Monday, July 21, 2008

Almost Perfect Weekend

Wow. What a weekend. It was action packed and this pony girl is worn out!

Saturday my sister and I attended an Arabian horse show. My Boy's former owner is working for an Arabian training barn. Unfortunately we did not get to see her show (or win champion in her futurity class, on a client's horse!) but we did get to meet this little mare:

Here, My Boy's former owner is combing out her tail and preparing her for her owner to ride in a class. It was country english pleasure (saddle seat), amateur owner to ride. Out of 14 horses, I thought she had a good go in her class, The little mare just packed herself around the arena. She wasn't the biggest horse out there, but she just had a flashy ride and a lot of steppy action. She made the top five call back.

Then, the little mare was pinned grand champion in this class! That was exciting. Even more amazing is that we heard the story that her rider had suffered some injuries from a different horse at the Arabian show in Salem, Oregon. I guess her horse spooked and kicked her in the stomach (both hooves, full-barrel) and she sustained some injuries. So to be back in the saddle and win this class eleven weeks later was quite a feat.

This half-Arabian buckskin pinto reining horse had an amazing mane and quick spins and stops.

Here is another one of the Arabians from the stable My Boy's former owner works for, right before she was pinned top five for her hunter class. Isn't she pretty? That is a perfect white blaze.

We picked a good day to watch a show, as we got to see a variety of classes.

My night out with the girlfriends was fun. I did, however, begin to learn two country dances: the two-step and the cowboy cha-cha. Goodness, I felt like I had two left feet. I have done a lot of swing and ball-room dancing in the past, but it has been many years! However, the Wrangler-clad 60-year old dress-up cowboy wannabes that danced with us were very polite and helpful.

Yesterday, I attended a certified Parelli instructor clinic, level 3. I wanted to watch and see what every day riders were capable of doing at this level, since I have really only seen the Parelli's work at the Redmond Oregon tour stop.

There were five riders and a handful of auditors. When I arrived they were working on groundwork. Of course, this loud colored 14 year old Appy mare caught my eye. She has Secretariat breeding.

Here the instructor is demonstrating a task for the handlers to practice with their horses. You circle your horse at the trot, turn them towards you (keeping them trotting) and send them around the other way without breaking gait. Of course, in Parelli, this game has some name, but I can't remember it. He is using one of his own two horses here.

After lunch, the riders saddled up and worked in the arena. They rode a variety of patterns, working on circling their horses around a barrel at the trot, and then once betwee the barrel and the rail, slight bending and moving the horses hindquarter's the same direction as their nose was pointed (similar to side passing, except most people keep their horses nose pointed in the opposite direction they want their horse to go.) This exercise was really forcing the riders to get their horse's hindquarters over, using their seats, legs, and ribcage. Then, they worked on a drop-to-trot lead change pattern, as a precursor to flying lead changes. Later, they rode this same pattern without reins, using two carrot sticks, seat, and legs to direct their horses (all of the horses here were level three so they could be ridden without bridles.)

I was impressed with this clinician's style and manner. He was cowboy "tough" enough, pushed the rider's fairly gently, and used common sense and logic. I like how he had the riders ask question and share what they learned after each session. He really spoke to horses learning things from consistent patterns, and how to use the release. Really, he said rider's are the ones that need to be changed and most of the time we are releasing and rewarding the responses we do not want. Everyone at the clinic was friendly and one woman even loaned me one of her Parelli Savvy club DVDs to watch. She also knows of a group that meets to watch videos and talk and eat and drink wine. A kind of natural horsemanship support and networking group (like a book club?) So who knows, I might check that out.

Overall, my weekend involved a lot of driving, sunshine, dust, horses, and most importantly- learning! To me, it was nearly a perfect weekend. Just missing perfection in that I didn't get to spend enough time with My Boy. But I'm going to make that up to him today. We're hitting the arena and we're goin' to work!


  1. Lovely pictures - the appy isn't nearly as cute at My Boy, though!

    Aren't clinics & shows fun? I always come home inspired to work a bit harder through the inevitable rough patches.

  2. Sounds like a great time! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Gotta love them apps! Glad that you had a good time. I also had a great weekend, but not as horsey filled as yours.

  4. I love the pictures of the horses. I would give anything (well, almost) to have a few horses for when the kids get bigger.

    Von always had a pony and he had horses up to the point that we met seven years ago .. so maybe again someday.

    About the 3 column blog ... I can do it for you if you'd like, but I can't find the instructions. I've done so many for others, I have it memorized ... ha~ Let me know.


  5. Arabs have such pretty little dishy faces. That Appy mare just cought my eye! Pretty! Sounds fun!

  6. Great pic's and follow along commentary!!We don't see many Arabs around here. Cowboys prefer Quarter horses! I still think they are beautiful, they have the greatest manes and tails! They remind me of "fairy tale horses" Just so magical!

  7. Wow! You've been busy. Those are great pictures. I like the idea of a local club of people who get together and share their horse training DVDs.

  8. Sounds like a great weekend! I got to have a nice ride on Saturday and went barrel racing on Sunday so mine was pretty good too.
    I have a suggestion in regards to the "horse book club". We have a couple fairly local riding clubs that have built up little "libraries" of DVD, mags and books, maybe there's something similar in your area?
    In regards to clinics, its nice to be able to just audit them sometimes. I know that I've been to a few where I was glad I hadn't paid the extra $$ to ride. Some clinicians I've seen almost seem to enjoy belittling the riders. Not cool.

  9. Sounds like a great time to me. I want one of those Parelli rope halters myself.

  10. I love arabian shows. Those horses have such a unique look to them!

  11. Oh I watched the Paint Arab cross in Salem a few monthes ago, very nice indeed

  12. Arab shows are the best, but I might be just a tad bit prejudiced ;)

    That wine/horse/DVD club sounds like it might be right up your "creative" alley! I want to come too!!!

    Glad that you have some new tricks to try with My Boy, and I like your new header looks like where Amber and I ride a lot, out on the power lines!

  13. What a fun horsey filled weekend!! I love to go to horse shows! I could watch them all day long!!

  14. The headshot of that other mare that was in the hunter class is AWESOME! She doesn't even really look real it's that good! Looks like you gals had a great time at the show!

  15. Holy Hannah woman, were busy or what there? Sounds like you had a blast, and got inspiration in spades. Bet it will be helpful to you to "join" the horse club you mentioned.

    Thanks for the great pics, as always! That little Appy mare surely was a pretty little thing to get to view! And the Arabs were great too!

  16. My Boy is a very handsome guy. I envy his mane for my Appy. Although he has a gorgeous tail, his mane sticks out all over. I call him my Wildman Rock Star.

    I'm enjoying your blog. Visit me sometime

    Love them spotz!


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin