Thursday, September 10, 2009

Region 5 Championships.......Getting Ready......

Part 1

Shortly after I watched the Enzo colt being schooled, Jesse Saldana called to say he would be down to school Rhet in a few minutes. So I got the colt ready with about the same kind of reactions as the days before. As much as Rhet was ready to take on that chestnut colt, he hadn't quite figured out what wearing that schooling halter had to do with it.

Standing up to show was a whole different matter. While Rhet still wanted to duck out to his right when he felt pressured, the colt wasn't feeling that kind of pressure nearly as often. I guess he was beginning to feel comfortable with what Jesse was asking. The colt was definitely standing up solid and using great expression.

The session was short. Then we discussed plans for that evening session. Jesse didn't want Rhet bathed until about 6 pm so his dark coat would stay nice and clean.

Jesse also wanted more of a traditional halter clip on the colt but I I had to tell him that wasn't going to happen. The clip he would get would be the same he'd been clipped for Region 4. There was no way this colt was going to tolerate anything more. The blending of a traditional halter clip required a horse that would stand still. I was afraid with Rhet's problems with the clippers it would look like a major wreck.

As Jesse walked away, I wondered how I was going to get this all done. The time my help was to arrive had been pushed and pushed. I wanted to get his feet done before he was bathed because I was afraid his hooves wouldn't be dry enough to polish otherwise. That meant getting them sanded much earlier in the day and for that I needed that wasn't coming.

I tried taking Rhet over to the permanent barns and tying him to a stall to sand his feet. But the colt danced around too much. It was just plain dangerous trying to work on his feet. It seemed like every time he'd start to settle someone would come walking by and the dancing would start again. I had to settle for a half *ssed job of sanding.........and there was no way I would apply hoof polish to horse moving around that much. It would have to wait until I had help.

Obviously there were lots of people at the horse show. You might think there should have been somewhere there who could help me with Rhet. Only I worried that Rhet was just too much horse for most people. I didn't want someone hurt trying to help me and because Rhet didn't trust new people often, the odds were he wouldn't be good if a stranger helped. I was better off waiting for help from home to arrive.

In the meantime I went to the arena and watched classes. Once of my friends was riding in the purebred Arabian open show hack championship. I'd seen her flashy "new" chestnut horse going to and from the arena in Salem but had never had a chance to see them show. This was a good time to get that chance although my friend felt like she didn't have much chance because it was the open division.

If you've been reading my blog for long, you know I don't necessarily agree with this. I believe that amateurs can beat the trainers in the open division if their horses are doing the job better than the trainers. I think there's always a chance an amateur can get that prize and I certainly support their right to try. ( I might add here that some trainers feel that amateurs don't belong in the open division. But by definition, that's what the division to ALL, not just trainers.)

Now this friend had already won the amateur owner show hack championship earlier in the week. So it seemed to me she should have a chance riding in the open. It was my intention to be there to support my friend for her class.

I was sitting in the stands when the pair of them came blazing through the in gate. My jaw nearly hit the ground. The normal trot on this horse was absolutely magnificent. I didn't think there was another horse in the class that could hold a candle to Market Jitters. If he did the rest of his gaits like this one, it was my guess she'd win the darn thing.

One of the things that impressed me the most about this horse was he made it all look absolutely effortless. He had this great spring in his step at the trot that looked like he was floating on air. Each gait seemed just as smooth......just as effortless. I think it was the best ride in show hack I have ever seen.

As the horses were dismissed from the arena, my friend's husband raced by with his groom bucket in tow. I caught his attention and told him to tell Claudia she'd had a great ride. He smiled and nodded his head saying he'd tell her.

Next time I saw her she was riding Market Jitters back through the gate for the top five presentations. Her husband was also coming back down in front of me. He looked up at me grinning, "Well, I guess you were right." but I don't think he realized how great her ride really was.

After the top fives were awarded, the reserve championship was announced. When they didn't call out Market Jitters, I was sure that Claudia had won the class. The flashy chestnut gelding ridden by Claudia Mitchell was indeed champion of the class........but not only champion.........unanimous champion. Yet another testament to the fact that amateurs can take on the trainers and be successful.

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

A Little Architecture

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  1. Just wanted you to know that although I haven't commented every time, I'm following Rhett's story!

  2. Sorry to hear that your help was late arriving - adding to your stress levels, I'm sure...

    Great news about your friend winning the championship - that is brilliant! Sounds like she has the right horse too!

  3. I love hearing stories like this. I do believe that some judges are more likely to allow familarity to color their placings. Is it politics? I don't know.
    I do agree that some folks feel there is unconquerable politics. Clearly, this example shows that skill and excellence are rewarded.
    I love stories like this!!!

  4. Yay for Claudia and Market Jitters! It makes me very happy when the little guys win classes over professionals because you know they've worked darn hard to get there!

    Doesn't Jesse have any people with him that could help you hold Rhett? After all, he does want the horse to be prepared for his class.

  5. Just curious ... we haven't heard any updates on Rhythm in ages. Is he out and showing this year?

  6. I've been following Rhet's story with much anticipation of each new installment.

    But thank you for throwing in the story about your friend and Market Jitters. I have never believed that amateurs could not or should not take the initiative to show in open classes. Just because someone chooses NOT to train professionally or to train their own horse completely, does not mean they are not just as capable as a "pro".

    Hearing about the chestnut also made me wonder about Rhythm. Would love to hear how all that turned out?