Our First Horse Show Together
 By ImaCoolCowgirl   •   26th Aug 2012   •   3,591 views   •   3 comments
Our First Show TogetherI've been horse crazy for as long as my parents can remember. I used to love going to shows to watch all the pretty horses, which sadly for them, lead to a new dream of not only working with, but owning a horse and eventually showing. I had been lucky enough to participate in a show with the therapeutic stable I worked at for a time. I took Sly, the rather fat, somewhat marish, ex reining quarter horse in two classes. We came home with a 6th in halter (out of 6) due to her weight and sway back, and 5th in trail. That was the end of my showing for about 3 years or so. Then just last year my best friend offered me her horse for walk trot classes while she showed walk trot canter. It was a blast; we got 3rd in trail, a 5th in western pleasure and a 3rd in western equitation. Showing was great an all with other horses, but it’s not the same as showing the horse you’ve worked with and cared for.

I decided that this would be the summer to take Buck to a show. I had been working with him a lot and he was doing really well. Plus our 4-H districts were at our home show ring. I scoured the internet looking for local horse shows that had the classes I was looking for, close enough, and that wouldn’t be too competitive for our first. 4-H shows were out due to the dates, and the show I wanted to go to was not being held this year. That left one other option, I checked the dates of the shows and found one that worked for us, July 8, 2012. It was a pleasure show with all the classes I wanted in the early part of the show.

Buck was as ready as I think I could make him, so that left just two obstacles. First, getting my parents approval and second, finding a trailer. I sent out an e-mail to my parents (because it’s hard to sit down and talk to them without them getting distracted) explaining why I wanted to go to this show and why this show was a good fit. They were surprisingly easy to convince and agreed we could try to work this out. That left the trailer issue. I called the guy that hauled Buck to horse camp for me, he never got back. My best friend couldn’t because she was getting back from fair late Saturday night. So as a last resort I put an ad on a few horse sites. Nothing came back. Swim season started and I was still focused on working with Buck. At one swim meet I ran into a coach from one of my other teams. I remembered they had a trailer their daughter used for showing. I messaged his wife on Facebook and waited for a reply. She said YES! I was so incredibly excited that everything was coming together.

Buck is not the perfect pleasure horse, so I expected no ribbons. I was hoping for one or two, but my goal was to get experience with him, have fun, and enjoy the chance to finally live my dream of showing my horse.

After a few snags in the plans with the trailer we finally picked it up the morning before the show. I asked one of my good friends if she could help me get ready on Saturday. She jumped at the chance, honestly there is no way I would have been ready without her.

Our First Show Together

Saturday - Day Before The Show
My friend arrived Saturday at 8:30, we picked up the trailer and my dad left us and the trailer at the barn around 10. It was already 80 degrees out when we took the horses for a quick ride down the road and back to get them out and moving before it got too hot. My saddle needed cleaned badly, my silver was polished on his breast collar and bridle but the leather still needed cleaned. We scrubbed the saddle down and polished it up, cleaned the rest of the tack and put it in the trailer. We were getting hungry and my mom called saying she was going to the store, she brought us an excellent lunch of hoagies, granola bars, chips and apples. It was so good and energized us for the rest of the stuff we had to get done. The next load to take down was the hay and bedding. We filled three hay bags and loaded the wheel barrel full of sawdust. After putting everything where I wanted it in the trailer it was time to start the fun stuff, like preparing the horse. We clipped Buck who responded by trying to eat the clippers, but he looked great when we were done. Then we hosed Buck down, and soaped him up, then hosed again. I gave my friend the task of combing out his mane with no conditioner, she did a fabulous job. It looked great! I worked on his tail while his body dried. After his mane was dry we started banding it. It took forever; I think I ended up getting about 44 in his mane total. I told Buck he couldn't roll or lay down all night and left to finish getting myself ready. My friend left and wished us good luck for tomorrow. Once she left I was able to load my show clothes and everything I would need for myself into the truck. I was exhausted but I knew I wouldn’t sleep if I went to bed at eight. So I hung with my family and took a shower until I could decently go to bed at ten. I thanked God for this amazing chance and asked him to help me sleep well. I fell asleep almost instantly.

Sunday - Show Day
I woke to my alarm at 5:30, did a quick devotion, and started doing my hair. Once I had the bun neat enough, I ate a quick breakfast and went to make sure my dad was up. I found boots I had forgotten and my camera in my room, so I had to put that in the truck. My goal was to feed the horses at 6:30AM and be ready to load Buck by 7AM.

We were 10 minutes late leaving the house, but the horses got fed and Chris got locked up. Buck was haltered and lead down to the trailer, my dad finished hitching everything up and I opened the back doors to lead him in. Buck loaded without a problem and only called to Chris once or twice. Finally at 7:15AM we were ready to pull out.

Dad hauled perfectly, giving Buck a reasonably smooth ride to show grounds where Buck unloaded very well, and was excited to see everything. I took him on a brief walk around the grounds and lunged him a bit to get him focused on me. I let him graze and just chill out for a while. Then I had to sign up for my classes, I tied Buck to the trailer and left him with a hay net. I’d never signed up for classes by myself before and I was very confused at first. I quickly figured it out and signed up for all 8 classes I had picked out on the show bill a few weeks ago, 3, 6, 7, 18, 20, 23, 26, and 27.

