I don’t know if I have mentioned Faeth, my new half Arabian filly. She was born in 2012 and is a full sister to Faxx. She became part of our family in July. She had barely been handled, so she had some catching up to do, but she was very eager to learn and is a very sweet girl.
I had entered Faeth in an Arabian/Half show this weekend. They have a sporthorse division now and you can show in hand and under saddle, and all classes are judged by carded dressage or hunter judges. This was her very first outing and I hadn’t had time to work her in hand much (they are shown on triangle just like dressage sport horse breeding shows) plus she hasn’t BEEN anywhere in her life hardly. And never stayed away from home overnight before. It was at Great Southwest Equestrian Center, just over an hour away from home.
Anyway, by the time it rolled around this weekend, I was so tempted t just blow it off. With all the stuff with my parents (I have one parent in assisted living and another in a nursing home) completely delusional Friday it just seemed like even more work – braiding her and packing her stuff and my stuff. But it was beautiful weather and some other friends were going so I went.
I was a little concerned when I led her all around the show grounds – she was very good until we got to the busy warm up ring behind the main ring and she saw, for the first time in her life, snorty high stepping English pleasure horses and western horses, some doing spins. She obviously wanted to get out of there, but she listened to me.
The next morning when I got her out to walk her around before our class, she was noticeably calmer. Plus she’d drank all her water, eaten all her hay overnight and had laid down in her stall. All good things for a first trip or even a seasoned campaigner. I felt she was calm enough to practice trotting up and down some empty aisles. Perfect. Trotted right up with me calmly and obediently.
I was showing her in two classes – Half Arabian Mares Sport Horse In Hand Amateur to handle and open. Judges have a score sheet and give scores for walk and trot, as well as conformation. I really like it because you get to keep the score sheet. The championship in each division is determined by scores.
My first class, she stood up well and walked well. When I asked for trot on the triangle she lept in the air! I was stunned. But brought her back to walk, asked for trot again and she was still very up, and shaking her head, but was able to keep her trotting and straight. As I got back to the judge I was just laughing. I knew the judge and her scribe and there was a crowd watching by the in-gate as I said, “I swear she didn’t do that once in practice!” Everyone laughed. But I also knew she’d shown enough of her good trot that the judge wouldn’t ask me to run again. Thank goodness!
I went again for the amateur class about 15 minutes later. I didn’t even check scores because I knew they would not be out. I spent some time trotting her in hand again and trying to get the silliness out of her. Our next round still had a minor air above the ground, but nothing like the first one.
She won both her classes and was the Champion Half Arabian Mare which earned her a flowered neck sash (artificial flowers) in addition to a ribbon. She ALSO had the highest score in the entire Half Arabian division, which earned her a ‘rose blanket’ (also artificial) to be mailed to me.
I was thrilled with her. Even if she hadn’t won, she handled the show atmosphere very well. Her next show will be in May and in June she may go to compete in the Arabian/Half Arabian Sport Horse Regional Championships.