Monday Afternoon Diary – We are champions…

What an eventful day yesterday was. Just take a look…

See that big ribbon – that’s a Champion ribbon
Copper & I won HUGE!!

Our first away horse show was a HUGE success, not only for me but for another young lady named Mila who also rode Copper and she won champion in her division.

The last several months have been medically challenging for Copper. He was diagnosed and treated for chronic Lyme’s disease – he is due for more blood work next month to see what his Lyme number is 🤞🏻 it has come down. He also just had his hocks injected for arthritis – they inject a combination of a steroid and joint lubricant to make his hocks feel and move a bit better. With the treatment for the Lyme’s and the hock injections, Copper basically had his 100,000 mile tune up and he’s feeling pretty good.

The horse show. Picture this everyone, May 22, 2022 – the normal temperature for the end of May in NY should be around the mid 70s, maybe low 80s. Well, yesterday the weather was 94 with high humidity and blazing sun. It was hot. Not warm, just plain hot. I’m not sure how much water I drank yesterday but at one point during my class, the judge announced that the rider on the pretty red and white horse needed water NOW. So everyone paused so I could have some water which I not only drank but poured down the front and back of my shirt. At this point, I truly didn’t care how much of a hot mess I looked like, I wasn’t about to pass out at my first show with my boy, who was absolutely perfect.

Copper has a pretty extensive show history, so I wasn’t worried about him spooking or not understanding what to do at a show. But this was my first time riding him off property and at a show, so my anxiety was up. Once I got into the saddle, and felt how calm and cool Copper was, my anxiety was gone.

The classes we competed in was a walk, trot and poles class. We were judged at equitation, pleasure and how well we managed to trot over poles. Prior to the start of my classes I asked my trainer which class was first, equitation or pleasure. She told me but honestly with the heat I totally forgot what she said, so my reign length didn’t change much between classes. For equitation, your reigns are a bit shorter, you are being judged at how your seat and body position looks. For pleasure, the reigns are let out a bit and the horse is judged on their form, and how “pleasurable” they are to ride. I scored 3rd place in both the equitation and pleasure class. I won 1st place for the poles.

The poles. My nemesis. Originally, the class was going to have each rider trot an opening circle, trot over the small course of poles and then finish with a closing circle. Well, because of the heat, they nixed the opening and closing circles. I’m not gonna lie, I was happy about that. Copper and I have been working for months on trotting circles. We can walk a circle beautifully, but trotting them is an entirely different story. By the last few lessons we really came together and I figured we had a fighting chance of actually being able to do it. Well I can tell you, I did do a trotting circle. During the class when all the horses were trotting, I was getting close to the horse in front of me so I turned Copper towards the inside to trot a circle so we could get some distance between us and the rider in front, and that trot circle was PERFECT.

Copper was very forward while we went over the poles and my half seat was very good considering my body felt like a puddle of goo. My diagonals were spot on during the entire competition, I wasn’t going to lose points because of being on the wrong diagonal.


So I won 2 third place and 1 first place ribbon. Tears of joy literally flowed from my eyes.

So much emotion.
I love him.

Now…the champion ribbon. I had literally no idea I won it. I had left the arena to un-tack Copper and was watching him finally drink some water when one of the other students from our barn came to me and said “Judy, I think you won champion”. I look at her and said nah, no way. She says “there was only one Judy in the class.” So I hand her Copper to hold and I head back towards the arena. Coming at me is Maddie, another rider from my barn, and in her hand is a champion ribbon. Then she tells me she got champion as well, we were tied.

I’m in a state of shock!

Then there were more tears. And then I called my mom. My mom, who’s my best friend and whose health has been a bit rocky lately, she answers the phone with “how did you do” and I reply, “we got champion mommy.” Yes, I’m 46 years old, and still call her mommy. I texted my husband who just started a new job and he couldn’t come to the show, and his reply was “AMAZING HONEY, SO PROUD OF YOU.”

Rocking and rolling.

I mentioned that Copper not only took me to champion status but he did it for Mila as well. Mila competed in her division first and honestly that’s where my tears started flowing first. I was so happy for her and so proud of the team they have become. A proud horse owner moment.

She loves him
Getting the champion ribbon – with our amazing trainer Kari
My boy ❤️

So there you have it folks. Champion. Does this mean every single ride we take is going to be perfect, nope. Will I have a bit more confidence with riding now that we conquered an away show – ABSOLUTELY!!

The day after a show is hard. Your body is tired and sore but you are still riding that high from accomplishing something you never thought you could. There were a total of 9 riders in my class. The class was for people with more than 2 years of riding experience – no age limit. Yes, I was the oldest rider in the class, I could’ve been all those kids’ mother lol. Everyone who rode yesterday were winners. It takes courage to go out there and ride with 8 other horses in an arena that is large but not that large. It takes talent to maneuver yourself among the other horses. I am proud of everyone that competed and it was an honor to share the arena with my fellow barn students.❤️🐴


Published by Judy Bennett

I am a middle aged married woman who finally was able to make her childhood dream come true. In 2016 I purchased my first horse - a beautiful older gent that I named Alfie. This blog is dedicated to everyone who loves horses and wants to see the good, the bad and the ugly of learning how to ride.

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