Monday, September 22, 2014

Horses, Horses and Horses

Yesterday, we spent all day surrounded by these lovely, shady trees. 
 Have you ever seen pistachios growing? 
They are really pretty. 
But, we weren't there just to enjoy the scenery.
We were there to watch Sugar Plum Fairy in her very first horse show!
 She has been taking lessons for nearly a year now. 
 Ever since she received "her best gift ever!"
Every once in awhile, as a parent, we have a moment that we hit the nail on the head. 
 That gift was the nail and the hammer. 
Anyway, she is learning to ride both English and Western, but chose to compete in Western yesterday and my Hubby said she was "as nervous as a LONG TAILED cat in a room full of rocking chairs".

She competed in both her age group as well as a couple of "Open" classes where riders of all ages are competing together.

Basically, the judge stands in the center of the arena and the riders ride along the rail, although they will make wide circles in the center to keep themselves away from horse traffic. 
Did you know there was such a thing? 
Well, there is.
I didn't get too aggressive in my picture taking  because I didn't want to embarrass my daughter or myself. 
That time will come, I am certain. 
The riders all begin walking around the arena in a counter clockwise direction. 
Depending on the class, the announcer will ask the riders to trot their horses....reverse their horses, walk, halt...back up 5 steps.  

They are then asked to move their horses to the center of the arena facing a certain direction.
This photo captures new friends and old friends together.
Love that.
Anyway, the judge finishes up her tallying and gives her decision to the announcer.
The riders who accomplished these tasks in the most efficient and proper way, earn ribbons.
As they announced the winners in Sugar Plum Fairy's first class, her name was called as a second place finisher. 
VERY cool.
That helped with her nerves, I think.
Caution...bragging Mom alert....
She placed in every class she entered as well as the overall High Point Winner in her class in Western.
After giving Zeke a much earned bath and some treats...

...they posed with their awards.
Not sure what they were thinking...curious or if Zeke was just hungry.

I must say, that yesterday was a good day. 
The weather helped by cooling off a few degrees so we didn't all melt, the facilities were fantastic and there are some terrific horse people we surrounded ourselves with. 
Especially our daughter's fearless leader. 
 This young lady loves horses, loves her students and the feelings are mutual.

(The end...I can't get rid of the blank area below...just ignore it. It is Monday after all)




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