Saturday, September 27, 2008

Something To Talk About

Life In the Fast Lane
I have so much good news to report that I am so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to begin! I think going chronologically is probably the easiest. So after we came back from East Coast Championships I was sure I had enough points for Beauty to earn her Legion of Merit but I had to wait. On we trudged to vacation. A much-needed respite from the farm was needed by all of us. We returned rested and ready for action. Next on the docket was a two-phase day. Early in the morning on September 18 we took Sabiyana our Russian bred Arabian mare and her ’08 colt, EF Rafikki to a GOV inspection. This was a new adventure. We have never been to a warmblood inspection before. Sabi is a grey one of those white grays. After about 3 hours and a gallon of Orvis and whitening shampoo she was respectably clean looking and braided to almost perfection. This mare, I am sure, was in shock. She is 21 and hasn’t been in the show ring for many, many years. She knew what we were doing, I could see it in her eyes, but she was definitely in shock. When we were done with her we decided a comprehensive grooming and braid job on Sam was sufficient. They looked fantastic so off we went. We arrived very early as we were instructed to do. We got our paper work in order, hired handlers, and in the ring they went. Sabi got into the GOV Main Mare Book! How exciting, a 21-year-old mare was good enough to get into one of the strictest warmblood mare books we have access to. Sam got good remarks and nice compliments. He was such a good boy, so well behaved. So well behaved in fact they said he was too quiet, we should have him checked out to be sure he is ok. He is fine; he is just a good boy. Unfortunately he was the youngest colt there he was just 3 months old but he made us proud. The old lady and the little boy that could. That’s what we are calling them, yes that’s it.

4-H States, Here We Come!
That same day a few hours later we were back in the truck heading in a different direction. Barbara Schirmacher, my co-leader of the rebel Riders 4-H club, myself and three 4-Hers were heading south down 81 to Lexington to the Virginia Horse Center for the Virginia State 4-H Championship show. There was quite a bit of drama on the ride down which Rachel will write about and post at a later date. The great news is that Rachel, Christine and Nikki had a fabulous time in Lex. They learned a lot about each other, about each other’s horses and about showing on their own. You see at this particular 4-H show the parents and leaders a re not supposed to help. The kids are supposed to minimally help each other. Nikki went down to help out as moral support, gal Friday, and official horse holder, assistant groom, stall mucker and any other job that needed attending to. The girls came away with not only knowledge but some fantastic ribbons. Rachel and Christine both got blue ribbons in stable management. That award was based on tack condition and cleanliness, stall condition including cleanliness, and amount of shavings, bucket height, arrangement and cleanliness, and lastly the overall condition of the horse. They, the three of them, did it all themselves and they were richly rewarded with the blue ribbon, way to go girls! Now on to ring work. This show was Rachel’s “coming out” to dressage. She has never done a test off of the farm. She decided this summer when entries were due that she would ride Blossom to the best of her ability, not as a hunter rider, but as a budding dressage rider. She rode Training Level Test 1 and Training Level Test 4. She received a 63.38% and a 62% respectively. Those scores were good enough to put her right near the top. She is third in the state in Test 1 and second in the state in Test 4. Holy cow, second in the state. I just don’t think things can get any better for us here at the farm. Rachel also entered a dressage equitation class, which quite frankly was foreign to me. She tried her best and came out with a very respectable eighth place in that class. Showmanship, her least favorite, was her last class and she left the ring with a Danish red ribbon. Not great but it ended putting her in 11th place. All in all Rachel proved herself as a force to be reckoned with in the saddle. I am so proud of her. Christine came away with a seventh place and an eighth place. Considering most every class had over 20 entries, she too took home very respectable ribbons.

EF KKlassique Beauty++
We are now home for a few days. We are able to catch our breath and chill for a bit. Well here is the mail and here is the letter I have been waiting for. Beauty did it!! Her name is now EF KKlassique Beauty++. She is just five and she accomplished something that to me is so out there that I cannot believe it has happened. Beauty has earned herself enough points to be among the elite in the Arabian world. The elite who have proven themselves not only as beautiful creatures but also as can do horses. The first and only pointed show for her came at Nationals in ’05 where she was in the jackpot 2 year old fillies SHIH class. She went Top Ten. She finished her points off with a double reserve champion in SHIH open and amateur. So in less than 3 years she accomplished two levels of achievements. One + is for earning her points or beating many horses in all conformation and one is for a combination of conformation and performance. I am waiting for AHA to let me know how many five-year-old horses have achieved this goal. The AHA sent me a list of the awards Beauty has won during her short show career. Here it is: 1 National Title, 10 Regional Titles and countless class A wins and placings. Wow 10 Regional Titles, you’d think she was with a big time trainer or something!!