By Patty Wilber
After our fun hunting trip, Lucy got a day off and then she convinced H that we should go to the NM Paint Palomino Buckskin Pinto All Breed Fall Color Round Up show at NM EXPO fairgrounds 10/27 and 28. It was a good choice as the weather was nice, the people were friendly, and it had a good set of ranch classes (but no cows, alas.)
We had a fun crew of five riders (Mariah, Me, Nancy, Jo Ellen and Ryanne) sharing the tack room! I think I managed to hog up a little more than my allotted space, but everyone was kind about it!
I sure enjoyed the company!
Nancy, on her three-year-old pleasure mare, Katie, competed in all breed open, not junior, classes, had top placings in halter (1 and 3), Western Pleasure Walk Trot amateur (1 and 3 of 10), WP Walk Trot open (1, 2 of 8), and WT horsemanship (1 and 1 of 8).
Nancy’s seasoned campaigner, Moses, is switching his focus to the Ranch events and showed everyone what a cool dude he is. He was first under both judges of 6 in WT Ranch Rail, 2nd of 7 under both in Ranch Rail, 2 and 1 of 10 in Ranch pleasure and 3 and 2 of 10 in Ranch Riding.
Mariah conquered some issues with her cute mare, Lacy, and Ryanne showed for the first time in a long time with her rescue horse, Ariel, and looked really good!
The thing I love about Lucy is…well, almost everything, which is good since she is mine and I plan to keep her. But what I meant to say was I really like that she can go out in the back country and then turn around and hold her own in the show ring!
One of the judges really liked her and the other judge, did, sometimes. She like, Katie, competed in All Breed Open, not junior horse, classes. I was happy with her results! She earned 1 and 2 in open reining (of 5), 1 (ahead of Moses with that judge) and 4 (behind Moses) in Ranch Rail Pleasure (of 7), 2 (ahead of Moses) and 5 (behind Moses) in Ranch Riding (of 10), and 1 and 2 in WT Trail (of 13).
Her Ranch Rail placing was 4 of 7 under both judges (not enough frame and too much drifting around), and her Ranch Trail placings were 3 and 4 of 4 as a I went for a flying lead change and missed it (got the other one) and hit about every log possible (nine penalty points on log ticks–yikes!). Our regular trail also had a little issue with the lope over poles. We know what to work on!
H only had only been ridden 25 times, total, prior to this show, but he has handled everything so well that I thought he would be be comfortable coming. Also, the entry fees were so reasonable that I could scratch him without feeling a lot of pain, if necessary. And, of course, Lucy told him he should go.
When we got there Friday night, I ponied him around off Lucy and then, and got to it. He needed to walk around and look and not do anything big or complicated for 15 minutes or so until he got a feel for the situation, but then, he could walk, trot and lope in the warm up pen, with other strange horses, as well as he does at home, (which is actually very well)!
I went ahead and entered him in WT Ranch Rail on Saturday. He doesn’t have a very slow slow trot and he is pretty bouncy yet (so there I was trying to look like I was just chilling up there and not rattling my bones), but he does have a really nice long ranch trot and he motored around and did just what I asked. Holy cow. That was ride 27 of his entire life. He even placed 4th under both judges out of 6.
He was not the biggest fan of the stall confinement and thought pretty hard about trying hop out over the door, so I did have to shut the top door to be on the safe side. But he did not pace or complain or carry on. He ate well and he drank well, too.
The next day, I entered him in WT trail. He had a bit of an issue with the gate (i do NOT recognize that gate! perhaps we should just go around!) I gave some consideration to his going around request, but decided we ought to give it a bigger try and we got it open, got through and then were struggling a bit to get it closed. Since he was basically quiet, and just a little stuck, I decided to leave that for another day and let go of the rope, which DQ’d us right there, first obstacle. But no worries! It was his 28th ride!
He then went on to walk over the bridge, and trot the poles perfectly! He side passed between two poles reasonably well, did a 180, side passed the other way better, extended the trot, collected and wove some cones, stopped at a mailbox, let me open it, get a letter and shut it without a care in the world, backed out of the chute and trotted out of the arena.
I am feeling about like the luckiest person in the world right now to have such good people with which to share tack rooms and these two talented horses. H is technically a prospect, for sale, but we will wait a good while on that, I hope! Judith owns half of him.
Just FYI, Lucy was bred by Connie Hunter with Sunset Stock Horses and H was bred by Heather McLevin at Thunderstruck Ranch. A good number of Thunderstruck lineage horses were tearing it up at the World Appaloosa Show in cow horse and ranch classes this past week, and I had one of Connie’s for Whispering Spirit Ranch in 2008 that was quite the competitor in Jr. reining, Jr. trail and Jr. western riding (go figure that combo), back in the dark ages before the ranch classes took hold.
Saturday, H and Lucy are probably going to the Manzano mountains for an easy Back Country Horseman project. Lucy gets to pack (because the pack saddle rigging is all set up for her) lots of loppers so we can clear scrub oak on Box trail. More fun times!!!