Saturday, August 8, 2009

Before The Rally

The same day that I left for the Sturgis Rally was our local horse show. This year they had changed the format as it is now an AQHA show. O.H...G.O.O.D.Y!!! Yes, that is sarcasm dripping from my fingers as they type.

See-the AQHA part of if didn't do Megan and I any good. She has Strawberry-who is a grade paint and I am not an Amateur. I could be, I guess at this point. It has been so long since I have been paid to ride that technically I am not a "pro" anymore.

Initially, my intention was to have Frosty ready to show at this show. It's always been a small show with just enough riders to perk a greenie's ears, but not enough to make them feel uncomfortable with horses all around them. Needless to say, Frosty was not ready to make any kind of showing against decent show horses.

It wasn't so much that I didn't think that I could place...which I would not have. But rather that when I show, I at least like to think that I am making a decent presentation..which I didn't think I would have done that either. So I just rode him around at the show. Got lots of compliments on him. But it was pretty obvious how green he was compared to everything else there.

Megan showed though...and S.U.C.K.E.D! Ohhh, have I got a rant on that...Among other things! I seriously doubt that I will pay entry fees next year to participate in this show.

It really all started with the show starting an hour late. What the hell?

And then they spent another 30 minutes waiting for the 1st horse to show up for her class. Are you kidding me?

It was a "snafu"-they had inadvertently entered a stallion in a mare class. Okay, mistakes happen. But really! If you are standing at your trailer and hear your name and number being called repeatedly for a class, WHY wouldn't you walk over and tell the announcer that they had made a mistake? Jeez people! It's only common courtesy! And who the hell waits THIRTY minutes for a contestant to show up. Move on already!

From there it moved as slow as molasses! Yep...I know how things move at a "breed" show. But we aren't talking about 20 or so contestants in a class. We are talking about the same 4 or 5 in every single class. One right after another. How damn long should that have to take to leave the ring and turn around and come in again?

The judge was getting pissed! I don't blame him! I and a lot of other people were extremely pissed just watching.

And I was having to keep a very close eye on Megan. All of her little show friends were there and I KNEW she was in "social" mode, not show mode. Strawberry was being a butt. She took him out back to lope him in a big area and he bucked her off. She managed to get him somewhat back into show mode by the time the WP rolled around, but he was way too fast. She placed second. Simply because she managed to get him to pick up all of his leads and most of the kids out there missed at least one.

Luckily, we had decided, when we entered her that she would use Rip in the Horsemanship class. Rip isn't exactly the WP-type horse you usually see in horsemanship, but he stops better than Strawberry and is always very cadenced in his gaits. Megan took off in her pattern before the judge was even looking at her. Other than that her pattern was absolutely the best of all of them. When they hit the rail, right off the bat Megan manages to get herself pinched between the "speed racer" and the "dumb ass" who can't control her horse. DA had her horse's nose UP Rip's butt when the judge called for a stop and reverse from the lope. Megan didn't even look, she just stopped and whipped around, right on top of the DA. Now, at this point, everything would still have been okay, if Megan would have faded toward the rail to get away from the traffic jam. We have practiced things like this!!

But she didn't. So now, she has DA in front of her and speed racer behind her...and the judge calls for a lope again. Megan departs Rip right by DA, who is thrashing around and kicking on her horse trying to get him to lope and speed racer runs up Rip's butt. It was too much for Rip, he surged out of there. I DIDN'T BLAME HIM ONE BIT. I wouldn't have liked to have been in that position either. Megan reached up and got hold of him with her other hand. DQ! Holy Crap was I mad! All of that could and SHOULD have been avoided if Megan had been in "show" mode and been paying attention to what was going on around her.

We had a little talk when she got back to the trailer. There is no excuse for putting your horse in a bad position like that. It was 100% rider error. All she had to do was pay attention to what was going on around her and fade away from the wreck. Let them pass her and then ride on. She would have won the class. Not that that was really the most important part of it. Paying attention was!

After the pleasure class I had rinsed Strawberry off, ran cold water on his legs, watered him and gave him a flake of hay. He seemed to be more relaxed. Megan changed saddles back to him and got ready for the trail class. I had warned her not to warm him up too much before the class. So she didn't. She just rode into the pack of kids standing around and sat there. GAAAHHHHH!!!

Mom and I were dinking around the trailer and pretty soon we hear "whack, whack, whack....THUMP"! Followed by audible gasps. Yep, speed racer was over there smacking the shit out of her horse. It flipped over! Horse and rider got up. SR proceeds to start whipping the horse's front legs with the reins because she won't back. Poor little mare was locked up tighter than a rusted on bolt. She wasn't going to back a step, but I could see that she was really close to coming over the top of SR. So I walked over and got her attention and told her to knock it off. SHE WAS RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERYONE doing this and no one else said a fucking word!

She got back on and started hauling on the reins and spurring again. That was it. I was PISSED OFF. All of these fat-assed show bitches sitting around watching this and not a single one of them would say anything. I hollared at SR to follow me...away from the crowd of people on horseback...who apparently were too stupid to daughter included! I tried to get her to just move her mare forward and walk in little circles to loosen her up. But she was pissed and it was yank, spur, spin, try and haul the mare backward. She rode right back over to the group of people sitting there and started her shit again. Another lady tried to talk to her, but SR just got off, changed into a more severe bit and yanked on the reins. Little mare when right over backwards again.

At this point, I was just as mad at my daughter...standing right in the middle of this mess and not making any attempt to get out of it. I was hollaring at her to get the hell away from the stupid piece of shit. And yes...I hollared those exact words for everyone to hear. My mother was mortified. Can you believe people started giving ME dirty looks?

About that time it was Megan's turn to do her trail class, which of course was a disaster because Strawberry was freaked out about that whole mess, plus Megan had not walked him around or bent or flexed him like she should have.

That was it. I was DONE with all that crap. I started loading everything up and told Megan we were done with this rinky-dink POS show. If people were going to just sit there on their fat-asses and let this girl get away with abusing her horse and putting other's in jeopardy like that they could kiss my ASS! I made sure everyone heard me. Now, my mom was ticked at me and so was Megan. She still had reining and barrels to go.

Mom pulled me aside and told me she would stay with Megan so she could finish her classes. FINE! I knew Megan wouldn't get away with anything with mom there, so I left. All I wanted to do was get away from these people. I haven't witnessed such blatant don't-give-a-shit attitudes for many years. And I could go many more without seeing it again.

Megan finished her show. She got 3rd in the reining and 4th in the barrels.
She stuck around after the show to talk to the judge about her reining placing. Apparently she had the most "correct" pattern, but it lacked the pizzaz of the other two. Yea, like the 1st place horse flipping out of her leads and stopping on her frontend and the 2nd place horse-ridden by speed racer-who she practically yanked overbackwards in it's stops. NICE! However, I told Megan under no circumstances was she ever to think that "pizzaz" ever placed over correct in this household. Rip still has a few things going on in his reining patterns that need to be worked out before the "pizzaz" really starts to come out. He bulges a bit on his fast circles and while he stops correctly, right at the end, he kind of lugs out with his nose. His spins will never be amazingly fast-he is too pigeon-toed. If he tries to spin too fast, he doesn't sweep over with his front legs, he hits himself. That is just the fact of it and Megan has to work around it.

She said he tried to booger at the barrels again, but she was prepared this time and she really got after him. He lined out and tried a little harder than he has been trying. While I don't think Rip is ever going to be a top contender at barrel racing, he is a lot more capable than what he's been showing. Megan is working through the boogering thing well, but I think I may need to get on the big, blue horse and tune him a little. I think he is simply looking at the barrel too hard and not really thinking about getting around it. That is sometimes the case when a horse is really cowy. They want to work the barrel rather than get around it.

