By Patty Wilber
Lucy (Qwhizenart, bred by Connie Hunter) has been a fabulous horse to own and train, and Heidi has been a really good student, so I made a deal with Heidi. She could borrow Lucy (she is officially co-owner so she can show) and I would buy just ONE more young horse to start and show (Gette–2024 we will hit the show trail!)
Heidi had a goal of going to the Appaloosa Youth World and we thought about taking Penny last year, but I suggested we wait and take Lucy in 2023 so that she could be more competitive in Boxing, Ranch Reining and Ranch Conformation in addition to Ranch Trail, Ranch Riding and Ranch Rail that Penny is good at.
I do miss having Lucy around, but I knew I would not have my full-on energy for much of 2023 due to the breast cancer treatment, and I just knew Heidi and Lucy would be a good pair. They are, and even though I am not showing her, it is a huge thrill coaching and seeing their success!
So. On to the show!
Oklahoma City was over 100 F for two days and in the 90s the rest of the time. It is also much more humid than New Mexico. We had two fans for Lucy so her whole stall had good air flow. The barn also had big fans, so that made it quite bearable.
Lucy did get really hot during some warm ups and practice sessions so we made sure to keep her hydrated, and rinse her off after work outs and classes. Derek had a product called Show FresH20 that eliminates chlorine from water and encourages animals raised on well water to drink (de)chlorinated city water. Lucy drank well.
Lucy has historically hated being bathed. She thinks hoses might come alive and strangle her, drains might suck horses down into the under world, and rubber mats are just bad, as they associate with the hoses and drains.
We had to back her into the wash stall for the first few times, but eventually, she seemed to like the feel of the cooling water, and would walk right in.
Their first class was Youth Boxing. Heidi had a solid dry work pattern and drew a cow that came out and challenged her. She was determined to keep that cow from getting by her. She did a great job with her angles and while she was not working on the back fence, but out a bit, she and Lucy kept blocking the cow’s escape and got it to give up! That earned her the top cow marks in the class and earned her a reserve world championship! Our work in her pasture with the sour and tricky red steer and coaching from Darren Miller definitely paid off.
Ranch Trail was next and they ended up third with a very nice go! People were starting to notice the two of them! Then came Ranch Reining where Heidi executed all the elements except she came out of a roll back on the wrong lead. Last year she might not have noticed she was on the wrong lead. This year she had it fixed in a couple of strides! There were some tough horses in that class, but Heidi earned another reserve world championship by riding so cleanly. I got a little choked up after that one! So proud!
Youth Ranch Riding was a seriously tough pattern–harder than the non-pro pattern, I think. It had a lot of transitions, a counter canter, and was pretty long. We need to work on our trot to stop. There was another part where riders went from a stop to a trot, and many horses wanted to lope–which is what Lucy did. Nevertheless, Heidi was the top 13 and Under rider, and 5th over all. She earned a really cool buckle and 500 dollars!
I was really pleased with the toughness of the pattern. Other trainers thought it was perhaps too hard for youth, though no one blew the pattern. At the World Level, a challenge is appropriate. I sure hope they keep up the rigor. If you can’t do it, no problem, get better. That was the great advice I got one time when I was whining about getting beaten, and I have never forgotten it.
In Ranch Rail they ended up 7th over all, but one judge chose them second, even though they had a little extra lead change party on a fast to slow lope transition. Lucy is a darn good lead changer! In Ranch Conformation they also ended up 7th and normally placid Lucy was not interested in standing still. The judges did a good job of ignoring that I thought, but we can definitely improve that for the future!
Overall they were 4th in Youth Ranch and the top 13 and Under, and even among all the the 13 and Under for the whole show, they were 5th, with only showing in the ranch classes. So, we figure in future she could show Penny in some jumping classes, LT in cattle, reining and ranch reining, and Lucy and Gette in cattle and all the youth ranch classes. Oh and maybe some western riding with all four (a class with lots of lead changes). This will only cost a zillion dollars to win an extra buckle, so why not?
And just one more bragging point for Lucy and Heidi. I trained Lucy and had good success with her. She got better every year. I sent her over to Heidi in January? (I forget) and no one but Heidi rides her. Yes, I give them lessons and coach them at shows, and she works with Darren Miller occasionally, but Heidi is doing the work herself. Lucy is still getting better, and so is Heidi. Very cool.
It was a heck of a trip, and in between coaching Heidi, my travel partner, Shelley, and I managed to hit the Cowboy museum (with Heidi) and the zoo, and do a little rock hounding on the way home!
Cancer Treatment Update. I had the second infusion of the targeted antibody plus chemo agent stuff on Thursday. So far, no side effects that I can feel. My platelets are a little down since the last infusion, but still in the normal range. My white blood cell count is rising since radiation is over. I still have to watch that I eat and drink frequently enough, especially since I am riding outside in the heat, but so long as I do that, I can get stuff done! Only 12 more infusions to go.