Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Saddle Seat Wednesday

Mid-South Spring Premiere
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Northeast Alabama Agribusiness Center
Rainsville, AL

66. Academy Showmanship Adult WTC with Sultan’s Miracle Man (Sam), 1st of 3
67. Academy Equitation Adult WTC with Sam, 1st of 3
70. Academy WTC Championship with Sam, 2nd of 10

Thank you to Courtney Huguley for the ever wonderful Captain Fabulous.

Official Photographer: Jane Jacobs Photography. View Photos > 2017 > Mid-South Spring Premiere > Academy > class numbers above. My photo disclaimer rant. This photographer’s watermark specifically says, “Not to be used on Facebook!” That’s how pervasive the problem is.

Warm-up – Where Am I?
‘I am riding saddle seat. I am riding saddle seat. I am riding …’ Can I convey to you the depth to which I wanted to ride off my lower leg? I trotted around the warm-up ring thinking, ‘Knees & hands. Knees and hands. Knees and hands.’ I finally convinced myself. When I pulled into the first line-up, I thought. ‘Well, good or bad, at least it was saddle seat.’

First Class – Flub
Sam has a habit of switching to canter if he doesn’t like what’s happening in the trot. During one of my passes in front of the judge, he threw in one step. Not one stride, one step, with one hoof. I caught him before it went anywhere. I was smug about my response time until I trotted past the ingate and heard, “Change.” I was on the wrong diagonal. I had been so busy congratulating myself that I hadn’t realized the little hop had throw me to the other diagonal.

Second Class – Scurry
As the last to exit the previous class, I was the last to enter for the second class. A victory pass will do that to you. Plus the judge had already seen the three of us. It was over in a blue, um, blur.

Third Class – Teachable Moment
I had a brief lesson in ring management thanks to one of the railside helpers. In avoiding the crowds, I ended up out at sea in the middle of the ring for the second canter. Katie Wood [Why I Ride] was the watcher on that side. She patted the wall in front of her. She had me come over to the rail, and then had me wait while the person in front of me cantered first. Saddlebreds are used to cantering on the rail, sometimes using the rail itself as an aid for the correct lead. Sam can pick up the canter without the rail, but why risk it? It was a small moment, taking longer to tell than to ride. Great trips are made of an infinity of little moments.

Previous years [list of posts]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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