Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Adventure Continues..........After Rhet's Class cont.........

The Adventure Begins

My search on the internet for feed stores hadn't shown anything within a reasonable range for me. The last thing I needed was to get lost out in the country somewhere. The thought of even having to deal with that turnpike on my own was enought to shut me down so I was heading back to the feed office at the horse show to see if something couldn't be worked out.

I'd stopped by the feed office earlier to see if they had any hay better than what had been delivered to me and all I'd seen at that time looked exactly the same. .Now as I walked up I saw a small flat trailer sitting off in the secured lot with what looked to be about a ton or so of alfalfa. I walked up to get a better look. While it wasn't the best hay I'd ever seen, it was sure better than what I had now.

I walked into the office and waited for the woman to get off the phone. Once she did I told her I didn't want to be a problem......... At which point she cut me off and snapped sharply, "THEN DON'T!" Even though I was taken a back by her customer service skills, I proceeded to say I couldn't feed my horses the hay they'd delivered earlier in the day.

Then one of the guys sitting on the other side of the room jumped in to tell me all they had was what was out there on that trailer. The hay was pretty coarse. He said he'd seen me looking at it just before I'd come into the office. Nodding my head I let him know I'd be more than happy to trade the hay I had for some of that on the trailer. The woman behind the desk agreed and I breathed a sigh of relief.

I rode back to the stalls with the bales of hay and found out on the way that this was the last hay they were going to have for the show. To be on the safe side I asked them to bring me three additional bales so I'd have enough to get me through my trip home.

When all the hay had been delivered, I apologized for the extra work I'd caused. It was then this guy told me not to worry, lots of people were complaining about that hay. He'd spent a good portion of his day picking up hay that people refused to take.

Between this experience with the hay quality AND being sold rice bran that I was told was stablized but was not, I'm thinking next time I better make sure I bring all the feed I need. If I bring one less horse, I can use that spot in the trailer to haul the needed feed. Then I won't have to rely on the show's contracted feed source.........and I'll have a lot less work. Heck, I might even get to see some of the horse show.

Once the feed situation was resolved, I began working on getting organized to move out. I knew I couldn't get my rig onto the grounds until the following day, but if I got all my stuff together now it should make moving out much easier.......and give me some time to watch some of the finals I really wanted to see.

Mostly I wanted to see the stallions.......the junior stallions that is. There were several stallions in that class I'd heard about but have never gotten the opportunity to see.

One of those stallions, Aria Impresoria, is out of one of my mare friends, GC Echlectica. Lexy, also known as Betty Boop to those who worked with her, was one of the last horses in training with my friend, Jean Frieday, before she retired from training horses. At that time I was working as a groom for Jean so I could learn the in's and out's of showing halter.

Jean didn't show Lexy to her reserve national championship in her three year old futurity class because she'd long since given up showing horses at that level due to the politics in the halter arena. But Jean conditioned and trained many a horse that won at that level with big name trainers catch leading those horses into the ring. Lexy was one of those. She was shown by Michael Byatt and now her son was being shown by Michael Byatt as well.

Putting the politics aside for the moment, Lexy has always been one of my all time favorite mares. I ask about her every time I see her owner. She was a joy to work with.......not the least bit crazy like some folks think halter horses need to be. Yet she could get jazzed up and be a great show horse. Not only that, but the mare has a beautiful smooth body and is a pretty mover. The kind of halter horse you could ride if you wanted........definitely my kind of horse.

I haven't seen this mare since her three year old year, I can only imagine how beautiful she has become. Since she's another one of those horses that matures late, what was seen during her show career, is nothing compared to the beauty she must be I was really looking foward to seeing this son of hers that I'd heard so much about.

I'd seen this colt as a yearling on the live feed for Scottsdale but there's nothing like seeing a horse in the flesh to really see it. Granted you don't really get to look up close and personal with the stallions like they used to do, but it's still a better look than video or a live feed.

Also in the class was the horse, Marhaabah, that had beat Rhet's father in the US National Futurity. Rhet's sire was reserve champion at US and champion in Canada. I'd seen the US class on the live feed as well so I was looking forward to seeing this horse up close as well.

Another horse, Starwan, I'd heard about but never seen was also in this class. He was owned by people here in Washington. I'd gone to their open house to see this colt right after they bought him only to find out he was gone to the trainer.

All three of these young stallions are by Marwan Al Shaqab. He is Rhet's grandsire. I wasn't only looking at horses of his breeding, however. There just happened to be a number of them at this show. Yes, I was definitely looking forward to the junior halter stallions. If I didn't see another class at this horse show, I was counting on making it to this one.

During these last couple of days, I also checked into traveling home with others from Washington. Although the weather on the direct route was less than ideal, I was thinking the additional 350 miles I'd added by traveling with Jesse was probably more than I could handle on the return trip. By this time, I was really dragging and the thought of driving straight through almost 1900 miles to California was not sounding good........let alone the additional 800 from there to my home.

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

Halloween at Nationals
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  1. I'm so sorry that this trip didn't go well for you, Mikael, but I admire you for writing about it with honesty and for keeping such a balanced perspective on the whole business of showing horses. It's not easy, no matter what the breed, and politics run rampant whenever there's competition and lots of money involved. I hope you have a Happy New Year and that 2010 brings you and your horses great success!

  2. I really enjoyed following your write up of the Nationals. I commend you for continuing your narration even though I know it must have turned into a chore at some point. I would have taken lots of short cuts myself.

    I sure wish the results had been better for you. The only thing I can say is that at that level, every horse and exhibitor is a winner but unfortunately, only a select few can take home the trophies. Also, a different set of judges would most likely choose different horses. You should be very proud of your horses. They are beautiful!

    Here's wishing you all the best in the coming year.