Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Day at the Horse Show

Riskie and me, trotting through the cones in the trail course.

The horse show I'd been looking forward to for so long is finally over! It was a good day, and I had lots of fun, thank goodness!

The day started off, bright and early at about 5:45 am. I headed out to the barn to see what my horses looked like after the storms we had the night before. Risk stayed pretty clean, so I just had to rinse her off and wash her spots and tail. Rem on the other hand, decided rolling in the mud would be a great idea the night before the show... so he got a full bath. Aubrey came down around 6:15 to give her pony a bath as well. I wanted to be on the road by 7, so we had loaded everything the night before. We had the horses loaded in the trailer by ten to 7, so we were right on schedule.

We got to the fairgrounds right on time, so we unloaded horses and got them settled at the trailer with hay bags. Then we went to register for our classes. I signed up for...

Sr. Showmanship (with Risk)
Egg & Spoon (with Risk)
Jackpot Open Walk/Trot Pleasure/Equitation (with Rem)
Sr. Western Horsemanship (with Rem)
Open Western Horsemanship (with Rem)
Sr. Trail (with Risk & Rem)

Quite a few more classes than I would normally do, but I figure if this is the only show I go to all year, I may as well do a lot.

So, here is how the day went...
The 4H girl who is showing Riskie showed up to do a showmanship class with Riskie. We got her and Risk all ready to show, and practiced the pattern a few times, just to let her get a feel for it. I told her not to expect a placing since it was her first time showing and there were 14 kids in her class (placings from 1-6). She just needed to do the class to get a feel for what it's like to show. She understood this well, I think. Her pattern went PERFECT up until her setup. When the judge began her inspection, Riskie stepped out of the setup. I feel like the judge wanted her to fix it, because she paused and waited. However, after a few seconds she continued her inspection with Riskie not standing square. It's hard to know what a judge wants, some prefer you to fix a misstep and others want you to continue showing like nothing happened. Either way, I was happy with how the girl and Riskie did for her first time showing.

Next up was my Showmanship class. We had 9 entries in the class, I think. Our pattern was okay, but not as sharp as it could have been. I understood this, so wasn't disappointed when I placed 5th.

There was a 30 minute lunch break after showmanship so I went and saddled both my horses up. I got Rem and warmed him up a little in the arena. It was a grass arena and with all the rain we had the other night it was getting pretty torn up, so they kicked us out of the warm up before I could get on Risk to give her a warm up. My next class was Egg and Spoon with her, but I wasn't too worried. She's the kind of horse you can get on and go. And that's what we did! There were 19 horses and riders in Egg & Spoon. Most of them dropped their egg at the trot. Riskie and I made it about 10 strides into the lope before ours went, but that was good enough for 3rd place :-)

Rem in walk/trot

Next up was the Jackpot Open Walk/Trot - Pleasure/Eq. I probably shouldn't have entered this, but since I won last year, I had to give it a try. There were 10 riders in the class. We had a pretty solid ride, but I know it could have been better. The judge chose two Huntseat riders for her top 2. The rest of the placings weren't announced because it only payed 2 places. Oh well, better luck next time.

Rem doing a pivot in Horsemanship

After walk/trot, I watched Aubrey do a pony class with Chocolate, then it was time for Trail. Trail is hands down, my favorite class to do. I took Rem first, then Risk. The pattern was...

Walk over the bridge (which was setting on top of tarps) to the mail box. Open and close the mail box and continue on to the cones. Trot through the cones. Pick up the right lead and lope over and through the logs. Stop in the box and do a 360. Walk out and through the brush.
Sidepass over the zig zag and trot to the barrel. At the barrel dismount and ground tie your horse. Exit leading your horse.

Both horses did really well. I couldn't have been more proud of them. They didn't even try to eat the grass when I ground tied them. They were good enough to tie for 1st place. They both scored 96/100. The tie breaker is the time in trail, so Rem had the faster time by 2 seconds!

Risk sidepassing

After trail, I decided it was time for a lunch break. I unsaddled my horses, refilled their hay bags and watered them. Then I changed into a t-shirt and got some lunch for myself.

After lunch (and all the english classes) It was time to get ready for Horsemanship. The patterns were pretty simple, and there was no straight line loping, which I was happy about. Our first pattern didn't go the greatest. There were 8 in that class. We picked up the wrong lead at one point, but I was able to fix it... I thought for sure that would drop us out of the placings, so I was surprised when my name was called for 4th place! Some others must have had their own trouble with the pattern. The next class went better, but at one point we were supposed to extend the trot and Rem just picked up the lope... oh well, he did everything else really well. We placed 2nd out of 4 in that class.

What a day it was! I was beat and ready for a shower! I had such a good time, and I think the horses had fun too... especially since their hay bags stayed pretty full. Ha.



Saturday, June 5, 2010

Horses, horses and more horses

Me and Rem in the pasture

I need to get back in the swing of blogging on a regular basis! But, it is summer, I find it much easier to blog in the winter.

Here is an update on how my own horses are doing...

Risk is mostly enjoying the back pasture, and getting very fat. I take her and use her as a lesson horse for a young girl once a week. Other than that, she has had it easy these past couple weeks because I've been so busy. I need to get on her and try some of the new training techniques I've learned. I think she could benefit from quite a few of them.

Remington is getting ridden more than Riskie, but probably not as often as I should. The Open 4 H June show is coming up on the 19th and I'd like to have him ready to show. I want to do trail and Western Horsemanship with him, and possibly a jackpot walk/trot class. We'll see. He was doing really good for a few weeks and then I gave him a break. The next time I got on, he had quite the attitude, so I had to work through that. He did really well for me last night though. I have been stuck in the small indoor arena because of the rain, and there isn't a whole lot I can accomplish in there. Hopefully things will dry out soon!

Flirt is a Rock Star! She has had a little break too, but she has NO problems picking up where we left off. This little 3 year old has quite the mature mind. It's so nice when they are like that. I ponied her down the road and through a creek the other day. At first she didn't want to go in the water, but once she finally did go in she was fine and walked right in the next time. I have tried out a few of the things I've learned from my trainer on her and she picks them up right away (faster than Rem did!) Her personality is rather aloof on the ground, but it seems to me she does her best to please me when she's undersaddle. I'm just really happy I found a horse like her to work with.

Well, that's about it as far as the horses. I am looking forward to the show in 2 weeks. Hopefully I'll have some pics and maybe video to share! Hope you all have a great weekend!