Saturday, September 20, 2014

Arabian Hunter Pleasure tack and turnout

Even though it's been a long time since I sat on a "real" hunter, I'll always be a hunter girl at heart.  Because of this, I am fascinated by the all the different ways various breeds approach hunter classes.  This post covers attire, tack and turnout requirements for the Arabian Hunter Pleasure division.  Quoted information comes from the USEF Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo Arabian rulebook, and the photos were taken at the 2014 CAHC Fall Show in Castle Rock, Colorado.
Riders wear "informal attire" consisting of a conservatively colored hunt coat, light colored breeches or jods, boots and a hunt cap, derby or other protective headgear.  Gloves may be worn but are not required, and spurs and crops are also permitted. 
Bridles should be of a "light, show type" with a regular cavesson and no bling.  In fact, ornamentation of any kind is strictly prohibited.
Acceptable bits include snaffles, pelhams, full bridles and kimberwickes.
Breastplates are allowed but not required.  Martingales and tie-downs are forbidden.
The "type of English saddle is optional, but forward seat" is recommended, and saddleseat saddles are not permitted.  There are no specific rules regarding pads, but shaped fleece pads are always a popular (and conservative!) option.
Like USEF hunters, Arabian Hunter Pleasure horses usually show in braids.  However, since Arabians have long manes, tiny, individual braids are not a practical option.  Instead the mane is contained in a single, running braid that lies just below the horse's crest.
Tails may also be braided.  Just remember, it's perfectly acceptable to have a braided mane with a loose tail but not vice versa!
As far as actual performance goes, this is a pretty basic rail class.  Horses perform four gaits (walk, trot, canter and hand gallop) in a group in both directions of the arena.  They may also be asked to halt on the rail and perform a rein back.  
It's been a long time since I've written a Performance Spotlight post like this.  As always, your questions, comments are corrections are welcome!

CAHC Fall Show

It's been a long, long time since I attended an Arabian show, so yesterday I drove down to the Douglas County Fairground in Castle Rock, Colorado to attend the Colorado Arabian Horse Club Fall Show.
The show was coupled with the AHA Region 8 Off-Site Working Western Championships, and I was hoping to watch cutting horses.
Unfortunately, I misread the the schedule so I had to make do with reining horses,
Hunter Pleasure horses, 
Western Pleasure horses, 
and Country Pleasure Saddleseat horses.
This was not exactly a hardship.
I had a great time looking at all the pretty horses...
and all the pretty tack!
I'll definitely be back next year, and maybe I'll even make it to the cutting classes!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Almost wordless Wednesday

If I was to make a list of my favorite places, Trisha's farm in Wellington, Colorado would be near the top.  Here are some of the reasons why.  Enjoy!

Kindness repaid

About six weeks ago, I wrote a post titled Kindness.  
That same night, my family and I ate dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  At the end of the meal, I found this fortune inside my cookie.
"Huh," I thought.  "That's kind of cool."  I folded it in half, tucked inside my wallet and promptly forgot about it.

I came across it again earlier this week.  I nearly threw it away, but instead I unfolded it and pinned it to the bulletin board in my studio. 

Then, today, this happened:
For no reason other than kindness, my friend and fellow tackmaker, Susan Bensema Young, sent me an Aurelius.
I am so touched and honored by this gift.   Thank you, Susan.
My kindness has surely been repaid.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pictures from today's ride

Today I went on a trail ride with my friend, Mary Jo.
My mount was Santana, who I rode last spring for the Living with Coyote documentary.
After eight months on Mystyc, it was a relief to head down the driveway on this big, willing, uncomplicated horse.
For the first time in a long time, I was able to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Santana didn't get flustered when we ran into Diana and Guaranteed...
or nervous when they passed us and headed home. 
He crossed the stream multiple times without balking... 
and stood quietly... 
while I took pictures... 
of wildlife.
He wasn't bothered by bicycles...
and didn't get bronc-y or jiggy on the way home.
This was such a fun and relaxing ride... 
even the squirrels... 
wanted to join in... 
and follow along! 
I feel so fortunate to be entrusted with this lovely gelding... 
and I look forward to riding him down the road again and again!