Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses Part 12

Scandalous Chance
Part 1

With the addition of Mark, the dark bay Arabian gelding, to my herd, the plan was to show the horse the following season. I spent most of my time riding the horse either in a little area out behind the house in the pasture or I rode him down the road.

The horse had never been ridden on the road before but took to it like he'd been doing it his whole life. I didn't have to travel too far from home to reach gravel roads that were less travelled by traffic. Working on those back country roads I sought out hills to travel up and down to build the horse up.

The other thing I did was I began taking trail lessons from LaRae Fletcher Powell. At that time LaRae was known as one of the top trainers in the country for competition trail horses. I thought teaching this horse how to do obstacles would improve his attitude in the show ring.

I clearly remember my very first lesson at Silver Aspen Ranch. In the center of the arena there was a compact array of obstacles already set up. LaRae was working on getting her trail horses ready for competition at the Arabian US Nationals.

In the group of obstacles there were elevated short poles (4 foot) set in a spiral. The elevation was done at the center with the first pole flat on the ground. The next pole set on top of the first and so on.

LaRae looked over at the spiral and motioned for Mark and I to do those walkovers. I remember thinking, "OMG, can a horse really walk over those?" Well, of course, with the lack of confidence from me, there was no way my horse walked over those poles.

They scattered like sticks in every direction. Before the lessons was over, however, we were walking over those poles although I really couldn't tell you how many times they had to be reset for us to attempt them.

It was months before I got to the place if LaRae told me to do it, I knew a horse was capable of doing it. My horse's confidence improved right along with mine although Mark never really liked trail. The horse did the obstacles because he knew he had to but would have gladly opted to do just about anything else.

Any and all obstacles scared him to death. He never saw a bridge he knew well enough to skip putting his nose down onto it, arching his neck and blowing with a loud snort. We never rode a trail class that people didn't turn and take notice at the little bay gelding with eyes bugging out of his head. He was one of the most beautiful trail horses to watch I've ever seen.

So we worked all winter long getting ready for the first horse show of the season and the first horse show of my career. The plan was to show at the Daffodil Spring Show. I was going to stable with the folks from the show barn I had worked for.

I remember the week before the show, the trainer telling me I was putting the cart before the horse. I didn't belong at an A show, I should be starting off in the B system. I was devastated and confused but asked her what she thought I should do. Her response was to go ahead and show at Daffodil but after that we would have to talk things over and figure out where the right place was for me.

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

Part 13


  1. Thanks for the advice - this weekend ride should be good for the both of us - lots of horses and everyone is responsible enough to not tear off running! I'm actually looking forward to it.

  2. Hi MiKael

    I havent had time to catch up on the last few days but I will after the weekend. I have so much picture editing to do and other chores. I just wanted to check in and say hi and tell you I am thinking of you and hope all is well.



  3. Ooooh!! so interesting!! cant wait for your next post, to hear more on, what happens next!!!

  4. Oh, and have a new post on my blog. Check it out! :)

  5. I was riding out with a friend the other day and he commented that the horsey fraternity are not very good at giving positive compliments to each other. You sum it up neatly. I am looking forward to hearing what happens next.

    A compliment or a word of encouragement can make someones day a really great one.