Rusty Stirrup

It’s Show Time!

So this week I skipped my ride on Luc, and it was completely wort

By: Rusty Stirrup |

Jen and Luc shine in dressage.

Jen and Luc shine in dressage.

So this week I skipped my ride on Luc, and it was completely worth it! Jen (Luc’s actual owner and my sister) were off to a show – their first and only of the season. I, of course, played happy groom again. That meant making Luc look all shiny and clean, and trying to keep him that way. It started on Saturday with a full bath, complete with soap and lots and lots of scrubbing. He was so white by the time we were finished he sparkled. Unfortunately, it was way too hot to even put a sheet on, so we turned him out for the night and hoped for the best.

The next morning, show day, we arrived at the barn bright and early. When we found Luc in the field, he was absolutely filthy. Like spent the entire night rolling around in a mud puddle dirty. On to bath number two. More scrubbing and more soap. While he was drying, Jen got to work braiding the big grey beast while I made sure we had all the necessities packed.

When the trailer arrived Luc was sparkling again and oh so handsome with his braids. After a bit of a struggle getting him loaded, we were on our way. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous, but trying to hide it from Jen to keep her from picking up on it. Luc hadn’t been off property at all this year, and he hadn’t jumped more than the few small logs out in the grass field. I just wanted so badly for things to go well for them.

Luc happily jumps around in stadium.

Luc happily jumps around in stadium.

I should have known Luc wouldn’t let me down. But I’ll get to that later. First, it’s on to bath number three. Yup, that’s right. Luc stepped off the trailer a hot sweaty, dirty mess, with black all over his butt from where he was leaning on the rail in the trailer. More soap, more scrubbing and we were ready to get tacked up and take on dressage.

A bit of a hiccup meant Jen and Luc didn’t get the warm-up they’d been hoping for. That combined with the extreme heat and humidity (temperatures topped 40 degrees) resulted in a less than forward Luc. In spite of that, Jen still managed to pull out a pretty good test. Thanks to her hard work, Luc was a sweaty mess. Again. Guess what that meant for me? That’s right, bath time. Again. I sponged Luc down and then it was a long waiting game until stadium. Nearly four hours in the heat with little to no shade in sight made for an extra-long wait. I bathed Luc three more times during the wait, both to keep him clean and to keep him cool.

My constant bathing paid off and unlike at last year’s event, Luc was full of energy when it was time for show jumping. Maybe a bit too much energy. When he spooked at the start of their round and Jen gave him a swift correction, he kicked out, tossed his head and threw a little temper tantrum. Jen rode him through it and they put in a double clear stadium round. Way to go team!

Jen and Luc rock cross country.

Jen and Luc rock cross country.

Then it was back to the trailer for bath I don’t know how many, before an hour wait for cross country. A quick warm-up and then onto the course for Jen and Luc, who put in another spectacular performance. Another double clear! They booked it around the course with only a few hesitations on Luc’s part – which Jen pushed him through. I couldn’t be prouder of the pair of them.

After all was said and done, Jen and Luc improved over their results from last year and finished third in a very competitive division. Once again Luc proved he’s one of the good ones.

I do have one small confession to make. While I’m thrilled for Jen, I’m a little sad I didn’t have a horse to show myself. Jen has offered me Luc numerous times, and maybe one day I’ll take her up on it, but it still would be nice to have a horse of my own.