Friday, June 5, 2009

2009 AHACO Arabian Horse Show in Salem - Walk/Trot Eq

One of the things that happens when you take that many horses to a show is the schedule is packed with classes for those within the barn. Since none of us are really professionals at this dealing with that much can be a chore all in itself. Trying to be sure that everyone gets what they need done ahead of time can be tough. Yet many are newbies to this scene in the first place and need some guidance on what they "should" be doing.

The obvious things that need to be done are getting the horses prepared. That doesn't include just clipping and bathing but schooling in the arena before classes. If a horse has more than one rider, it means the riders need their time schooling within that arena as well. It's a lot to keep track of the classes let alone being sure everyone has had a chance to ride.

One of the riders who slipped through the cracks was Nana. She has never shown in this arena. Even though Dandy has seen it many, many times it would have been a good thing to get the kid some ring time before she actually had to ride a class.

Before we knew it was time for Nana to show Dandy in the Walk/Trot Equitation class. Unlike the Daffodil Spring Show where the youngster pulled off three lessons before she ever hit the ring in a class, at this show she didn't get a single lesson.

Nana really is not an experienced enough rider to be "ready" for equitation. The reason she shows in that class is strictly for ring time. She needs experience learning about traffic and such and it's really not important what type of class it is, just that she gets to ride with others in the ring. Getting the right diagonal and riding in the "perfect" equitation position are only goals for somewhere down the road.

This kid has all the faith in the world in Dandy and IF she has any fear it's sure not visible. She was up and on her horse and ready to ride with no qualms what so ever. They had some time in the warm up and then it was on to the class.

Dandy is a trooper. He takes his job as a caretaker for this child quite seriously. He walked through the gate and headed for the rail just like he'd been doing it all his life. However, walking into the arena is NOT his normal way to enter, but the horse just took it in stride and went along as Nana requested.

When she asked the horse to trot, he was a bit reluctant. He's still care taking her a bit and thinks she really shouldn't be going all that fast. But with a little coaxing Nana did get him up to speed.

About that time the announcer asked the horses to reverse. Now reversing at the trot in junior and amateur classes can get a bit hairy as far as I'm concerned. But reversing at the trot in a walk/trot class seems like a bit much to me. The only saving grace in this class was there were only three horses.

Nana has been schooled at the walk on changing directions................however, not at the trot. When she heard the command to reverse she did it just like she'd been taught to do at the walk, that meant she turned Dandy right into the rail.

Thankfully she wasn't directly on the rail and Dandy is a talented horse. I had visions of Dandy's head smacking into the wall because there really wasn't much room for that big horse to turn. However, Dandy just went where the kid pointed him and never missed a beat. He continued on through that tight turn at the trot and they headed on down the rail.

Now remember, this was an equitation class. That meant it was being judged on the rider's ability and not the horse's. At the Daffodil Show Nana had managed to get both of her diagonals right and actually do a pretty good job with her posture as well. In this class, things just weren't quite the same. The sharp turn into the wall was the least of Nana's worries. Her arm position and her leg position pretty much showed her experience simpler terms.............they sucked................but it's ok, like I said before, she's really NOT an Eq rider, yet..........but I have no doubt that day is coming.

When the horses were lined up in the center for the placings of the class, the judge talked to each child. When I asked Nana what the judge said to her, she said he told her where her elbows and heels were supposed to be. I don't know if she was phased by his input or not, she was just tickled to have her third place ribbon.

Dandy was tickled to have had the chance to get her around the ring. You could tell from the expression on his face he was darn proud of himself. Next up would be Dandy and Rachel............


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  1. I so enjoy helping the young equestrians. I love THAT! I'm the organizer...the one that seems to pack all the forgotten items, the hair pins, the spare screws for bridles. I'm the one who prints for each person, complete with a showing packet. This from years of balancing 2 kids in 4 different 4-H projects combined showing over 5 days for county fair then 5 days at state fair. And then later I managed my own 4-H club.
    I understand how confusing managing lots of horse/rider teams at once can be. I think I'm hopeless...I love it!!!
    Go Nana, GO!!! :)

  2. Aww, what a sweet horse Dandy is and Nan is quite the little trooper! Great story!

  3. MiKael she looks so cute up on top of that big horse!!! What a good boy and good for her that it didn't phase her. Every outing is a bit more experience and a few more miles under the belt.

    Hope u r taking it easy (although knowing u that is some hope!! LOL).


  4. Well, if looking good counts, they look GREAT. Every picture you've posted of her makes me envy her posture and seat.

    Yeah! Go Nana! Don't let anyone stop you.

  5. What a fantastic horse Dandy is MiKael! It is just fantastic that the kids in your life get to spend time with such a great horse.

  6. Gosh, they look good, though. Dandy is really handsome!