It was 9AM and I was nowhere near ready to step into the show ring for class 3, Showmanship. Luckily the judge was late. I hurried to get Buck ready. He had not rolled or laid down in the night so I combed out his tail and mane, brushed his whole body and picked his feet. My best friend who had spent the week at fair and was sick said she would come for a little bit. I asked for baby powder for his one solitary white sock that was not as white as it should have been. She showed up in time to fix his sock, and do my makeup. My mom was running late and afraid she would miss my first class. Luckily everything was running a bit slow and she made it in time. Buck was ready, so I hurried to get dressed; once we were both ready we went up to the show ring to be there for my first class of the day.

Buck was incredibly nervous and worked up about the whole thing. He wouldn’t stand still or calm down unless I had my hand on him or he was eating. We went last in the class to give us plenty of room. The pattern was fairly simple, but it had a maneuver Buck and I have not yet mastered. He set nicely for me and behaved very well in the ring especially considering his uneasiness. We waited somewhat patiently to hear the results of the class. When the winners were announced they called “5th Place and Ima Ladies Man”. I was quite ecstatic to hear my name over the loud speaker; someone went to the announcers stand and picked up my pink ribbon. .

Our First Show Together

I let Buck eat a bit before our next class which was class 6, Halter. I wasn’t expecting much after looking at the other horses readying to go in the ring. They were classic quarter horses with shiny noses and fake tails, their handlers bedecked in thousands of dollars worth of show wear. And me, my utterly amazing and stunning little 21 year old and thrift store show pants. When the judge lined us up, he place Buck and I 6th, a head of a few of those perfect looking quarter horses. I wasn’t sure if he was going to move us around again or not, but when posing for a picture with our first ribbon together he asked for our back numbers. That's when I knew we placed. It was still such a rush to hear our names over the loud speaker, and to be handed that green ribbon.

I was also in the very next class, class 7 trail, but I needed my saddle, bridle, everything changed for this class. It was one of the craziest changes but it was handled well and it turned out we had plenty of time to spare. Thanks to my best friend who made that change go smoothly! Trail went well, but there were a few obstacles that I knew would frustrate us, so I just skipped them all together. I’m pretty sure we hit every ground rail possible. But we had fun and made a memory. My best friend waited around to see if I had placed. They didn’t announce it so we weren’t sure. Later they called for the trail classes to come to the announcers stand to collect their ribbons. She faithfully walked up to see if I got one. I didn’t expect anything because I had skipped a few things, but she came back carrying a white 4th place ribbon.

Our First Show Together

I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe I had won another one! I now had a 4th, 5th, and 6th place ribbons. I could have packed up and left and been happy, but I still had 5 more classes to go. The next four were all various western pleasure classes. In the first one Buck was a bit fast and his walk was all over the place. The judge said he kept me out of placing because Buck broke stride, right in front of him of course. The next class the judge commented that I had a better ride, but Buck picked up the wrong lead going one direction. The next class was another pleasure class and I had worked some of his energy out. He felt a lot more relaxed and willing to listen. When they called the placing once again I heard our names. We had won another green ribbon for 6th place.

I had one more pleasure class left to go, class number 26. Buck was so well behaved, and I had the perfect gaits I had been looking for all day. They announced the winners and Buck and I had received another 4th place. I was so happy. I had to be right back in the ring for my last class, class 27, stock seat equitation. Buck was tired and ready to go home. We had a decent pattern, but buck wouldn’t stop at the evil horse eating cone, which took points away, but our rail work was excellent. Again I had those gaits I had been looking for all day. When they called the winners, Buck and I again took 4th place.

I took him back to the trailer to pose for a few more pictures with all our ribbons. After our pictures I untacked him and sponged him off. I think my dad summed it all up by saying “it’s so much more fun setting up than taking down”. Buck loaded about as sweetly as he did in the morning, anxious to get home.

All in all I was extremely proud of Buck. I was glad to have this exciting experience to take him to a show. I did so much better that I could have hoped or dreamed for my first show. We had some tough moments, but we pulled through and did great. I would like to thank all those who came out to support me. I had such an awesome time and you all made the experience all the more memorable for me. I would also like to give a special thanks to everyone who made this possible. Especially Mrs. P for letting us borrow the trailer, my parents and sister for supporting me and helping me live me dream. And probably most of all I’d like to thank Mrs. M for giving me the opportunity to work/show/play with Buck and Chris.

If I never made it to another show I would be fine with that, having this chance with Buck I wouldn’t trade it for all the blue ribbons in the world. I’m proud of how far Buck and I have come in five short years. And I hope to continue improving; Buck teaches me more and more each day.

Our First Show Together
YEAH!!! YEAH!!! YEAH!!! Good job for going out and doing such a great job. What an awesome little horse :D
  Aug 26, 2012  •  3,547 views
Love the story!!! You and Buck did great!!!!!
  Aug 26, 2012  •  3,534 views
Double Spur Ranch  
Great job and he's very pretty :)
  Aug 27, 2012  •  3,391 views
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