Pony Power

Pint sized and super sized – trail, tourist, and time tested – horses, mules, and ponies filled the sale offering at Billings Livestock’s “Spring Special Catalog Sale” March 26-27. Held each and every March, the “Trail, Outfitting, Guide, and Guest” horse and mule feature offered 756 head over the two days, including 11 teams and 70 mules. A two-day total of 460 buyers registered with 236 actually purchasing livestock, and 109 buying two or more head.

With all the magic of a “My Little Pony”, Hip 10 “Tonto” took top sale honors for the weekend with a $7,500 price tag. Offered by Clancy McNabb, Cody, Wy, the 11 year-old palomino pony gelding was a true beginner’s package – cute, gentle, happy, and would also drive single. The “point-and-go” pony went home with Teresa Hamit, Clearmont, WY.

Kelly Horses, Midway, UT offered a nice set of trail and mountain horses including Hip 143 “Pete” an 03 Grade Buckskin gelding. A family horse that knew his way around the sagebrush, the flashy fellow brought $7,000 and sold to Ernie Clifton, Sidney, MT.

An excellent prospect for ranch, roping, or working cowhorse, Hip 37 “Annabelles Pepto Taz” a 2007 AQHA sorrel gelding x Pepto Taz and out of a Little Peppy granddaughter was extra broke and gentle. Offered by Lynn “Spook” Pearman, North Platte, NE, the attractive gelding was purchased by Teresa Sperry, Wiggins, CO for $4,500.

Colby and Cody Gines, Powell, WY brought a first-class set of mules to Billings including Hips 235 and 235X “Bell and Bess” a seven-year-old gray molly mule team. Broke to pack or drive, the team had been used in the Gines’ outfitting business for the past two years and had seen more back country than most folks ever will. Jerren Carles, Big Fork, MT purchased the unique pair of real using mules for $4,000.

Ten years old, red roan, and a true family or guest trail horse, Hip 16 “Rigby” would travel in daylight or dark, front or back of the string, would also pack, cross rivers, deadfall, and bridges, and was a sure-shot mountain horse. Consigned by Scott and Sandy Sallee, Emigrant, MT, the utilitarian-kind-of guy brought $3,600 and sold to Robin Schindele, Emmett, ID.

Super solid, from the minute the gate cracked Saturday until the last horse on Sunday, sale averages include the top five at $5,900, top 10 averaged $5,020, top 20 at $4,260, top 50 averaged $4,418, and the top 100 came in at $2,609.

Loose horses rocked as the high selling loose of the day fetched $2,200, followed by $1,500, $1,350 – pushing the top five average to $1,520, top 10 at $1,365, top 20 brought $1,181, top 50 at $852, and the top 100 brought $669.

Billings Livestock’s next sale event is set for April 23-24and will feature the 13th annual “Rope Horse Special” catalog sale and regular monthly horse sale.

It’s About the Journey, Mom

I MUST let you know, if you haven’t already heard, and if you happen to be wondering why Jenn of My Stable Life hasn’t posted for the past couple of days, it is because she was busy birthing her babies!

Yes, two wonderful, sweet, adorable, gorgeous babies, I might add.

Congratulations Clay and Jenn! Eight weeks early, but I’m happy to report babies and Mom are doing fine.

We can’t wait to see the next post on My Stable Life, but in the meantime, I think we might have to give her a couple of days off.

A few weeks ago, we were in Arizona, enjoying the warm weather, and spring riding in the desert.

Each morning, Wee donned her riding boots and helmet and walked next door to a beautiful Arabian ranch for her riding lesson.

Note to my Saskatchewan friends: I cannot account for the t-shirt this child is wearing. This photo just reminded me of it, and I’m searching through dirty laundry for it as I type. I think the kid hid it.

During this set of lessons, Wee rode English, and made the leap from trot to lope on her good mentor, Colleen.

I think I’ve already related how I love Colleen. All horses have an inner beauty, but some are particularly kind to children, aren’t they.

In between lessons, I chatted with Wee’s instructor, Alicia, and we agreed it would be great to time our next visit to Arizona prior to a schooling show, so Wee could finally (in my mind), show Colleen.

Great idea!

I related the plan to Wee. Clearly, she was not nearly as excited as I. The conversation went something like this:

“Wee, wouldn’t you like to show Colleen sometime?”

“Um, yeah, sure, I guess.”

“Wee, I just don’t want you to get bored with just lessoning. Wouldn’t you like to move on? Wouldn’t you like to have A GOAL?”

