By Patty Wilber
Recently, in the horse show world, there has been an explosion of Ranch Horse classes. They are a lot of fun. Here are some reasons.
1. You can wear chinks instead of chaps. I love my chinks! I had some custom made by Judith McCollum, and they are attractive, but even better is that you can walk around without having to fold up the bottom or trip over the fringe!
2.You can enter all the ranch classes and never have to change your clothes. That may seem silly, but I once was at a show where I had to have FIVE different outfits. I really don’t like to change my clothes, especially when we are talking midsummer in the windowless
sweatbox tackroom of my stock trailer.
3. Lots of different types of horses, moving in a variety of ways, can be successful at the Ranch Horse classes.
The classes are Ranch Trail, Ranch Riding (a pattern class), Ranch Rail (ride around the arena at the different gaits, but not too slow), and Ranch Conformation (horse is judged on its build). I have not yet tried Ranch Conformation, but for Appaloosas, it has to be after the riding classes, (and the horse has to have been in at least one of the riding classes), and I guess you just pull the saddle and get judged, sweat marks and all…
I have a video (thanks Siri K., my friend, not a phone app!) of Indy doing a good job in a Walk-Trot Ranch Trail class at the New Mexico Buckskin’s show last Saturday. I didn’t get video of the walk trot lope pattern, and we didn’t do a such good job on that one, so not sure I’d be showing it in public anyway!
Ranch Trail has different obstacles (e.g. throw a rope, drag a log, dismount, remount, ground tie) than “regular” trail classes and the patterns are not usually as tight. The poles are sometimes natural logs instead of painted poles.
Here is the pattern we did.
Here is Indy (and me in my chinks) doing the pattern.
Indy is entered in the Ranch Horse Championships Ranch Horse Trail and Ranch Riding Jackpot at the NM LOEC Quarter Horse show in a few weeks.
The NM Appaloosa Club’s Road Runner Show Aug 4-6, and the NM Expo Fairgrounds will also have a The Red Hot Ranch Horse Challenge on Aug 5th that will include the classes listed above plus cow horse and reining. We are giving away about 3000.00 dollars (we need more sponsors!!), and breedings to several stallions! We are also teaming up with the Ranch Horse Championships to have their jackpot! Indy will be competing at that show and hopefully will be up to speed on her cattle work by then.
Other sponsors include: Iron Horse Ranch, Dr. John and Judith Huchton; Ardith Williams, and me! I am a sponsor, too!