I woke up early today, and headed down to the Indiana Equestrian Center. It was the first Colorado Stockman's Horse Association Show of the season, (3rd Sunday each month, starting in May). I walked around as trailers pulled in and folks got busy preparing their horses.
The halter shows and the showmanship were what I really wanted to watch. Dawn and her daughter, Jennifer met me at the bleachers and we sat with a small group of people who helped fill us in on some of our questions.
The show was not crowded, and the weather was great--not too hot yet. We were surprised to see all the halter and showmanship horses had leads with chains! Although they did not put them over the nose or through the mouth, they still ran the chains underneath and up against the chin of the horse. Almost every horse we saw was well mannered though, and I only saw 2 individuals really tug on those leads.
For Mezza to compete in halter, she will be in a class of mares 3 and under. Today there were no 3 and under, only 4 and up. The halter class is judged entirely on the horse--their conformation, how well muscled they are, and how well they present to the judge. We watched real close at how the handler moved around as the judge walked around the horse! The horse also needs to square up, something to work on, as Mezza loves to cock a foot when she's relaxed.
Next we watched the showmanship classes. These are judged on both the handler and the horse. There is a short pattern the handler takes the horse through before stopping for the judge and letting them inspect the horse. The horse must walk, trot, back, stop and in this case pivot on the hinds for the judge.
Eves dropping and asking questions gave us some information--some of these kids were taking lessons on showing their horses in halter and for showmanship. No wonder the horses were quite calm and the youngsters did quite well.
For showing Mezza, we talked about trying the Novice category, as this was new to us all.
Then we headed out to go and collect horses. Mezza was going to be introduced to the equestrian center and actually riding in a trailer (instead of just loading) while Jennifer would enter Boo in some of the Western classes and Dawn would bring Luna, Mezza's dam along for an outing.
Things went well!!!
Mezza got a minor 'focus' workout in the round pen while Dawn and Jennifer got the trailer all hooked up. We got to practice loading and unloading Mezza and I got her brushed up while Boo got a bath. Luna got a grooming while the last tack was loaded in the trailer.
Mezza hopped in and took her place at the front (see feet beneath Boo's stomach in photo).
We wondered how Mezza would react to everything at the center--to our amazement she was quite calm, did not pull and walked around with or without the other two horses with no concern! We were happily surprised, to say the least!
Jennifer enjoyed riding Boo in a couple of classes, and took home a first and second place. She thought Boo would have appreciated running barrels over the show classes, but hey, it was a nice day for a ride anyway!
And Mezza, she enjoyed alternately standing and watching all the action, (along with getting quite a bit of attention for folks), taking walks around to see everything, and yes, of course the wonderful grass!
Many thanks to Dawn Dooley for her collaboration with today's events!!