Saturday started off with horse show preparation. Rocky got his bath, but boy was it cold in the morning. He was not thrilled with this event for sure! The horse trailer was borrowed from Taylor Doll (thanks Taylor!) and loaded with our new western saddle and matching bridle a long with grooming supplies and some chopped hay for the old man.
Sunday April 22nd was a perfect day to be at the Taylor Rodeo Arena. It was sunny and warm with a nice breeze blowing. We woke up early, got loaded up in the horse trailer and off we went. It was Rocky's show day debut. He hasn't been to a horse show in at least 10 years, but he hopped in the trailer like a pro as if he new that today was a big event!
We were one of the first to arrive, but we still had a lot of primping to do. Matt and Melissa met us at the trailer and the beauty parlor was set up. Matt groomed as Melissa banded Rocky's mane and I de-stained his beautiful white fetlocks. Then Matt had to do his primping and get to say the Athlete's Oath at Opening Ceremonies. What an honor!
Showmanship was our first class. I must say we were least prepared for this. It was a last minute decision to put Matt in Showmanship, but he has been doing so well at leading Rocky that I figured "why not". We just started practicing "fronting his horse" and setting him up for inspection 3 weeks before the show. So, though I knew it would cause Matt to not place well, I decided to enter the arena and "help" him out by verbally prompting him what to do. Matt is an independent rider, so he was supposed to do this on his own, but he was just not quite prepared enough. He ended up taking 5th place.
Trail is where Matt really shined! He got the silver medal and he RODE Rocky. He told Rocky where to go, made him stop in the box, backed him up, kept Rocky at a walk, ... It was a beautiful thing! I was so proud!
Matt's last class was Equitation. This is a rail class where the athlete is being judged on his form and riding skills. Again Matt rode wonderfully! He kept Rocky at a very nice walk, he reversed directions when the judge asked them to, he passed other horses safely and with as much control as I have ever seen, and his posture was lovely. Matt's weakness is that he looks down all of the time! Urgh! Matt placed 5th in this class, as well. It was one of his best rides ever though!
I proceeded to drive Matt crazy all day long. Matt likes it when he can get others to do things for him. He knows how to work the system! :) I kept telling him that I wasn't the one showing today. He had to lead Rocky back to the trailer. He had to tack up his horse. Then he had to untack. Matt had to work all day long (almost!)!
Rocky had a great day. He was calm all day long and enjoyed meeting other horses. He was so well behaved for Matt. He was happy to get home and tell everyone back at the Ranch about Special Olympics!
Michael 05/03/2012 09:53PM
Way to go Matt! Congratulations on placing 5th! That's awesome! Sounds like you've come a long way. Keep up the good work and remember to keep your head up.....wink
Joyce Fox 05/04/2012 12:00PM
That's my grandson! He's a champ to us!
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