Sunday, April 27, 2014

Show Report

We did it. The baby attended her first horse show and we had a good experience. This was my first breed show so we definitely learned a few things for next time! I have so much to say I'm not sure where to start! This was a welsh/open show so Tarra brought Mystic along.

Telling the baby girl that she's okay
We left the barn at 5:15am in order to be at the show grounds by 6:30. Emi loaded well, needing very little prodding by Tarra. Mystic hopped right in and off we went. When we got to the show, April headed to the office to get us checked in and Tarra and I walked the ponies around. Emi was super good and although interested in her surroundings she was pretty darn chill. That was cool.

We picked a couple of stalls for them and started bringing in their hay and water buckets. The big reason we got to the show so early was because Emi needed to be measured. I asked around to find out where the measuring was being done. One of the people who was doing the measuring was stabled right across the isle from us. They asked how old my horse was and I told them 10 months. At that point they told me I actually only had to have her measured if I was showing in riding classes. That was slightly annoying since I had specifically emailed the show secretary to ask about the need to have her measured, and they said she did need to be measured. Umm....we definitely could have slept for at least another hour! I did recheck the rules and the show info to see if I missed a line about measuring being for riding horses only....but I didn't!

At that point we went in to the main arena and sat around for a while, waiting for the show to start at 8am. It was closing in on 8 with out a lot of activity going on in the arena when they announced that the show was delayed and would actually not start until 8:30. 8:30 turned in to probably 8:45 before the first horse went in the ring. We watched a few classes and then ran in to Emi's breeder. We chatted with her before going to get Emi ready. I got my show clothes on while Tarra and April got Emi cleaned up.


She was wound up coming out of her stall so we got to work walking. She was being pushy but not doing anything crazy. Finally it was our turn to go in the ring. We trotted right in and around the big indoor arena and she was awesome! She trotted right with me, didn't spook at anything and was a super good girl (video evidence here). It was really the best trotting in hand we have ever had, with her ears up and no funny business. We had some trouble with standing nicely, and that's something we need to start working on. Emi got first in that class (Welsh C/D colts & fillies 2 and under). In the interest of full disclosure, she was also the only horse in her class. We got to go back in for the championship class but didn't place against the other 3 full grown horses.

Trotting like such a good girl

Standing for the judges
Checking out her blue ribbon
By the end of the championship class Emi was pretty done and I was ready to get her put away. She settled into her stall and I left her alone for a bit before pulling her back out for her open halter class. The structure of the open halter class had a lot less trotting. Again she got first, and was the only horse in her class. This time the judge told me that she was going to grow up to be a real cutie.


Tarra did her halter class right after Emi and I and then we put the horses away and headed out for lunch. When we got back Emi was standing along the back wall of her stall napping. She had eaten quite a bit of hay and seemed pretty happy. It turns out the show was taking 45 minute break, then they had about another hour of showing before taking a 25 minute lunch break. Then...at the end of the 25 minute lunch break they drug the arena. By the middle of the afternoon we were definitely missing our normal dressage/eventing shows which actually give you ride times! The show itself didn't have very many entries so I'm surprised that it took as long as it did.

Wimpy ribbons but Emi's first and definitely the right color. :) 
Finally showing together again! 
Lucky for me I had good company and we had fun anyway. There were some seriously cute ponies and I enjoyed watching the driving classes. The welsh riding classes were also pretty entertaining and were a cross between welsh pony races and a welsh pony rodeo. Lol. Mystic was awesome (as usual) and won both of his classes. Once he finished we got to work cleaning up so we could go. We had just taken our hay/buckets back to the trailer and were grabbing horses when someone came over to tell us that they needed Tarra back at the arena for a ride off for high point. We tacked Mystic back up, she got re-dressed and off they went to win!

