Thursday, August 15, 2013

Catch Up

This past weekend, the 10th and 11th, one of my students took her Fjord for her very first evaluation. In the Fjord breed, before you can ever breed or show Fjord shows, you must have your horse evaluated. We waited this long to get it done because we wanted to make sure her training, manners and conformation was set. She is now 8 years old I believe.

Becca and Mia arrived in Herndon, VA on Friday. They got all settled in and Becca came home to prepare for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was Conformation classes. Each horse is given a time slot and is the Only horse in the ring at the time of their evaluation. Mia was set to go in at 3:00 pm. We had to be at the park before 8am Saturday morning for the show meeting. Becca met me at my house and the three of us, Becca, Chi and I, headed for VA at a little after 6am.

Before I go any further, I just have to say how extremely grateful I am to everyone at the Norwegian Fjord Horse Registry. They really truly are an amazing group of people. All the of the staff and all of the exhibitors we extremely polite and caring. It made for a very relaxed and fun day of showing.

The morning was spent cleaning tack...

While Mia enjoyed her fan....

Then it was bath time...

And a certain someone had to play in the water...

And after being up since 445 that morning..this happened...

After a quick bite to eat and a nap, we were on our way to the show ring...

When it was Becca and Mia's turn, they went in and stood in front of the judges, or evaluators, for the inspection.

During the above process, the exhibitor has to walk a triangle and then trot the triangle to show the horses movement. Again, I am so impressed with this whole process. The judges take the time to TALK to each exhibitor about their horses good and bad qualities. Everything is explained. Everything. The judges ask questions and even allow you to ask your own. There was a lot of smiling going on during this evaluation.

After the eval, you have to wait for ALL the horses in your class to go through. There were 14 mares in this class. Each eval took anywhere from 15 - 30 minutes. I was so proud of my girls. Becca was her normal happy smiley polite self and Mia stood their like her life depended on it. Didn't move one step! :)

Then, it was time to wait for the results...

Chi was not content just to sit and wait. So...she sat in the dirt..and played...and waited...

After all the mares went through, they called all 14 back into the ring for the Walk. They were asked to walk their horses around the ring a few times for a last look from the judges.

Then..they called line up. Number 119 was the first to be called to the line up. My eyes got teary eyed..but I held it in. Just because they call you first to the line up doesn't necessarily mean you took high score. Can you imagine all of our surprise when Becca and Mia were called for High Score in their class of 14 mares with an unheard of score of 83.5??? Her Mom and I might have kind of lost it a little. There was lots of smiles, high fives and even some tears.

We found out a little later, that Mia didn't just take High Score in the Mare's class...She took High Point Horse in Conformation for the entire day! I think Becca was pleased!

Needless to say, we were all exhausted. But..Before I could even think about going home, I had to do something with the dirt child. She was covered in dirt and sand. She was happy...but she kind of reminded me of Pig Pen from Charlie Brown. She was not getting in my car like that. So, she was officially inducted into the horse show world with her first bath in a wash stall. Good thing I had my gym bag with me! Complete with towel, shampoo and body wash. I even had the right frame of mind to grab extra clothes for her that morning. I do have a picture of her dancing around buck naked in the wash stall...but I will save that for her first boyfriend! :)  We arrived at home around 9 I believe. Becca got in her truck and went home and Chi and I went to bed.

Sunday, I had to be back at the park by 8. So I was up and outta there by 6am. Becca and her Mom were meeting me there. Chi was staying home.

Becca and Mia were in one Performance Class. Intro English. We knew going into this that she still had a few issues that needed to be fixed, especially since we were not allowed to ride in her normal bit. She is normally ridden in a Correction Port Kimberwich because she will go right through your hands. But show rules say the only mouth piece allowed is a snaffle. So we went with an eggbutt. They had been practicing in the eggbutt for about 3 weeks. Our class was at 10:15 am.

I was her Header. A Header, for those who don't know, is a person who stands about 5 - 10 feet away from the horse when the rider mounts up. My purpose was to be there should the rider need assistance. It is a fault for the Header to have to touch the horse. Because I was the header, I was not able to get Good Pictures with my Good Camera. Just cell phone pics.

She stepped off 3 steps when Becca got on, and Becca knows it was her fault. Becca is short, Mia is round, she ended up kicking her in the side when she swung up. We know she can be heavy on her forehand at the canter and we know she LOVES to drop her shoulder. Luckily there was no dropping of the shoulder, but she was quite heavy in her canter. Regardless of the faults, for their first time out, I was extremely pleased.

They ended up taking a score of 74.5 in Intro English, which is a red ribbon. AND...because they scored high in both the Conformation and Intro English classes, they were awarded the Medallion Award. And I must say, Becca was pretty excited about the fact that Mia now had her own SASH!

So all in all, my girls did an amazing job. We had beautiful weather and Mia was on her best behavior!

I cant resist a good Butt Ribbon Shot!

I finally got to go to the barn to see Tia last night. Its been about 1.5 weeks since I was able to get down there and really do anything other then kiss her nose! But last night....Gabbi helped me do something that I had been wanting to do with her, but just couldn't get the courage...

I hopped on her bareback!!!! This was, of course, after Gabs got on her first!

She was a perfect lady! She does, however, have the strangest walk I have ever sat bareback. She swishes her butt, or something, when she walks. Think...Jessica Rabbit...

You seriously feel like you are just gonna slide right off the side of her! But its OK. I did it! And I will continue to do it if for no other reason than to prove to myself that I can!

Sorry for the insanely long post! I hope everyone has a great week..and weekend!

Erin and Tia!