Thursday, September 24, 2009

What's Next................Decisions........

From right after regionals my wheels began to turn. Entries for the US National All Arabian Championships were due at the end of August. With all of the "things" that needed to be figured out, I had some serious thinking to do. Then after the thinking........planning would be necessary as well.

If I was going to show my yearling colt, Secret Envy, in the national jackpot class, I'd have to have a big name handler........or at least a handler that's breaking into the big time. Someone who hadn't yet achieved a top ten or better in the national halter classes would just not due.

Then there were Rhet's issues to be considered. This colt has proven himself to be quite sensitive and he was going to take a sensitive handler. Someone who might get too tough would this colt could ruin not only Rhet's behavior at this show........but could cause lifetime issues. I've come to far to take any chance of that.

Finding someone to catch lead a colt that fit these criteria originally seemed to be the biggest challenge in deciding whether or not Rhet would go to nationals. However, that day at the beginning of Region 5 when Richard called Jesse Saldana that's what the phone call had been about.........not for Jesse to show Rhet at Region 5, but to see if he would commit to showing the colt at US Nationals. Before the end of that phone call, I not only had a handler for Region 5 but one for US Nationals as well.

My colt earned his qualification for the US Nationals at the Region 4 horse show. The only reason I'd shown him at the Region 5 show was to see how another panel of judges would react to this colt to help me decide if I really wanted to make the investment to take Rhet to nationals. I've already gone over those scores and while there was no clear cut answer the consistency provided some comfort. At least my horse should be competitive at that level.

With that decided the next big issue, for me, was whether or not I would take my stallion, Scandalous Legacy, to show in the western pleasure amateur owner class. I've been telling myself for years I would not go to nationals if I had not earned at least a top five in that division.

While we did garner a top five in the select rider class , to me that's not the same thing as the amateur owner class. Most people who show at the national level will tell you that amateur owner division is the toughest competition out there. There is not a class for select riders at the national level...........yet. I hope that day is coming.........but it's just not there. If I want to compete at nationals I must ride against all of the amateur riders in my age division.

Legs and I did not earn a top five in the amateur owner class at Region 4 . You might remember a troll got us right near the end of our ride (instead of the red stallion we so worried about) and Gary Dearth scratched us off his card. Despite that I learned when I checked the judge's cards that we had placed 6th over all in that class even with the break.

Even though we hadn't earned a top five award, placing sixth with a break seemed to say we were competitive in that division. That's what I really want to know before I spend all the money it takes to get to nationals. Is my horse going to be competitive when I get there? If my horse doesn't get caught by a troll, the answer to that question seems to be "Yes." If I do a lot of work on trolls I could be OK.

But..........there always seems to be a but with me........I still had some reservations. That was partly why I had wanted to take Legs along with Rhet to Region 5. Another panel of judges and their opinions could better answer this question for me.

But finances got the best of that option and Legs stayed home. Not only did it feel terribly odd to be there without him, I didn't get that input from the judges. I did, however, do the next best thing. I made it a point to watch the class to see how I thought my horse was going in comparison to the others I've been riding against all year.

That class was an eye opener for me. I ride against a standard I have set in my mind......not one I see in the ring. My horse isn't at that standard yet........but neither were the horses in this class. Watching these rides, it made sense to me that my horse had been used by the judges as he had. With probably three more months of schooling, my horse might just be where I think he needs to be for the nationals class.So now if I could just solve my next problem, we might just make it to nationals after all.

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

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  1. How cool it would be for you to be able to take both your guys! Good Luck!

  2. Well what can I say, I have just spent the past four or five hourse, lost count, reading all that I have missed on your blog over the past few months. I was crying when I read about Rhett's achievement in his first show, what a boy, you must have been so proud, I know how hard you have worked for this all. I was elated when I saw how well Legs was doing and these last few pictures are absolutely wonderful.

    MiKael, still the master story teller ... you have had me sitting at the edge of my seat for the whole morning LOL. I think I feel as drained as you did after that last show LOL.

    I didnt have time to catch up on the comments as well and know you have had some problems with posters recently, I hope that has all resolved itself.

    Wow, If I smoked I would say I need a cigarette!