“Well, I guess. But, Mum, I just really like my lessons.”

It hadn’t occurred to me that riding every morning with Alicia is all Wee really wants right now. Later, when Alicia related to me that with each visit Wee was coming out of her shell, chatting more, telling jokes, and even lightly teasing Alicia and playing small practical jokes, I realized Wee was moving on, in her own way. While I wasn’t paying attention, Wee was developing her relationship with both Colleen and Alicia. Apparently, it wasn’t all diagonals and round and round.

That, combined with Alicia’s regular praises of a job well done, as Wee’s riding improved, made her happy as a clam.

I done believe I got a little insight from a little kid that day.

Naturally, none of this would have transpired, were it not for Alicia, a wonderful, talented coach, who has had a beautiful influence on Wee. And, we can find her right next door. As opposed to 50 miles away. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.

On her final two days, after each lesson, Alicia allowed Wee to take Colleen on a short trail ride along a cleared path through the property.

By the way, if you’re wondering, Colleen is a gaited horse breed, mixed with Arabian. She’s wonderful. I love her. Did I say that already?

I followed along to take photos, while Wee pointed out the unique flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert, an environment we have both become enchanted with.

The brush Colleen and Wee appear to be bursting out of is called Cat’s Claw, I believe. It’s a serious plant. Ask my jeans, they’ve been cat-claw distressed.

I love how little kids dismount. Little legs and dangling feet.

“We’re back, Alicia.”

Till next time, Colleen, so long. . .

Thanks for checking into Screen Doors & Saddles today, and have a wonderful weekend!

Arizona Riding

I’ve been fortunate enough to head to Arizona a couple of times this winter. The area we’ve settled on as a winter getaway and home is roughly east of Cave Creek. It is a horse lover’s utopia. Regardless of sport, discipline or breed – mild winters, incredible views and national park enveloping on three sides is undeniably perfect for all manner of horse folk.

Unless you are unlucky enough to be genetically disposed with a phobia of snakes, lizards, scorpions, spiders and wild little pigs called javelinas, this is a paradise found, for Canadians fleeing the snow and cold.

When we get together, there is plenty of joking about the weather and the folks back home, which I won’t repeat, out of respect for the friends and family I still want to be friends and family with, when I return home. But, the truth is we all consider ourselves really blessed to be here.

Down here, Wee gets to rise in the morning and head over to Rio Estancia, an Arabian ranch, where she takes daily lessons on a variety of older and wiser Arabians. It’s a beautiful facility. Quiet, calm and completely at home in the environment.

This trip she was re-acquainted with her old friend, Colleen, a pretty Arabian schooling horse. Part-bred Arabian, full-time mentor.

Colleen has the patience of a saint, and possesses a set of the kindest eyes I think I’ve ever seen. Yep, this is the sort of horse I can trust with my child.

Though we have been here a scant seven days and have to head home to winter in less than a few more, I have to appreciate the “firsts” this trip has afforded us.

Like riding in the desert. I’ve ridden in the desert down south, closer to the Mexico border often, but this was my first opportunity to head out right from our home to the park paths, thanks to two friends who were down with horses and staying with us. When they graciously offered up their mounts to us one afternoon, we jumped on and headed out. The National Parks northeast of Phoenix are prime riding areas and I love hanging out in these areas.

Of course, I don’t have a fear of spiders and snakes, which helps.

There are well designated paths, or washes to head through. It sure beats loping in circles as far as conditioning goes.

Is this the face of a man who is smiling at the thought of his compadres at home working in -30°C weather?

Nah, that thought never even crossed his mind.

Honest.

Bright Futures

GUEST POST BY MELISSA SWORD • PHOTOS COURTESY BERNIE HUDYMA & ONSITE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY

The crowd loves them. They ride fast horses, know no fear and they ride to win. Often referred to as “the darlings of the rodeo”, these Peewee and Junior riders clock competitive times that frequently would place them at the pay window alongside “the big girls”.

Junior barrel racer, Mariah Mannering of Quesnel, B.C. Photo by Bernie Hudyma

Twelve-year-old Mariah Mannering has won a Trophy saddle and several silver buckles during her short barrel racing career.

Mariah expresses her feelings about this exciting sport: “One thing I love about barrel racing is the adrenalin rush.  Before I enter the gates I always get a nervous, yet exciting feeling.  I really like how you can connect with your horse and the strong bond that it builds between you, because I think that you need a strong bond with your horse to go far, it’s all about teamwork and having fun.  My most memorable run would have to be at the 2009 BCRA Finals in Quesnel.  I think that this was my most memorable run because it was my last time competing as a peewee and I got to do it in my hometown close to my friends and family.  It was also one of my favourites because I won riding Shrimp and I knew it was going to be one of my last times to ride her.  I loved that feeling when I was running home on Shrimp and I could hear the crowd going crazy.”

While it takes the support of friends and family to haul these young competitors down the road, it also takes commitment and dedication from these blossoming riders to keep their horses conditioned and ready to compete.

Being smaller and lighter is an advantage in this sport where speed and agility count and occasionally, first and second place is separated by a mere one-thousandth of a second.

Peewee barrel racer, Ricki-Lynne Laviolette of Williams Lake, B.C. Photo by Onsite Digital Photography

Amazingly, 2010 was Ricki’s first year of barrel racing. Ricki has done well for a first timer; she was the 2010 Canadian Barrel Racing Finals Peewee Average Winner along with winning all three days of the BC Barrel Racing Association Finals Peewee Division and placing fourth in the B.C. Rodeo Association year end standings for Peewee Barrels.

When asked what she liked about barrel racing, Ricki said, “I have many favourites but the scariest was in Pritchard.  The first barrel we slipped, the ground didn’t hold us.  My best run was my very first run with my brand new horse.  My favourite run was probably in Ashcroft – I got second with a 16.1.  What I like about barrel racing is how you and your horse work as a team and my horse gives me 100%, and the adrenalin and speed.  I love to go fast.”

Peewee barrel racer, Sofeya Smith of Cache Creek, B.C. Photo by Bernie Hudyma

2010 was also a good year for Peewee Barrel Racer Sofeya Smith.  Sofeya was the B.C. Rodeo Association Peewee Barrels Season Leader, earning her first trophy saddle.

Sofeya relates her feelings about barrel racing: “I love riding because it gives me a chance to break out of the real world and go to the rodeo life. I find it relaxing to push my horse around the barrels and wait for the best part, to see my family’s smiling faces, and all of the pride that they have in me. I don’t think of barrel racing as a competitive sport. When I am riding my horse, everything goes away.

“My most memorable ride would have to be this whole year of 2010. I won my very first saddle. Every ride that I made last year was very memorable, and I was one more step closer to my summer goal. I would not have been able to succeed in barrel racing without my papa, Bill Yon. He and everyone around me is what makes all of my runs memorable to this day.”

Junior barrel racer, Brooke Wills of Quesnel, B.C. Photo by Bernie Hudyma

Brooke Wills ended the 2010 season with perfect timing at the BC Rodeo Association Championship Finals held at Alex Fraser Park in Quesnel, scoring 200 points out of a possible 200 points on her 22-year-old Quarter Horse, Cactus, and earning her the Championship Buckle. Cactus is one of those rare and special horses that come along once in a lifetime. At the end of the fourth Championship round, when the Announcer related that this was Cactus’ last Rodeo as Brooke was retiring him, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd.

2011 will be Brooke’s final year competing as a Junior Barrel Racer.

Brooke shares her feelings about this fast paced sport: “What I love about barrel racing is that I get to be with my horses and ride them every day.  Also, how it’s a very fast speed event.

“My most memorable run would have to be the 2010 BCRA finals on Cactus. It was his last rodeo because I am retiring him and he won all four performances and the average. Another one would be catching my first pro rodeo cheque on him and he was 22 years old.”

Put your sunglasses on – the future is bright for these young B.C. Barrel Racers and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see their names lit up on the leader board at the CFR someday.

~ Melissa Sword

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Alright everybody, it’s time to get our Christmas on! There’s only 16 more days to go.

I love Christmas: the smell of a fresh tree in the house, colored lights everywhere and even the hustle and bustle of the month of December. It’s a time to reflect upon those aspects of life that are truly important. We can share gifts with the ones we love and maybe even often a little Christmas cheer to those who are less fortunate.

Christmas, to me, means family and a chance to catch our breaths from the busy year we are about to leave behind. This month, Clay and I are looking forward to returning to Alberta for a few days and getting the opportunity to visit with relatives and friends.

Today I’d like to share with you one of my favorite Christmases of all time. And then, if you feel so inclined, I’d love it if you share your favorite Christmas with me. Just drop me a quick line or two in the comments section below. In a week, one lucky reader will win a My Stable Life gift basket as my special Christmas present to you for sharing your memories.

So here goes:

Me on the left, D'Allegro and my best friend Jaime on the right.

Wow, does the above picture ever take me back! As you can see, neon colors and curled bangs were in big fashion in those days…  But you have to give me a little slack – this shot was taken on a Christmas eve when I was 13-years-old. My family had gotten together at my best friend, Jaime’s house to exchange gifts as per our usual tradition.

Unbeknownst to me, Jaime was about to throw me for a complete loop. After some hot chocolate and gift unwrapping, Jaime said, “Hey Jenn, you gotta come outside and take a look at these Northern lights out here!”

So I put on my neon jacket and followed her and her parents out the door. My family then followed me out the door. And everyone started saying, “Wow! Look at those Northern lights.”

To which I responded, “What are you guys talking about?? There are absolutely no Northern lights out here tonight…?”

And that’s when I heard the clip-clop of hooves coming down a wooden sidewalk. Around the corner came Jaime with a big, gentle-natured bay gelding sporting a blue halter and big red ribbon on his head. Jaime was crying and that’s when it finally hit me, “Oh my gosh! She’s totally giving me D’Allegro as a Christmas present!!”

As an accomplished rider, Jaime had graduated to a new mount, one that could take her farther in her pursuit of her three-day eventing passion. D’Allegro had previously brought Jaime as far as they could go together and now it was time for him to help a new rider along. Me.

I had grown up as a city kid, relishing any chance I got to jump on anything: From my grandfather’s Belgian team, to the ponies he kept around for us, to any opportunity Jaime would give me to cool out her horses at her lessons. Then came the Christmas eve, forever burned in my memory as the night I got my very first horse. From that day on, Jaime took me under her wing and showed me the ropes of horse ownership. We rode the ditches around her house. She taught me about things like deworming and feeding. And we laughed as only teenage girls do, every step of the way.

That Christmas eve was truly a turning point in my life. It was a momentous occasion that even my husband recognizes – on our wedding day, Clay turned to Jaime and thanked her for that December 24th night. She remains my best friend to this day.

Jaime (left) and I at Reinin' In The Sun, Armstrong, BC.

*****

Alright, before I get too emotional, I’d like to hear about your favorite Christmas!!

Ghost Rider

I was browsing through the shortlist of design entries at the Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010 (what can I say, activities like this rock my lunch hour), and I came across this incredibly nifty bike-horse design by Korean artist Eungi Kim.

What with Christmas around the corner. Did I just write that? Seriously, ignore that statement. What with Christmas at least another few months away, I’m really hoping this makes it to the marketplace. What a terrific way to transform a city-bound, but horse crazy kid’s need for speed into a very cool reality!

Everybody Loves Blue

This is Blue, our Paint gelding. Isn’t he dreamy? Everybody loves Blue. He’s just that kind of horse.

Blue’s registered name is A Smokin Diamond. He was bred to be a cutting horse, by Like A Diamond, and out of a Genuine Peppy mare which I understand was a serious competitor in her aged event years.

Blue, however, somehow missed the essential cow-sense gene, and though impeccably well bred, did not take to the discipline. Truthfully, I can’t even imagine him as a cutting horse. Someone please show me that film.

For Blue possesses a character which is the furthest from a cutting horse I have ever observed. He likes parades, and kids, and shooting his tail out as if it’s the coolest, and prancing. Sometimes right through his western pleasure class. He’s the kind of horse who nickers when he sees his reflection in a window.

He’s downright comical.

I dare you to not love this guy.

Occasionally, his antics remind me of Jesse Burn’s Hollywood actor brother, Neal, in A River Runs Through It.

Except he doesn’t drink alcohol. Or date females with names like Old Rawhide. He does flip his mane in the mirror and check his profile.

Who, me?

According to the National Cutting Horse Association Horse Earnings tabulator, he won $366.36 in three years of aged event competition. It was mutually decided he wasn’t going to make a cutter. Working cow horse was suggested, and attempted. It didn’t take. His then Cutter-owner was stuck with a pretty and prancing blue-eyed Paint gelding, owning a gentle and sweet disposition, and possessed with a mind which seemed to be convinced the sport of cutting was about as far-fetched an idea of competitive fun as catching slippery piglets in a mudpen.

Lucky for this family, I rode out of the same barn as Cutter-owner did. Eventually the conversation sidled around to Teenager requiring a new horse for 4H.

It all went down quickly. Cutter-owner pressed Blue’s lead shank into my hands and said, “take him home kid, try him out for a week, try him out for the rest of the summer if you like. I’ll take him back if you don’t want him.”

So I brought him home. On a Sunday afternoon I saddled him up for a ride through the neighbour’s pasture. At some point we found the only ball of tangled old barb wire in the pasture and trotted right into it. While my mind raced forward to the conversation I would soon be engaged in with Cutter-owner whilst at the vet clinic, explaining how I managed to cripple his pretty Paint gelding, I calmly asked Blue to “whoa”. He stopped, let me dismount, and lift each of his legs out of the barb wire, and pull it all away. We came through it without a scratch. Naturally, I figured if he had a good enough mind to not turn that situation into a train wreck, he was a keeper.

The following week, I conducted due diligence and had him vet-checked. He failed. Something about him too straight up, and this and that. It was too late, he’d already passed my test. I loved him. Cutter-owner knew what he was doing when he sent that gelding home with me.

We negotiated. Somewhere between what Cutter-owner wanted and closer to the price I could afford – a deal was struck. Remarkably less than Cutter-owner would have needed to cut his losses to any real degree. But ultimately, he wanted to have a good home for Blue. I have a great respect for horse owners with this mindset. I’m very serious when I say that. It is a great responsibility we own, we horse owners.

This is a picture of Teenager and Blue the first day I brought him home. She’s grown so much since then, I am barely holding back the tears typing this. I mean, not that I’m not loving the teenager years. Really. I am LOOOOVVVING THEM. How much longer does this go on?

I’m tangenting. Let me get back to my story.

Turns out Blue is a tremendous competitor. Teenager rode him in 4H for four full years. In the winters, she rode him out of a jumper barn, and competed in hunter (successfully), and even tried to jump him (less successfully).

In 4-H and open breed shows and fairs, she rode him in English pleasure, equitation and hunter classes.

In western pleasure and equitation.

In trail.

She rode him in every gymkhana class ever invented. He is unorthodox, but he loves barrel racing and virtually anything which requires racing to a finish line. I didn’t once capture a photo. I think I was holding my breath. Or jumping up and down, yelling, “let him go, Teenager, let him go!”

They competed together in the toilet-paper race.

Lougheed, Alberta, has a great horse show day during their Fair, with so many fun and old-school classes we’d never even heard of. Here, Blue and Teenager made their debut in the sleepy cowboy competition, where contestants begin the race “sleeping” on saddle pads draped over their saddles on the ground, then must “wake up”,  saddle up as quickly as possible, and race their mounts to the other end of the arena.

The pair competed with another re-purposed cutter and equally competitive kid in the western pairs class.

Success!

It wasn’t all fun and games for Blue. He had to learn to put up with a lot.

Like slinkies.

And braids.

Endless photo ops.

And 565, give or take a few, lessons.

We even took him back to the cutting flag once. Just in case one of the three trainers he had gone through missed something. You never know.

Does that stance seem to say, “after all I’ve done, you bring me back here?” , or is it just me?

Alright, not every day was a pretty day. This might have been one of those. Lessons were learned, tempers sometimes ran amuck. But Blue was a wonderful companion and influence for Teenager through her pre- and teen years.

So many memories of Blue and Teenager our family will treasure forever. . . And so, on this day, internet world, in our little horse family, it’s the end of an era. That of Blue and Teenager competing together.

And, the beginning of another!

After six years of trailing her big sister to every 4H show, lesson, class and event, it’s finally Wee’s turn. She’s nine, and in the 4H world that means . . . she’s legal to ride!

Off you go, kids. (This is really tearing me up. In a warm way, of course.)

While the care of Blue will now be placed primarily in Wee’s hands, and vice versa, I have a feeling Teenager won’t forget about him.

I’m guessing he’ll still be her go-to guy for times like this.

And days when she needs this.

Yep, he’s a keeper. But then I think I knew that back at the barb wire ball.

AQHA Youth World Cup Canadian Finishes

Danielle Olafson and Almosta Boom of Team Canada won the Gold medal in the Horsemanship showcase, a featured event on Saturday evening, July 10th, during the "Battle in the Saddle" show. The "Battle in the Saddle" show was held in conjunction with the 2010 AQHA Youth World Cup in Oklahoma City, OK.

Team Canada moved up one placing from 7th place overall to 6th place overall, as a result of AQHA’s recalculation of points earned during the prestigious 2010 AQHA Youth World Cup competition, held July 3-11, in Oklahoma City, OK.

