PostHeaderIcon JR’s Journal – Fox Trotter Show Starring Velvet and JR!

 If you have any desire to win a trail class, always practice the gate before the horse show starts. Yep, that’s one of the answers to life. Everything else about life I learned in Kindergarten.I had qualms about taking JR to his first horse show. I felt like crying. That’s the signal to stop whatever it is that is making me stressed out. I decided not to go. Whew, that felt better.

Jenny asked me if I was going to take Velvet. I said “NO. I know what Velvet can do at a horse show.” “Velvet is so darn pretty,” she said. Jenny told me it was good to take a horse to the horse show and know that they aren’t going to act up. Then Jenny told me that she was going to the horse show all alone and she needed my help. I told her no.

Dear reader: Is this totally unlike the person you have come to know in these stories? You betcha. I have decided that I’m really comfortable with Velvet. I’m old and don’t like change. I wasn’t worried about JR acting up at the show, I was just stressed about what kind of gaits he would do in the arena. We might look really pitiful. I hate pitiful.

On the way home, I decided heed what Jenny had said. I got my trailer and tossed Velvet into it. She was all trimmed up from her Parelli demonstration. We set out for the horse show.

On the way to the horse show, I decided to stop and get JR. He was in a stall at Pine Dell. I would just tie him up; ride him around some after he relaxed; and get him used to the horse show.

Well, the trail class(es) started at 4:00. I got there at 3:30. I begged a wonderful person to enter JR and Velvet in the fox trot and open trail classes. I tacked up JR and away we went to the arena. JR was very nervous. My wonderful person found me and pinned my number to my vest. The trail class route and expectations were explained and we were the 2nd horse in the arena.

JR’s first horse show: He entered all alone in an arena, whinnying for any of his friends to rescue him from all the predators watching him. We came to the gate. We got into position to open it and he backed far away from the gate. Of course, I had touched the gate.

The big No No in the gate world is that you can’t let go once you touch it. Oh dear. We kept a smile on my face and managed to get through the gate. However, before I could get it shut, he backed away again and I lost contact. We returned and managed to shut the gate. Five points were subtracted right there. We did all the other obstacles fine, except we probably didn’t fox trot through the poles. He was a little bit scared of the mailbox. We didn’t impress the judge with our handling of the mailbox. But, I’m certain that she thought we were looked very good!

JR placed 2nd in the Fox Trotter Trail Class. I won’t make any comments about the number of horses in the class… that would lower JR’s dignity!

I had a friend tack up Velvet and we participated in the next class, the open trail class. You would think a horse of Velvet’s experience would not be nervous about the gate. Nope…Velvet blew the gate too!

JR was a most insecure horse throughout the evening. He whinnied throughout the trail class. (We whinnied every 5-10 minutes from 3:30 until about 10:00pm.) However, at no time did I feel like he was going to explode or leap around. He was a perfectly behaved insecure horse.

I took him into two other classes where we demonstrated every gait that a fox trotter could perform to an appreciative audience. My philosophy for JR and I was to look sexy while in the show ring. Looking sexy is very important. Looking sexy really means to look really good even though you are making a mistake or doing something incorrectly. (In fact, looking sexy for horse people is “showing a flair” while something terrible is going wrong.

Occasionally, we would round the corner and slide into a fox trot. JR headed down the straight-away…on the judge’s side, fox trotting his heart out until he got even with the judge. I bet she was staring at us, thinking how cool we were. Then JR would get anxious and slide into the running walk. Near the end of the far corner, we were reduced to a few pacing steps. He recovered and went into a hard trot. Yep, the audience could have learned a lot about fox trotter gaits by watching JR that night. He did do a fantastic job with the flat foot walk. If there was a class that just called for a flat foot walk, we would have been a contender!

Velvet did great in her first performance class. She won third in Western Pleasure. My Pine Dell friends came over after the class and just fell over themselves to tell Velvet how amazing she was. I was all smiles when riding Velvet.

In the next class, Velvet told me that it was past her bedtime and she didn’t want to hit the track hard. I think that I was in a class that had two world grand champions and numerous other horses who placed in the top 5 in classes at past Celebrations. Kansas City has a fine share of super top-notch horses. It’s a pleasure to be in the arena with them.

Velvet and I were in several more classes and we looked great! Looking Great is very important, almost as important as winning.

For some reason, I thought it would be neat to show in class 31, which was Open- Will Canter. That was about 11:00pm. I must have been pretty sleepy. I woke up during the class in the arena and discovered that I was telling Velvet to canter sideways into the center of the arena. We were heading directly to the wonderful judge. What was I doing? We managed to recover and head down the rail.

Velvet broke her canter several times. She picked up the wrong lead, so I had to stop and get her back into the correct lead. I believe that we did this so quickly, that we still looked very cool. It was a pleasure when that class was over. I should have paid attention when Velvet told me she was tired, scratched class 31 and went home.. Oh wait, I couldn’t have gone home until about 11:30 anyway as I was trapped in the parking lot.

To sum it up, I have managed to get JR to a horse show and ride him. JR got somewhat used to being at a horse show. Maybe I won’t cry the next time I think about taking him to a show! Velvet was beautiful and great. It was fun to ride her. The entire day was fun!

The Fox Trotter Horse Show Staring Velvet and JR!


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