Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday's Show!

A friend of mine kindly tagged along with me to take some pictures. Because we showed indoors, a lot of the pictures came out blurry, so there aren't a lot from our actual classes, but it's more than I'd have if I was there by myself.

We started out with a halter class because I wanted to get her in the arena before our showmanship class. We don't usually show halter because it's not often that we place, and today was no different. She looks gorgeous, though!

Pretending to be a halter horse. :)
Our next class was showmanship and I was really excited when I saw the pattern. It's a lot more challenging than a lot of the patterns we've done, so I was really looking forward to it.

Showmanship pattern.
Our back was a bit crooked, but other than that, she nailed all her pivots and I had a really good feeling about our chances to win. There were four other horses in the class, they didn't pivot, and I saw a number of other errors with their patterns. At the risk of sounding like a showmanship-zilla, I felt we were robbed when we were called for third place. I was really upset, but I have since moved on...

Being dismissed after inspection.
The warm-up ring was pretty crowded when we first got there so it was difficult to do much more than walk and jog. Normally there's a giant outdoor arena to ride in, but they're doing work on the ring and we weren't allowed to ride in there. She warmed up quite nicely, and although she was a bit forward, she was really listening. As is always the case, there were a few horses in there with us who weren't exactly under control, and she handled herself quite well. We also lapped a few loping horses, and we were walking.





Our first class was "Western Go As You Please 19 & Over" which essentially means walk/jog because I hardly ever see anyone lope. I think there were seven other horses in the class with me. Lilly was excellent... it's been quite a while since she's been in the indoor arena and she never even snorted. While she jogged nice and slow and kept her head level for most of the class, it became pretty obvious fairly quickly that she's not quite ready to be ridden with one hand. Does she look like a western pleasure superstar? The judge didn't think so because we didn't place... they were only placing through fifth.


This was our only class before lunch... I found it strange that we had one riding class before a long break. I took off Lilly's bridle and let her eat some grass while my friend found us some grub. Lilly thought she wanted hot dog buns and french fries, but after she tasted them, she decided the grass was much better.

Pretty girl waiting for her next class.
Our first class after lunch was "Western Go As You Please Open". I don't recall how many horses were in the class, but we didn't place. We were having fun, though!




Our first loping class of the day was "Appaloosa, Paint, and Palomino Pleasure Open". This class was pretty small too, even though there were english and western riders riding together. There weren't any of the congress type QHs in the class (obviously) so I thought we might have a chance to win a ribbon. Lilly was definitely forward at the lope and I couldn't let her go on a loose rein, but she picked up both leads and I couldn't have asked for more. We ended up with a fifth place ribbon, but my friend made a comment about the third and fourth place horses and thought Lilly and I easily should have placed above them. We like pink, though!

Yay! Fifth place!
Our next two classes were "Western Pleasure Open" and "Western Pleasure 19 & Over". Because of how the previous classes had gone, and because I knew there was no way I was going to be competitive with the kinds of horses in the classes, I decided to school. I mentioned earlier about passing loping horses at the walk... yeah, those horses made us look like a racehorse. When there is literally a half second pause between each lope stride, and the judge is pinning those horses at the top, I might as well ride with two hands. The AQHA and the APHA claim to be asking for a "lope with forward motion", but it was clear we're not making much progress.

Riding with two hands.
We managed to win a fourth place koozie and another fifth place, but we only won fourth because the 5th horse didn't even lope. Lilly hit her leads every single time and I was extremely proud of her.

Good girl, Lilly!
Overall it was a good day. Since I can't control what the judge likes and doesn't like (and I can't force him to get a new pair of glasses) I have to focus on how my own horse was and what we can work on to improve. We have another show on Saturday and I'm hoping it'll feel more like an open show and less like QH Congress.

Our winnings!

23 comments:

  1. Sounds like fun (despite the icky judging)!

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    1. It was definitely a fun day... the weather was perfect and Lilly was a good girl. Doesn't get much better than that. :)

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  2. Pink rules! It's always frustrating when your horse does really well but you don't place as well as you should. I'm so tired of watching QH classes where they are clearly breaking rules but they still place. In addition to "lack of forward motion" being a DQ, they're also supposed to DQ for the tips of the ears being below the withers for more than 5 strides.... as if. I prefer the open shows, too. :)

    You and Lily look very pretty. Congratulations on your ribbons!!!

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    1. Yeah, there wasn't any DQing going on, and there should have been. I'm always going out there defending my breed and the western pleasure world, only to see what I saw on Sunday. It sucks.

      Thank you!!

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  3. Sounds like a good day overall, despite some bummer placings. The pink ribbons complement Lily nicely though ;-) I really like the look of that showmanship pattern, and without seeing the class, feel entirely confident saying you were robbed!

    Love the shirt/chaps combination on her!

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    1. We wanted blue ones to match our outfit more closely, but it wasn't in the cards. :)

      Thank you!

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  4. Good for you, you went out and had fun despite the blind judge. FWIW you two look really nice in the pictures. Good turn out.

    You were passing loping horses at the walk? That's just not right. Not right at all.

    Better luck at the next show!

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    1. Thank you!

      Yeah, and it's not like Lilly has long legs and a big stride either! I felt bad for quite a few of those horses.

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  5. Love the pictures! The judge may not have thought so but I think you guys look fantastic! I'm so in love with your outfit.

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    1. Thank you! I like it a lot more for riding than I do for showmanship, but it's all I've got for now. I think Lilly looks pretty in the teal!

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  6. I think Lilly looked great! I have a suggestion that was mentioned to me from Sarah...when one handed there is a reason why the non-used hand should still be forward my the horn and its to keep your shoulders and body square. I kinda feel like a retard when I ride like that (esp on the trail where I want to drop my hand down to my side), but in all actuality it does help me stay square and centered...just a thought. ;)

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    1. It's funny you mention that... I started out riding that way, and then decided to stop since I was the only one doing it. If I had entered any of the eq or horsemanship classes, I probably would have put it back up.

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  7. What a beautiful springlike set of ribbons! There'll be plenty of time to get the other colors later this summer. ;) And a koozy; I love winning koozies!

    Yall have made such great progress. Keep rockin!

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    1. This was my first koozy, but I think it's super cool. Ribbons are fun too, but it's always nice to get something I can put to good use. :)

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  8. Good, positive outlook! Judges preferences cannot be helped, but you rode your horse and was happy with the little things. The finesse will come.

    I ask this out of curiosity...I am so out of the show horse loop that I don't know what's okay or not anymore...is it just the angle of the pictures or is Lilly standing a bit spread out in the halter and showmanship pictures? Does that matter or just the fact that her feet are so perfectly aligned?

    (I need help refreshing my 'show horse' memory cause that looks like what Shooter will be doing...don't know if I'm happy or sad about that.)

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    1. She's actually a bit "parked out" and I debated even posting the halter picture... She was having an issue with the footing in the arena and she did not want to stand square. It took me forever to get her standing square for halter, so I just left her when I finally got her hooves lined up. The judge barely looked at us anyway, so I didn't want to fuss with her too much. :)

      Same thing happened for showmanship... it took me longer than normal to get her set up for inspection, so I called it good enough.

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  9. Lilly looks awesome! I love that color on both of you too.

    And I'm disappointed for you. Everyone (that shows AQHA) keeps saying that the loping is getting better, but I think it is getting worse and the judges need to step up and stop it.

    Coming from someone who LOVES halter, if you got her set up more square (the feet don't have to be perfect like showmanship, and you can place each leg with your hands if you need to) and got her head up a bit she would be ok. Once she gets set up I would pull her hocks to the outside a bit so she doesn't look so toed out behind. And you need to get your head up! Act like shes the best horse in the ring (which she is!) and make the judge think hes an idiot if he doesn't put you in the top 3 :)

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    1. Thank you, Sam!!

      I keep thinking the loping is getting better too, but clearly from what I saw Sunday, it is not. I don't think the trainers and exhibitors are going to stop training for that kind of lope either as long as the dang judges keep placing it.

      And you're right... I don't put a lot of effort into halter. Can you tell by the look on my face? LOL I usually use it as an excuse to get her in the ring before showmanship, but I have two halter classes this weekend and I'll try your suggestions. I'll even try to wake her up when the judge comes by! :)

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    1. Thank you, Terry... doesn't she look pretty in teal? :)

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  11. I would have LOVED to go to that show and observe, but we had a small horse clinic to attend here and I also had my son's rock opera concert to attend at college. I HATE the way my sister Paint canters, lopes, whatever. I think they all look SO goofy... as if they are having heart attacks. But if that is what the judge likes, nothing you can do about it.

    You both look quite snazzy!

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    1. Some of them can lope slower than others and still look natural, but these horses did not look natural. It's sad they're still being placed. There are a couple other shows up at the fairgrounds over the summer, so maybe you can observe a couple of those. It's always fun to watch too.

      And thank you!

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  12. Awesome job you guys!! : ) I can't get over how BIG that arena is!!! It's like a stadium!! : O I know nothing about western, lopes or ribbon colors, but I think you both did stellar! And I love your color choice for pad/shirt! Striking on Lilly!

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