By Patty Wilber
Heidi, for the first time, decided to enter Penny in every horse class at the Santa Fe County 4H show! This meant her first time at Showmanship at Halter and her first time going English!
In Showmanship at Halter, the handler works a pattern with the horse. Penny last did this class about 9 years ago with Sydney.
It went pretty well! The first and second place winners in each division (Novice, Junior, Senior 4H’ers) compete for the championship. Then the winner of the championship gets to enter the round robin and show a pig, sheep, cow and a horse (I think I got that right) and the winner of THAT is a big deal. Heidi ended up third in the championship round which was pretty solid, I thought!
Next came Hunter Under Saddle, English Equitation and Discipline Rail. Penny likes English. Heidi, not so much.
In 4H, one is not permitted to coach from the sidelines, much, but I did sneak in some encouragement for Heidi to move faster and cover more ground in Hunter Under Saddle. Heidi can tear off after a cow and gallop around bareback, but the English saddle still feels a little precarious, so it was a sort of sedate English go compared to her cow horse runs!
English Equitation is a pattern class and Discipline Rail is basically Simon Says, so it is fun to see what tasks the judge asks for. There was one thing that I thought was particularly good, and now, three days later, I cannot remember what it was, which is annoying because I thought I could use it next time I judged that class…
After English, came Western Pleasure and Western Horsemanship. Western Pleasure should be pretty slow. But, hey with the comfortable western tack, Heidi had some outstanding English style trotting in warm up. This time I had to tell her to slow down! She had a very nice go in her class, though!
When I looked at the western horsemanship pattern, I thought, huh, that looks awfully familiar…because it was the pattern I had set up for a show I judged a few weeks ago for a completely different group of 4H kids. I was flattered! Heidi likes pattern classes and it showed! Good job!
Between classes, the kids, of course, hangout. It was a really great group of kids that all supported and cheered for each other. Penny did not get the niceness memo, however. She is always bit antisocial. Emily’s horse, DID get the memo but Penny was gnashing her teeth and pinning her ears. Then they both decided to ignore each other!
Heidi has been showing ranch classes the last two years and the last three official classes were Ranch Riding, Ranch Reining and Trail. In Ranch Riding, she had the best pattern of the whole show! (The judge called me aside to compliment her go. I was proud!)
In Ranch Reining, the super supportive crowd cheered her on!
Trail also went really well!
Then, while the office was tallying up the final placings, the ring stewards organized some fun classes. The first was Bareback on a Ribbon (because they all had ribbons but no one had dollars). All the horses were sweaty and all the kids stuck on to their horses quite well, so no ribbons fell to the ground. So, they added Egg on a Spoon to the bareback on a ribbon!
Finally, the results were tabulated and everyone gathered on the bleachers.
That was a fun way to spend the day!