*Warning, heavy photo and video post!
Despite the eventual downpour, and the early hour I had to be out of bed, Saturday was so amazing!
We got to the barn and loaded up before the sun was even thinking about coming out but we had to be at Aspen Farms around 8:00 am. I spent all Friday getting ready for both the derby and his trip to California, so I was feeling pretty ready to go. Luckily we woke up with no rain and got there with no issues. We also got a prime parking spot.
Worried that Dandy might be a little crazy, JLE opted to get on him first. Getting the stall was a good idea as he was super quiet and relaxed while I tacked him up. Only then did I drag him over to the trailers where he was only normal being at a horse show excited, not his normal pyscho. JLE jumped on him and I followed close behind with the lunge line, just in case.
There were only a handful of other horses warming up for the BN class so JLE took Dandy right in and got to work. He was moving so fancy and acting so perfect.
So perfect in fact, that JLE took him right into the ring. He was such a good boy! I know there were some squirrely moments but he didn’t look or refuse, except a bit at the down bank.
Here’s the video, though it’s not great quality since it was from my phone:
All that was good, but that’s not what I was most proud about for the day. After his first BN round, JLE rode him up to the back ring where a few of her other students were warming up for the hopeful division. The ring was INSANE. There were at least 30 other horses all trying to get ready and jump.
And Dandy stood there like an old pro.
I am so proud of my OTTB. It was actually too crazy for JLE to coach off of him so I ended up holding him and grazing him for an hour while the hopeful class ran.
It also started pouring at this point, but such is the PNW.
When we got back down to the main ring, JLE got back on Dandy to coach the rest of her BN students. While not quite as hectic as the hopeful warmup, there was still a lot of activity going on. Dandy stood quietly while JLE coached. He even got right back to work when it was his turn to warm up again and go in the ring.
JLE said the second round was better just because he was a little more tired but he still needs to learn to rate a bit better. I’m sure this will be a thing were constantly working on.
Dandy finished just as the heavens really started opening up so he and I hurried back to his stall to untack. If it hadn’t been raining, I would have gotten on but I didn’t feel like riding in the rain and he was being such a pro that I figured he probably deserved to be done. He was out there and being ridden for two plus hours.
I’m really excited for the next Derby in April! And while I know this doesn’t prove that his show nerves are fixed, I hope that this is a good sign for things to come.