Monday, June 15, 2009

Louie's First Show!

. . . was a success! We aren't cantering consistently on both leads yet, but I felt Louie was ready to try a walk-trot class, so yesterday I got Louie out of the pasture, and we packed up and headed to a local open show in Polk County, Wisconsin to compete (read: practice) in the open walk-trot class ala academy style (helmet, martingale, and all). It was Louie's first show ever and I could not be more THRILLED with how he did! From loading, to standing at the trailer for several hours, to handling the crowded fairground with all the sights and sounds (people, horses, baby horses, awnings, trucks, golf carts, dogs, speakers, metal bleachers, announcer stand, etc), and finally to riding in the show ring- I was SO impressed with how he did. We rode in a class of 16 walk-trot horses (okay I envisioned a class of like 5 haha) in a show ring that he had never been in, with announcer, 2 judges, standing in the line up for what seemed like an hour, and a lot of people watching ringside and he handled it all like a seasoned show horse.

And what I think might be the best part of the whole thing is that I was happy and comfortable in the show ring for the first time in a long time. My last horse gave me a case of show nerves, and I really didn't have them yesterday. Louie took care of me- flat walked like a dream and went around perfectly without a step out of place the whole time. BRAVO Louie! Can you tell I'm excited? Lol. We even had people including complete strangers and a former saddle seat (Morgan) trainer come up and comment on how much they liked him and how impressed they were at his consistency for his age and level of training, and what great potential he has. I'm so proud of him. Here are a few pictures that my friend took (she will admit she is no photographer, lol). Looking at these photos, it is clear that we have a long way to go and Louie has a lot of growing up/filling out to do, but we've made a lot of progress in the past 7 months and he did really well for being totally barefoot and only haven ridden 4 times in the past month! The pro photographer also got a cute one, so I'll post the link when the proofs are up. Nevermind the dorky helmet, lol.

YAY LOUIE!! I'm so proud of my boy!



Edited to add: here is one of the photos that the pro photographer got. I ordered this one for the scrapbook - so cute! Here are the links to the other two that he got: http://cfphotos.instaproofs.com/printDetails.php?event=129924&id=34191791 and http://cfphotos.instaproofs.com/printDetails.php?event=129924&id=34191773

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