Sunday, September 6, 2009

Youth Horse Show

In my former life, I made my living as a show horse trainer. I was living my dream and I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful mentor who was a great horseman and taught me so many things. (The best thing she taught me was how to train a horse without being abusive, which is almost unheard of in the show horse world.)

I've left that life far behind me, thank goodness, and my dream with horses has totally changed, grown and evolved..... I've left the show horse world mostly in the past, except for two days out of the year - our county fair horse shows. This is the 13th year that I've put them on. And now my own daughter is able to live her dream, at least for a day. And hopefully, someday her dream will also evolve, but for now she loves the horse show and I'm glad to do my part to help put on the county fair.

And the kids are so great. I never have time while scrambling my way through running the show to take any pictures, so I was extremely excited when Molly came, took a bunch of photos and graciously consented to let me post them.

So here it is, the 2009 Kane County Fair Youth Horse Show as seen through the lens of Molly Wald:

kids and horses everywhere...

What's fun about this one is that I don't think Molly knew it, but the set of parents watching from the sidelines in this image are the parents of the boy just going by. Cool. Maybe she did know somehow, if not, a pretty good coincidence.

I love how Molly's photos tell a story....

This behind-the-scenes mom is my friend, Kori and that's her boy on Kori's grandpa's old mare. What a good old girl she is - the mare, not Kori. That's not to say that Kori's not a good girl - she definitely is, but she's not old. And the mare is.


Sometimes our horse show looks a little more like a horse race. It's always exciting, but at least no one was bucked off this year. That might be a first. We ended before midnight and no one came off - a rousing success!

This little gal is 4 years old, and boy did she tear it up! That's her grandpa in the right side of the frame, he's my next door neighbor. And my husband's first cousin. And our former bishop. It's a very small town, every resident is required to perform multiple functions. Well, not required, I suppose, but if they don't, they're just not pulling their weight.

These two little buckaroos are brothers - there were 7 of them entered in the horse show - 7 siblings from one family - ranging from the oldest participant, who was only 15, I believe, to the youngest, this little guy on the left who is 3. (I believe his horse was over 20 - that's the best age for the horse when the rider is 3.)

We had a pretty good turnout and lots of fun.

Miss Jessica won most of the trophies for her age group on a horse her mother won in a hoop-shoot contest a long time ago. She's a lovely Arabian mare, a very small minority in this part of the country. (The last time my good old Arabian, Rocky, showed at our show, he beat all the Quarter Horses too. I'm not trying to make a point by saying that, just an intriguing fact.)

Our fair princess royalty comes every year and hands out ribbons and trophies, we had an especially fun and helpful royalty this year. That's them in the above photo handing Jessica her trophy - they all wore the same color.

And now for my girl. After Brynn's good horse, Penny, died she didn't have a horse to show. My good friend Linda offered to let us use her lovely horse, Bo, and we kept him and practiced with him a month or so before the show.

Poor kid. Because practically every kid saddle ever made is too narrow for horses, Brynn has had to learn to ride in a saddle that fits the horse, but doesn't necessarily fit her. She's ridden hundreds of miles without stirrups and even when we borrowed this little saddle from Linda for the horse show (which was too narrow for Bo but fit Brynn) she was so used to riding without stirrups that she kept dropping them.

Bo's such a pretty boy. Molly's great at catching the action and getting the mane flying up - neato.

Backing her horse up the way Mama taught her... pretty much.

Getting a blue ribbon from Dad, who must have been filling in for the princesses before they got there.

This one is my favorite - she looks so happy. (By the way, where is her pink hat?)

I sure appreciate Molly taking these, I will treasure them for years to come. And thanks Bo-Bo for taking care of my girl. A good horse is worth it's weight in gold. And anyone looking for a fun evening and great photo opps is invited to come to our horse show next year.