What's up mom?!
Once we were done (for real) we loaded the ponies up and headed for home. Emi loaded pretty easily again, with just a couple of taps from April. Both horses hauled super well both on the way up and on the way home and Emi traveled like a big girl tied in to the front spot in the trailer. A huge thank you to Tarra for bringing Mystic along, and for all of the help she and April gave me.
So cute!
Quite honestly I was a bit underwhelmed by my first welsh show experience. As you can tell, the show was fairly disorganized. Also, as someone who is new to the welsh show world I feel like their rules are super vague and it's hard to know what it really expected of you. I'd much rather have stuff spelled out than be left guessing! I also didn't think the people were all that friendly or welcoming. Although I had mixed feelings about the show itself, I've already printed my entry for the next one in June. It's supposed to be bigger than this one and I assume it will be run a bit differently.

As far as Emi goes I was seriously thrilled with what a good girl she was. I learned some things about her turn out for next time and I also know we need to work on standing for the judge. For people who have shown at breed shows/halter classes, how do you train them to arch their neck and put their ears up?

19 comments:

  1. Glad the show wS such a positive experience. She has grown soooo much. So cute!

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  2. Man she is cute! Welsh showing varies by region - breed shows work a lot better when your country is the size of Wales, I mean, we'll never really get a champion if the Oregon ponies never meet the Indiana ponies, right? I think organization varies by region too. We have a good group of ladies that has fun and brings a cooler of Franzia for post-show chatting back at the barns, and measuring is like "Hey Tori, can you come over here and measure Connor?" level of informal. And yes, you DO have to measure for everything! Otherwise half the Welsh shown would never be measured, broodmares that are barely broke to ride and all that.

    Glad you're not writing it off entirely, and seriously, you've done a good job training her if she trotted quietly in. Most of my Welsh showing experience has been dragging and/or waterskiing behind baby ponies!

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    1. Haha. It sounds like your shows are a bit different. I'm also glad to hear she really should have been measured...since that's how I read the rule book. It's so confusing! The part of measuring her that I don't understand is why it even matters how big she is? It won't change what class she is show in....

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    2. I guess I've never asked that question, though I assume it's to make sure that the horse actually hits the height required for the division, since some D foals never make it out of C height as adults. Connor barely made that.

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  3. glad you had such a positive show!

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  4. Congrats on Emi's very positive first outing!

    Clicker training works very well; I use a clickerless variation.

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  5. Breed shows are usually pretty frustrating. Really, most shows without ride times are pretty frustrating :)

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  6. Sounds like she was a fabulous baby!! Congrats on her first ribbons :)

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  7. Sounds like a great experience for her!! :)

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  8. Huge congratulations! You should be so proud that you are doing what it takes to raise a well exposed, calm, well behaved baby horse no matter what you win or loose. This time and effort now will be so powerful when she is an adult and you throw something new at her. I know because no one took that time to do that with my greenie who is 5 and should have had that chance. Good for you!!

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  9. Yay Emi! By the time she's ready to go under saddle she'll be an old pro.

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  10. Sounds like a great first experience!!! Smaller was probably better for the first time out. Disorganized... maybe not so great for your stress levels, but oh well.

    I think for teaching them to arch their necks and put ears forward they use target training... it can be done with clicker training. That's how I taught Chrome to smile, but he definitely arches his neck and puts his ears forward too. You would just not hold it as high and reward before the lip went up. I'm not sure how they teach it without clicker though. I think most of them teach them to target the whip. I'm just guessing though. I could have it all wrong, but that's always the impression I got. I actually taught my Appy mare to put her ears up on a voice cue when I was a kid. She was always grumpy when I fed so I would say "ears!" and hold the food in her sight, but out of her reach until she put her ears up. Sometimes I would have to stomp the ground, jump up and down, wave my arm, etc. to get her ears up. As soon as her ears went up I'd dump her food in. She had it down pat in no time with a voice cue only. :) I look forward to Emi's next show. :D

    Also still wondering how in the world your friend deals with Mystic's mane!! That must be a LOT of work! Gorgeous!

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