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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Westernaires Interclub 2012

Here is Kira, ready for Interclub!

Westernaires is big on shows. And they should be. The kids work hard to learn to control their horses and learn the drills. Tenderfeet, the first year kids, do not have any drills. So how does an organization that specializes in mounted drills get their first year riders into a show? Interclub.

What is Interclub? It is a chance for first and second year riders to show of the equitation skills they have learned since they joined the previous August. The classes are divided by age with the youngest (age 9) going first. The riders are asked to walk, trot and lope their horses, reverse them and do the same thing in the other direction. They need to keep their horses on the rail, keep their free hand on their leg, change gates within three strides and keep themselves out of groups so the judges can see them.

It can be rather entertaining. The young kids are so focused on getting their horses to move that they forget to keep their horses on the rail. It doesn't take long for the horses to start to spiral in on the judges so the caller has to stop the class, tell them to move out to the rail and start again. Some end up in groups, some end up back in the middle and some do okay. As the kids get older, the horses stay on the horsemanship also improves and the horses do a better job of staying on the rail and out of groups.

Kira's class went into the arena around 2:30. Considering we got there at 7:30, it was kind of a long wait. But she was excited and a bit nervous. So was her horse. Ebony would not stand still while waiting to go into the arena. To all who were watching, it looked like Kira was in for a rough ride. But as soon as Ebony stepped into the arena she collected and went to work.

Kira had her horse all washed and groomed. She did that Friday night. While we were down at Westernaires on Saturday a rain storm blew through. Kira was worried because if there was mud in our pasture, Ebony would roll. We got lucky. The rain missed our pasture so it was dry. Come Sunday morning, all Ebony needed was a few minutes with the soft brush to make her shine.

Kira's ride ended and they lined up in the center facing the audience. The smile says she enjoyed herself quite a bit.

The judge liked her ride as well. Here is Kira collecting her third place ribbon. We thought it should have been first because she did a wonderful job keeping herself out of crowds and Ebony did everything Kira asked as soon as Kira asked. The only thing we can think of is that her hand did not stay on her leg.

Well done Kira! Congratulations on winning a ribbon!

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