Saturday, September 13, 2008

Two weeks ago we were supposed to take *Jack and *Leo to the Champlain Valley Expo for the last weekend of August. On the Friday night before our old faithful truck died. Deader than a doornail type of died. We were vastly disappointed, as I'm sure you can imagine.

We ended up buying a new truck, a GMC Sierra 1500 and today it got it's inaugural pull. Early this morning we loaded up *Jondra DMC Suncatcher, a 5 year old gelding from John and Andrea Schaap's farm in the far north of Ontario, and *GMC Yukon Jack, our 3 year old. It was their first trip to a show.

Arriving about 20 minutes before the show was to start. The Mad River Riding and Driving Club has had a horse show for many years, and they are known for putting on a fun, relaxed, casual show perfect for "first timers". *Jack and *Sun got to look around, gazing at the other horses, trailers, people, and dogs.

The first two classes were for Lead-line and then it was Fitting and Showmanship which is what I had signed *Jack up to participate in. It was actually my second time, but the last time had been five years ago with *GMC Sierra Verde (Ra). Guin brought *Sun along to stand outside the ring and keep *Jack company. In we went and began walking around the outside. This F&S was a bit different than the ones I'm used to watching. Typically one horse goes in and is judged for Fitting (cleanless of horse, presenter, and tack), then on to the next judge for the Showmanship portion. This time we all went into the ring and walked around as if it were a typical riding class. He then had us line up, one behind the other. He came up to us one at a time and checked for Fitting, spoke with us, etc.; then asked us to trot to the gate, slow to a walk, and turn right. *Jack was superb!!!! He was polite to the judge, lifted his hoof when asked, and trotted immediately. He then came to a walk when I asked. When we were first in the ring, he was quite the Looky-Loo, but he listened well to me the whole time. And....

We got a second place!!!!!!!!!!

He really deserved it and made quite an impression on the crowd.

After *Jack's class we went back to the trailer to get *Sun ready for his first two classes. As Guin is 18 now, she is classified an adult in the classes. She chose to take him in Walk-Trot as they didn't have any "green horse" classes. The first class was W/T equitation. There were nine in the class and *Sun was very, very distracted. Guin rode him quite well, keeping him listening despite his lightbulb not being on full brightness . He was not the only distracted horse, but with 9 in the class she did not get a ribbon; however, the judge did speak to her and said that he was impressed with how well she handled him and felt she was a good rider, but that he couldn't judge her fairly when *Sun wasn't moving forward consistently.

The second class immediately followed the first, so everyone stayed in the ring. I think this was a good thing for *Sun has he then settled nicely and really tuned into Guin. This time, in the W/T Pleasure *Sun gained a second place!! Guin was well pleased with that.

We then had quite a hold before getting ready for the costume class. Guin had never done a costume class and decided to give it a try. We didn't know how many folks take this class so seriously! There was a cute Icelandic dressed up as a Rhinocerus with a "zebra" and a "cheeta" on his back (two little humans dressed up); a "rainy day pony" complete with their own rain coat and a HUGE umbrella being carried over its back; a Pumpkin patch horse, a Minnie-mouse horse, and two fab costumes. One was a spaceship horse complete with a Princess Leia riding her. The spaceship was made from cardboard and had "May the Horse be with you" on it. Then two adults came in with their two icelandic done up as tow trucks complete with a gas cannister, jumper cables and twirling lights on the helmets! Really funny!

Guin did take second place adult in this class as *Sun was dressed as a Unicorn and she has a fairy with flapping wings! The funniest part was the judge commented positively about *Sun tolerating the flapping wings and yet when the ringmaster went to hand Guin the ribbon, *Sun shied and danced away!! It was funny.

After that, it was time to clean-up and go home. The boys boarded the trailer easily and we got underway. They were glad to be home again, and so were we!