Monday, May 25, 2009

The Morgan Show......Wrapping Up

Saturday morning it seemed to be hectic in the show office. It was like some kind of new life had been breathed into the exhibitors. They were posting classes, figuring their high points to see if they needed even more, and there was even a small run on more bags of those darn shavings.

By this time my poor body was worn out from lifting those 80 pound bags off of the pallets and into my truck. Originally the pallets were supposed to be stored in bunkers behind the barns. I was to unlock the bunkers and oversee them getting their order. It was never planned that I would be the one transporting those bales.

But the one bunker behind the barns where most of the horses was empty and had been since the first day. I'd felt sorry for the exhibitors having to retrieve bales from the far side of the grounds so instead of making them lug them across the grounds, I brought the shavings right up to the back door of the barns to let them unload them right there.

Most people were thankful for the help. But a couple thought they'd push my generosity a bit. One woman had borrowed some from a neighbor while waiting for me (the wait was all of five minutes BTW). She asked me if I'd take them up to the front of the barn so she could return them. As I parked my truck out front, I see the woman coming through the door with a horse to longe. She looks over at me and says, "He'll tell you where to put them."

Hauling 80 pound bales is a bit much for most anyone but for someone of my age, it was really a stretch. When the YOUNG trainer told me where he wanted the FIVE bales of shavings stored, I gave him "the look." I'm sure you all know the look I mean. The one that comes when you know you've just done something REALLY stupid. I said to this guy, "I'll just drop them here" as I pulled them off my truck onto the ground and left.

A couple of hours later, the horse trainer came into the show office. Imagine his surprise when he realized it was the show manager he was ordering around. The look on his face was priceless.........and actually the rest of the show he even behaved, which I'm told is a miracle in itself.

The show secretary thought it was the best laugh of the show but I must admit, my body didn't find the whole thing amusing. We figured out that I personally moved over a ton of bagged shavings before the weekend was over. It's no wonder my poor body was screaming at me.........and still two weekends later I have knots. Next time, I'm going to have to insist those bunkers up front be restocked. I'm going to stick to managing and keep track of the shavings...........not move them.

As for the rest of the show, it went pretty smooth as a horse show can go. There were little things like what to do with the coolers that hadn't been awarded in dressage. They had the date embroidered on them so really needed to be awarded somewhere. I chose to give them to the high point youth. The kids were pleased and the show committee was glad not to have to make another decision.

I hate to have to admit this but overall the people at the show were much more appreciative than I have ever experienced at an Arabian horse show. I can't even tell you how many times someone came up to me to thank me for taking on the job.

The show chair brought me into center ring on Saturday night and told the crowd the story behind their retiring show manager, their fears they couldn't do a show without her, and how I had saved them. I was given a bouquet of flowers telling me how much they appreciated me and what a great job I was doing. Then they asked if I would continue on in future years.

It was nice to be appreciated in such a manner but it didn't stop there. An owner of one of the big barns brought a box of See's Chocolates into the show office for Judy and me. See's just happen to be my favorite chocolates. AND if that wasn't enough, Judy and I were each given a red rose for Mother's Day on Sunday morning.

There was only one session on Sunday so the classes were over before 11 o'clock. There was a flurry of business taking care of paying all the officials. After that I still had paperwork to finish and so did Judy so I stayed around until she had filed the results electronically with USEF. Then we packed up the show office and headed on down the road.

I still have to stick by my statement about these Morgan horses being hotter than the Arabians I am used to. There were 3 wrecks in as many days while at Arabian shows I've seen less than a half dozen wrecks in twenty years.........and the number of Arabian horses at a show is at least double the number of Morgan horses here.

Jeanette left a comment about Morgans being powerful like freight trains. I'd have to say I agree with that. I definitely saw that kind of power. Those horses have hips to die for!

What surprised me was I didn't see a lot of soft horses, most appeared to be on the muscle.......BIGTIME. I did notice if there was a soft horse in a class, it usually was the winner so it's obvious soft is expected. I just didn't get to see much of it. Most of the hunter horses were ridden in pelhams. Occasionally I saw a snaffle and maybe a kimberwick. I've only seen a pelham once in a hunter pleasure class at Arabian horse shows. Most Arabian hunters are ridden in snaffle bits.

Even the western horses were on direct reins. The shanks of those curb bits were pulled back nearly all the time. I wondered how the horses were ever getting a release. But them maybe that's why I saw so many of them on the muscle.

The western horses are going faster than Arabs are. This particular judge really penalized a horse for not having true gaits so the person I know from Arab shows that was riding a Morgan he'd leased was told he needed to speed his horse up to get him truly jogging.

