Sunday, July 10, 2011

Horse Show 2011

Colby went to his first horse show today. We pulled into the arena and all around us are these people with big trailers, lots of equipment, and we knew were were out of our league. So we unload our horses with plain old halters and spray them with plain old fly spray and stand there and watch. Watch as people wipe and wash and spray and tease and think hmmmm.... Then we realize the first class is a no saddle class....ooops. So Vance jerks the saddle off of Fancy and away they go. See her sweat marks? Yep, none of the other horses had that:) But oh well.... She and Colby did great!
Here he is trotting to the judge. I soon learned the value of a good horse. A horse that hasn't just been trained to do "tricks" when the conditions are favorable, but a horse that is used constantly. I heard so many times today when a horse (or child) was acting up...."It's just too hot" or "He/she is just done....they know it's time to go home" Blah....We were SO proud of Colby and Fancy today!
We learned that Colby has some work to do in showmanship department, but for his first time he did great.
He rode Lady for the bareback competition where he had to walk and trot her.
He rode Fancy in competitions where he walked, trotted, and loped....
Today, I also realized a new level of respect for my husband and one of his many talents and his judgement. He got asked more than once today who breaks his horses and he could answer that he has trained both of his horses. He also made great calls on which events to put Colby in and which weren't for him.
He put Colby in the next event and boy was I skeptical....but it paid off!
This is the trail class. It's kind of like an obstacle course for horses. It's supposed to be things that a rancher/cowboy would encounter on a day to day running of his ranch. The first part was to open this gate and walk through. You would not believe all of the horses that wouldn't even go up to the gate. Fancy was an old pro...all those nights at the roping pen paid off!
After the gate, Colby had to cross a bridge with Fancy. We knew she would cross it, but didn't know if he could make her do it. The first 2 attempts made me go sit down, but then I turn around and he had her up and over it! I was so proud of him for making her do it and following through!
Right after the bridge, he had to back Fancy between 2 cones. I don't have a picture because the bridge made me a nervous wreck!
He had to get the mail from the mailbox and then put it back in. He got the mail like a pro...
and apparently didn't get the memo about putting it back in and started to ride away with it, looking like he was reading it. Everyone started giggling and then he turned back around.
And put that mail away:)
Here he had to grab this bright yellow poncho and throw it over his horse and then hang it back up. You most cowboys do in real life? They get ON their horse and then grab their poncho:)
We knew that this was a learning experience for everyone and Colby was a 9 year old in a class of 13 and under...meaning he was one of the youngest competitors out there. It wasn't a matter of winning, but the chance to get his feet wet. Imagine our surprise when they call out his name for the Honorable Mention! It made crossing that bridge all the much sweeter!
After all the "judged" events, then it was on to the fun stuff. The first thing Colby did was the barrels...he was a little embarrassed b/c that's "girl stuff" but did well and seemed to enjoy it.

In this event, Colby had to take the flag out of the bucket and then ride around to the 3rd barrel and put the flag back in. It would seem easy, but MANY horses wouldn't even ride up to the barrel...let alone stand there for the rider to take out the flag. Colby missed the bucket to put the flag back in, but still did well.

In this event, the rider had to ride up one side of the poles, weave through them up and down the arena and then ride back down the other side. It was a timed event. Colby was 4 seconds shy of matching the winner. Fancy did a great job!

The last event of the day was riding down to the bucket and finding the right color of sucker. The color was called right before they went down. It was also a timed event.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Gardening

I love gardening...more so with flowers than with vegetables, but I'll do both. I have to say my flower beds are looking pretty darn snazzy. I moved lots of stuff this spring, so I'm curious to see what next year looks like. It seems that when you move things, it stunts them. Anyway....
This is my attempt at pepper plants....they'll be ready to pick in December:) I've learned to start them WAY earlier and plant them in bigger pots!

The tomato plants I started.
A LOOOOONG row of green beans that will soon be ready to pick.

LOTS of sweet corn:)

Daylilly:) Compliments of Vicki Whitlow
An abundance of hollyhocks! I bought ONE last year and now they have threatened to take over!
Another daylilly!
Zinnias I started from seed. Aren't they gorgeous?