Saturday, September 27, 2008

Another Fall Show

Went to an open show today and saw some interesting things. My human and Lula and Voltare’s human have struck up a friendship and decided to go together to a show this weekend. Lucky’s human was invited too. We loaded up in the big four horse wheeled cave and headed over to the show grounds. We had been bathed and blanketed the night before and Voltare was simply an unbearable snob. I wanted to put my hoof in his head! Lula torments him mercilessly and it just drives him into a rage. Hard to believe they are half siblings. Lucky stays completely out of their arguments. He loves Lula but is too shy to even speak to her and Voltare scares him to death. Just to be ornery I always take Lula’s side, which makes Voltare even madder.

We arrived at the show and Lula’s human and his herdmate tacked up Lula and Voltare while my human and Lucky’s human tacked us up. Lucky and I were just going to school our humans at this show, so there were no major nerves. When we came from around our side of the trailer Lula and Voltare were tacked up and their human’s dressed for their events.

Lula was lovely. She does the saddled seat and her human looked very dapper in her three-piece outfit and funny little head covering. Lula’s flaxen mane and tail were all shiny and creamy. Lucky stood there, drooling and unable to move, looking at her like a besotted fool.

When I looked at Voltare I almost gasped. He was stunning. He was tacked up western, with a saddle that was loaded with shiny plates. His bridle and reins were covered in more shiny beads. His bright red mane and tail were no longer braided and wrapped, and instead hung down shimmering and wavy. If he were a mare I would have fallen in love! Even our humans whistled admiringly.

We set off for the show ring, stopping to talk with other horses and humans we knew. Lula was in the first classes, so we watched her show. Voltare took his human over to the warm up ring, so we didn’t have to endure his snide comments. When Lula came trotting in the ring, knees lifting high, white stockings flashing, I thought Lucky was going to fall over from yearning. Lula’s human is a very trim female and she is a brilliant rider. She offers support instead of dominance. Her hands were light on the required double reins and her seat was so secure she didn’t hinder Lula’s rapid trot in the slightest. It was a joy to watch them both. They won several classes and then did a combination class where the horses were ridden and then stripped off. I have to say that even after a few hours of riding Lula was just as brilliant.

After the saddled seat classes were over Lucky and I walked over to the warm up ring. There was a break in the show while the smoke monsters dragged the arena. We walked and trotted a bit, warming up our humans for our afternoon classes. We passed Voltare several times, but he was concentrating on his human and paid us no mind. I may be a tease, but even I know better than to distract a horse that is in training mode.

When the next classes were called it was for Voltare’s western classes. We wandered over to watch and met Lula and her human at the rail. Lula had been untacked and hosed off and she was so fresh and pretty looking! The first class came in and Voltare immediately stood out. Not only was he one of the few Arabians, but he was also one of the few horses with his head up high enough to see where he was going. Lucky and I glanced at each other in confusion, and he shrugged as if to say he had no idea what was going on. Voltare moved along at a sweeping jog, his head vertical and his human with a bare amount of contact. Most of the other western horses had their heads near their knees and had to look up through their eyelids in order to see where they were going. It was most disconcerting to watch.

When a canter was called for (by the funny western term “ lope” ) Voltare stepped right into a floaty rear-driven canter. Most of the rest of the class staggered around doing four beats and never really getting into a true canter. Some of the horses were even cantering with their hind ends two tracking inside of their fronts. It was hideous. And their poor mouths! Every other stride seemed to bring about a hard tug from their humans. Lucky and I glanced at each other in horror! If my human tugged on me like that she would find herself with a more than passing acquaintance with the ground!

While watching we paid some attention to what our humans were saying and came to understand that in some cases the judges did not like how Voltare moves and would placed the head dragging, canted horses over him. I was appalled. First for the poor horses and then for the fact that judges would reward such hideous movement.

Thankfully, it seemed that this was not one of those judges and Voltare won the class. Second place was a lovely Morgan fellow that was ridden by a young female human. We didn’t get to watch too many of the western classes, thank goodness, or I might have found myself with a sympathy colic going on, because we had to finally get ready for our hunt seat classes.

Lucky has come a long way since he arrived here last fall. He is now fat and shiny and has a quiet confidence that bespeaks his easy nature. His human has really bonded with him and has forsworn ever parting from him. He now looks like a very collected, showy hunter with a solid background. We watched him when his division came up and his human did him proud. He got his first blue ribbon! He was so proud and his human was crying up a storm. When the announcer relayed how he was a rescue horse he got a big round of applause!

After a few of Lucky’s classes, and right before my division started, tragedy struck. We were outside of the entrance gate when a big thoroughbred mare was having trouble with her human. The human kept sawing on the reins and the mare reared up, obviously trying to rid herself of the lout. The human responded by whipping her several times across the haunches and in defense the mare kicked out.

It happened so quickly that those of us near the gate could not get out of the way. My human had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of the kick. It was hard too; I felt it through her leg and the saddle. I jumped to the side and the mare swung the other way and lashed out again. By now I was just concerned with getting my human away because I could tell she was injured. Lucky’s human came running up and grabbed my reins, although why she thought I was panicking is beyond me.

Lula’s human came up leading Lucky and Lula and cleared the way around us. My human said she’d rather ride back to the trailer and Lucky’s human kept exclaiming over the hoofprint on her boot.

When we arrived at the trailer Voltare’s human helped mine down. She hobbled over and sat on the side of the wheeled cave. Lula and Lucky were quickly tied up, but I refused to leave my human’s side. Voltare’s human very carefully pulled her boot off and whistled when he saw the purple blotch on her leg. Lucky’s human finally gave in to the fact that I was not going to leave and untacked me where I stood. While we were waiting for Lula’s human to come back with some cold stuff the show manager came up and asked my human what happened. She got an earful. I almost turned roan when I heard the mare’s human described! His poor mother, whatever did she do to deserve such commentary?

Once the show manager got the report on the incident she left, saying some more roan inducing words and giving me the impression the mare’s rider was in serious trouble. Lula’s human returned with a bad of cold stuff and placed it on my human’s blotch. She moaned and I almost fainted in fear that she was dying! She must have realized how stricken I was because she reached over and patted my nose, telling me she was going to be fine. I finally let Lula lead me away to the other side of the trailer.

We returned home a somber group. By the time we arrived at the barn my human could barely hop out of the rattletrap. Lula’s human helped put Lucky and I away, while Voltare’s human unloaded the trailer. Lucky and my human left in one of the rattletraps, I hope to take my human to her stable for the night. I’m sure I’ll find out tomorrow. More later.


Leah Fry said...

That's a pretty hair-raising story there at the end. I'll bet your human really felt that bruise the day after! Hope all is well now.

lytha said...

i wish you had pictures, i'd love to see you guys.


Carrie Giannandrea said...


I would be awesome!!

Hang in there Tuffy, your human will heal......just takes time you know.

Good boy taking care of her Tuffy, you're the best!

Carrie Giannandrea
Dances with Horses
Formula One Farms