Sunday, August 21, 2011

All Amateur Arabian Horse Show (Sunday)

Just when we’re starting to get the hang of things, it’s the last day of the show.

It was another early wake up because the day started with Sharon handling a bunch of halter horses.  I had to get Blu prepped for the day so I couldn’t be down by the arena but I kept an eye and ear out so I could sort of follow what was happening.  The first class of our morning was Sharon showing Todd’s mare Easter in “Arabian Classic Head” – a class where the horse is blanketed so only her neck and head show.  She is judged entirely on her head, as the class name implies.  She is a beauty, so of course she won the class!  From there it moved fairly quickly through four more classes – all of which resulted in wins.

Sharon spent most of the day yesterday in the saddle and with the resulting win in her class they decided to repeat the plan today.  I also wanted to get more time in the saddle.  Mostly because I felt like just riding, but also because I wondered if it wouldn’t help me relax more and help Blu get a bit more tired so he wouldn’t be as fast.

After the halter classes were finished everyone came up to the barn and I was delighted to see that Sharon’s husband Bill had arrived!  He’s always fun to have at shows.

I saddled up (without my chaps) and rode to the warm up arena.  I rode around for a while but decided that polyester show pants are very slippery in the saddle and I wanted to put my chaps on.  I went back to the barn and with much contorting I put them on all by myself (for those who haven’t worn show chaps, let me just say that there is a fair amount of bend required to get the zippers together in the middle/back of your thighs and then zip them down your leg all the while keeping the chap fringe from getting caught in the zipper.  It can be done.  I’ve done it a couple times.  But it’s much easier when someone else helps put them on.  Anyway….I did get them on, then I got on Blu (and laughed at a wisecrack made by a neighboring trainer who walked by while I was adjusting things in the saddle) and rode back to the warm up arena. 

Sunday ended up as my favorite day.  A beautiful day (the fog had burned off early but it wasn’t a million degrees) riding my horse in an arena that was basically empty.  Why was it empty when usually it is packed?  Because there was a fun competition going on in the main arena.  A “dollar bill ride” where people ride bareback with a dollar bill between their thigh and the horse.  The last horse and rider with their dollar still in place wins the pot.  So, there were Sharon and I riding by ourselves.  Todd came by a number of times and gave advice, but he also left us on our own, too.  We enjoyed ourselves immensely. 

The day was going slow and they had a 30 minute break right before my class.  The cool thing about that was that I was able to ride in the main arena for 30 minutes prior to my class.  I wanted to make it relaxing for both Blu and me so we did a lot of walking and jogging with a some loping.  We got the correct lead 90% of the time.  I was almost worried at the end because we’d walked around the arena a few times in a row and when they made the announcement to clear us out of the arena I asked Blu lope on the right lead.  He did, but I thought he didn’t and stopped him.  I tried one more time and he did pick it up correctly so we ended on that note.  I was concerned that I'd screwed up by walking so much right before my class but I think it was the best thing that could have happened.

I got out of the arena and Todd got Blu groomed and ready to show.  I didn’t have any butterflies.  I was relaxed.  Success!

My only class of the day was Class 206 – Half Arabian/Anglo Arabian Western Pleasure Limit Horse – ATR (Limit Horse hasn’t won 6 blue ribbons and ATR is Amateur To Ride).  There were four of us in the class.  I’d learned a lot yesterday and my warm up today relaxed me, and Blu, too.  The result?  A WONDERFUL class!  Blu got the correct lead both directions, his jog was nice and slow and we had a great ride.  No malfunctions, no mis-queues, just a great ride.

When they announced the winner as Noelle I was very happy for her.  She’s been super nice to me during this show.  We’ve competed against each other in almost every class, and she’s just a very nice lady.  So I was happy for her to win.  When they announced Blu’s number in second place I was THRILLED!  Whoo-Hooo!  I won second place!  It rocked!  Todd said afterwards it could have been a toss up as to who won the class because Noelle’s horse had a beautiful slow jog but the lope wasn’t perfect and Blu’s jog wasn’t perfect but his lope was great.  Overall I’m glad she won.  She’s super nice and she deserved it.  I’m extremely happy with second place.  It’s my first rated show, after all!

Bill got my phone and took this picture so I could send it to Ken

Sharon’s only class of the day came just a couple classes after mine.  She had a nice ride but when Nazz mis-interpreted Sharon’s command and did a perfect flying lead change it blew their chances for another win.  But on the positive, the flying lead change was flawless!

Todd, Sharon and I Sunday afternoon

Once classes were finished (for us) it was time to pack up the barn and head home.  Packing went pretty quickly and I think we did a pretty good job of getting things back in the trailer in a neat and tidy manner that will make the next show setup easy.  Todd and Mike got the horses off to home and then it was time for Sharon, Bill and I to get our things loaded.  I needed to get the camper back on the truck and all our stuff sorted out between Sharon and me.  We fixed ourselves sandwiches for dinner and pulled out of the showgrounds at 6:20pm.

I got home about 10pm and collapsed into bed.  Updating Ken on everything that happened would have to wait for the next day when I wasn’t utterly exhausted!

When’s our next show!?!?!  I’m HOOKED!!!

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