Back in February, Snoopy and I were all set to go to Burbank to the "Show Me the Money" horse show. Then it rained and a bunch of people pulled their entries so they postponed the event. (Note: who are they kidding? It will take coordination between the AQHA, the LA Equestrian Center and possibly the Pope to get this rescheduled.)
So I kept practicing and Snoopy kept being his goofy self and finally-finally-finally we were able to go to the Hollywood Charity Horse Show. The show is a pretty big deal - William Shatner hosts a concert/event on Saturday night to raise funds for a therapeutic riding program. It's all well and good, but frankly, I just want to ride.
We usually get the horses and our gear loaded in on Wednesday afternoon, then Niki and Christine and I head to Viva's on the corner for some Mexican food. I'm always wishing I could have one of Viva's mammoth margaritas, but I'm exhausted and have to drive at least an hour to get home, so I have to pass.
Viva's has live music on certain nights. On Wednesdays, it's Glen Roberts' 17-Piece Big Band, which is a mouthful to say. It's comprised of a bunch of elderly musicians (17 of them, I guess). Each time we hear them, one of us says, "I thought these guys performed on Thursdays," and another of us says, "No, it's always Wednesdays." Because we're all that tired.
One of the things I hate most about showing up in Burbank is that I have to get up at o'dark-thirty to get to the center by 6:30. Still, once I'm there, I admit I love the solitude.
Snoopy gets his ya-yas worked every morning. Sometimes I longe him, but most of the time, Niki does it.
On Thursday, Niki rode Snoop in the Green Trail class. They were okay, but not exactly superstars, which is okay with me. Snoopy only has a couple of points left before they kick him out of Green. Once that happens, there's no class for Niki to take him in before I ride him. I like that she schools him before I ride. It gives me confidence.
I rode the Novice Amateur. We did most of the obstacles pretty well, and two of them pretty awful. I was loping a kind of a U-turn and I knew to use all the space. I had practiced using the space. It was easy. Until I was out there, saw where I needed to ride and... turned early.
Snoopy chipped in and split his stride over the pole. He recovered, but it looked ugly.
Then at the end, we had to turn around in the box. We'd practiced it. We knew how to do it. All I had to do was keep tapping his side to keep his feet moving forward, from corner to corner. Well, I kept his feet moving forward all right. Right out of the box. I pulled him back in and finished.
The thing is, I felt good about the stuff I did well, and promised to do better on the stuff I messed up, and I still had fun.
On Saturday, we tried it all again. He was tired, so I had to ride him aggressively, which I did. By the time we were finished, I felt like I had pushed him around the course. Fortunately, it didn't look that bad, and we got a 3rd and 4th place from the two judges.
All in all, I had fun, and so did Snoopy, I think.
He seems to love horse shows.
P.S. Remember this horse show when you're reading my latest book, MURDER ON THE HOOF. Just saying.