Saturday, March 14, 2009

Contest Time

A big, long-distance high five to the first person who can figure out how I figured out that this schooling show entry should have come before the trail ride entry.
(Hint at the end, but it doesn't count if you peek!)
This was Kate's first show under saddle, just coming three years old (spring, 2008). I had hauled her in to town for several halter classes each year before, but now we were going to RIDE in public!
Our local 4H includes "open" classes, including "green horse," for those of us who [way] don't qualify for those "under-18" classes. This judge is really good with the kids (all of us), giving them lots of pointers and advice.
Showmanship is not my strong suit! But we gave it a try, if only to get her inside the arena to look around before the under saddle classes.
Well, ONE of us got back on our haunches for the stop!

When we got to the judge, we rocked back and forth for what seemed like hours, trying to get that left fore to square up with the right. I finally settled for almost square! If you look close, the judge and I are both having a good chuckle. Kate was indifferent.
This was a pretty nice turn on the haunches, with Kate stepping across well in front. One hint I had heard was to rock them back on their haunches with sort of a "half-halt" from the ground--almost backing a step, before starting the turn. I actually taught her the turn at home with a preliminary two or three steps back.

Headed back to the line at a brisk trot. I'm not sure what her nasty face was all about, other than maybe the fact that I had to wake her up before we could move out! What a pretty girl!Just for fun: a friend's granddaughter and her first pony.
And a student from school: the poor girl drug that mare almost back to the line before she finally got a step and a half of trot out of her! Now for green horse walk-trot!

This was Kate's first time riding with other horses. She's got her ear cocked back towards the horse coming up behind her, but otherwise, didn't seem to be worried about it.Reverse.A pretty walk--alert, but relaxed. And a nice jog--long and low. Circling to maintain space. I didn't want to ride her face too much, so I didn't do much speed rating. (I prefer a longer trot early on, to emphasize "forward," rather than the exagerated collection for the western pleasure jog). Neither did I want to ride up on other folks' rear ends. The line up: That's our friend B on the deaf overo mare Helen at the end of the line. She cleaned up all day. (The gray on the near end and Kate competed against each other at the next 4H show [without Helen] and traded first and second place all day long for that day.) That's a purple fifth place ribbon, not a red second. She also pulled a sixth in the open walk-trot class.
But I couldn't have been happier with Kate's performance!

[Contest hint: this show was closer to spring break than the trail ride.]


  1. You are riding in a bosal here...have you been doing that all along and I missed it? Or was it required for the show? I just learned from Oregon Sunshine that horses over a certain age are required to be in a ported bit for the shows that she is interested in, and that is madness to me. I guess that a double bridle is required as of Prix St. Georges in dressage, but that is some high level riding.

    Have I ever told you how much I wish I had grown up as a cowgirl instead of a three-day eventer? I wish I knew about bosals etc. in practice instead of in theory. I was reading about Indian bosals the other day and considering one for Raven. She is good in her Dr. Cook's bitless, but I do not like how tight it has to be around her nose.

  2. No wait...I embiggened the second-to-last picture and I can see that it is not required. Funnily enough (being sarcastic) Kate looks the most natural and relaxed in that picture, with the possible exception of the horse (mare?) at the far end, who is beautiful. Is that you friend's horse that you have talked about here before?

  3. No, the bosal was not required, and, in fact, you can only stay in one, or a snaffle, until they're 5. But you've gotten very close to answering the contest question....
    Yes, that's Helen, the deaf overo mare, that was at the little arena with Maddie last month. She's 6, I think, and B has done a very nice job with her. She IS a sweetie!