Well, we had an exhausting day of showing, riding, tack and attire changes, and fun.
A bit disappointed in the showmanship, which is what the girls really worked for.
When the girls first started showing and didn’t know all the rules and really just how complicated showmanship really is, they did their best and Taylor won her first buckle doing showmanship and Morgan won reserve twice. But once they got more serious and progressed through district and state competitions and saw that there was WAY more to it, they began asking and looking and studying to figure it all out. They worked so hard.
Then we finally found an amazing coach and mentor- one who has been super successful in her equine show life. She is a true horsewoman in every sense of the word, and latched right onto my girls’ enthusiasm and drive for learning and showing. She really put a shine on the girls, and they were so very excited and ready to give it their all at the county show. At this level there are not really too many who know what showmanship really is, which is just how we had always been.
So when the girls placed below others who actually had disqualifications, not to mention the many, many mistakes, penalties, and just lack of showmanship altogether, it was quite disappointing. We are very familiar with the judge, and realize that she has never really judged showmanship, but is just trying to boost the beginners confidence.
The girls coach was there bright and early to help them, go through patterns ,and coach them. They really loved it. They said they felt like “pageant girls”, LOL, which is surprising they would even joke in this manner as that is definitely not their cup of tea.
Their coach was shocked at the placings, and was rather un-nerved at the unprofessionalism of the judge and the placings.
I was so glad she was there for a couple of reasons. I think her confidence in knowing the girls performances were top notch despite the placings helped take the sting off.
But I also loved her reaction to the girls when they congratulated the winners and high fived them. You see, the girls had taken a Jr and Sr brand new-to-horses students and taught them how to show. They had spent quite a bit of time with them with everything from tack, which we loaned some of ours to them, to attire, proper handling, positioning, and just walking them through it all, helping them with patterns, posture, attitude, etc.
The Jr. had never handled a horse at all and his little horse was just an 8 month colt who had never been handled. We started with helping them lead, etc. then met with them to help them on a couple of occasions.
The girls were excited that they had helped them succeed. And their coach said that they were “classy” and she was impressed by their confidence. She stayed for the riding events and helped coach them through the day.
The riding events went well, and Taylor ended up with Overall High Point Junior, and Overall High Point Junior Performance buckles. Her mare Honey also won third in a class of nine in halter which is amazing and made Taylor super happy.
Morgan was also blessed favored by her 6 month old colt winning her a buckle in his very first show!
He was in a “colts under 2” class of three, and won first which advanced him to overall halter geldings (even though he is not a gelding yet because he is too young, this is the class of overall “boys” so he competed with the winners of all of the male classes- registered and unregistered gelding of all ages).
When he went to overall halter geldings (all of the winners and reserve winners from all of the male horse classes together), he won Reserve overall! (Which awarded Morgan a buckle!)
Morgan also won a buckle for Overall Senior Reserve Champion Performance High Point.
While the disappointment of showmanship was pretty heavy on their hearts (Morgan had her heart set on finally getting to go to Overall Showman competition, and Taylor winning Showmanship for her last year as a Junior,) they really did a great job at the show and at the end of the day they brought their babies home where they belong and took care of them as they do every night.
We have been on the lookout for a Western Pleasure horse for Taylor to move on with to be competitive at state. Keep us in your prayers that that perfect match will come along, and that Morgan will continue to progress with Sparky the way she has planned. Next big show will be District in June and Morgan will be showing Sparky in one year old futurity.
As usual my camera has been highjacked, or lost or misplaced at the wrong time of the year, so I’ll have to wait for friend’s pictures to post to get show pics up.