Red, White and Blue Horse Show

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Not much that went on since the Combined Test at South Farm, so we'll just sorta skip all over that and talk about the horse show at Canfield this weekend. I took Friday off from work (shh!) and Bonnie took X and I over to the fairgrounds. Tom was already there with Dalal and his new stud colt. They had gotten in the day before. And that was nice because he had a stall held for us right next to him. So I got X settled into his stall and Tom was just starting to get Dalal ready for his first class, Reg. Arabian Western Pleasure Amateur. Got him tacked up and I hopped on while Tom got himself ready to ride. Just walked him around the grounds a bit and then handed him over to Tom. At that point I figured there was no time like the present to see what my beastie would do. I pulled him out of the stall and tacked him up in the western saddle and then we headed over to the smaller warm up ring. I lunged him around there for a while and then finally hopped on. As I expected he would not settle down to walk, but that's ok, I was fine with him trotting. Of course then every time he saw something new he had to break into a canter. And then after about half a dozen strides he realizes nothing is going to eat him and he wants to stop, I don't think so Bup! So we cantered a lot that first day. By the time I headed over to the main ring to watch X was completely lathered. And of course he chose this time to show me that he can be a little energizer bunny when he wants to be. Tom still had some time before his class and so I joined him in the warm up ring. Tom and Paul Clemens were there as well and I just have to say it was very weird to see them both on chestnuts rather than their black horses. So X still decided he was going to canter around the warm up rather than trot or walk like a sane horse, so when Tom and Dalal finally headed into the show ring he was dripping, it was quite gross.

Tom and Dalal had a great ride in the Ammy class in which they won out of 5. And Kelly and Lark were 2nd. Kelly was completely shocked! Going into the class she kept thinking they would be 5th, but she put in a nice ride. I was really happy for Kelly. She's been through some rough times with Lark and she really wants to do this. So good for her.

After the class was over both ponies went back and got hosed off and then tucked in the stalls with some hay to munch on. For the rest of the afternoon I got to just hang out and catch up with everyone that I haven't really seen since last summer. Nikki showed up later in the afternoon, so it was good to get to see her as well.

That evening I got to ride Dalal in the Reg. Arabian Western Pleasure-Open class. We had a pretty decent warm up, especially considering that I haven't really been on the horse since September. We had a decent ride in the class, except going the first direction Dalal broke at the lope and then I got the wrong lead when we picked it up again. Luckily though the judge didn't see any of it and we ended up 2nd in the class. Pretty good for my first trip back in the show ring!

After we headed back to the stalls and got Dalal settled I was introduced to Danielle, who Tom met online while watching Nikki at Scottsdale. Danielle had groomed for Tommy Garland at Nationals and so she and Tom had started talking. And then about a month or so ago she moved to Washington, PA from Michigan and so Tom invited her out for the show. I have to say, I really enjoyed meeting her, she's a couple of years younger than me, but we really hit it off and had a good time together.

Although it had rained during the night, Saturday morning dawned pretty nice, unfortunately it didn't stay that way. The sun was out and shinning when we headed down tot he main ring for Tom's Men's Western Pleasure class. Unfortunately it had started to rain by the time he went into the ring. And Dalal was a little shit for the class. There was only one other horse in the ring, this little appy mare that was in heat. And Dalal was well aware of that fact. Luckily the other horse wasn't even close to being competition, but Tom certainly had his hands full. After the class we got Dalal settled back in his stall and then waited out the rain. Unfortunately it didn't want to stop any time soon.

After a while Kelly, Danielle and I decided that since it was raining and we couldn't do anything anyway we would head out to get something to eat for lunch. We piled into Danielle's car along with Kelly's son Gavin and headed into Boardman to see what looked good. We ended up trying out this Stonebridge Grill and Tavern. Kelly had mentioned that she always drove past it and thought it looked good, but she hadn't eaten there yet. So we figured we would give it a try. The food was delicious, I had a tasty lobster bisque soup and a turkey sandwich. Everything was quite yummy!

While we were eating the rain had stopped, so when we got back to the fairgrounds, I pulled X out of his stall and tacked him up for a ride. I lunged him first in side reins and then after a while I went ahead and hopped on him. He was pretty good in the warm up ring, so then I took him down to the main ring. I figured since the show was on break until the evening session at 5 I might as well take advantage and get him into the main ring. He wasn't too bad, but he was once again using every little thing as an excuse to spook and start cantering. So we cantered a lot of circles. Eventually he settled down and we got some good work in. I even rode some centerlines towards the judge's tent in the middle of the ring. While he wasn't too thrilled about that to start with, he did get better about it. So good ride overall, when I started to hear thunder I figured it was time to take him back to the stall. I quick bath and X was tucked in his stall with a couple flakes of hay, happily munching away.

So we waited out the afternoon rain and it did stop by the time we headed up to the ring for the evening session. Tom was first up with the Jack Benny class. And then just two classes later I had the Ladies Western Pleasure. And then at the end of the evening was the Open Western Pleasure. So Tom and I had a little friendly competition going on. Whoever did better in their class got to take him in the Open. As he was heading into the ring I tried to get some support for my cause from Tina and Judi. Not that either one of them needs encouragement to beat Tom. However, Tom had a great ride and won the class. Really put the pressure on me for my Ladies class. I get the number from him and hop up on Dalal. Since there was only one class before we went in, we just hung out near the in gate. And then it was time for our class. We headed into the ring at a really nice jog if I do say so myself. And it was a good class, 10 in the ring (biggest western class of the show I believe) and several nice horse and rider pairs. But Dalal and I had just had a great ride. And it paid off when they called our name as the winners! When I came out the ring after the class Tom made a big production out of taking off his chaps to show that I could go back for the Open. We just chilled in the warm-up until it was time to go back in, trying to keep Dalal's attention on showing and not thinking that he was done for the night. Unfortunately he was tired by that time. Not getting any real conditioning for show season and the mucky ring had definitely taken it's toll on him. But he jogged right in the ring when I asked him to. We were having a good ride until they asked for the lope in the first direction. And we proceeded to pick up the wrong lead three times before we finally got it right. And the judge missed the whole thing! I think he must have liked us and wanted to place us so he ignored it and purposely kept his back to us. I don't know how he couldn't have looked I had like 6 people on the rail calling "No, No! Still Wrong!" If I heard that I would be looking around to see what the problem was. I figured that we had blown the class, but I just kept riding. I was completely shocked when we were called as the winners! I couldn't believe it!

Sadly, Tom had to leave Canfield by noon so that he had time to get home and get ready for his flight back to Las Vegas that afternoon. And since the western pleasure championships were in the afternoon we didn't get to show in them. Which was kinda disappointing. I got to watch the Arabian Western Pleasure Championship while I was waiting for Bonnie to come pick me and X up. And it was kinda sad. Three horses in the class. Chuck and his bay stud were first, then Nikki and Armani were reserve and then Kelly and Lark in 3rd. We could have done very well in the class. But oh well.