Apr 12, 2010

Two For the Show

Yesterday was show time! Loaded Windy up about noon to head for the Capital City Horse and Pony Club. Although we have done some casual games at fund raisers, this was our first “real” show. I’d been told that Cap City runs a good show and that it is not only fun and friendly, but newbies are always welcome. And I found this to be true.

I had determined what classes I wanted to participate in before I left home and had completed and printed out the necessary registration form. We got there just as the English events were starting. My friend and CTR mentor, Shari, was already there. I saddled and together we rode the grounds to acclimate the horses to the unfamiliar surroundings. Windy wasn’t real interested in what was going on; more taken with all the green grass underfoot.

The Trail Class was set up outside of the arena and we could pass through it at our leisure. Not sure how long it would be “open”, we made our way over to the judge. Shari went first. She and her horse, Wiley, are CTR veterans and really shine at obstacles. It was no surprise they did the trail course easily.

I watched and wondered. The gate should be okay. We do gates at home, although this one was free standing and resembled a divider bar in a trailer. If I can get her sidled up to it, we should be good. The bridge was narrow with rails. It seemed doubtful. Then there was the mailbox. You all remember my mailbox incident at Expo. I try to forget. Jog over logs should be fine… sidepass a large pole – we’ve done that before. Back in an “L”. We can back, but the turn might be tricky and then take a slicker from pole to pole.

Well. For one, there are no photos, thank goodness. We didn’t sidle up to the gate. She saw no need to sidle up to the gate. I’d move her left, she’d move right… Yeah, you get the picture. Next! The bridge. Ah, we worked it. Got 2 feet on it. Then 2 feet in the air. I didn’t give up quickly, but eventually passed. May as well get the mailbox embarrassment over. But to my surprise, she stopped; I reached, retrieved, waved the flag & put it back… Who'd of thunk? The rest of the course was half hits and half misses. But it was our first time and we did it. Found out later the class was open for several hours. So we'll warm up next time longer than 15 minutes.

Our first arena event was Walk/Trot Open. I had decided not to do western pleasure because we are still learning leads. And her lope, though not fast for what I do on the trails, is fast for showing. The Walk/Trot sounded like a perfect first start. You know, for us beginners.

Oh. My. God! It was the largest class of the day. Forty-three entrants. Probably made up of half chickens like me and half seasoned riders entering an easy class! I went in the first heat (do they call them heats at horse shows?)

We walked and trotted. Although she was not in the best frame, she did what I asked; and only pinned her ears a couple of times. A friend along the rail reminded me to sit back (thank you) and we got through it without dying. And it was fun!

I signed up for three speed events. Barrels, poles and figure 8. I decided I would see how we do in barrels and then decide if I wanted to proceed with the other two speed classes. I had no intention of running; thought I would trot the barrels just to get through it.

When the gate opened, we moved toward the first barrel. She seemed pretty level, so I moved her into a lope. We did okay on that barrel. The second one we kind of fell apart a bit, but moved onto the third at a lope. After turning that barrel, I let her run back. Looked like we were ready to run into the gate as she stopped a few inches from it. The gate guy reminded me to turn her. Well hell, I hadn’t planned on running. Had I planned on running, I might have thought about how it would end. Our time was 43.something seconds. I’ll set a goal of 40 seconds next time! And I’ll practice turning!

It was after 6:00 by this time. It had been a long day and they had two age classes to go through before I would be up again on poles. I decided to call it a day. I really enjoyed myself and although I doubt I’ll leave the trails to become a show girl, it is something else I can do with my horse and I am sure I will again.

I can't say enough about the Capital City Horse & Pony group! What a class act! As promised, it is beginner friendly, a fun atmosphere and they have the most awesome nachos in their concession stand! We'll be back....


  1. I don't think you did bad at all and at least you had fun. It's something else to do to mix it up with the trail rides. And don't worry about the 'thigh thing' that girl was probably 16 and hasn't had a good meal in years!

  2. That is so great!! I had such a good time reading this post. Windy is gorgeous for starters, and your thighs are not that big! Go easy girl! I did have a big giggle over the photo with the little girl that says "She beat me" lol, that was great. Wade and I always are grateful in the gymkhanas that we don't have to ride against the kids. They go WAY faster than we do, lol.
    That looks like great fun and you should do it more! I bet Windy loved it!

  3. We've been out there a couple of times. It's good fun and great practice for you and Windy. Y'know, one of these days we're going to run into each other. :)

    Can I just tell you again how impressed I am with you? You just keep pluggin' away.

  4. Sounds like a great day! Your thighs are not so very big, you know. You did very well. It's not so important to win as to have fun.

  5. I was well impressed! Dont worry about the thigh thing!....The first comment, is right!...Windy looks really good, all dressed up.

    My ppor Gracie? She isnt keen on all this stuff, mind you, when she gets herself together! She can make a fair stab at it! We`ve never won nothing though. But well done.

  6. You did great!

    You'll have to let me know if you ever want to get together for some showmanship pointers....not to toot my own horn, but I rock at that class! ;)

  7. She is beautiful. I think she looks like she'd make a great barrel horse! You did awesome. 43 riders! I could have never done all those obstacles.

  8. GHM: It is something to add to the mix and will be good for both Windy & me.

    Mikey: Yes, if nothing else, I can always count on "pretty". I always call her "the prettiest bay mare" no matter where we go. LOL. But I'm partial. And the funny thing was, before she was born, I never really cared much for bay. Many of us "over 40 crowd" have told the organizers we would like our own age class. Perhaps call it the "sunset" class!

    Mindee: We will run into each other sometime... the local horse world is so small!

    Cheyenne & Val: You just don't think much abuot thighs until you see pictures! LOL. And your Gracie sounds a lot like our Ginger. She is not up for games, either! But its fun sometimes to try.

    Lindsey - yes, I would love to have you show me some showmanship pointers. I have not tried it yet with Windy and know setting up will be my first challenge. Let's make it a point to get together sometime.

    Debi - Windy's dam is John's mare. She is quick, quick, quick and we think she missed her calling as a barrel pony. Windy is longer & taller than her mama & can outrun her in the pasture. We always said though, that she lacks the heart for speed like her mama does. Or maybe its just me... (Good to hear from you again).

  9. Anonymous12:42 PM

    Loved your little comments with your pictures!
    This is my first time here . . . I came from Our Front Door. :)

  10. Sounds like a blast! I'm all in favor of fun shows - friendly atmosphere and equal opportunity classes where you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to enter makes a great combination. Lovely pictures, too!


I am so glad you stopped by and look forward to hearing from you! Do come again.