Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Horse Shows’ Category

Show Photos: Mid-South Spring Premiere 2107

With a combo deal from the photographer, I also got Greg’s first victory pass.

Jane Jacobs Photography
[Show Report: Mid-South Spring Premiere 2107, Riding]
[Show Report: Mid-South Spring Premiere 2107, Driving]

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Show Report: Mid-South Spring Premiere 2107, Driving

Driving Thursday

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

65. Academy Driving
1st – Greg & Memory Lane’s Spice Girl (Posh)
2nd – Katherine & HB Whizbang (Snippy)
Thank you to the Kasparian and Alvis families for their wonderful horses.

Official Photographer: Jane Jacobs Photography
Previous years [list of posts]

Lived Experience
We were equal in the regular trot and the flat walk. The difference was the extended trot. Greg threaded the line between getting the extended trot and keeping Posh from cantering. Me and Mr. Whizbang, not so much.

The extended trot is about power as much as speed. Of one fails to hold the front end, the horse will either run off or completely ignore you. Or both.

The first way, we nailed it. Strong, powerful trot. Beautiful reinsmanship on my part. I was congratulating myself on how wonderful I was (Need to stop doing that! [Report:Flub]), when I realized we were cantering. Ooops. It was a few steps in a back corner. Dunno if the judge saw.

The second way, I never got nuthin’. I was holding. I really was. I thought I was. Let’s go to the tape.

Photographic Record
First photo, awesome entry pass. Sitting up. Nice contact. This is the photo I bought. Over the course of the class, Mr. Whizbang slowing talks me out of more and more rein. By the last pass – when I was trying so hard to get the second extended trot – the reins are floating along his back. I’m still sitting up in fine style, but I have thrown the reins away. I’m basically saying, ‘Go Horsie Go’ and hoping the extended trot fairy wafts by.

While I thank Mr. Whizbang for a lovely drive, it appears that he still has my number.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Show Report: Mid-South Spring Premiere 2107, Riding

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

Show Names

Vet has come. Blood has been drawn. Names have been chosen.

Registered Name: Major Conn [Real Name]
Stable Name: Milton
Show Name: Monochrome Rainbow

Registered Name: none
Stable Name: Rodney
Show Name: Double Solitaire

Despite my love of data, I am not doing a retrospective of Rodney’s aborted show names over the years. I am looking forward. This is will be the one that matters, the one that gets used. Onwards.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Show Report: Dixie Cup 2017

Saddle Seat Wednesday

Timeline. The activities below occurred and were written up on Saturday before our inadvertent jump school on Sunday. Hence the mood-swing back to the dark side. IRL, I’m still basking [Jump!]. (I don’t usually write up a show immediately, but I was attempting to process.)

Show Details
Dixie Cup Horse Show

Georgia International Horse Park
Conyers, GA, USA
Saturday, May 6, 2017
With HB Whizbang
301 Academy Equitation WTC – Adult, 1st of 2
302 Academy Showmanship WTC – Adult, 2nd of 2
321 Academy WTC Championship, 4th of 5
Thank you to the Alvis family for the wonderful Mr. Whizbang.

Show Report
I decided to go at the last minute. Pro-AM was so awful [Report], it was deemed that I could use as much practice as possible.

Didn’t help.

I had some good moments. I had some bad. I ping-ponged between them like a demented pinball. Occasionally, Mr, Whizbang and I ping-ponged around the ring. The middle class was going the best, until I made an adjustment in the canter, overadjusted, and we broke into a trot. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

With apologies to Casey McBride Photography, I am not ordering a photo from the show. Again. I’m all for supporting show photographers. Part of me wants to buy one to document the horses that I show over the years. OTOH, there is no reason to own a photo when I can’t bear to look at the proofs.

I can’t win every class. Well, I’d like to, but it ain’t gonna happen. Ultimately, it’s not about how I place. I have no control over that. It’s about how well I ride. If I lay down my best trip and someone else has a better round? Fine. Go home and work harder. If I continue to make mistakes that I can’t feel and don’t know how to fix? That’s when I go home and write self-pitying blog posts.

In the not-you-it’s-me category, Mr. Whizbang had a full day. After suit equation in the morning, he did the full run of Academy in the afternoon: driving, walk-trot-canter, and walk-trot. He was Champion with his young owner. Smart Snippy!

GIHP show reports [list]. My best day at Conyers was my first [Report]. After that the wheels came off to varying degrees.

And Now For Something Completely Different
Part of my justification for going to the show was to stop in Atlanta afterwards for anniversaryesque activities [Village].

Sausage Shopping

The Spotted Trotter
A boutique butcher

Dekalb Farmers Market
Food from everywhere, shoppers ditto.

