Monday, February 14, 2011

Now we be havin' some fun

We had such a good time at the Desert Hot Springs one-day show, we decided to try our luck at a bigger show. The Southern California Quarter Horse Exhibitor Association held their Show Me the Money show at the L.A. Equestrian Center in Burbank last weekend. It was four days of all the things Quarter horses can do - Western pleasure, English equitation, reining, driving, barrel racing, everything except working cows, probably only because cow rental can be expensive.

Snoopy and I limited ourselves to one event: trail. Our trainer, Niki, took him in Green Horse, and I rode him in Novice Amateur. Two classes on Thursday, two on Saturday. It was a lovely weekend.

I began showing by riding my other trainer Tina's champion, Copper Kist. Because I leased and didn't own him, I couldn't show AQHA, so I showed PCHA (Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association). They had about a gazillion classes that I was eligible for, and I showed in them all. Preliminary Trail, Adult/Amateur Trail, Basic Trail... I think I rode four classes each day, and they showed all four days of a weekend event. By the end I was exhausted from learning the trail patterns, much less riding them.

By contrast, learning one pattern and riding one class seems civilized. Snoopy tends to lack stamina, so two classes every other day still wears him out.

I know, I know, I can hear you all whining, "But how did you do?"

The first day we won 2nd and 3rd (the classes are double-judged) in Novice Amateur, and Snoopy and Niki got 4th and 7th in Green. The final day, we got 5th and 7th, and he and Niki got 3rd and 5th.

Each day, each course, had its own easy parts and rough parts, at least for me. The last day, I flubbed a trot-over by making him dive in too closely, but what I think cost us as much was that he was so tired, I was having to work to keep him moving. You never get style points when you make it look hard, and I don't think I was making it look easy.

It didn't matter, though. They were the most fun days, and the most fun courses, that I've ever done. I thought about what I was doing, and was able to communicate that to my big black gelding, more or less.

For those of you who've never seen a trail course, here's Snoopy being ridden by Niki in the first day's Green Horse Trail class. The audio portion of the video was mostly me laughing about something or other, so I muted that and added Hal Ketchum just for fun. If Mr. Ketchum doesn't want me to use his music, I'm happy to take it off. It was just such a perky accompaniment.

I only took this video for two reasons: 1) It's a new video camera and I love to play with my toys; and 2) Niki is four months pregnant here, and I wanted to show her that she doesn't look poofy at all. She barely has a vollyball sitting on her tummy.