Sunday, December 4, 2011

TASHA Christmas Horse Show..

.. is so much fun! Just in case anyone had any doubt that Sandy Currier, head trainer at Bluebonnet Farm, not only knows how to ride aside.. but also rides aside very well.. well here is some proof! I caught her warming up Oliver for me when I was getting dressed.

I have a lot to share with you about the show, but first I want to take a minute to talk about Bluebonnet Farm. For those of you who ride with a training barn know all about this next subject. When you decide to train with a barn it is a lot like getting married. Your trainer is your spouse. The barn owners are like your in laws and the other riders are like your new siblings. Well, just as in any family, there can either be waves of love, encouragement and support.... or there can be jealousy, back biting and DRAMA! Trust me when I say that if you are in a barn of the later description, it can be a living HELL!

I am thrilled to say that riding with Bluebonnet has been the very best experience I I could have even imagined!! Considering on top of everything else, I am doing something that is totally out of the norm and might not be encouraged by many other trainers...after all, a lot of trainers are more concerned with filling their ribbon boards with blue ribbons than helping to full fill a riders dreams ... even if that dream means a blue ribbon may never be in that riders future. I cannot thank Sandy, Dora, Mr. and Mrs. P., Cherryl, Randy, Elle and all the others who have done so much to make my dream a reality!

Okay - sniff, sniff... time to wipe away my tears and go on with the story! Here is a picture in front of the Bluebonnet stalls. In the picture are L to R, Barbara, the TASHA president; Elle, one of Bluebonnet owners; Randy, a breeder and rider; and me. Like my new Christmas skirt?

As a much larger group than the few pictured above, we have a lot of fun together. Some of the group is Christian and some are Jewish so here we are decorating the Christmas tree in blue and silver Hanukkah colors!

Someone, still not sure who did this, made these adorable stall ornaments for every horse!

This was the very first show for Equusport, AKA Sport!

Sandy rode him and he was all eyes as he entered the show ring!

Sport was a bit unsure about all that was going on, but he tried really hard to please.. as he always does!

He has only been cantering for a month and still a bit unsure about the lead part of his canters.. so he likes to switch them... without being asked!

You could tell though, he was a happy horse and it was a good experience for him. Our next show will not be until early March, so he has a lot of time to perfect his skills. He did place 4th out of a class of 6 though.. even with all of those upper level dressage flying canter lead changes!

Next up was Mason.

Mason is a young man who came to the farm with his Mom and his Grand Mother wanting to learn how to drive so he could show. He is driving a horse we all love named Chip. Lots of Mason's family came to watch him show

Dora will sit in the carriage with Mason since there are 2 other competitors in the class. Don't get me wrong.. Mason did all the work!

... and what a good job he did.... He WON his class!!! Everyone was thrilled for Mason, especially his Grand Mother, Anke...

..and his Mom, Edith!

I just love this family.. you see, Anke is the one who entrusted me with my sweet Oliver!

Randy has an incredible mare that he is diving in fine harness. Notice how different this buggy is from the other ones. This is the elite of the driving classes.

Wow - this horse is just breath taking!

..and last - but never least is me. Don snapped these pictures as I mounted Oliver..

It was such windy weekend, that we devised a little tie down for my skirt for the second class ... since my skirt ballooned up once in our first class. I thought for sure it might scare someone elses horse. Oliver is a pro at this now and little fazes him about my elaborate costuming anymore! In fact, in our first class, at the canter the wind was causing my skirt to really slap him on the hip with each stride.

Humm - look at these nice ribbons. Well - I have to admit that the blue one is not mine.... but the RED ONE IS!!! The Country Pleasure class had 4 entries. One ladies horse blew up on her practice ride, so she never made it into the show ring. Oliver had the best ride we have ever EVER had. He was much calmer than he was at the NTASHA show and the photographer got some really cute pictures..... that I will show you as soon as I get them!

Wow - it is going to be a long wait until March.. but we have a lot to work on between now and then... and I think a new Spring suit is in order.. soemthing with a bit of pink since we have a breast cancer "pink" class at the Pin Oak Charity Show!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Your barn sounds like such a supportive group. I don't show, so love being able to see barn show setups. The skirt- stunning!

Anke said...

Thank you Julie for a good write up! Love Mason's pictures and am so very pleased that 'our' Ollie has you for a mom now. He is very special (ummm...yah, in more ways then one.....;)

I also do think that Bluebonnet Farm IS the barn to be in and we hope to become part of that family.
At least we will get to show together!!!

Susan N. said...

Julie - this was a wonderful story and apparently you had a terrific show! Congrats to you and all of Bluebonnet Farm!

Loved your skirt too!

Gus said...

Love the story and the photos. Even though we've never met Anke is very special to me. I'm so very happy for Anke & family.

Love your stories of riding aside. Bluebonnet sounds like an awesome place to be. We've been in a few of those "other" barns and it sure does make you appreicate what you have when finally find a good one.