Spring 2010 is less than a week away now and the weather is noticeably warmer. While buying feed the other day, I saw another sure sign of spring – a local horse show event schedule. I’ve been saying for a while “this is going to be my year!” but this year I’m serious about it. We have beautiful horses and relative youth on our side but none of us is getting any younger. Sure, we love to ride trails but I’d like to push our horses and ourselves a little more and learn something new. So we’ve asked a gaited horse trainer to help get us all into shape. Now we’re not talking about big fancy horse shows, though those can be fun. We are talking about local shows where you don’t have to show up with a $50,000 horse trailer and flawless fur. It’s in local shows you don’t have to worry about being the newbie, you just need to worry about having some fun. Plus, our two Tennessee Walking Horses, Cash and Valentine, have very nice natural walking horse gaits.
Our first official lesson was supposed to be yesterday but as frequently happens in east Tennessee, we were rained out. At least Cash was groomed. So instead, we spent some time learning about the different show classes, what’s expected and how we can prepare for them. For example, some exercises like butt lifts (lying down and lifting your legs and rear into the air for a few seconds) help prepare your back muscles. Also, balance improvement by riding bareback in the ring. I feel like I have good balance on a horse but I’m winter-green and could always use some improvement. Our trainer also suggested riding in a round pen with our arms out and heads back (it’s safer having some help guiding the horse). Apparently it’s harder than it sounds and we expect to find out on a clear day this week.
We’re looking at the following gaited classes: Open Gaited Pleasure, Go As You Please Gaited, Novice All Age Walk Pleasure and possibly Open Gaited Trail & Pattern but maybe later in the year, as we’ll need to practice a bit more for that class. Additionally, I’m still planning to run Romeo in the barrels, Mikki will run Cash in exhibition poles and we’re considering the Costume Class for Romeo or Cash. Fun!
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Are you showing this year?