Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Long Overdue Recap of the Summer Shows

While we try to teach our children all about life,Our children teach us what life is all about.~Angela Schwindt

I am finally getting around to posting about the summer show season. Whew! It has been one of those summers. Morgan was the only one to show this year, with Mom (me) being laid up most of it with my surgery. Jeff got to play Show Daddy, which he proved very adept at, and made me extremely proud. Morgan showed 3 horses this year. She was a busy little girl. Romey, Ripley and Malarky were her picks for the year. She didn't get to go to as many shows as we had hoped, but with surgery, Jeff starting his own company, so we now do not have to move, and him heading to Australia for 3 months for his company, things have been a tad busy to say the least.
We started in May with the Horseman's Open Obstacle Challenge, sponsored by the PNHA, Inc.
Morgan took Ripley and Romey. She did In - Hand and Under Saddle with both of them.

Romey ~ In Hand

Romey started out under saddle nicely. She handled the obstacles very well, until she got to the end of the bleachers...

and the Rodeo began.

We don't know what spooked her...

but Morgan rode it out, and then calmed her down to continue on.

Ripley in the under saddle portion.

Ripley in the In Hand portion.

Morgan had a great time, learned a lot and even placed with her girls. We are looking forward to next years event.

A few weekends later was a few open shows. Morgan took Ripley. She showed in Showmanship, Halter, English pleasure, English equitation, Ladies Pleasure. For fun, she ran in barrels and poles. Ribbons all around, well except for gaming. Ripley is not a speed horse, by any means. One of my girls, Becky, from my collegiate team, came to one of the shows as well, with my favorite Appy mare, Kammie. She showed very well.

Morgan and Ripley in Open Pleasure

Morgan and Ripley after Pole Bending

Getting ready for Equitation

On course in Showmanship

The end of July brought 4-H County Round Up and torrential rain all week, so to say the ring was a mess was a huge understatement. Morgan and Malarky showed Junior Division in Showmanship, receiving 3rd place, Trail, receiving 4th place, Hunter Under Saddle Equitation, receiving 1st place and finally Hunter Under Saddle Pleasure receiving 4th place. She moved onto Districts in all her classes.

Waiting to execute her Equitation pattern.

The ring was just slop from all the rain.
The second weekend in September was the 4-H District show. Morgan had developed a tremendous head cold and flu-like symptoms. As the day wore on and she waited to go into the trail class, her head got worse. It was finally time to go in and she and Malarky performed the obstacles well, not perfect, but respectacle. Malarky tried too hard to please Morgan, and he was sure he had read the pattern as well. Morgan took it in stride, came out of the ring smiling and patted her palomino Einstein. I will say she scored perfect on two of her obstacles, where others were crucified. I never realized how hard halting could be for some horses. Malarky just has a natural halt and stops square, and I have always taken that for granted as has Morgan. She was pleased over all with how she did though as was I.

Sunday brought Showmanship, Hunt Seat Equitation and Pleasure. Morgan's cold was extremely worse, so much so, that I thought she might pass out from dizzy spells. A huge thanks to Scott for coming to the rescue with Sudafed. Without it, I do not think Morgan would have been able to ride in the afternoon.

We did not expect much in showmanship. My goal was for Malarky to stand in the line up quietly and not fidget, beg for treats, fall asleep and cock a hind leg. Goal achieved! He also performed all his elements perfectly but one. His first 270 pivot, he stepped out a bit, mostly due to Morgan's head being stuffed up and her not being able to concentrate on much, but putting one foot in front of the other. Again, she and I were both pleased with the old boy.

Standing in the line up in Showmanship

The afternoon brought a bit clearer headed and less achy Morgan. She and Malarky warmed up great, after a minor argument over how to ask for the counter canter, which was a required element in her Equitation pattern.

The Hunter Under Saddle Jr. Equitation class had 21 entries. Only 2 riders executed the pattern correctly. Most had trouble with the counter canter. Morgan started out flawless then I watched her tense up as she asked for the flying change. She had worried to much about it. That was alright though. She went to the rail with the other 20 riders and began the rail portion of the class. She quickly forgot the mistake in her pattern and put on her winning smile and began to negotiate her rail work with Malarky. Their transitions from canter to walk and back up to canter were beautiful.

Their Hunter Under Saddle Pleasure Jr. class also had 21 entries. I was actually surprised they did not split either class. In the past they have done this, plus the dust was horrible. I don't know how the judges could have seen through it. Morgan and Malarky again had a great ride. I think it is one of the best rides I have seen on him. It was certainly one of Morgan's best rides and that is and always will be her goal, to improve from the last ride, regardless of the placing.

Unfortunately, Morgan and Malarky were not what the judges were looking for that day. Morgan asked the judges for comments and stated she was on the only palomino and the judges couldn't remember Malarky or her. They stated they were looking for "scopey" horses. When Morgan mentioned her palomino horse is 15.1 and a bit stocky, they had an "A Ha" moment and they told her that those types of horses do not fit, nor place in Hunter Under Saddle. She was a bit disappointed in their comments, but she knows it is just their opinion. She and I have both seen shorter horses do fantastic and the judges like them, her own Ripley included, who is quite stocky and only 14.2. I would have like to have seen them use a rated judge at Districts, but I was still extremely proud of my girl and Malarky, who came out of a two year retirement due to an arthritic knee and showed fantastically.

Below is a video that shows part of her Eq. and Pleasure classses and better shows the less than ideal show conditions.

So with that comes the end of another show season for Morgan. Her and Malarky will be working hard over the winter months, as well as Romey being developed more. Looking to hit a few early shows in the spring with them both.

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man. ~Rabindranath Tagore


Grey Horse Matters said...

Congratulations on all of the shows, I think she did really well and should be very proud of herself and her horses. It's so hard to show when you're not feeling well and I give her credit for doing the best she can. It's also nice to see a young rider with such a great attitude, which of course can be attributed to your personal philosophies about showing. I'll bet you couldn't be prouder of her. By the way nice save on the spook. Also I think she looked really nice in the video. It's a shame more judges can't be less prejudiced against a certain type of horse and pin on what the horse did instead of what type they are.I've always felt that was so unfair. We had the same problem years ago at English shows because we had one of the only paints showing back then. There were plenty of unkind comments to go around, but after a while they stopped when he was so good he won practically every class in the Equitation. All of your horses are gorgeous and congratulations again. Hope you're feeling better.

SkyBar Farm said...

Thank you for your extremely kind words. I am very proud of Morgan. When Romey did her mega spook, my heart was in my throat. Morgan did everything right. She stayed loose, put her hands forward and relaxed as best she could. She never got upset at Romey, she just kept talking to her.
Yea, it was a bit of a bummer that judges didn't give her a fair shake, but it happens. There have been times when Morgan was put first and she felt she didn't give a first place ride, so we have always believed it will all work out in the wash.
Congrats to your daughter for sticking with it on her paint.

I am feeling better, slowly getting back into riding now. Thanks for asking.