Friday, March 9, 2012

Ranch Horse Classes

On March 3, Christina and I loaded up Seven and Oakley and headed to Raleigh to ride in some newly offered Ranch Horse Classes at the Open Show going on at the fairgrounds. We were excited that they were being offered so we made a extra effort to ride in them. There was also a Reining Clinic going on in the arena before our classes that was free to watch, so we headed over early. We also met up with Reed, who was going to be our Horse Show Mother for the day! It was pouring rain all morning, so we left the boys on the trailer to eat hay and try to stay dry.
Soon it was time to unload them and get them ready. As we headed toward the arena for halter, it started to rain again. Our judge is a Reining Trainer who works out of the Wendell area, although I had never met him before.
There were six of us in the class. Seven got 4th and Oakley got 5th. I am not sure the judge knew that mules are supposed to be cow hocked, but oh well, they both looked great and stood well.
Then it was a race to head back to get tacked up so we could have some time warm up! Seven warmed up well and was really relaxed in that big indoor arena. With only 10 minutes to work, I was very happy with how he warmed up, because we'd had a few rocky rides earlier that week!
The first riding class was a Walk/Jog Ranch Riding Class. They look for a more free flowing, forward mover in these classes, but they also have to be consistent and very well mannered. Seven did a great job. I was surprised and pleased to get 1st place!
Then came the Walk/Job/Lope class. Again Seven rode well: he was a little faster at the canter that I wanted, but it was better than having him stop! Again I was so pleased when he placed 1st!
The final class was a Ranch Reining Class. Seven doesn't have a lead change and he had not been doing so well with his spins, but I knew we could do some nice circles and get our leads and do some good hard stops. He did really well and we came in 3rd behind two other horses that are both reining horses! I was so pleased.

Seven doing one of his hard ranch reining stops.
The judge came up to us after the show and told me, "I really like your mule, he is so soft and didn't give you any trouble." I was on cloud nine after that!
Several people came over as we tried to walk back to the trailer and wanted to stop and talk about mules. It was fun, and we did our Mule PR work for the month all in one day! One lady came over and asked me if I had ridden Seven in a Judges Clinic years before. She said she was so wowed by him then that she couldn't stop thinking about that mule! Too funny!
We spent the rest of the afternoon watching the Reining Clinic with Reed, Debbie, and Patty for before we headed home. We also got to watch my friend Jennifer ride her green horse Deuce in the reining clinic!

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