We'd spent the previous day giving Mezza her first official bath (one that wasn't just water). Yesterday she was wonderful about standing for the bath, although you could tell she thought the conditioner after the shampoo was taking too long!
So this morning I stalked her, and practiced a few in-hand moves (turns and backing) for show prep. Then I took her to the tie rail and undid all the bands from her mane and unbraided and fluffed her tail.
I'd dug out the hand razor we always use on Hoss and Scout--and shaved off her whiskers. She'd been great about the clippers around her fetlocks, but we'd only practiced near her ears and face, so I cleaned those up with no problem.
I only cleaned her hooves and brushed her until we got to the Equestrian Center, since dust would stick to the show shine once it was applied to her hooves.
She loaded up on the trailer this time like a pro, and had her first ride alone. Once there we let her eat while Dawn registered and I finished beautifying her. Dawn's daughter, Jen arrived just in time, and we changed out Mezza's halter for the pretty show version.
I think both Mezza and I were in a trance for the halter show--it was a wonderful learning experience--she was well mannered around us and the other horses before going in, but we both froze a bit--she didn't want to trot, and I forgot to set her up for the judge! Ouch!!
Before I took her in for Showmanship, we did a "review". I asked for something, and I wanted a "try". So we went through each turn, the back, and the trot separately.
Mezza did a good job with me in Showmanship. There is still tons to improve on. There were about 13 of us, Mezza and I didn't place, but that was not the point. We figured out we both can have stage fright, and that we just need to refresh. I thought she did great, and we ended with her loading up beautifully again to go home!
There's plenty to practice on always.