Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fun Show

There was no rest for the weary around Sun Pony Ranch this weekend, for after returning to the site of the Sugar Beet Festival Saturday night to pickup our hay bales, Sunday dawned bright and early and we were loading up to go to our first horse show! BCHA (Boulder County Horse Association) for which I've been a board member and/or volunteer the past 5 years, holds an annual Fun Show in the fall. It's a very low key event designed to entice the novice riders out for a day of showing and games. So Ginger thought it would be an excellent opportunity to give some of our students and horses a taste of showing.

Little did we know that we'd have 14 students sign up to participate! We have a 4 horse trailer, so we took 4 horses, and met up with the students at the fairgrounds. Thank goodness we had quite a few parents and older students show up so there were lots of hands available to get the crew organized, collect entry fee checks, register riders in the classes they chose, and generally try and keep the chaos to a minimum. HA! Easier said than done.

Most people who show come with their own horse, or a friend's. They know what classes they are entering, and ride in them. Their main challenge is dealing with all the standing around a waiting for their turn. When you come with the entourage that we had, things get quite a bit more complicated. We had multiple riders in most classes -- some of which riding the same horse. Since they were all of many different sizes, we often had a saddle change to do between rides. The first class was individual such that each person enters the arena at a time. But most were done in heats with 8-10 riders at a time, making coordination with the announcer's booth as to which of our people were riding when a big deal. But Ginger kept a firm rein on things, and with only a few paniced runs to the announcer's booth managed to get everyone into their class on the right horse with the right saddle. The rest of us mostly milled around and held onto horses as needed.

Ginger took first round on Rio to settle him.

As I did on Romeo... though he hardly needed it.

Whos next?

Equipment Wrangler

The Ribbon Class - pairs are eliminated as one or the other lets go of the ribbon between them

Jessica and Amanda take 3rd in the ribbon class

Rachel and Rio beautifully perform the 5 second halt at the end of the Trail class

Warming up together

Where we hung our hat... and saddles and bridles and hay nets and jackets...

Ariana and Sophia in the egg and spoon class

Sam and Aiden - more ribbons!

Midway through the day we heard a report that someone was going from trailer to trailer looting. Damnit -- with all of our equipment spread around the fairgrounds, we had no idea whether we were missing anything or not! In fact we realized at that time that we didn't even know how many saddles we'd brought with us! (turned out to be 10) But we back tracked and determined that all our stuff was accounted for. Then we heard that the looting report may have been a false alarm... who knows.

In all, it was a very successful day. Everyone had a good time riding, and the horses were real troupers. Rio was probably the most unnerved, but after a few classes he calmed down and got to work. The rest of them were their normal selves -- expecting their riders to actually ride them. We don't have any push button horses, and we think that is an advantage to our riding program. At the end of the day we had a spattering of ribbons, and some very tired students and horses (and adults!) The last class didn't finish up until 5:30, and they never really broke throughout the day. But we sure made a splash at the show what with all the SPR tshirts. Next year we're sure to know the routine a whole lot better.



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