Thursday, September 17, 2009

Region 5 Championships....... The Colt's Class Part 2

Part 1

My stomach was turning itself inside out by this point so I was having an internal debate whether to make a quick run to the restroom or stick it out and not miss a minute of this class. Then too, I was really wondering why I was putting myself, and my colt, through another horse show like this. My rolling stomach was telling me it just wasn't worth it.

My colt was standing over on the opposite rail watching the competition enter the ring. He didn't looked stressed.........and he didn't look bored...........he looked confident...........attentive. Maybe I wasn't ready for all of this horse show stress but it was clear my horse was. I decided to just quite worrying and turn my attention towards the colts. There were a couple entered in the program I was looking forward to seeing.

I don't always catch the numbers as horses enter the ring and sometimes handlers are changed so you can't always tell by that. As the handlers were instructed to walk their colts on the rail keeping track of who these colts were was enough to help my nerves settle a bit. By the time they were lined back up on the rail, I'd totally forgotten about my rolling stomach.

The first colt to show was the horse Robin Hopkinson was leading. She'd shown the horse in Scotsdale and he'd almost garnered a top ten placing 11th in the final. Looking at him now on the rail, I'd wondered why she'd been waiting to verify condition. This colt was buff. It was obvious he'd been in conditioning much longer than Rhet.

I must admit I have never really paid much attention to how Robin Hopkinson shows a horse. I've always known she'd started off with Michael Byatt. I guess that was enough for me to think she knew her job but now that I had actually talked to the woman about showing my colt, I watched her intently. Funny how little things can cause changes like that.

When the judges finished with the first colt, Jesse had Rhet already standing on the rail as they turned to look at him. The colt stood up like he was an old pro. He even locked his ears in tight as Jesse asked. Somehow Rhet looked older in this class even though it had only been a couple of weeks since the last show.

Jesse walked the colt forward as the ring steward instructed. When he hit the center point in the arena he turned the colt facing the ingate and walked Rhet forward into position. I could feel my heart pounding right out of my chest as Jesse raised his hand asking the colt to "show." Rhet didn't disappoint. He locked in solid on his feet and gave his neck to Jesse at the same time keeping it up high like he'd been taught. At the same time he was doing a good job of keeping his back nice and tight. I was really pleased with the way the colt showed.

Another thing I noticed even in this dark arena I could see the sheen on Rhet's coat and it wasn't just where the light from overhead hit. The darkest colt in the ring with very little white on him, I'd expected him to get lost out there. Yet there he was standing up there looking pretty impressive........well, at least to me. We'd see what the judges had to think.

I wondered how the colt was going to do with trotting off. We'd worked hard on that after the problems at Region 4. Jesse had planned to do a little work on that too but both of us had forgotten so it slipped by. I was crossing my fingers I wasn't going to see any of that stilted stiff legged trot I'd seen before.

Rhet actually trotted off pretty well. Then Jesse tried to go to the off side to show the colt off better but poor Rhet hadn't been schooled on the off side. He didn't know what to think. Being as protective as this colt is he tried to escape breaking into a canter and turning away.

Jesse quickly blocked Rhet but the damage had already been done. Rhet was worried about what was coming next and didn't want to settle. Jesse, however, stayed quiet with him circling I think about three times before he actually got Rhet to really relax and trot. The whole time the judges stood there patiently waiting. They didn't turn away until Jesse had gone down the arena with Rhet trotting at his side.

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

The Placings

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  1. I often see horses break into a canter when they are being led in classes. Does that hurt them in the judges standings?

  2. Rhet is absolutely stunning in that picture. Every inch of him glistens.

    I was wondering the same thing as FV-so often it seems the halter horses, of all ages, break into a canter or get to going all over the place and I always wondered if that hurt them in the scores?

  3. Fantastyk Voyager and Brown Eyed Cowgirls, it's probably not often that you actually see a halter horse that trots the whole time when they're supposed to trot. I think it's the excitment that causes them to break.

    With that being said, they're supposed to be trotting so the judges can evaluate their movement. If they don't ever get the true trot for that horse, and it's normally a good moving horse, the judges aren't going to get to see that. It can certainly affect the horses in that way. I believe it affected Rhet at the Region 4 show because all we got was a stilted looking trot.

    I suppose since the horses are supposed to trot and aren't they could be scored down on manners but I doubt that happens. Having not gone to judges school or any of their seminars I can't tell you if they ever even talk about scoring it against the horse but my guess is they don't. Because if they did so many horses wouldn't be breaking like that. The professionals would be doing everything they could to increase their horses chances in the ring.

  4. I think my favorite color of horse (to show) is the bay...dark enough to bring on the SHINE and contrast enough to see defination. The lighter colors are striking, but it is hard to see the shine that is there, the darker horses are hard to see the defination between face & forelock and mane
    Rhet is certainly turning into a 'show horse' - Ok, outside all the haltering shenanagins (lol)

  5. That photo really shows what he's made of. He's stunning.