Easter Show - Friday 3rd April
On the morning of Friday 3rd April, I woke up looked out the window and groaned! Rain & lots of it, perfect weather for a show NOT!!!
Despite my gloomy feeling, I packed up the car and toddled off to the yard. On my arrival I was greeted, as usual, by the familiar barks of Betsy & Doris, Morgan was still yet to get herself out of bed. Nicola and I discussed the beautiful weather over breakfast and slowly one by one the girls all started to arrive, every one of them had a smile on their faces and it was us grown ups grumbling about the weather!
Everyone set to getting their ponies ready, scrubbing legs clean, plaiting manes & tails, still the smiles kept coming.
The order of the day was as follows:
Best Turn out
Take Your Own Line (Stirrups Optional)
Roll Out the Barrel
I did not envy Olivia having to judge the Best Turn Out, every one had made a valiant effort to look their best. It was brilliant to see all the ponies looking so smart. We all had a little giggle with Olivia as she asked us questions about our horses during the judging, being next to Amelia I had to chuckle at her answer of 103 when she was asked how old her pony was, there were also some comical show names too!
Below are just a few pictures of the girls & their ponies, who would your winner be?
With Best Turn Out out of the way the jumping could begin, I for one definitely had butterflies in my tummy, those of you who know me know that Jumping is not my favourite discipline (hence why I had borrowed Jim for the day & wasn't riding Millie who probably would have ditched me for fun)! I could see a few of the first timers looking a little nervous too but in true Millhouse spirit we all cheered each other on.
Amy did particularly well with Romeo as he can be a little monkey and put in a stop when you least expect it. Emily was also fab too, she had brought Jay back to the yard to join in and I know that she isn't particularly keen on jumping either.
Clear Round over & it was time to 'Take Your Own Line.' with the option to take away your stirrups. Many of us sat going over our course in our heads only to watch another rider go and think "oooh that was a good course" and to change ours once more. As it happened only 4 of us were daft enough to attack the course without our stirrups, I felt I had to oblige having an unfair advantage over the girls being an instuctor, in I went, turned into the first fence and thought "What on earth am I doing?!!" but too late I had to concentrate on sticking on and making all the fences. (Massive thank you to Jimmy for looking after me)!
After a lunch break consisting of McDonalds for most of the girls (Thank you to Sydneys Mum for fetching it, I really did not envy you having to fetch that one, especially on a bank holiday)! Next came the Accumulator, each fence was named after a pony on the yard and was worth a number of points, Joker being the scariest jump and worth the most points, as you can see from Olivia's face this wasn't a concept grasped by everyone! All of us who went round were fully aware of the screams of Fay & Carly shouting "JOKER" and if the others were like me they felt obliged to come round the corner and attack it (I for one had my eyes closed on that one). Sooo many brave ponies and some very plucky riding, and yep still raining!!
Then a cry came down from the top school & poor Freya & Megan pony had come a cropper warming up both, face planted the floor and landed in the biggest puddle in the school! But as you can see from the photo below that didn't stop Freya from carrying on and enjoying herself, she still had a big smile on her face.
The heavens seemed to attack more aggresively as it was time for the pairs jumping, by now we were all drenched but not one moan was muttered from anyone, we were all just having too much fun! The pairs were drawn out of envelopes and each pair consisted of one younger girl/less confident, with one older/confident girl. Unfortuantely Rosie didn't have a riding pair so Moo had to join in on foot and even on foot she forgot where she was going! I was paired with Lily and together we hatched a plan, Lily fulfilled her end of the bargain, I went to pot & forgot my sharp turn so had to kick on (on Jim!) down the longside to make up time. (Sorry Lily).
Then we moved on to roll out the barrel, probably one of the hardest things to do. Most of the ponies were very hard to convince not to crash through the barrels and we were very quickly down to the final 4. Again Olivia had the tough job of watching how many feet got over the last barrel & eventually a winner was found. Well done Sydney & Connie!
Fancy Dress time, with a sly smile on my face I disappeared into my stable and started preparing myself, I was quite proud of my costume seems I was only told a week before that it was fancy dress, and being a trooper I had to oblige. On exiting my stable I started to see all the other girls and I was blown away by the effort everyone had made, even the rain seemed to stop for us! Jesus (Lily & Jake) were clear winners, but who would you have picked?
As always I am blown away by the spirit of the Millhouse team, we had parents & grand parents supporting all the girls & the girls supporting each other. Thank you to Amy & Sarah for being unofficial photographers, Olivia you did a fantastic job of organising the show, so a big thank you to you, a big thank you to Nik for letting us have the show & use the ponies but mostly a BIG thank you to all the girls for making my Good Friday the best I have had in a long time! - Jodie