Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rachel and Grandma and Arabian Horses at the Summer Show Part 4

The first post of the Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse series was posted several months ago and documents Rachel's journey on her way to her dream of competing one day at the Arabian and Half Arabian US National Championship Show.

Part 1 at the Summer Show

Even though Rachel didn't get much of a warm-up on the Arabian horse, they jogged into the arena looking like everything was under control. Dandy was rounded up pretty well and staying together. Someone on the rail commented on their way in that they were going to be the ones to beat.

I don't know about you, but those kind of statements always make me nervous. I guess I feel jinxed or something but Dandy and Rachel made their way around the ring looking like they might just live up to that prediction.

There was one other girl riding a dark bay horse that was equally as collected and looked nearly as soft as my big gelding. Both girls seemed to be handling their rides pretty well. When it was time to lope, Dandy's transition was flawless. For a big horse the horse has the slowest, prettiest true lope I have ever seen and he wasn't holding back on Rachel.

When the announcer called for the transition down to the walk. Dandy did a step or two at the jog before the big horse hit the walk but it was so smooth and pretty that it just didn't seem to matter. Then it was time to reverse.

I knew we were in trouble when Rachel headed off aimlessly across the center of the ring. She was supposed to be riding the horse deep into the corners to help utilize the walls to keep him pushed up under himself. I don't know if she lost her steering or she drifted off into a daydream but the horse looked like a drunk was in the driver's seat.

There was no rhyme or reason to her line of travel and nothing straight about the position of the horse. I knew when they called for the lope there was no way the horse could pick up the correct lead with the position Rachel had him in. The picture above from the warm-up shows a position similar to the one Dandy was in when Rachel asked for the lope.

The horse actually had one front leg crossed over the other with his rear end trailing behind when she asked him. He tried his best but got tangled in his front legs and landed on the wrong lead. At least Rachel noticed it immediately and brought him down to try again.

The second attempt while better than the first still made it impossible for the horse to pick up the correct lead but he did get half of it. He was right in the front but cross firing behind. Rachel brought him down quickly and this time he managed to get the right lead despite her interference.

Rachel finished out her ride like she was in a daze. She cut across the arena and rode around in the center staying off the rail, doing exactly the opposite of the way she was told to ride. While it would have been easy to be frustrated, I just laughed. Dandy was doing a great job of keeping Rachel out of too much trouble!

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

Part 5

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  1. Good for your grandaughter. She look absolutely gorgeous and sits perfectly. I hope she does great. I do remember how tough the competition was when my daughter stacy competed (English) from ages 9 to 16.

  2. beautiful photo, Dandy is such a gorgeous horse!

    I can remember my show days and thinking how I was NEVER going to live up to my sister, the Legend.

  3. Sometimes it's really hard to bite your tongue, isn't it? They do look absolutely gorgeous in the photo though.