The UC Davis IHSA horse show was yesterday and it went pretty well! Since I was riding, I didn't get to do much to help out the team since I'm technically not aloud to touch a horse before my class (and my class was 2nd to last). I pulled a rec horse named Holster who I had never ridden before, but he was a really nice ride. I felt really confident about my ride, and thought I rode well, but I placed 4th. I was a little surprised and a little disappointed, but it was okay. After the show was over, I waited for nearly 2 hours to hear what the judge had to say about me and why she placed me 4th/what flaws there were with my equitation. (Because IHSA shows are solely based on equitation and nothing else since it is catch riding.)
When I finally got to talk to her and told her what my number was/what class I rode in, she hesitated for a bit before saying, "Oh! Now I remember you! I put next to your number on my sheet 'Cheer up Carolyn'. You looked miserable from the moment you walked into the ring and you clearly didn't want to be here. You out-rode everybody in the class and are a very strong rider, but I placed you 4th because you didn't look happy and I didn't like that." WHAT? Okay, first of all, I waited for 2 hours for a judge to tell me I got 4th in an equation class because she didn't like the way I looked? Second of all, I definitely wanted to be there, and I definitely was not miserable during my ride so... Maybe that's just my face but....? I'm one of the most happy people I know... So I really have a hard time believing that I came off that way. I was really upset. She basically told me I should have won the class so.. I don't get it. I asked my friends and parents if they thought I looked mad and they said that I looked like I always do when I'm riding and just looked concentrated. Ugh.. I'm not even sure what else to say about that. If I would've gotten a first I would have been really close to pointing out and would have been still eligible to go to regionals... and not I'm not.
Learning experience I guess. I naturally just looked pissed/don't have a pleasant face. I actually exploded when I got into my dad's truck after talking to the judge. He was really mad and thought it was complete bullshit that that is all she had to say to me and didn't even have anything to say to help me with my position. Hopefully next show (if the team picks me to show again) goes better and I look happier. I'm just upset I guess because I don't think anybody has the right to tell me that I didn't want to be there, because by god, I wanted to be there.
On a happy note, I got to take pictures with Dante after the show in my hunt coat/helmet/etc and they turned out SO cute. They made me so happy. I'm going to have to get one framed. Today I lunged him under saddle and he cantered a little! He looked beautiful and so balanced, and I would say ~90% sound! I hope he doesn't have any set backs and continues to get stronger. I miss that horse so much.