Friday, May 20, 2011

Santa Barbara– Day 2 - Thursday

For this show we had three horses showing.  Little E, Nazz and Blu.  It was a combination of rush time and relaxing time.  Heaven.

Little E



Little E was in her halter class this morning.  Todd was at the barn at 6am washing the filly and prepping her for her class.  The bummer about halter classes is that they are always in the morning.  It means extra early arrival times and baths in the morning because no matter what, they seem to manage to get green marks on themselves overnight.  Even if they’re put up in bubble wrap.

Even saying that, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s so much fun to be involved.  Halter classes are very lively.  The handler trots the horse into the arena accompanied by whoops and hollers from the audience.  They set the horse up on the rail until the judge is ready and then the handler brings the horse into the center of the arena and sets the horse up again – getting it to stand in a particular stance that sets them off to their best advantage.  They use a halter whip which they wave in the air (they don’t whip the horses, just the air to get their attention) and the halter’s lead line (leather) which they wiggle and move (also to get their attention).  Once they get the horse set in its stance, if it’s really nice and the audience is fired up about it everyone yells.  I think this is to tell the judge it’s a popular horse– or it could be to get the horse to be even more hyped up.  But since this year is the first year I’ve ever watched any halter classes I have no idea if I’m right – or blowing smoke about all of it!  But regardless, it’s a blast to watch.

So, all that said – Todd took Little E into the arena and we yelled our appreciation.  Since she’s a Half Arabian she competes against some very dissimilar horses.  I don’t know how the judge decides what is most appropriate (each horse is judged individually on their conformation) but I can say that the horse I thought would come in last came in first.  So everything seemed backwards.

Todd walking Little E to the arena

Walking in the arena

Todd trotting Little E

Once Little E was done with her class she was done for the show. This show only had the one set of Halter classes.  So it was ‘one and done’ for Little E.

We were able to spend the morning getting Nazz prepared for his classes.  Of course he doesn’t need much prep.  He’s the consummate professional.  I think he soaks up the adoration we shower on him.  He enjoys the grooming especially.  And I have fun grooming him.  I hope that Blu learns to enjoy it as much as Nazz does.

Anyhoo – Nazz was in two classes Thursday.  One class Todd rode and the other Sharon was up.  They had beautiful rides in both classes. 

Nazz and Todd

Loping with Todd

In the lineup

Sharon and Nazz

I brought my ‘big’ camera to this show – my Nikon – because I thought I’d been slacking on my photography during the last few shows with my Cannon.  The benefits of the Cannon are that it is small and it can take video.  The Nikon is an SLR and I’ve got a nice all-around lens that allows for some decent telephoto photography without having to do much editing to the photos afterwards.  That is a good thing because about all I know how to do on my digital photos is crop.  So if you’re ever wondering if I’ve altered a photo you can rest assured I don’t know how– so it’s highly unlikely!  Someday I’ll learn PhotoShop.

Once Nazz was done with his classes for the day it was time to do a bit of prepping on Blu.  He needed his hooves ‘done.’  And by‘done’ I mean sanded so they’d look really pretty (yes a boy can look pretty) once they were polished.  We haven’t done this to him before so we weren’t sure how he’d take it. 

Turns out he took it just fine –though Ken says his expression says otherwise.

I took Blu over to the wash rack for his bath.  It’s just across the isle from our stalls so it was super handy to see when it’s empty.  Yet again Blu acted like and old show-pro and stood nice and quietly throughout the bath.  I even got to use my new bath accessory – a funky looking item that actually DID keep the water from running down my arm into my armpit and soaking my shirt (anyone who’s ever washed a horse knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about).  The Off-The-Cuff thing is totally cool.  I highly recommend it.  After the bath, I put Blu’s new cooler on (the robe-like blanket I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned previously) and rubbed his belly with a towel to help it dry.  When he was all dry I put on his new head to toe sleezy (the lightweight lycra blanket designed to keep him clean).  But alas, I didn’t think to take any pictures of him wearing either.  Maybe next show…

We were all done with our show prep for Friday so we had free time on our hands.    Shopping!  I think it’s a requirement for all show attendees to make a visit to Jedlickas – you have to be sure to visit their consignment building too, outside across the parking lot.  I just love walking through tack stores anywhere I go.  There’s ALWAYS something that I just ‘need’ (sorry Ken!).  This time it was my very own bit.  We had hoped that Blu would be showing in the Bosel but it wasn’t looking too positive.  He’d only been in it a couple times and while his head position was great, it had rubbed a sore spot on his nose and his nose was still a bit too tender.  So it was a great excuse to shop for a show quality snaffle bit. 

It’s gorgeous!  Even if I do say so myself.  (though I didn’t take any photos of it by itself so this is a cropped image to show it.)

I also got an equine exercise ball for Blu – but it wasn’t full enough and he put a hole in it pretty quickly. Alas, while Blu enjoyed it, he only enjoyed it for about 5 minutes.

Time flew with all the fun somehow it was 6pm and Nancy was here!  Yeah! 

The Three Musketeers were together again in Santa Barbara!


  1. This is really interesting reading about show life, Kathy. :)

    Try Photoshop Elements for digital photos. Its not as hard to use as regular Photoshop. I'm still learning it myself.

  2. Thanks Sally. I'm enjoying living the show life and writing about it. It's nice to know someone is enjoying reading about it. :-)

    I'll keep you posted on my Photoshop progress. good tip.