Anniversary Dinner

Yat Tuh
Eater Atlanta: The 38 Essential Atlanta Restaurants, Spring ’17

We be foodies.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Styling, Or Not

Saddle Seat Wednesday

Over the years, I have compared saddle seat to dressage [In A Nutshell]. Probably because they are both on the flat. Now I’m thinking that saddle seat has more in common with hunters. And that’s not a good thing for me.

In jumpers, cross-country, and show jumping (phase 3 of eventing), the goal is to get ‘er done. Go fast. Jump high. Make it to the finish line. Style is important in that a classic rider and a horse with a classical way of going are more effective and more efficient. Michael Jung and FischerRocana FST on the Rolex XC are outstanding examples of this. However, in classes scored for faults &/or time, artistic interpretation is a non-starter.

I’m told that there is room for expressiveness in dressage. But that comes after one has mastered the maneuvers. I have enough to do executing the right figure in the right place.

Hunters (saddle seat) is all about style. For the rider in hunter (saddle seat) equitation. For the horse the rest of the time. Simply getting around is not enough. One is assumed to be able to meet the basic requirements of the class, i.e. jump the jumps (execute the correct gaits). The heights are low, or relatively low, with jumps that are well-built and inviting (3 or 5 gaits in a flat, enclosed ring with good footing). Rounds are judged on smoothness, on flow, on panache and pizazz. It’s all about art.

I don’t do art.

Museums bore me. I listen to music just about never. When artists talk, I understand the words but the sentences don’t register. I have many sterling virtues. An aesthetic soul is not one of them.

This may be why I feel so at sea out in the ASB ring. I keep trying to find something mechanical to fix. I master the 40% that is the technical side but have no clue about the performing aspects that make up the remaining 60%. There are no metrics for my hyper-analytic mind to grab onto. More hand? More speed? More leg? A different line? It depends.

Oh well. A learning opportunity. If I survive the frustration.

Counterpoint: I ran this all past Coach Courtney. She agreed about the importance of style in saddleseat. She agreed that it’s about game-time decisions. Then she pointed out that I’m already plenty stylish in a cart. She said I just need to ride like I drive.


Counterpoint II: Coach Husband points out that my driving style has been mentioned before, “Sent into the ring with the injunction to ride like I drive, i.e. More Alvin!” [Show Report].

Yeah, looking back, I’ve talked about the need for artistic merit. 2015: “My presentation veers toward intense and scary rather than toward relaxed and pleasant.” [Boot Camp 2]. 2016: “I try to improve by even tighter attention to detail … And it’s making me nuts … I can do the riding. I need to work on the overall picture, the pizzazz, the pleasant. [Put Down the Hammer, Pick up The Paintbrush].

Well, the hunter part is new.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Show Photo: Pro-Am 2017, The Wonderful Mr. Whizbang

Driving Thursday

W is for The Wonderful Mr. Whizbang. If you are joining me from Blogging A To Z, welcome! Since the blog is already daily, with topics for each day [About: Schedule], there is no specific A To Z theme. I may even skip a few letters. Gasp. Clutch the pearls. The goal for this year is less crazy, more visiting. [Ze State of Ze Blog 2014]


HB Whizbang on the way to winning our inaugural Academy Driving class.
Photo by Doug Shiflet

Thank you to Shiflet Photography for giving photo certificates as Academy prizes [Show Report II].

My photos: Shiflet Photography > View Proofs > 2017 Pro Am > Saturday ACA >
120 – Aca Showmanship Driving
121 – Aca Reinsmanship Driving
132 – Aca Equitation Adult WTC
133 – Aca Showmanship Adult WTC
136 – Aca WTC Championship
Purple vest, black helmet
Note that everyone had helmets! It may have been required for juniors.

This is the first time I did not buy a riding picture. It was that bad. [Show Report I].

Coach Courtney’s thesis that it’s all in by head gets further proof by the lovely pictures of Desi in her other classes.
127 – Aca Equitation WT 9- 10
128 – Aca Showmanship WT 9- 10
Blue vest on the rider, knee boots on the horse.
Yes, being shown in walk-trot by a 10-year-old. No, I don’t want to talk about it.

Coach Husband thinks the problem was showing a new-to-me horse for the first time. He has a point. He usually does. With the inexplicable exception of Previous Horse [Defense], I have always taken a while to adjust to a different horse [Report, Sorta]. My record is seven years with Opinionated Jumper Mare [Jump Crew].

Neither of these preclude my stick or dressage lesson arguments [Report I, above]. Why not both? I am vast, I contain a multitude of methods for getting in my own way.

Previous Photos
[2016] [2015]
List of posts [Perry GA]

Alvin in 2016
Photo by Doug Shiflet

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott