A couple of weeks ago Annabelle had her final Gem State Stock Horse Association show for the season. She was excited, even more so than usual. We had just returned from our trip to Seattle, and my little cowgirl was anxious to get back in the saddle.
We met Auntie Kris out at Lucky Run for a little practice on Friday afternoon. Batman was very excited to see the lovely Ms. Kristi, who he blushingly calls his “girlfriend.” She was sweet enough to let the kids “help” her do some of her chores.
Check out Batman’s outfit.
No, I did not dress him. But apparently I did let him leave the house that way.
Once the wash rack was clear, the kids started in on Chic. When he was all scrubbed up Annabelle wanted to clean his feet. Look how he is standing there…..his foot resting so the kids can work on it.
It took them quite a while, but Chic never moved once. What an awesome horse he is.
Saturday morning dawned bright and clear. We were up early and started our drive over to Ontario by about 6:30. The kids ate McDonald’s pancakes in the car on the way over, so they were all fueled up for the day.
Batman burned off a little of his extra energy by doing an Olympic Gymnastics impression on the rails of the warm up pen.
If they ever let four-year olds who wear “Disney Cars” pull-ups and cowboy boots into the Olympics, Batman has a great shot.
Annabelle calmly trotted Chic around the warm-up pen. She is getting pretty comfortable with this whole horse show scene by now.
I tried to talk my little diva through her pattern one last time, but she just said “Mom, I know what to do!”
Famous last words, but we’ll get to that in a moment. She didn’t really want her picture taken either.
But I had to keep taking it, because she was wearing another beautiful new shirt that Auntie Shane had gotten for her. It was pink snake-skin, with a rhinestone collar and French cuffs.
I don’t think I have ever seen a cooler horse show shirt. I’ve sure never worn one.
When it was finally her turn, Annabelle walked Chic calmly into the pen.
And then she did her pattern.
Well, half of it. She forgot one circle. Other than that little detail, though, her performance really was great.
Chic ran down and stopped like the World Champion he is.
It was beautiful.
You can watch it here. It only takes a minute.
When Annabelle came out of the pen she was beaming. She didn’t realize that she had forgotten part of her pattern. I told her she did great, with that one little hiccup.
She thought long and hard about it. Then she said “Well, that’s not that big of a deal is it? They will still give me a good score, right?” I told her I wasn’t sure about the Little Buckaroos Class, but in the big kids’ classes they would give you a zero for missing part of the pattern.
Annabelle was horrified. “A zero!? Just for forgetting a circle? That doesn’t seem like THAT big of a deal!” I laughed really hard, then told her not to worry about it. I have messed up more patterns in various types of horse shows than many people will ever run in their careers. “It happens to everyone,” I told her.
She was relieved.
After the show as over we hung around for a while. We chatted with Auntie Kris, who was kind about the mishap and reassured Annabelle again that pattern hiccups happen to everyone.
Kris was showing her pretty bay mare Sally, who seemed to enjoy her new role as a hackamore horse.
We stopped by Jerry Vincent’s tack trailer to check out a different saddle for Annabelle, since hers wasn’t fitting any of the horses very well. We didn’t bother getting Chic undressed all the way for his fitting. His fly sheet hung around his neck like a scarf. He didn’t care though. He’s very secure in his manhood. Well, gelding-hood I guess.
Jerry very kindly let us trade the saddle in for one that fit both Annabelle and Chic better. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of it. But it’s really cute.
We drove home from Ontario happy. Although Annabelle did not win her class on this day, she still took first place in the Gem State Little Buckaroo Division with her three first place wins in the previous shows.
She doesn’t know that though. She thinks it is all for fun. I am trying to postpone for as long as possible her realization that she is actually competing with her friends out there.
Because it really is all for fun.
Thanks again to Auntie Kris for sharing her awesome ride Chic, and Auntie Shane, who once again contributed most everything that my daughter was wearing.
You guys rock.