You probably remember when I said in my last email that Vilas County and I are still miles away from competing.

That was around 3 weeks ago. We made quite some miles in the last few weeks. From my last email till now he improved a lot and I decided to give it a try and entered in the Poplar Place schooling show last weekend. And I can tell you he was great…I had entered us in a 2′ jumper class and the Intro A Dressage Test.

When we arrived at the show and I got Vilas County off the trailer, you could really tell that he was the MOST excited and nervous guy around there. I think that he guessed we are going to race – even so I took him to other places three times before – he was still very nervous. He didn’t want to hold and stand still, but somehow I was able to get him tacked up and ready for the class.

Mounting up wasn’t also the easiest thing since he was ready to go – too ready. But just after 10 minutes of walking in the warm up arena of the show jumping (I always talk a lot to my horses) he instantly calmed down and I was able to work with him. He now understood that nothing bad is going to happen to him. I warmed him up and he was getting better from minute to minute. Finally our number was called and we entered the ring.

Can you imagine this: He acted like a pro! He wasn’t even looky or spooky…nothing seemed to bother him…but of course he was curious and anxious what were doing there…the bell rang..and there we went…1st jump….2nd jump….and so on….he was awesome. He cleared the course with no jumping and time penalties…Sadly we didn’t get placed since we were to slow ( I was riding a lot of jumps out of trot…since I have the feeling he right now can handle the jumps easier out of trot), but in the end everything that counted, was that we had fun and we went clear.

I’m pretty much sure that this was very easy for him and there’s still a lot of jumping height left in him, but it proved that we are on the right way and I’m so proud of him.

The Intro Test was ok, but nothing that we can be proud of. He went through so pretty calmly, but was very tense. The flowers that were placed on the letters were so interesting and kind a spooky.

At least the judge commented our test not only with negative but also with some positive words. . .

So, all in all it showed me that we are not quite ready yet for the big competition and that we are still at the very beginning, but on the other hand it showed also that we are more than able to be competitive one time. . .I also saw “Bobby” (Christian’s Hope) in the warm up arena and he was entered in the same jumper class that Vilas and I did.  I said ‘Hi’ to him and Taylor and told her that Vilas County is also from Bits & Bytes Farm. So you had two horses competing at that show. . . and I even got several compliments from other riders what a nice horse Vilas County  is. . .*smile*

I will definitely keep you updated on our journey. . .

Send you warmest regards from sunny Roopville!!!

All the best,

Katharina and Vilas County

ps.: Sadly I don’t have any pictures from the show since Klaus is on a business trip and I had to go by myself (made it even more a challenge with a first time show – horse) :-)))

Katharina is taking it slow with Vilas County. There is no need to rush and ruin your horse by scaring him. Read about “Bobby” at the same show last weekend.