drifter and I went all out. Drifter walked up to us while we were laughing on the ground and cocked her head confused. Her eyes said sorry, but the light nicker gave away she too was laughing. I pulled myself up with her breast collar and grabbed the reins. I pet her gently not even mad; understanding it was our fault too that we fell.
Dominique used the gate to also stand up shaking her head at Drifter. We walked out of the arena together still lightly laughing att run we’d just made. That night I didn’t care that I walked away with the $10, a blue ribbon, and a good job though. All I cared about was that I did it. I didn’t even hesitate when I had gotten back on Drifter. It was the first time I had ever fallen off a horse; the last time I’d been afraid of going full out. It built an unspoken bound between me and ‘my’ horse. Maybe having to get a new helmet isn’t such a bad thing.