Sunday, March 1, 2009

Circle Trotters...and Steve Holt! week 13

It was bone chilling cold up in Lynden yesterday when Darling and I arrived. We'd decided to take the boys up to the schooling show which benefited local non-profits as they try to feed hungry horses this winter. Darling has never been inside the ring with a horse before, and she'd been a bit uncomfortable about it last fall when I offered. The past couple of weeks, however, have seen her hungry to give it a try.

So we loaded up Sandy and Steve Holt! and headed into Little Canada. No, it's not really Canada, but you can see the Canadian Rockies from Lynden and the wind blasts it's way out of the Frazier Valley with force great enough to make you think you're not in Kansas anymore. Which of course, you never were to begin with...but images of Dorothy and Toto and Mrs. Gulch on her bicycle or broom are hard not to imagine when the wind gets blowing. And although the snow had melted from the parking lot here in these photos, it was still stuck to the tops of nearly every horse trailer there, which tells the tale of how cold it still is up here in the northwest.

But on to the show!

I signed Darling up for two classes, both walk trot; pleasure and stock seat equitation. As we got closer and closer to lunch break, Darling whined louder and louder about wanting to ride in a bareback class. I know she's not ready to be loping in circles, and I hadn't told her there was a walk trot bareback because let's be honest here...she's not been working a bit on horse show skills, just basic stay on the horse skills, and since Sandy had only been in one other show I didn't want to take a chance of him being snorty while in a crowd of kids. But Darling, when she's persistent, can generally sway me, and since Sandy was totally relaxed with her during warm up, I told her to pull off her saddle and sent her into the walk trot bareback class.

Darling was happier with that seventh place bareback ribbon than she was with her fourth place stock seat ribbon, or her second place western pleasure ribbon! To her, staying on that horse and having a good ride was more important than the placing. I'm very proud of her.

Steve Holt! handled himself much better than I'd thought he might. He's been in the arena once before, so I didn't have any qualms about him being nervous. I didn't expect him to do so well at keeping himself together on the rail, though. Yet he kept a steady pace and worked very hard to keep his head set nicely for me. We were fourth out of five in the Parent Pleasure class, but I'm going to venture to guess we were pretty close to the third place horse. We also entered showmanship, which was funny because I've not practiced setting up until we got there. Again, he was relaxed and tried his best. I thought we should have placed one placing higher, but maybe we were bumped down because we nearly ran over the judge? Could be...but Steve Holt! found her interesting and was in a hurry to go see her. Our third class was an open walk trot 'advanced pleasure equitation' class. Crazy...what the heck is advanced walk trot, anyway? The other walk trot that Darling entered was beginnner, never having won a blue. I really thought this class was for those green horses who weren't ready for walk trot lope, but there were no restrictions so I swear every horse was there in that arena with us! Over 20, easily. Again Steve Holt! did everything he was asked, but of course with his bouncy stride we weren't able to compete with those who truly were advanced, so placing was out of the question.

All in all it was a terrific day for everyone involved. Hungry horses got fed, Darling and Sandy did well as a team, and Steve Holt! got a little extra exposure that will come in quite handy when we head to Expo.


CTG Ponies said...

Sounds like a great show day, all in all! Congrats on the placings and for well behaved horses! I can't keep my daughter out of the bareback classes either. She just loves it!

photogchic said...

Exciting stuff. Glad Darling got to experience a positive show day. I think a good goal of showing is to leave the show with a better horse than you came in with and it sounds like Darling did that.

Heather said...

Sounds like a fun day!

Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like it was a good day for all. And good for Darling being interested in doing what is difficult instead of her placing.

Rick said...

Way to go gal sounds like you and Steve Holt are coming right on GOOD JOB Rick at Huckleberry

Gecko said...

Ohh great to hear!!! Good on Darling, it's fantastic when you hear that people, especially young people, are happier with their experience than their placings. And she would've learnt so much from this class, just imagine what experience and her joy combined will bring her later on!!