I suspect that these horses have the talent to go very slow and be soft. I'm just not sure their western has evolved to that point yet from what I heard them say. I did see a couple of soft western horses. They seemed to dominate the ring. I imagine as time goes on that others will get it figured out too. It will be fun to watch as it emerges. I sure know that how Arabians show western has changed dramatically in the last twenty years. Who the time the Morgans get as slow as the Arabs, the Arabs could be speeding up and going like they used to. You just never know what trend will happen next.

Solidare did get covered again.........and again before I got home. The last time she actually seemed to go out between the teasing and the breeding so it ended up somewhat of a wreck. Everyone was OK but Solidare had a couple of rubs on her neck....enough to make me wonder if I really should have bred her in the first place. We'll just have to wait and see if she settled or not.

For me, I'm glad the weekend was finally over. It was an interesting experience and I'll probably do it again...........well, actually I know I'll do it again. I am managing the C-Fair Charity Horse Show at the end of July. That show has Morgans, Saddlebred, Friesians and Hackneys so more exposure to other breeds for this died in the wool purebred Arabian breeder. It should be a kick!

Next, I'm onto posting about last weeks ARABIAN horse show. As a hint we took 11 horses and garnered lots of ribbons..........

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  1. How nice that your efforts were appreciated and rewarded. That really makes the job much sweeter!
    I'm excited to hear about the show & more about your colt :)

  2. This is a busy time of year for you. Can't wait to hear about the ribbons.

  3. MiKael, I really admire you. That was some job, and it sounds like you did great with it! Show management has to be incredibly difficult, and for you to take it on, and agree to do it multiple times amazes me!

    Way to go!!

    Now I can't wait to see how the show went with your horses!!! ;)

  4. I'm happy that overall you had a good experience at the Morgan show. I show and own Morgan horses and am always happy to read about them :). I know you had a bad experience in a sense regarding some of the fire breathing dragons AKA Hot Morgans, but those are just a few. There really are alot of sensible, slow and steady Morgans out there too. It seems like the fiery showy ones have more of that knee popping action that garner more blues in the saddleseat and hunter seat classes.

  5. Jeanette, it was certainly nice to be appreciated and I must admit something of a surprise because I sure didn't get that kind of treatment with my own breed.

    Leah, you are so right about busy. I feel like I am meeting myself coming and going.

    Mrs Mom, show management is something I have a lot of experience doing so when this opportunity came up to make some money to help with my herd expenses I jumped at the chance. It was definitely more fun than a "real" job would have been. LOL

    jennybean, I don't feel like this was a "bad" experience with hot horses, I was just surprised because I had never heard that Morgans could be hot. As someone from a breed that is always getting slammed for being "hot" it just caught me off guard to see how hot these horses were.

    The reason I mentioned it here is because I had never heard anything at all that Morgans could be hot like this.It's certainly not how I had them pictured in my mind but I didn't think it was a bad thing.

    Obviously they are "a lot of horse" and that's OK with me. I saw a lot of beautiful horses and the people who love them are certainly devoted to them which is how it should be. All in all in was a fun time.......except for those 80 pound bales of shavings, that I could do without. LOL

  6. Wow, As busy as it sounds, you seem to thrive on that! Can't wiat to hear about the Arabian show!

  7. "The show chair brought me into center ring on Saturday night and told the crowd the story behind their retiring show manager, their fears they couldn't do a show without her, and how I had saved them. I was given a bouquet of flowers telling me how much they appreciated me and what a great job I was doing. Then they asked if I would continue on in future years."

    how nice of them to recognize you in such a public way. What a compliment to ask you back again.

    I'm glad to have read all this MiKael....I don't know much about showing and even less about what it takes to put one on.

  8. great observations on the horses.. always learn from you :)


  9. Morgan's get the bad reputation too ;). I think that fewer people know about Morgans, so it's just not as bad as a rumor as the Arabian thing. IMO, Morgans and Arabians go hand in hand with their versatility and beauty. I love your blog because I can somewhat relate to the styles as far as tack and show clothes go in the ring. Some time ago, we had an Arabian stable stay at my boarding barn (all Morgans) was really neat watching the Arab's work and to kind of show off the Morgans too. Anyway, I know that the Morgan association is looking for ways to grow our numbers (as is every breed). For some reason, the amount of people interested in Morgans is quite low in comparison to Arabians and especially AQHA's. I don't quite get this, I appreciate all breeds, but seeing a nice Morgan (and Arab too) - it just takes my breath away, they are so so stunning - - - why are the numbers so low?