Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Horse Shows’ Category

What I Love About The Horse World

We all have horse world horror stories that cause us to roll our eyes, gnash our teeth, and doubt human nature. Other times, it can be a great place.

Saddlebreds show with freakishly long tails. In between shows, the tails are braided and tied up to preserve as many tail hairs as possible. In the ring, the tails are combed out to float gloriously in the breeze. In between classes, tails are fastened up temporarily with hair bobbles.

At the show, I took Dottie for a walk. We were far away from our home stalls when I realized her tail had fallen out of the bobble. I detangled bobble from tail. I had trouble rebobbling, as it required two hands on the tail and one hand on the leadrope.

I walked up to the nearest trainer-shaped object, held out the green-plastic bobble and said, “Can you do these?” She said sure, introduced herself, and attended to Dottie’s tail. We chatted a bit about the horse she had in cross-ties. Dottie was done. We resumed our walk.

Where else can you ask a complete stranger for help with the assumption that you will get it, happily and with competence?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Show Photos: Alabama Charity 2017

Alabama Charity Championship Horse Show
[Show Report, Riding]
Terry Young Photography

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Show Report Driving & Lessons

Driving Thursday

Lots of driving lately.

Alabama Charity Championship Horse Show, [Show Report, Riding]
96 Academy Driving with HB Whizbang – 2rd of 3
Thanks to the Alvis family for Mr. Snippy

Snippy deeply objected to the big, soft, rubber, straight bar bit that went with a set of borrowed harness. Go figure [Bits From Hell]. In the lemonade-from-lemons category, I was able to channel his outrage into the best extended trot we’ve gotten to date. We even got a little bit of drift going in one corner. Not Alvin-level drifting [Show Report I, II], but I could feel a slight sideways slide.

Sorry Snippy, we’ll do better by you next time.

The day after the show, Greg had a driven dressage lesson with Mr. E. Yes, the same instructor Rodney and I can’t manage to take lessons from [Leg Yield, Dubious]. At this point, I am so far down the rabbit hole that, come the day, I wasn’t all that upset [Laugh or Cry]. Although, that night I did have a dressage stress dream wherein Milton was tacked up, I still needed to get dressed, but couldn’t find out if my test was right away or delayed until tomorrow because of the large number of barrel racing trips in front of us. Clearly, it’s still on my mind. But I digress.

Mr. E liked a lot of the things Greg was doing, and thought Milton had good conformation for driving. Some of the comments were things Greg has heard before, e.g. Use your voice. The main focus of the lesson was transitions, which is more of a dressage thing than a ASB thing. As I’ve said before, dressage horses wait to hear what comes next; saddlebreds get on with their jobs [Obedience Epiphany].

By the end of 45 minutes, Milton was walking better, trotting off more promptly, and downshifting without giving his ewe-necked cow impression. All with a horse who has been hitched less than three months [Maiden Voyage]. Go Milton!

Greg & Katherine


Milton’s first drive with the carriage [New Equipment]. Miss Courtney’s picture is over on Instagram, and for the moment on the sidebar. Milton was a star about pulling the heavier load and about entertaining multiple drivers.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Show Report: Alabama Charity Championship 2017

Saddle Seat Wednesday

tldr: Good show. Not great. Needed to be great.
I’m going to Nationals. I don’t expect to win.

I want to win. I will try to win. I will spend the next three weeks preparing to win.

It seems to me that if one wants to win on the national level, one ought to be hitting it out of the park locally. I had a good show, but out of the park I did not hit it. Last year [Show Report], I got a middle ribbon (3/5), won the second class, and was highest placed adult in the championships. This year, middle (2/3), win, highest adult. Still struggling with the double bridle and still struggling to get my shoulders back.

Winning at Nationals would not require a miracle. Come Sunday, I expect to be in the top 3, per usual (acknowledging that all manner of things can happen and that I might not even get past Friday). Taking the top spot would require everything to come together and require a following wind from the judges and the other competitors.

I don’t usually obsess this badly over results. I know there is more to a horse show than winning. I know that all I can control is my ride. In this case, a) the word “national” is in the title, b) I’ve been often enough that learning from the experience is less of a draw, & c) I’ve come so close. Greg thinks I should go and have just fun. That may be the hardest task of all.

Update: Having gotten all of this out of my system, I am feeling more cheerful.

Show Results

Team Awesome
Photo by Courtney Huguley

Alabama Charity Championship Horse Show
October 14, 2017
Celebration Arena
Priceville AL, USA

100. Academy Showmanship WTC, Adult – 2rd of 3
101. Academy Equitation WTC, Adult – 1st of 3
104. Academy WTC Championship – 3rd of 12. Highest placed of 3 adults.
Thank you to Courtney Huguley for the delightful Dottie.

Show Photographer: Terry Young Photography
[List of previous ACCHS posts]


Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

And We’re Back

Saddle Seat Wednesday

I’m going to Nationals.

What? I didn’t catch that.

I said, I’m going to Nationals.

Hey, that’s great. Good luck. I’m sure you’ll do …

Shh! Shh! Shh! I’m trying to keep it low-key. The tentative plan is Murfreesboro in November, but I reserve the right to bail at any point. With no disrespect to the folks at AA, One ride at a time.

The last day for entries was one of the Saturdays Milton was at SSF. The deadline had been extended due to Irma. I brought the subject up just to confirm that it wasn’t happening this year. I hadn’t had a lesson in months. Nationals had fallen off the radar and wandered out of the control tower.

Not necessarily. One of the new horses is Dottie, an 18-year old ASB who has spent her life being a champion kid’s horse. She’s won in the big-time at the 13&Under level. She is talented enough to be fancy, yet old enough to be steady. She’s great at taking care of her young riders. Since my mental age around the barn at the moment is 12 or less, she’s a wonderful horse for me right now.

I don’t like that I need an emotional support horse. But I do & she’s here. So, I’m trying to be okay with my good fortune. I will try not to get caught in the tailspin that is the inside of my head.

Thoughts Not To Have
(Obviously, I can’t let go of them completely. I feel the need to include them here. Maybe pinning them down will help me purge them.)

Why do I get on better with the older ASBs – Dottie, Sam, Willie, Alvin, Big – rather than the younger – Desi, Lola? Why is that? What does it say about me as a rider? Am I such a weak rider that I can only ride well-educated school horses?

Why am I a such hot mess about riding? Why am I like this? How can I fix it?

Riding Dottie does not address, much less answer, my underlying issues. I’ve simply lucked into a very nice horse who fits within the narrow parameters of what I can cope with.

Sometimes it’s hard to accept when things go well. Why is that?

Thought To Put In Place Of The Above
Go Dottie!

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Letter Art: Indiana CDE 2017




Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Foto Friday: One Day at a Horse Show

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott