There are localized horse clubs all over this country. Smaller clubs which offer a gamut of horse activities from rail classes to showmanship and halter to gymkhana.
In my neck of the woods I really appreciate these clubs for so many reasons. Take last weekend for instance.
Me to Wee daughter: \”Wee daughter, it\’s a beautiful day out today. What would you like to do?\”
“I\’d like to take my pony to the horse show, mother.\”
\”Okay. . . .”
We quickly bathed and clipped pony, stocked the trailer and away we went.
This kind of spontaneity was only available to us for one reason. The Northern Trail Riding Club. The NTRC is a small, but vibrant horse club which has been operating around the southern Alberta region since 1982. The club\’s motto is to “provide a venue for recreational riders to demonstrate their horsemanship skills, and to promote appreciation of riding and showing horses for riders of all abilities.”
Members range from 100 to 150 and the club offers four to five shows a year. Classes offered range from showmanship to halter to trail to all rail classes, a bit of hunter, and reining as well.
And, on this Saturday, they happened to be hosting a show at the Didsbury Ag Society grounds.
We made it in time for Wee to enter two classes – trail and horsemanship. And, I picked up the lawnmower on the way. How\’s that for multi-tasking!
I\’m always happy to get to an NTRC show, because I almost always run into someone I haven\’t seen in ages, or at least, since last season. And, on this Saturday, someone I hadn\’t seen for eight years!
Hi Melony! Before she moved out west, Melony showed on the Quarter Horse circuit in New Brunswick and is a family friend. Now she rides with trainer Pat Ross.
Waiting at the hitching ring.
NTRC may be a small club, but the quality of their judging is always sound. Here, judge Todd Bailey awaits the next rider.
If you happen to be a rider who prefers a helmet, you won\’t feel out of place at an NTRC show.
Rail classes are a favorite at the NTRC shows.
Reiners have the opportunity to show their horses as well.
An NTRC show wouldn\’t be an NTRC show without this character. He ensures we\’re all on time, and have our reins just the right length.
Please note: You can find out all about the NTRC shows this summer at their website, www.northerntrailsridingclub.org. They do offer drop-in class rates, which can be real handy if you decide you\’d like to head out to the show after entries have closed. You do however, need to have an active Alberta Equestrian Federation membership to participate in any NTRC event. That can be arranged at the AEF website, www.albertaequestrian.com.
All the photographs above (with the exception of \”Wee\”), were taken by Deanna Buschert. Deanna is going to be attending and snapping a lot of photos at horse shows this summers, and I\’m so pleased to be able to present her work in these posts and also from time to time, in Western Horse Review, the magazine.
So, stay tuned for what promises to be a great summer of equine activities.