I do have to say, that I really, really liked the judge at the show. I forgot his name already, but he was good. I wasn't there for the reining placing, so maybe there was more going on with Megan's pattern than just the speed factor. But as far as how he placed all the other classes...particularly the halter classes, I thought he did a bang-up job. He tried to show speed racer a few things too, but you just can't change some people. Personally, I think if he had seen what was going on outside the pen, he would have disqualified her for the rest of the day. I sure as hell thought he show manager should have.

But ya know, the only thing people said about the whole incident, was that I sure seemed CRABBY that day! Gee...YA THINK??


Mikey said...

Wow! Aye yi yi!! What a show. Kudos to you for stepping up and saying something to that girl. What a hot mess!
Sorry it wasn't a better show for you guys! I'm looking forward to hearing about Sturgis. Did you wear body paint??lol

Adventures of a Horse Crazed Mind said...

If I were there I'd be giving you a BIG high five! Thank god you actually stood up and said something! I would have been seething mad too! WTF?!! Sounds like Megan has the raw goods there to do well and that like most teenage girls she's a wee bit distracted by being...well... a teenage girl:) I'm sure she'll come around but it would piss me off too if I were paying entry fees for her. Lookin' forward to some Sturgis pics!

Sydney said...

I would bring that up to someone about the speed racer. If someone is hitting or whipping their horse at our grounds here they are banned for the rest of the show and ALL their points from the year taken away. Like this one ring steward said, a show is not the time to train your horse and neither is the warm up ring.

Paint Girl said...

I would have said something to that girl, like you did. There is absolutely no excuse for that kind of behavior!! I would have been HOT!
Sorry things didn't go so well at the show.
Hope you took lots of pix in Sturgis!!

sue said...

I'll tell you, where were the parents of this kid... any child of mine treat a horse like that and they would find themselves off the show circut for the rest of the season.. good for you speaking up.. abuse like that needs to have zero tolerance!!!!!!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Horse Crazed-Your right, the teen years are difficult-tough to stay focused. I know I sound like a hard-ass sometimes. Hard to express to people that fine line between keeping things fun and still making sure that you do the best you can. I don't ever want to take the fun out of showing for Megan. But we are there for a reason too. I figure it is good training for later in life-programing that switch that will always be there-fun vs. the job at hand.

Sydney-my mom did have a talk with the girl who organized the show. She claimed she only organized it and was simply there as a competitor. The person she said was the "show manager" says she was only there as an office manager for the AQHA part of it. Funny how people seem to want to duck the responsibility when these things happen. No one wants to be the "meanie".

Sue-As is often the case when these kids get completely out of hand...the parents weren't there. She is 17 and they have simply turned her loose with a one ton pickup, 30 foot trailer and a trailer load of horses. The few times I have seen her parents at any events-she doesn't get this out of hand. But is still pretty harsh on her horses. What is so freaking annoying to me is that this girl has raw talent. She can ride and she kind of knows how to get things done. But holy hell is she rough on stuff. Any other time, I really enjoy talking to her cause she is, outside of the ignorant crap she does, quite a nice girl and her parents are nice people too. But damn-I pity her horses.

I figure you can't keep people from doing what they do at their own place, but NO ONE should have to watch that at a public venue.

City girl turned Country Girl said...

WOW, so I'm playing catch up here... That is crazy!!! Absolutely ridiculous, I am so glad you said something because I would have too and I would have been right there with you!! It amazes me when people do this kind of stuff, we see alot of hard hands at one of the circuits we run and it just pisses me off.. I totally understand the whole message to Megan also, our teenager's need to learn to look outside of the situation and see what they should really be doing!!

Kudos to you!!

gtyyup said...

eeeekkkk...I've never been to an AQHA show...don't think I want to if that's what they're all about. I couldn't take the stupid girl and her would send me right over the edge...after I would have been done with her, they would have hauled me off!

I hope Megan learned some things though. It sure makes a difference when you have a good judge.