Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It Was A Good Show...

No Purples this year...but Megan and Strawberry came sooooo close. This pair makes me happy on so many levels. My momma pride kicks in watching my daughter perform and my horse trainer pride kicks in watching the little roan horse perform for her. Megan has done 99% percent of the work with Strawberry and it is so obvious that they are a team.

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!!!


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Sounds like an exciting show. Sorry about the car. You don't deserve that hassle.

Mrs Mom said...

HOLY CRAP--- that was a killer freaking test for Eng Showmanship. Wow..... I never would have remembered it. At all. Period. Megan only leaving out the backing is pretty darn impressive. Give her a high 5 from the Southland!
And of COURSE, Big BIG rubs to Strawberry for taking such good care of her, and doing such a great job!!

Jackie said...

You're not a bad horse show mom! After I qualified for the PA State Horse show 3 years, my other sister qualified 2 years, my third sister finally made it the fourth year we went to the show. She was in Equitation over fences, her only class, was doing beautifully until she went off course half way through and was disqualified. So sad! My mom felt horrible about it; but those things happen. And my sis hasn't been scarred for life.

Out of curiousity, what color ribbons go for what classes? In PA states and the hunter shows I've been to it's
1 blue
2 red
3 yellow
4 white
5 pink
6 green
7 purple
8 brown

I'm guessing purple is 1st in your area. What are the rest?

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

jackie-welcome-thanks-I think there were a couple people that thought I took it a little too personal because I was teared up over it, but people forget that parents have as much invested as the kids and being disappointed isn't exclusive.
The colors you listed are pretty much the "norm" for the shows around here but for 4-H, a Purple is the Top. It means that you excelled and moves you into the Finals-where they choose a Grand Champion and a Reserve Grand Champion. A Blue is still considered good-especially at State-slightly above average. A red is average and a white is below average. Those are the only 4 ribbons that they give out-since the placings are based on point standards and not necessarily how you placed within the class. So there can be multiple excellent performances and each of the contestant's earn the right to go back in for the finals vs only the top place in that class.

They did a new format this year. No more having to go 10 at a time into the ring and stand there while everyone does their pattern. Now they do it like other horse shows-each person goes in, performs the pattern and then leaves. Sooo much nicer for the kids and the horses.

Mrs Mom-that little roan horse has earned his place in this home forever. He and Megan just fit together. Megan will give him BIG luvs for you.

NM-thank goodness it wasn't my vehicle...but I do feel very sorry for our friends. They have had some very large expenditures this year and they were hoping that this car would hold together until next spring, when they sell their calves. Darn the bad luck!

kdwhorses said...

Yeah Meagan and Strawberry! Luvs from East Texas! Sorry about the class, man that just plain sucks! The showing thing is all new to me, but it sounds like alot at one time! I don't think your one of "those" show moms! LOL!! Man I get involved with little cowgirl and my friends! There have been times I've been crying for them!

Sorry about there vehicle!

Glad you all are back and safe at home!

fssunnysd said...

Super congratulations to Strawberry and Meagan! Glad you all made it home safe and sound, and I'm glad you had fun.

OneCowgirl said...

your story reminded me of going to horse shows with my mother years ago...thanks!

Andrea said...

Congrats Megan and Strawberry!! He is such a good looking horse!! That english showmanship sounded like a killer!! I am always forgetting patterns. I get so nervous that I just forget. It sounded like she did a great job. I would have killed to have had a mom like you growing up. I am the only "horsey" girl in my family.
And how scary to have your friend's car act like that!! I would have freaked out!! Good thing you were there to help.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

K-I know what you mean. When Megan was little, I tried very hard not to apply any pressure it was just so much fun to watch her. I would get wrapped up in the excitement and the disappointment. I still want it to be fun, but as Megan has gotten older, I have encouraged competitiveness along with good sportsmanship. We have no problem telling other people that they did a good job and congratulating the winners of classes. Enjoying showing is the whole point of going for us-yes, we want to do the best job we possibly can, but winning is such a small part of it.

Thanks SD!

OneCowgirl-I hope those are good memories. ;)

Andrea-The Berry is a cutie. That was the whole reason I got him. The intention was to resell him, but after I got the kinks worked out of him, Megan started riding him and they just clicked. Now, he is stuck with us for the rest of his life(poor pony).
I wanted a horse show mom too-LOL. I had to learn everything on my own because my mom rodeoed and knew nothing about horse shows.
I know that Megan appreciates the shows that she gets to go to-so that makes it so very easy to want to go. I just miss having a show horse of my own.

