Saturday, August 8, 2009

At the Horse Show

Yesterday, my younger daughter and I went to a small hunter/jumper show about an hour away to watch my older daughter ride her 10 year old Oldenburg mare Miranda. Miranda does not live at our barn - she lives at a barn where my daughter works. My daughter hopes to sell her as a children's hunter - she is very quiet, she's about 15.3 and is now easy to handle after her ulcer treatments. (For that history, read this post.) But she'd never been to a horse show before, except once to hang out and hack. At this show, she stood quietly tied to the trailer, eating from her haybag, until my daughter got her ready to ride. In the warm-up area, she was looking around a little bit, but that was all. The show grounds were nice - big schooling area and arenas with excellent, well-maintained footing.

It felt really odd to be at the horse show - we used to show extensively a number of years ago. Can't say that I missed it much - the endless waiting around, the weather (it rained), the courses (all pretty much the same unless you're doing medals or upper-level equitation). And within 5 minutes of getting there, I saw a girl in the warm-up ring kicking her horse violently in the sides and ripping on its mouth, apparently to punish it for something - a few minutes later she got off the horse and kissed it on the nose! Go figure. Now please understand - I do remember the excitement and thrill of showing, and winning. It was fun to compete and to see all the beautiful horses, and completing a hunter course that flows and looks lovely takes skill and hard work - anyone who says riding hunters well is easy is wrong. But I'm pretty much done with that now - it was a different phase of our lives. My best wishes to those of you who compete in various disciplines - it's important to have good and conscientious horse people out there in the show world, and showing can be very rewarding. I may take Maisie to a few shows just to hang out and hack around as part of her training - she tends to get pretty excited when there are lots of other horses around!

My daughter showed her mare in two divisions, both at 2'6". The mare did great - very nice stride down the lines. She isn't always getting her lead changes - that will come, I think. She placed in three out of four of her over fences classes - fourth (out of 8), fifth (out of 8) and fifth (out of 15), and also placed in the middle of the pack on the flat - third (out of 5) and fourth (out of 7). Pretty good for a first show, and some of the horses she was competing against were very fancy. I tried taking some pictures, but my little camera was too far away to get any decent shots. Here are a couple my husband took the afternoon before when they were at the show grounds getting ready to school:




I'm glad they had a good day - my daughter's work with her - as well as the dental and chiropractic work she's had done - have really helped the mare. Pretty soon I expect my daughter will list her for sale.

9 comments:

  1. yup... you hit it... i just started doing shows and i'm learning more patience with the waiting in between classes.... And you're so right... a good rider makes it look ez... tho if it were .. everyone 'd be doing it... lots of work and then you work some more

    congrats to your daughter.. beautiful mare and yup nothing like ye ol chiropractor :)

    happy trails
    gp

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  2. Ah, the good old days of showing my hunter. When I discovered first eventing and then dressage, the concept of actually having a prearranged time to ride completely sold me on those sports.

    Looks like a lovely mare, and those are respectable ribbons for her first time out. Well done, Daughter...and Miranda. *G*

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  3. Miranda is lovely, alert and clearly very happy. I loved reading the story of how your daughter saved her, and where they are at now, months later. It reinforces something I already believe -- there aren't mean horses, there is always a reason for the behavior they are exhibiting.

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  4. sounds like a good day out!! I have trailer envy though it looks very roomy.

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  5. Congrats to Miranda and your daughter. I am going to go re-read that entry about the ulcers. Miranda is very pretty!

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  6. Very pretty! And proof that not all chestnut mares are bad, some are positively lovely and will do anything you ask if you give them the right ride. Tell your daughter congrats from me and Tucker!

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  7. Oh boy there sure is alot of waiting around at horse shows!

    Miranda has come a long way. Horse shows are a nice way to evaluate your progress. I always feel that my horses and my learning are accelerated at a show with all of the variables thrown in there.

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  8. Tell your daughter well done! I use showing for training...I learn so much! The waiting around can get pretty tiresome. But, I don't get to socialize all that often and it's actually a treat for me to get out and talk!

    Miranda is really nice looking too!

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  9. Congrats to your daughter on Miranda. I'm going to go back and read the history now.

    Yup, I know what you are saying about shows. You see all kinds. I think most people are pretty nice, but they usually fade in the background. Sometimes it's the "icky" stuff that sticks out at me.

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