This was Cazador's FIRST ever show. We rode 4 tests - 2 Training Level test 2 and 2 Qualifying Training Level test 3.
We drove up on Thursday to get him acquainted with the show grounds and to see exactly how he would respond to the show experience. When we got there, Stacy Williams - our trainer - was already there and getting her horse settled in. Cazador got off the trailer like a champ and looked around at the area. It was over cast and threatened rain. After we found his stall and got the trailer parked we tacked up for a lesson in the indoor arena since the rain had arrived, too.
He was such a good boy in the new environment - no startles, no buck, no bolts, just chomping on the bit as we had a great lesson. His trot rhythm still needs work, but he tries real hard to please. Friday we went outside to ride in the morning and then went out into the show arenas when more people showed up. He was good with the judge's booth at the end of the arena and had a great workmanlike attitude with everything that was asked of him. We were to show all of out tests in the Willow Arena so we only worked there.
Across the street, the neighbor raises bulls for rodeo. They are quite impressive and also quite noisy at times. I was grateful that Cazador has been around cows before and they didn't seem to bother him too much - he just liked to look at them.
Saturday we showed Training Level Test 2 very early in the day - like 3rd rider in the morning.... He did quite well for his very first time up centerline. We scored a 62.885 for a 3rd place finish. He Training Level test 3 was later that afternoon. The wind had picked up a bit and the judge's booth had a green shade screen on the side. On our way around the outside of the arena, it was picked up by the wind right as we got to it. That scared Caz a bit, he didn't know which way to exit the area so he piaffed forward. So love this horse. The scary shade was still there during the test so he wasn't too convinced that it was safe to go all the way to the end of the arena. All things considered, he did pretty good. We scored a 65.000% with a 2nd place ribbon. This is one of the two qualifying scores needed for Regionals in Oct!!
Sunday's show was a bit better in the far end of the arena, but he wasn't totally convinced yet that it was a safe place to be. We scored a 64.231% on our Training Level test 2 with a 2nd place ribbon and a 61.818% with a 3rd place ribbon (not a qualifying score for Regionals). Which is not bad for his first show.
I must say, Cazador acted like he had done this his whole life. The startle stuff at the judges booth was so minor and he trusted enough to get thru it. I so love this horse!