What do endurance riders do in the off-season?
|Round 'em up, load 'em on, and move 'em out!|
Well, some of 'em clean up a bit and attend a schooling show!
|Burley : definitely not an endurance horse!|
(...after finishing the Most Important Cup of the Day, obviously.)
|Dory got her coffee, and Miss Sally hopped aboard Burley.|
Sally and Burley were featured in the E101 book--did you see them there?
Most of the Usual Suspects showed up to support our friends who were riding.
|The Usual Suspects perform a penguin huddle to stay warm|
I'm really new to the world of showing horses in an arena. Here's what I learned: a schooling show isn't a place of high drama.
|Burley is fascinated by Patty's hat - "It has EARZ!"|
Especially on a rainy Sunday in November.
|Sally and Burley in the arena, with Crystal calling|
The hardcore competitors will start appearing at these shows in January and February. This time of year, it really is mostly a chance to get some experience for horses and/or riders who need a chance to practice in an unfamiliar arena in front of a judge.
|Not Dory's usual Appaloosa mount--this is Katie's horse Whiskey|
It was really interesting to watch, and not stressful at all for the horses and riders.
|Proud owner Katie taking pictures from the sidelines|
In fact, the biggest challenge for a lot of us was
|Bystanders get cold easily! Yes, Crystal looks like Ralphie.|
staying warm while watching.
|It's a treat to see Big Meagan in a helmet at a dressage show,|
but she still loves her western tack.
It was fun!
(yes, the fun actually surprises me)
|Dexter is worn out by his five minutes in the arena--|
Dory actually made him pick up that big butt and WORK!
And everybody learned stuff.
|Sally watches her horse take test #2.|
After lunch (of course, we went for lunch!) Duana wanted to do some ground work with Hana, so
|Shouting "Move left! Move right!" didn't work. So Patty went in|
for a little more direct assisting
Patty taught Du how to free-longe in a big arena. Of course, these exercises are much easier in a round pen, but in November you need a personal flotation device in the round pen.
|"Go this way! See? She's paying attention! Now go this other way!"|
So, they used the covered arena. And Du learned stuff. In fact, she learned so much that we told her that she needs to take Hana to the next schooling show in early December.
It's good, y'all.