Thursday, May 3, 2007

Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse

The Daffodil Arabian Spring Horse Show

Part 1 Of Rachel and Grandma and the Arabian Horse's story.

The show started Friday morning. I was showing Scandalous Storm in halter classes, both the amateur and the open stallions. Since Rachel and Dandy didn't have a class until the afternoon session Rachel got groom duty for the morning session, helping me sand and polish feet and get me horse ready for the ring and then help with anything necessary up at the ring. Normally I go to horse shows by myself, it was nice to have someone to share the experience with and we made a good team.

Once we got through the morning classes, Rachel set about braiding Dandy's tail while I did his mane and forelock. Rachel had only practiced braiding a couple of times and I hadn't braided in about five years so we made quite a pair. But we did manage to get the horse braided well enough to take the horse in the ring but definitely not good enough to win any contests.

We got the horse tacked up and Rachel dressed. Crystal showed up to coach Rachel on the rail. She got there just in time to help with the bun for Rachel's hair.

If Rachel had to count on me for her bun, there'd be bun failure for sure. I've never quite managed the art of horse show buns. There is a real knack to getting the bun low enough it doesn't interfer with the hat or helmet. In this case, since Rachel's helmet isn't just for show but a real protective helmet with straps, the bun needs to be even more compact. Crystal has lots of experience and Rachel's bun turned out great. I should have taken pictures so I had something to compare to, because we sure could have used them later.

I warmed up Rachel's horse and then turned him and Rachel over to Crystal. We had decided to time it so that Rachel had just enough time to get comfortable but not too much time that she's lose the "edge" I'd put on her horse. The warm up went pretty well and then we headed off for the show ring.

Crystal took a place on one side of the ring and I took one on the other to coach Rachel from the rail. The Arabian horse stumbled as he came in through the gate, jarring his right shoulder. Rachel stayed calm and pushed him on and it looked like things would go ok but it just turned out to be one of those rides.

The horse's trot was solid but not brilliant like it had been in the warm-up. Rachel miscued the horse at the canter and he picked up the wrong lead but she realized her mistake and corrected it quickly.

The ride at the reverse was about the same. The horse was solid but not great. He shyed at something at the hand gallop and popped up out of the bridle but Rachel kept her cool and pushed him right on through it. She rode a little tight at the walk and the horse jigged a couple of times but she got a handle on that too without being told.

When they called for the horses to line up, all the kids dove for the line-up and Dandy broke into a canter. By then Rachel seemed to be oblvious, she was more focused on getting into the line than how she got there.

But for her first class at a class A Arabian show, she had done pretty well. She had managed to fix all of her problems on her own except for the issue at the line-up. I wish I'd ridden my first class that well and it took me years to get confident enough about my leads to fix one that I thought was wrong. Rachel and Dandy placed low in the class but they placed. More importantly she had kept her cool and actually "rode" her horse through the class instead of letting him just pack her. Crystal and I were both very proud.

To be continued.........



  1. Hi MiKael

    Wow that sounds wonderful, tell her well done from me too. I have only ever competed once in a show and that was when I was about 12. I am not very competitive and I just dont find the time or inclination at the moment, apart from the fact that I am normally the official photographer at the shows LOL. Cant shoot and ride at the same time. I actually have thought of doing Trail with my Tobiano filly Lori. They usually have those classes indoors at the Pinto shows that I shoot and I dont shoot indoors if I can help it so maybe I will be able to merge the two.

    I am concerned about your comment about horse accidents which you have been in the middle of. I hope that there is nothing too serious going on. Let me know or I will worry, I was born worrying LOL.

    Have a great day, I saw yesterday that the weather your way was still not great so hope it is better today.


  2. She did very well, and it sounds like you both had a nice time. What great memories you are giving her.