Mikey said...

How cool! Megan and Strawberry are the best team. That is such a nice horse! I'm so glad they did so good. And hey, we all forget the pattern sometimes! I know before my jump classes, I have the pattern tucked in my boot and I still forget even though I've looked at it 50 times in the 10 minutes before the class. It's just hard sometimes to remember all those lil things. Sounds to me like she did plenty good :)
Love your art too, I hadn't got to comment yet, but dang girl, I had no idea you had such talent!!! Wow!!!

BITR Country Girl said...

Love your new layout. Sounds like you guys had a great time at the show even if there were a few "bobbles."

p.s. also wanted to let you know that I've moved to blogger. If you check out the word press version there is a post about it. Sorry for the confusion.

Callie said...

Congrats and good job to Megan and Strawberry! Sounds somewhat teeth clentching for you, though!LOL, Wierd about the car!

The Knutson's said... are an EXCELLENT show mom! My family (growing up) was involved in 4-H for over 18 years, so this post brings back a lot of memories.
Good memories, like waking up on cold mornings in camperville, standing in the unbearable heat during a championship class, the smell of horse manure and scones...ahhhhh...the good ole days!

Congratulations to Megan and Strawberry, and to you too "mom!"

cdncowgirl said...

I've seen your blog listed on sooo many blogrolls, and I've seen your comments a lot too... so I wandered over and I'm SO glad I did. Love it here! I will definately be back :)

Too bad about the english showmanship class. That's part of the reason I don't show pattern classes, I would totally blank on the pattern. It would be so bad they'd come up with a special award for me "Most Incorrect Pattern EVER" or something like that. lol

As for being a "bad" show mom. Trust me, tearing up in a disappointment that one forgotten manuever sabatoged an otherwise perfect performance is NOT bad.

THIS is bad:
At a jackpot recently daughter ("D" a teenager) hit the 2nd barrel due to rider error. Mom ("M") yells at her to pull up on 3rd and ease her horse home.
When D exits the arena M is explaining why she told her to ease up, that D had been on the horse's face too much and that's why he hit 2nd. That's all we heard, the rest of the convo was quiet. Apparently D said something a bit smartass or made a face. ???? My 2 friends and I have NO IDEA what exactly b/c their convo had been relatively quiet until --- D rode away and M came tearing after her on her horse, while ponying another horse. M caught up to D and GRABBED her by her ponytail and started screaming at D not to disrespect her in front of all these people and not to make " such a scene". Whoa. M made a much worse scene than anything D had said or done. It was awful to see and hear. It wasn't right, it wasn't discreet, it was right in front of all the other girls so not fair to us to be placed in such an awkward situation either. I felt so bad for D, you could see the shame and humiliation as she rode away.
I hope it wasn't out of line to share that.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Mikey-Sooo glad you are back sista. We missed you tons!!

BITR-back to bloggerville huh?? I'll update your link.

the knutsons-I loved 4-H myself and have great memories, very similar to yours-except for the scones-LOL. We usually woke up to the smell of burnt marshmellows, stuck to our hands, faces and hair-hehehe.

Cdncowgirl-share all you wish. :) Thats the kind of horse momma I really don't want to be-but I have been known to give my daughter the MEAN MOMMY face and direct her to the nearest secluded place, so we can have a "discussion", but that showing out in public teaches kids nothing.
Likewise-I have seen you around the block-haven't made it over to you either, so don't feel bad. But I will be stopping by soon.;)

Pony Girl said...

It was fun to read about Megan's show...I can just see you there, white knuckled as you watch! It's a great learning experience for Megan...bummer she missed the backing up, I'm sure she'll remember it next year, though! ;)
Scary about that car...there was no horse trailer attached though, right? Can you imagine? I always worry about cars catching fire than exploding or something!

Train Wreck said...

OK I am still in awe of your "hidden talent" Sorry to hear about your friends car! How scary! And Brave of you to help!
Mikeys Back!! Oh yeah! I checked her site the other day (Hoping) it was unavailable.
I love you new picture on your header! Hope you are having a great weekend! I am still trying to catch up from being gone!