Monday, May 9, 2011

Daffodil Spring Arabian Horse Show...... Ready for the Open.......or Not!

Part 1

The western pleasure open class was scheduled almost at the end of the afternoon session. Even though the lunch break had been only a half hour, I thought I had enough time to let my horse relax before we'd need to be ready to show. So when we got back to the stalls, I untacked my horse and let him nap until it was time to get ready. The only problem with that was the classes ran quicker than I'd expected.

You'd think with as long as I've been showing I'd have a method that worked for me all figured out. I don't know if it's because I haven't shown much the last couple of years that I've forgotten what works but something is different. I'm either ready to early or rushing like a lunatic trying to make a class. For this particular class rushing like a lunatic was the order of the day.

For my two previous classes I'd had offers of help from the people I was stabled with but I'd been on schedule so didn't need it. Now that I was behind, there was no one in sight and I was on my own to get my horse and myself ready. With four classes before me being called into the ring, I was making that proverbial headless chicken look calm.

Lucky for me my horse is used to my stressed outbursts at horse shows. Legs just looked at me with that expressions that says, "Poor thing, she's loosing it again." Thinking about what enginerd said about the Southern Way, I'm wondering in maybe Legs has gotten some lessons in his disdain for my chicken impersonations because he sure knows how to give me that "look" quite well.

Of course because time is short, I had problems getting the saddle pads right. Although my custom show saddle was guaranteed to fit my horse, it needs to be padded up at the whithers. For showing I add the show pad over the top of my usual pad and shims. Somethings the shim pads just don't want to stay in place when I lay the show pad over the top.

Then when I put my show saddle in place, the pads all shifted and I had to start from scratch. Murphy was clearly interfering with me getting anything done smoothly. It took three times before I got the pads all aligned correctly and the saddle in place.

Legs is really not fond of having makeup applied to his face for showing. He enjoys having it wiped off much more than having it put on. As I reached for his face with Vaseline in hand, Legs stuck his head to the rafters and squinted. I couldn't help but laugh at this evasion and I think it helped to settle me as well. From that point forward things seemed to go smoothly as I finished with my horse and then got myself dressed and us headed towards the warm-up arena.

Getting ready has always been my biggest stress at horse shows. Once it is done and I know I'm going to make my class, all tension leaves my body. I was feeling pretty confident I was home free when I mounted my horse and began the limbering exercises I always use before each ride. The class right before mine was just entering the arena giving me a class to warm up my horse which was more than enough unless something weird happened.

The warm up was fairly quiet so I got to do what I wanted there right from the start. While my Arabian horse was still not quite a slow as I would like him to be, we'd made some pretty good strides in getting more roundness. I was not pushing for more slow since I didn't think Legs really had the strength to maintain it for warm up and the class and I didn't want to make him sore. I opted to go with the horse I had at this point.

The class in the ring had reversed. I decided I would make my way up the ramp so we'd be ready to enter the arena when asked. I was sitting there right at the edge of the ramp when someone called my name and asked, "MiKael, where's your hat?"

I could feel the hat on my head. I remember thinking that was a silly question, couldn't he see? I pointed to my hat and as I did so I looked up at it only to see the brim of my baseball cap and my heart sank. I wasn't as ready for this class as I thought. My cowboy hat was back at the stalls and the class in front of me was heading into the line up.

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

This is Lilly and I think the foal is Image. The problem is that Lilly's foals look so much alike I have to look at her coloration to tell them apart. She still has so much color in this picture I believe this is her first foal.

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  1. All your horses and foals look beautiful in the pictures you've been putting up.

    Nothing runs smoothly at a show sometimes. A baseball cap? maybe you could have started a new fashion fad. Hope someone around there had fast feet and got you your hat on time.

  2. I would be a total wreck with lots of time!

  3. The classes did run really quick after that first morning. I was a little worried about making it on time for quite a few!
    Oh goodness, forgot the hat? Just when you think things are going smooth, they aren't! Can't wait to hear what happened!

  4. You can't wear baseball caps at shows? ;) I think here in Spokane we're the baseball hat capitol of the world.

  5. Oh no! Hope you had time to either go get your hat, or that someone was kind enough to fetch it for you.

  6. Oh man, WOULDN'T that be just what would happen right then? Did someone have a hat right there you could borrow?

  7. I have had a few of those moments where you all you can think is - "Aw Sh!t"

    One of them was coming out of the ring, dismounting to drop the stirrups for the youth rider taking the horse into the next class...

    She starts off, goes around the ring once and I realize I still had the number on.... Lucky for us, the gate hadn't closed yet, we flagged her down and got it remedied, but still.

    I hope you were able to sort it out in time and make your class. It's always something at a horse show. I think that's where we all learn to improvise as well as you can.