He was noticeably tired, but still wanted to go. We headed over to the main arena for the reinsmanship pony class. There were four entries, two of which were drivers and horses that have been doing this a while. The other lady, this was her first show too...
We headed in and Kat was doing well. We circled the arena at the working trot, stong trot, slow trot, walk, change direction, strong trot, slow trot, working trot, back down to the walk and line up at the far end of the arena. We had to trot to catch up and went into the line as what would be the second to go in the pattern portion. As the judge started to explain the pattern, the lady with the horse next to me, pulled out of the lineup and went to the other end where she would be last to go. I thought nothing of it and shrugged it off. I was first in line and at least we would get it over with and be out of our misery soon enough.
The judge explained that we were to take up a working trot, go down the rail on the right side of the ring to the other end of the arena. Along the fenceline in the center of that end there was a cone. We were to turn left at the cone going up the center of the arena, (towards the judges gazebo) then make a large circle to the right. As we came back around into the center, we were to make a large circle to the left completing a figure eight. As we came up the center completing the figure eight we were to trot straight towards the judge. She would be standing behind two cones and we were to stop at the cones, back a few steps, come forward and salute.
The judge asked if we were ready and I told her "As ready as we'll ever be" and guided Kat off to the rail. I had to push him a little to get him to trot, but he did and we made our circles. He was tired so I let him work on a loose rein and be comfortable. I also didn't want him mistaking any cue as an excuse to stop. Judging by the lines up the center each time we came around, we overlapped to the left and right each time. At least going first, you can see Your one lines and not everyone elses. We trotted up to the cones by the judge and Kat stopped dead and square! We backed our five steps, came forward, halted and saluted. The judge thanked us and we went back into line.
The other two seasoned drivers had their go and the lady next to me took her turn. She was visibly rattled and had told me she wasn't sure why she had entered the class at all. (I thought to myslf, Boy do I know that feeling!) It looked like she had a decent go, but the judge could tell she was nervous as could be. As she came back into line next to me, the judge told her she really needed to work on her confidence. Me and the other competitors applauded her effort and told her she did it and survived the experience. Back at the trailers, the lady apologized to me. "I am so sorry for 'throwing you to the wolves' like that, but I'm dislexic and had no idea what the pattern was supposed to be until I could see it being done. Even then I can still get confused."
As the announcer called the placings, I was sure I was getting third or fourth. Surely she could tell Kat was tired, I didn't think my circles were great and what else could I come up with that wasn't as good as the others? When they called the numbers for fourth, then third and finally second, none of them being mine, I was a bit shocked. Seriously did I win? That was about when they called my number for first place.
Talk about a moment of OMFG! I had just won a class against a couple of people and their horses, who have all been driving longer than we have. A class I had seriously thought about scratching out of and I felt I was maybe a bit out of my
We walked over to the games arena as we still had the scurry to complete. I figured as much as I had to push him in the reinsmanship class, he was done. We would just walk over and quietly scratch the class. Kat had his own ideas on that of course...