Horse shows always seem to start out the same. The alarm clock goes off at 4:30 or so, and I roll over thinking I'll just get another second or two of sleep. Half an hour later I wake up in a panic. There's too much to do and not enough time. We have to wake the kids, get them dressed in show clothes, search for the hair accessories that didn't get properly put away last time, and load everyone into the truck.
The next two stops, in no particular order, are the gas station, where both the truck and the people get their first fuel, and the ranch where our horses are waiting. If we're lucky, the coffee is fresh. Then load the horses and head to the showgrounds.
Once there, we join the registration line, fill out forms,
and leave an "open" check to cover what we're signing up for now,
and additions we may make later. There's something wierd about handing a
stranger a blank check. But what the heck - I can always open another bank
While this is going on, the kids are busy with last minute grooming,
and the horses seize the opportunity to feast on whatever vegetation they
can find. Here Logan is brushing out Cricket's tail tangles.
After all the rushing around, the waiting begins. Most shows
have dozens of classes, and if you're exceptionally busy, you'll still be
in only a few. Channing is waiting her turn to enter the arena.
These horses are being judged at the trot. The rider in front is my daughter, Logan, age 8 1/2 at the time of this show. In non-jumping classes, the horses generally all go in the arena together, and it's important for riders to learn to space themselves out to avoid collisions.
Jumping classes involve multiple obstacles. It's important to follow a good line so the horse will come at the jump squarely. Riders, also, have to be prepared with correct body position This is Channing, age 10, demonstrating winning form on aptly named Pony.
Mackenzie is proud of her performance in the youngest group of riders. She's riding Candy.