Monday, July 16, 2007

Arabian Breeder's Annual Open House Is Finally Over!!

Boy, am I relieved. Rising Rainbow Arabians 4th Annual Open House is finally a thing of the past. The way things were going I wasn't so sure if we were going to pull it off this year. Lots more things happened trying to get our Arabian horses and our small farm ready for the event but somehow we managed to get it all pulled together and it went off pretty well.

However, I was beginning to worry when 1 o'clock arrived and not a single person was there except for the crew of volunteers (my friends and family for whom I am eternally grateful!) I just couldn't believe we had done all of this work (not to mention the expense) and no one was going to show up.

My list of RSVP's only numbered 40 people, which was about half the number of responses last year. Normally, a number of those people will be no shows but there will be enough people who show up to make up for them plus some extras. The thought that they all wouldn't show was a bit daunting.

Shortly after 1 pm, the first truckload of people arrived. A few minutes after them, there was a carload and it went on from there. By the time we were ready to present the horses at 2 o'clock, we had a nice, comfortable group of people seated in the viewing area.

The skys were overcast but the temperature was about 81° and the humidity was around 80%. I was grateful that it wasn't the record breaking temperatures we'd had just days earlier but would have been happy with a nice cool 70°.

I was armed with my Scandalous Legacy baseball cap and slathered down with what I thought was plenty of sunscreen. In addition I had bottled water right outside the in gate of the exhibition paddock and chap stick in my pocket to ward off the effects of the sun.
I've suffered heat stroke before and am very susceptible to extended exposure to the sun and heat. Even though there was a doctor in the house (bless you Randy for being such a good and supportive friend) but I didn't really want to take advantage of his services. I didn't want to become a casualty of the event nor part of the entertainment. The intended plan was for the horses to be the show.

There's a fine art to the presentation of horses, well, Arabian horses anyway. I'm fortunate enough in my work as a groom to have worked on a couple of major events and on several photography shoots. Arabian horses are "presented" pretty much the same way for either one of those.

Arabian horses are the most beautiful when they are animated and showing off the wonderful spirit they are known for. There is nothing more breathtaking to an Arabian horse enthusiast than a beautiful Arabian horse snorting and blowing with its tail rolled over its back telling the world how cool they are.

The trick is to keep the horse pushed up next to the fence line and moving in an animated trot. For some reason photographers and buyers alike prefer the trot to show the quality of movement of the horse. The more animated the trot, the more upright the horse will carry itself and the more likely it will show off the wonderful shaped neck Arabian horses are known for.

Some people think you just turn the horse loose and move it around but that is nothing more than lunging. Working the fence line is a true art. Few people really understand it but knowing how to do it properly can be the difference between making a sale or getting a great photograph.

For our open house, I wanted to do both and we were shooting video. My son-in-law, Ray, was armed with a digital camera and my grandson, Chris, had a tripod set up with our camcorder. Both were stationed outside the far left fence of the presentation ring. And, of course, we had our guests sitting on the lawn facing the ring.

I was wired for sound since my voice doesn't carry well. I was the only "expert" on the horses or their pedigrees. In the ring with me was my friend Jean Frieday Kielman who is a retired Arabian horse trainer, well versed in the art of presenting horses. We were set to go, all we needed were the horses.

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

OK, I know you hate this part but at least I'm giving you a sneak peak with the pic!!

Part 2

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  1. Hi MiKael

    So glad that you have posted the first episode, I was worried about you. I know all about heatstroke, after having it once you are ten times more susceptible to it for the rest of your life, I actually had a filly who was the same way, I always had to be real careful about her being out in the heat after she had an attack in the roundpen one day, and it wasnt really an extremely hot day on the day she got it. I thought she was going to die, it was dreadful.

    Looking forward to episode two and more pics. Take care.


  2. I can't wait to hear more of the events of the day! It sounds sooo exciting! Glad things went pretty well!! ((HUGS!!)) I'm so happy for ya!

  3. Once again, dying to know what happened next! And hoping it went well.

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog, MiKael. So glad I came and checked out yours. I've always loved horses, especially Arabian. I haven't ridden for many years, but love to look at pictures of these gorgeous animals. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I'm glad you had enough people come! I would like to hear more about the technique of presenting horses...

  6. Looking forward to hearing more about the event. You worked so hard, I am sure it was a huge success.