After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Horse Show! A first for them both

Grace is eight.  She just joined 4-H this year.  In fact, we got her in at 4:50pm on the day of the deadline for this year.  Her projects are horse and poultry (as you may know from her guest blogging.) Today was her first horse show.  It was also specifically for first and second year horse kids.

A couple weeks ago she was still on the fence about whether to do the horse project.  But then we went to a meeting and she met a little girl who is just her age who also signed up for the horse project and it was also her first year.  They hit it off and that was the tipping point for Grace.  Horse project was a go.

Nothing like cramming for a horse show in a week.  We actually had a couple weeks, but I have never in my life shown a horse.  Yes, I've had a horse, this horse, for most of my life and he's never been in the ring.  I suspect that my parents didn't think too highly of the horse people in our area.  And they didn't have time to drag their daughter and a horse all over the county.  But, I respect that and actually commented to the husband on the way out the door that I wondered if this was the beginning of carting a horse and a kid all over the county.  It'll be okay.

Now, I'm new to this horse showing thing.  We missed the clinic for a variety of reasons, most of them being that I need to be more on top of things, and our horse leader graciously did a couple sessions with Grace and her little friend.  The other mom and I were very impressed with their progress. 

We also had the issue of a dirty horse.  He's old.  And he's had one bath in his life.  And he's white.  We had to at least get the chunks off.  So Grace and I did just that last night.  Then we tied him in the stall with some hay and told him not to go rolling in anything.  He complied.  I was relieved.

We also had to get Grace something to wear.  Boots and a western-style shirt was in order.  She also got a belt and a new pair of pants with the deal.  They both ended up looking pretty sharp!

Shamere was bored and decided to take a little nap while waiting for his turn.  He just watched the freaking out horses and then commented to himself that they were just making him look even better.  Even if he is old.

More waiting.  But it's getting a little more exciting.  I stood over in line with them and scratched him some just to make sure he was calm, cool and collected.  And give Grace some love to make sure that she was calm, cool and collected.

 They both were in great shape, so I went and stood with the husband.  But not before I took this picture.  Something about this angle makes me smile.

It's show time!   Honestly, I knew about as much as Grace.  But from an adult perspective.  So this was going to be interesting to watch.

They make a good lookin' pair. 

This picture makes me smile for a couple reasons.  First, I gave Calla a camera and told her to take pictures.  She took that very seriously and when Grace was walking by, Calla said, "Smile, Grace!"  Second, Grace smiled.  The horse might be smiling, too. 

The class was so large that they broke it into two and then those that got a call back from their first round got to compete for ribbons. 

Grace got bored after a while and I was just standing there on the side and couldn't do a darn thing to get her to set up and show that horse even though she was bored.

But, in spite of her bored posture and not knowing where the pole of a horse is, she got thumbs up (literally) to go to the second round to compete for a ribbon.  Go Grace!  And Shamere!

Second round was better.  But the judge went sly and changed it up on them a little.  Grace did better when the judge was one on one with her, but forgot to move when she was in line.  Much like the other ten kids. 

Eleven made it to the final round.  Grace placed 7th and got a ribbon.  She was thrilled that it matched her shirt. 

Grace's little friend placed 6th.  They were pretty excited for each other, too.  I hope that's a sign of things to come for those two. 

Shamere is thrilled to be done with the whole bath nonsense and is out in the field happy as ever with the new spring grass and sunshine. But I kind of think he likes the clean part because he has yet to roll in the mud.    Maybe he's showing off for the horses next door.  "See!  They DO love me!"

Grace has a ribbon on her wall and a smile on her face. And fancy new boots and shirt and pants and  belt. 

She should be proud. Her daddy and are are pretty darn proud of her.    And frankly, we'd probably drive those two anywhere if it meant we could see that proud smile. 

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