Monday, May 10, 2010

Daffodil................Pink Night

Part 1

Saturday night at Daffodil was Pink Night. a fundraiser for cancer awareness. It was sponsored by the United Professional Horsemen's Association and the Daffodil Arabian Horse Association.

Several of that classes that evening were designated pink classes. Exhibitors and spectators alike were asked to wear pink and many participated. All show officials wore some form of pink. Even the decorations in center ring were changed to pink flowers from the yellow daffodils used at the start of the show.

My championship class on Legs that evening was one of the designated pink classes. I wanted to participate but I didn't want to have to buy something new. Pink is really not my color of choice for showing so I knew I probably wouldn't wear it again whatever I came up with.

To adapt my show clothing to accommodate that color took a bit of thinking. I finally decided to wear the black suede jacket I had worn at nationals with a hot pink shell underneath. The jacket is low cut and requires some sort of shell underneath so why not pink. Legs could care less and I can't think of a better reason to wear pink than for breast cancer awareness.

It was dark by the time Legs and I finally hit the ring but the wind had died down and the horses seemed to be more relaxed. Legs still had some tension down at the far end of the arena but it wasn't bad. The horse was again carrying some stiffness in his poll and he was not as responsive as he'd been before the big spook that afternoon.

This class was the purebred Western Pleasure Adult Amateur to Ride Championship. In addition to being a designated pink class it was one of several championships with a $250 Visa card awarded to the first place horse. That would be one care for each first because of the concurrent show thing. It would be possible for a "unanimous" champion in this class to get two of those cards.

There were at least three very talented "amateurs" showing horses they have trained themselves in that class. A couple have been successful at the national level with horses they've trained themselves. Their current horses are pretty much the ones to beat in this region, at least in my opinion. A couple others have successes at the regional level with their home trained horses. Between those horses and the ones trained by the top trainers in the area, the competition is stacked pretty deep.

At this stage in Legs' training, a class like this is strictly a schooling class. Since I can't create what it takes to triggers Legs' issues with fear at home, I enter these classes to see what I get. Sometimes I get issues to deal with and others Legs gets to learn the arena doesn't have to be a scary place. Either way we win.

I knew in this ride my horse was not round enough nor soft enough to compete with the big guns. Even though the great ride I started earlier in the day might have been a different story. Now I had trouble getting the horse's jog smoothed out although his lope was better than expected.

I think if the horse hadn't been bracing a bit at the pole we might have been up there except for one other little thing. Going down the far rail and headed toward that dreaded gate Legs thought he "saw" something and he broke at the lope. It was a small mistake and easily corrected. I know the one judge was looking my direction when the break occured. I don't know if te other judge saw it.......but I knew it...and that's what mattered. It wasn't a clean class and we placed 7th out of 8 on both cards.

Even with that break I was pleased with the class because the error had been very small. It just wasn't the jumping out of his skin kind of thing that earlier classes had been. While it was clear the issue still needed fixing, there was improvement.

After that ride, I was planning on being at the arena at 6 AM to work on fixing this thing once and for all, at least for this show. With two hours before the show started I should be able to get something done before my final class of the show. It was the select rider championship in the morning session.

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

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  1. What a beautiful picture of you and Legs, is this the class in question?

    It's nice to hear that Legs didn't have a big scare in that class. I hope it was a reassurance to him to. I'm excited to hear more :)

  2. JJ, this picture is one of my nationals pictures. I didn't get many pics from the rail at this show and most of what I got are too fuzzy to use.

  3. horses are always a lesson in focus, balance and .. discovery... well done