All that hard work…..Posted Wednesday, June 6, 2012, at 7:01 PM
Well, if you know me at all, you know I love to brag on my kids!
This is NO Exception. Along with that, I get to brag on my bigger kids, parents.... Sweetie, Friends, and my horses.
Saturday, was a hot day, but not unbearably hot, and at the end of the day, I was floating in a cloud of euphoria. The kids had a horse show, right here in town. It was Jilly's very first show, and Al's first time on Beamer. For that matter, it was Marshmallow's first show too. I've shown Beamer a few times, and he kind of "knew the ropes" though I never showed him last year at all, (while gallivanting around the country) So, he's pretty much a Newbie too. My goal for the girls, was just to get them 'out there' and thru the show safely. They worked hard up to this time, and I knew they were as ready as could be, sort of. Showing is something I've done for fun, from time to time, but by NO means, am I professional. I have been able to do "OK" simply because I can "see" what needs to be done, and have the ability to "put it into practice" as I interpret it. But for Jilly, who had never even "seen" a "show", trying to explain what was what, what to expect, how to react, how to prepare, while smiling and all.... Well, you just don't know how that's gonna turn out. Then too, I have great faith in Marshmallow, but there is still the unknown.
Well, here is our practice, Thursday before. Jilly had to try on her new chaps. I got those brand new 2 years ago, ..... Been holding on to them for this moment! I wanted her to feel how that was gonna feel.
The day of the show. I myself am always fairly internally 'worked up' inside, morning of a show. I usually settle down after the first class, and today was not a lot different. The horses were being good, and the girls were like pros.
I'm real proud of the Moms and Dads of these kids. My son used to be one of the kids horseback. He took to taking care of his daughter and making sure she was where she needed to be, when she needed to be there. Jess and Wendy couldn't have been better support for their daughters if they'd tried. You've all seen parents who say things that aren't supportive, and are actually demeaning. I'm humiliated for those kids sometimes.
Jess and Wendy made me so proud, being truly encouraging, and always 'there' for their daughters. Show days are stressful, and Moms can 'make or break' it for a participant.
The first time they were able to get into the arena to 'warm up' ...we made sure they used the opportunity.
At this point, I'm relaxing a bit. Looks just fine to me. I had Jilly signed up for just "Walk/Trot" classes, so as not to overwhelm her. But I began having second thoughts, thinking she might as well lope. After a bit of discussion, we went ahead and added 'full fledged' classes to her list. She still only had a total of 4 classes. Plenty for a first timer. Al had 11. Way plenty.
Bryce is thinking he'll be doing this soon!
After their warm up, back to the trailer, to wait for their classes.
On this day, neither of the girls in going to ride in English classes, so we just watched and enjoyed. I fell in love with this pair, though I didn't know who they were. This white horse never made a wrong move, and was so precise. I've since met the Mom of this girl, and told her how I felt. Of course she felt the same, but it's always good to let others know you appreciate what they've done.
I also fell in love with this pair, and it turns out they came from the same house hold. Go figure.
Wayne had to work in the morning, but he managed to get there before either girl showed. Yay!
I've mentioned Michelle before. A daughter of a good friend from HS and used to be one of my 4-H members. So proud to see her still loving her horses!
My Mom and Dad have been coming to watch 'their' kids for over 2 decades. This is awesome
These photos show Al opening and shutting a gate horseback (obviously) Maybe doesn't seem like a big deal, and it isn't really, but you'd be amazed at how many people can't do it, and don't even try.
Jilly getting a "Pep talk" from Daddy
Al's first class was a pattern. Each participant does a previously assigned pattern, from memory. She did a GREAT job!
Here are few of the other contestants
Jilly's first class, (Al's too) was the Green Horse Class. So, she is in a class with Michelle, and several other adults. This is a walk trot class. Lots of people use it as a warm up. It's a great way to get a horse into the arena and settled. Trust me, I am holding my breath. Sure that it will be fine, but the unexpected can always happen
I had explained the "Line Up" .... but wasn't sure how that would go. They did just fine though. To my great happiness, Jilly got 6th place in this class .... there are about 20 others in that class, and that is nearly unbelievable. These are all "Green" horses, and Jilly is without question the youngest rider, and maybe on the youngest horse.... yep, I'm bragging.... shoot me. This Grandma choked up and then turned and saw Grandpa choked up too.
Beamer was giving Al a bit of a hard time, and she was having to work for everything .... if you've ever been 11, on a huge horse, you might know the feeling. She had to dig deep inside herself to make this go as well as it did.
Here, she is checking her 'leads', and it paid off for her.
He kind of wanted to be 'excited/exciteable', but she worked thru it, and stayed calm. If she got worried, they could feed off each other. But this is a nice photo, because he trusts her, and believed in her.
Jilly was in this class too, her first "loping' class. Again, it's a lot of adults and mature horses.
sometimes, you can NOT convince people how important it is to horses, or any other animal, to be "pet". This is part of why this class went so well. She supported HIM thru the class, and become his comfort zone.
Here are a couple adults in the class......
This happy face is because......
She won the BLUE FIRST PLACE Ribbon!
I'd say her Mom has reason to be proud. I know it's hard for lots of people to find it in themselves to keep it together to do this type of thing. It's just flat out scary at times to ride a 1300 # horse, and have to convince him to make the ride look "pleasant', when really inside, you might sort of want to cry and bag it. For an 11 year old to do it, well, it's just amazing.
In that same class, Jilly got 3rd. Yeah, this Grandma and Grandpa could hardly look at each other, or we were just gonna bust out and sob..... happily of course
There were a couple other classes, here are some of the photos.
These photos show that horses DO have a point where they wanna say "yeeehaw!" I giggle a bit when I see these, cuz Jilly just lifts her hand a bit to lift Marshmallows head....and rides on.
The final line up. Awesome Site
Jilly has a look of "It ain't nuthin'
That is one happy girl and one proud Grandpa!