Sixteen countries sent teams – represented were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the host country, United States.

The revised calculations for the Youth World Cup individual classes and overall team standings are available on-line at AQHA.

Biographies of the 10 Team Canada youth members, coach and manager are available on-line at Canadian Quarter Horse Association.

Team Canada highlights:

  • Reining: Day 1 – 8th place & Day 2 – 5th place: Paige Carter-Fleetwood aboard
    Walla Please Shine
  • Showmanship: Day 2 – 5th place: Danielle Olafson with Almosta Boom
  • Trail: Day 1 – Bronze medal: Paige Carter-Fleetwood aboard Sassy, &
    Day 2 – 9th place: Paige Carter-Fleetwood aboard PR Zip Me Deck
  • Western Horsemanship: Day 1 – Silver medal: Rianna Storey aboad Almosta Boom & 6th place: Morgan Shipka aboard Sassy; Day 2 – 6th place; Morgan Shipka aboard PR Zip Me Deck & 9th place: Danielle Olafson aboard Captain Star Cruiser
  • Hunter Under Saddle: Day 1 – 7th place & Day 2 – Bronze medal: Danielle Olafson aboard Whispering Captive
  • Hunt Seat Equitation: Day 2 – 5th place: Danielle Olafson aboard Almosta Boom & 6th place: Rianna Storey aboard Whispering Captive & 8th place: Morgan Shipka aboard PR Zip Me Deck

Congratulations Team Canada – we are so proud of you!  You are great ambassadors for your country.

~ Submitted by the Canadian Quarter Horse Association

The Pony Project

You might recall my post about Teenager’s “pony project” sometime ago. When we purchased a project pony for Teenager a couple of winters ago, I hadn’t the faintest inkling I would fall in love with Pokey as much as I have.

She was brought home on a cold winter’s day, (along with another pony for younger daughter), as a project for Teenager to turn into a jumping pony.

This is what she looked like then.

Healthy as could be and with a pony attitude we couldn’t help but adore. That, and her one blue eye and second brown eye captured our interest. There were no bloodline considerations, nor athletic ability professed. We just bought her “as is” and waited for spring to see what we’d gotten ourselves into. Underneath all that shag, and much to our delight, Pokey shedded out into a pretty roan coat.

But best of all she took to the jumping ring. Took to it like a maniac.

Teenager has showed Pokey a few times over the past two years, but between academics, volleyball, 4-H, and other commitments, it’s come to this spring before she could really buckle down and take time to ride and jump with Pokey. And this past weekend, she signed up and showed her seriously for the first time.

The show was hosted by Willow Grove Stables, and the venue was the utterly picturesque Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, just south of Spruce Meadows, Calgary.

It’s really tough to attend a show in a setting like this. Gorgeous summer day, foothills backdrop, amazing facilities. I mean really, who thinks this stuff up?

Here’s a talented kid also showing for the first time in sometime –  on a warmblood named Achilles. I adore English barn names.

Coming from a western riding background, the entire English set is a tad foreign to me.

For instance, these are not socks Teenager’s coach is wearing, they are “zocks” my friends. Pay attention.

With Teenager’s fabulously talented coach at hand, I had little to do other than watch the classes and take in the incredible view. Of course, I shot a lot of photos.

A few of Pokey and Teenager.

Okay, actually, 267.

I’ll refrain from posting them all. But dang, they’ve come along, those two.

Just like any horse show, there is a myriad of horses – all shapes and colors.

And the great thing about show jumping is it’s strictly about athletic ability. Chopped mane or not, this guy took the championship – thereby giving hope to all of us who have encountered equally impressive bad hair days.

This is one my favorite shots of the day. Teenager’s coach Kim riding a magnificent warmblood appropriately named Lord Cord. He’s Pokey – with an exponent of x24. At the age of five, he is considered a youngster, and I believe this was his first show. He floated across the arena. Positively floated. I can’t wait to see him when he’s all grown up.

Did I just type that? Grown up?

Typical of any horse show there was a variety of dogs, mostly small.

Of course, Wee gravitated to them, and spent the morning contriving a deal with Mom surrounding good grades and best behavior in order to secure one for herself.

By noon, Teenager had finished (yep, that’s a reserve championship ribbon entwined in her fingers – yeah, kid!), and we headed off to an entirely different set.

The JDP Barrel Racing Classic! Where I snapped another hundred or so photos! So, be sure to check back tomorrow for the highlights of this unique barrel racing event.