Technically, this wasn't Gypsy's 1st show as she was shown in hand as a weanling/yearling. However, I broke her to saddle 2-years ago and only this summer began riding her very regularly. Michigan's Morgan Association holds a Fun Show at the end of the season. The show is open to all breeds and does not count for points. It is just for fun! There are all the normal classes like the pleasure and equitation classes, but there are also CAYA (come as you are) walk/trot any seat classes, and many fun classes like a banana race and costume class. This was the perfect place to re-introduce miss Gypsy back to the show scene.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this mare. On one hand, she has never ever done a thing wrong. Never once has she bucked, reared or balked. She has barely spooked nor bolted. She has been astoundingly perfect. Calm, quiet, sweet and willing (except for being caught at times). On the other hand, I kept thinking - "something has gotta' give." I worried that the show would rattle her a bit and that she may forget all she had learned.
Gypsy loaded up on the trailer as though she'd done it for years. She wore all four shipping wraps + bell boots with no problems. She unloaded at the fairgrounds with nary a snort and settled right into her stall with not a nicker or neigh. The show started Friday, and we had arrived with the horses on Thursday, so I planned to bathe her Thursday and just walk her around the grounds to get her better acclimated. The bath - oohhhhh the bath. It didn't occur to me that Gypsy being a light colored palomino would require a much more intensive bath then the bay and black Morgan's I've been accustomed to. After lathering her and rinsing her 3 times, I finally decided that she was GOOD ENOUGH! Her tail still had a bit of discoloration in it, but she was shivering and the sun was setting - I was done.
The next day, I had 2 classes with Gypsy. The 1st class was Sport Horse Suitability, an in hand class geared for hunter type Morgans/horses. I never in a million years would think that Gypsy would place well or even place at all in a sport horse class. The mare is built bigger and better suited for western pleasure in the Morgan world. She is curvy and typy, but now-a-days, Morgans are becoming more and more refined - and Gyps - well, she almost looks like an overgrown Shetland pony. I only wanted to get Gypsy acquainted with the show ring and judge in hand before riding her in there. At $7.00 a class, I hadn't much to lose, so in we went. Gypsy set up nicely and calmly took everything in. I couldn't help but laugh as we trotted past the judge. I felt somewhat ridiculous with my big mare. Soon enough the placings were called. Out of 9 entries, Gypsy placed 4th! Of course, I left the ring with a huge smile on my face.
Our 2nd class was CAYA hunter pleasure for the novice horse. This was to be Gypsy's very first time under saddle away from home. In fact, this was only her 3rd time under a hunt-seat saddle and at an accelerated trot. I intend to have Gypsy going well in a curb bit w/ romal reins by next Spring and neck reining like a pro, but up until this point she has only been in a light snaffle, so hunt seat we had to go. I cannot believe how easy Gypsy was/is to ride. She entered the ring like she'd been doing it her entire life. There were between 8-10 entries in this class, and it was a mad house. Gypsy and I passed and avoided naughty horses like pros, we found spots on the rail here and there and made lovely passes before the judge. Gypsy did everything I asked and more and we ended the class with another 4th place. It was great!
The final day we had 1 more class, another CAYA open. There were 7 entries total, and once again Gypsy did amazingly well. She set her head a bit better this time around, and we came away with a 3rd place. If anything Gypsy was a little lazy this time around, which made me very happy. I want Gypsy to be a great little walk trot western pleasure horse for some little kid, and she has all the makings of this, it seems.