(Our first competition, Woo!)
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! The alarm went off fairly early that morning. Adelina groaned, rolling over and hit the 'stop' button before tossing the covers and letting her feet hit the floor. She sat for a few moments, trying to get her bearings again while she looked around the room. Finally, her eyes rested on the calendar pinned against the wall by her closet. Today's date was circled in bright red sharpie with the words, 'SHOW DAY' written in capital letters. A small smile cracked along Adelina's face and she got a feeling of excitement. Today was the start of her riding career; her very first show that she had been working so hard for. It wasn't long after she had made her way downstairs for a cup of coffee before getting dressed. Show shirt, breeches, and tall boots were all put on with ease. Once that was finished, she headed into the bathroom, tying her hair back in a low bun that wouldn't get in the way of her helmet. "I can do this," she said to herself in the mirror. "First show, and you are going to do great."
Metal clanging shifted in the back of the trailer as she drove down the road, her grey Silverado pulling the trailer that had her best friend in it. Earlier, her horse had come straight up to the gate as usual, but this time had seemed more excited than usual; perhaps even they knew what was going on today? It didn't take long to actually get to the stable, and once she found a parking space all her tack was removed from the trailer and taken to a special area by her horse's two-day-lease stall. The entire place was beautiful; even though it was lightly raining, people were littered along the entire facility. Some were watching riders in the warm-up ring, and there were a few men dragging the show arena. Horses of every shape and color were everywhere, and people were laughing, smiling and just having a good time. "Wow," Adelina whispered to herself. This was actually happening, wasn't it? She walked into the large stable and read the stall assignment list posted on the front door. Looking through the list of names, she finally found the one that her mare would be staying in throughout the competition. "Okay, stall 15.." she said, and proceeded to carry all of her tack over. The stall itself was beautiful, and was completely clean without even a speck of dirt out of place. In bold, golden letters nailed to the front of the stall was a name-placard with the name "AR Sweet Tea" written out. How fancy! After she placed all her tack in the correct location, Adelina turned around heading back to the trailer to unload her horse.
Adelina took a deep breath as she gripped the reins, stretching out her heels and rolling her shoulders. "It's just the warm up ring, no big deal," she told herself before lightly kicking her beloved chestnut mare and telling her to move forward. Thankfully, there wasn't many riders in the arena, (yet) which gave them some time to themselves. They walked along the rail for a couple laps before moving into a trot. Sweetie was being just as responsive as ever, extending her stride, lowering her head, and keeping her form in check. Her red coat definitely stood out against the other horses', and Adel couldn't help but feel a little pride in that fact. They soon moved into a canter, moving in various directions and at different speeds before attempting one of the jumps in the warm-up ring. A bit hesitant at first, but when she realized what they were doing, Sweet Tea picked up her speed, and cleared the medium jump with ease. With her being a Thoroughbred, her size made it look as though the jumps were tiny. Once they landed on the other side, an excited whinny sounded from the red mare, her head bobbing up and down as she gave a tiny buck. Adelina laughed, patting her horse on the neck. "I know, babygirl. I'm excited too."
"Next up, we have AR Sweet Tea ridden by Adelina Kalani from Applewood Ranch!" The announcer called out through the microphone next to her and Adelina looked up. This was it. The moment she had been eagerly awaiting for as long as she could possibly remember. Sweet Tea shifted under her, giving a small snort and perking her ears forward. The plaited mane she displayed always made her look so elegant, like she owned the entire ring. Reaching down, Adelina wrapped her arms around Tea's neck, hugging her before whispering, "No matter what happens, we can and will get through this." They made their way into the ring at a walk, and a couple cheers from the stands made her head turn. Apparently some friends decided to tag along to watch, and Adelina couldn't help but smile. Finally, after performing a courtesy circle in front of the judges, she brought her foot back slightly and pressed, sending them into an easy canter. This was the adult class, and the 90cm jumps were really pretty. They were all sorts of different colors and designs, each with their own logos and advertisements. She gave one last neck pat to the red mare before tightening her reins and starting the course, turning to the left and heading towards the first jump. Sweet Tea's nostrils flared at the jump, and with her ears perked, she picked up speed, launching herself into the air and landing successfully on the other side. That wasn't too bad Adelina thought, heading over another jump shortly after. She could tell Sweet Tea was getting really excited, because her tail continued to swish from side to side repeatedly. Eyeing the clock only for a second, they continued to move through the course with ease, eventually jumping over the last remaining jump with (surprisingly) nothing knocked over. As they finished, her friends stood, clapping and cheering as well as a few other people that were watching. We did it! Adelina couldn't stop smiling; their first show and they delivered a solid performance without any faults. They slowed to a walk, and a person helped open the gate for them while they walked out of the ring.
By the time they finished the course, the sun was high in the sky accompanied by a few clouds overhead. Adelina waited until they were in front of the stable before stopping, setting her reins aside and dismounting. "Nice job on the course!" A passerby exclaimed as they walked past, and she thanked them before sliding her stirrups back up and lifting the reins over Sweet Tea's head. She gave a soft nicker, nudging her shoulder gently while her piercing blue eyes looked at her human expectantly. "You're right, you've definitely earned these." A couple baby carrots emerged from Adelina's pocket and she gave them to her horse, watching them disappear before finally taking the reins in hand and leading her back into the stable. This was definitely a good day.