The first class of the morning was Western Showmanship...This class is their forte'. One of the first things we ever noticed about Strawberry, was the way he always stops square. That is such a nice feature on a Showmanship horse. There is almost never any movement necessary to get his feet perfectly square to present to the judge.
They earned a nice solid Blue in this class. There was a bobble in the trot coming around the corner of the L-shaped Showmanship pattern and Strawberry moved his foot back one step in his 360 degree turnaround. It doesn't take much to knock you out of the Purples at State. The Western Showmanship is the toughest class there.
Next up was Engish Showmanship...This pattern was definitely a test, in my opinion. It was a trot, from a set-up position, down to a walk, a stop, a 360 degree turn around, back to a trot to a stop and set-up for inspection. When the judge dismissed you, you were supposed to back 5 steps, do a 270 degree turnaround and trot to the fence, curve around and trot out of the arena. Yikes!
Well, I was holding my breath when Megan went in and set-up. Strawberry went directly into the trot-not a single walk step, was traveling perfectly straight, they came down to the walk in a perfectly straight line, stopped square(I was about ready to pass out-because they were spot on and I could see the judge checking off on the plus side of his sheet). Strawberry executed the most perfect 360 degree turnaround I have ever seen him do-his back foot did not move an inch-he just spun it perfectly in place and his front feet were crossing beautifully(More pluses). They trotted off and stopped square in front of the judge. Megan moved when she was supposed to AND smiled(not that phony, icky smile you see a lot of them doing). The judge nodded-Megan pivoted Strawberry, a very nice 270 degree turn and I about died. She had just gone from a Purple to a Red...She forgot to BACK!! I wanted to cry, right then and there. Not only did I think Megan had earned her Purple-I think she had the class won. I had watched most of the other kids go and not one had had that perfect of a pattern. Ugghhh!!!
Well, there was no time to cry over spilled milk. Okay-so I cried-I was mad. Not at Megan, but just at the fact that...darn it...I was disappointed for her. Megan didn't even realize that she had forgot the back, until she came outside. Does that make me one of those BAD horse-show moms?
Her next class was English Equitation...Thanks to the lesson she got while we were in RC, getting Strawberry's teeth floated, she did very well. The judge said she had nice, quiet hands and a soft seat. She just needs to continue to work on her leg position-so it is consistant. Another Blue ribbon. This class was a definite improvement over last year-so they are making progress. I worried that getting Strawberry's teeth floated so close to the show would not help him, but as you can see from the picture-his head is back where it needs to be. It was such an improvement. No more trying to evade the bit or throwing his head up in his stops. He is happier and I could see Megan relaxing as she rode. She didn't have to worry about that head popping up every couple of strides anymore. Strawberry's next stop is to a chiropractor. I am hoping that the one my aunt uses can help him out-the poor little horse sounds like he has firecrackers going off in his stifles.
Now the day was over and we could relax at the campsite for a little bit, before we had to load up and come home. Actually-I think that next year-even if Megan's classes are all in one day, we will stay an extra day, just so we have time to watch some other classes and look around. I didn't have time to take many pictures because while Megan is responsible to clipping and bathing her horse-but I am the groom that prepares her horse for her classes. That is time consuming work-but a job that I love to do.
So we all finally got the energy to start loading up-surprisingly we were so well organized this time that it didn't take long. ???-I kept thinking I was missing something because it went so smoothly. I though-oh good, I will have time to walk around and take some pictures. As I was hooking up the trailer-the people whose horse I hauled up, pulled up to the campsite. I looked up, because I thought her car sounded funny, but finished what I was doing. Her son come running over and said they couldn't get their car to shut off...
I sprinted over with him and jumped in the car. I turned the key off and the car kept running, but it sounded like the starter was grinding and the engine would not stop. I put it in gear and tried...same thing. I moved it forward and put it in neutral...same thing. The car was starting to smoke---NOT GOOD. Now smoke was boiling out of the engine-CRAP! They started throwing their stuff out of the car-I ran for a fire extinguisher and smoke was rolling out of the engine. HOLY CRAP!!! And then everything locked up and the car quit running. Uhhh-Ohhh...Well, at least it didn't burst into flames-Whew! Luckily, one of the local moms has a boyfriend that lives there and he has mechanic friends. A couple of hours later-we had our friend's stuff loaded in our vehicle and they rode home with us. Not sure what happened to cause their car trouble-possibly a short in the starter-making it run continually, until it burned up. We left their car in good hands and they should know the damages in a couple of days. I hate it when that sort of stuff happens to people. But man, am I glad it didn't happen when we were on the road home. We all would have been stuck by the roadside waiting for help.
PS-I'll get to your meme in tomorrow's post Mrs Mom. Along with the answer to the "what's wrong with the painting". And YAYYYYY, Mikey's back!!!